Oxford Canal. Upper Heyford

We’re still at Allens Lock at Upper Heyford. This is the first lock that anyone hiring a boat from Oxforshire Narrowboats gets to, so it’s often quite exciting.

The big news is that Ken has got a new home. A lovely couple called Emma & Richard won him on Ebay, and are taking him home with them on Saturday. We had a very pleasant time with them on Wednesday and we hope they’ll have as much fun with him as we did.
Thank-you Ken, you did good.

On the boat we’ve put a pane of glass in the cratch board
The next thing is a canvas cover over the front to make a very useful welly-taking-off area. There are a couple of places on the net that do cratch covers to order; i.e. you send them your measurements and they make the cover and send it back. Trouble is, every boat is different and we’re not entirely convinced that without actually seeing it themselves the result would be as good. They are considerably cheaper though, and the measurements that you send them are probably exactly the same ones as more expensive tailor-made firms would take, and they probably do a sterling job and if we send them some photos and talk to them on the phone…… Anyway, we’re going to look into it. The bow is masked up for painting, we're going to have to decide on what sort of lettering we want before much longer. At the back end we've stained the roof boxes and finished fixing the solar panels to the top of the rear one. There are hasps and staples on all four sides so that it can be lifted and pointed towards the sun in any direction while still being padlocked to the boat. It took a lot of thinking to end up with something pleasingly simple.
We had a walk into Lower Heyford on Tuesday; it’s only a couple of miles down the tow-path, but for the first time this year we had to get dressed up in woolly jumpers hats and and coats. We really enjoyed the feeling of being wrapped up against the elements and the hawthorn berries, rose hips, elderberries and hazelnuts that we found on the way only added to our inner autumnal glow. We missed autumn last year – we didn’t leave Portugal till the end of November, so we’re looking forward to kicking leaves around, wearing scarves and gloves and coming home to a cosy boat with a homemade casserole bubbling away on the log burner. Mind you, while we were sitting in a tea shop by the station the wind picked up, the heavens opened and lounging about in a beach bar in the tropics sipping Pina Coladas suddenly seemed like quite a nice idea.

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