It’s been a while. The floating thin object. Gorgeously purposeful purposelessness.
A slow chug. From town to village. Cross-country. Brass and rust. A held-breath, mindful morning. Ochre. Burnt Umber. Drab Olive. Hectic flirts of bright yellowredorange. Gloss highlights in a matt world.
Just as the weathermen had predicted, an Atlantic low with associated rain front drifted in, and not even a Diamond Jubilee could prevent it. Low grey cloud, torrential rain and then lingering mizzle/drizzle dampened and flattened out the day.
This coming weekend will be one of the waterway season’s first Jubilee Events, in the form of the London Canal Cavalcade.
For London boaters, as well as those from further afield, it’s usually a must-see event. A watery village fete beneath the Westway elevated road. Let’s hope it isn’t a wash-out like this weekend!
(Please note: the following images, which attempt to convey the spirit of the event, weren’t taken by me but were the result of typing London Canal Cavalcade into Google. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post some new images after next weekend. If any of them are your images I’d be happy to add a full attribution, or delete. Thanks.)
The kids were fascinated by these mysterious carvings, now half dissolved and lichen covered, that appear on so many of the headstones. It was an adventure to clamber around spotting more and more of them…
When we moored up at Forge Farm the Thursday before last, it was one of those fraught moments when ‘events’ (in this case one thunderstorm, one poorly child, two other v. fractious & tired children) combined to make the moment of arrival perhaps less than auspicious.
Ah, such are the joys of English weather and family boating!
Today was the the first time we’d been able to go back and get properly sorted out.
We had thought of taking our ‘Eileen’ down the four locks to the winding hole at Cropredy Wharf, but with ominous skies (What is it with us, boats, and impending thunderstorms???) the thought of upwards of three hours of the kids, already fractious, trapped inside the boat without the distraction of books and toys, wasn’t an attractive one, so we chose the less stressful option of winding at Clattercote Wharf instead.
It basically involved us reversing a couple of hundred yards up to Gregg’s winding hole, turning the boat and reversing her back down the canal to the same mooring but with the boat now facing the other direction… The reason for this being that the raw water feed to cool the engine was previously nearest the bank and prone to sucking in silt and mud every time we attempted to start the engine. At least in our new position, in theory the intake is in ‘deeper’ water (though, to be honest, the concept of deep water on the Oxford Canal is a pretty abstract one!) and should therefore block up less.