Thursday, 31 March 2016

Clifton upon Dunsmore (time for spring cleaning)

Whenever I hear someone say, “Spring cleaning”, I am reminded of the opening chapter of Wind in the Willows where Mole is spring cleaning his home.  When living on the boat it is relatively easy to keep it clean inside as it is small compared to a house.  The trouble is outside, the windows particularly.  During the winter the windows get filthy from dirty ropes and mud splashed up by passing runners etc.  Also it never seems to be the right weather to clean them properly so they just get a good hosing and wiping down when we fill up with water. As this week promises some fine weather I had ‘clean outside windows’ on my job list.

I haven’t written a blog entry for three days and I must admit that it isn’t because I have been cleaning windows non-stop.  Buddy and I have been exploring the area and meeting fellow boaters as usual but the real reason for lack of blogging is that I forget to take photographs.  Anyway I took a few today so here’s an update.

We have been moored in Clifton upon Dunsmore since last Sunday and will probably move on this coming Saturday.  The towpath here is very muddy but we are moored very close to this bridge which has a handy layby next to it for Karen to leave the car when she comes home from work.  A rather uninspiring modern bridge but with some artwork that seems to discourage graffiti artists.

Bridge 69 (Kent Road bridge) - where we are currently moored on the North Oxford canal
There seem to be quite a few continuous cruisers moored in this stretch and many are working so park their cars in Karen’s layby. I chatted to the guys who are installing a pipeline opposite our mooring and found out that it is a new water supply for a housing estate at Crick running from Rugby – about six miles in length.

New water pipeline being installed opposite our mooring
The blue gazebo contains some fancy equipment that seals the lengths of pipes together and every so often the noise volume increases and the pipeline moves along a length – I can’t work out if it is pushed, pulled or both.  I wonder how much of the cost of installation has to be borne by the housing developers.  Our walk yesterday took us past this arm that is now used for permanent moorings.  It used to be part of the original line of the canal before it was straightened by building the embankment straight ahead and running the new canal along it.

The old line of canal heading round to the right and the new (1820s) straight on
It is only a mile into the centre of Hillmorton from where we are moored so I normally take Buddy up to the village for our afternoon walk.  It is one of those villages that has its green running down the middle of its main street.

Hillmorton centre
This morning we walked into Rugby as I need to get supplies from a DIY store.  On the way I saw my first Comma butterfly of the year and Buddy took the opportunity to lay down and play with a stick.

Buddy taking time out
Even though it feels like we are having an early spring we had actually seen more butterflies by this time last year and several species were seen quite a lot earlier.  Maybe spring feels early as the winter has been even milder than last year.  Sitting outside reading a book this afternoon made me realise how close we are to the butterfly season and hopefully we will find some good new locations this year.

Looking down to our mooring from bridge 69

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