Saturday, 9 April 2016

Braunston (yes, still here)



It’s been a fairly quiet week moored on the Puddle Banks at Braunston.  Well, it was quiet for me and Buddy taking in lots of walks around the area.  It hasn’t been quiet on the water – this is a busy place where the Grand Union and Oxford canals join – it’s been like the M25 of the boat world all week. 

Even though we have had some lovely sunshine we did seem to get soaked every time we went out. Surprisingly we have only seen a couple of butterflies during the week; quite disappointing.

This is the view out of the front of the boat and every evening the rooks come out to play.  It’s so relaxing watching them wheeling around and you can actually see that many of them are in pairs as they are now nesting.  They also come out at six in the morning and we’re convinced they get up when Karen slides the hatch open to get out and go to work.

Our regular evening view of rooks from our mooring this week
On Wednesday we spent some time walking along the abandoned railway lines in the area.  This bridge over the railway line is quite striking as it is triple arched and just sits in the middle of nowhere, I suppose it must have carried an important byway when it was built but it is no longer used.

Bridge over nothing carrying nothing

There is an amazing archive of photographs depicting the building of the railways around here and also the early days of their usage.  This is a photograph of the same bridge when the line was under construction in 1897.  The rails were roughly laid as these were used to move men and materials around before the main rails were laid.

When the line was built in 1897 - works rails have been laid prior to the real things going down

On Thursday Mark popped by on Callisto to top us up with diesel and coal.  His dog is called Cally which is purely coincidental, she was a rescue dog and came with that name rather than Mark naming her after his boat.

Taking on supplies from Mark on nb Callisto
One afternoon we took a walk to Flecknoe and when we were about three miles from the boat it started hailing and we hadn’t taken any wet weather gear as no rain had been forecast.  By the time we got home we were soaked. Flecknoe is a lovely village, one of those on our retirement list.  It has mellow stone cottages and no main road running through it.  near Flecknoe is a hamlet called nethercote which has a Victorian wall box still in use.

Victorian wall post box in Nethercote near Flecknoe

Sad as I am I checked the waypoint site and sure enough the box has already been recorded in the section on Victorian post boxes.  

The shower pump packed up on Friday morning and I was again reminded of how expensive 12 volt electrical goods are.  It always seems a con to me and I’m sure if I was electrically minded I could convert standard 240 volt appliances to run on 12 volt.  For example, basic domestic fridges are only a £100 or so but a 12 volt basic fridge will be getting on for £400.  

As usual, Karen worked from home on Friday and we went for a walk after she finished and ended up at the Admiral Nelson.  It turned out to be the best evening of the week and we sat outside having a quiet drink watching the boats go past.

It's now the weekend and we are looking forward to Jo visiting us for a few days next week on her way back to Edinburgh after a trip to see friends in Cornwall.  She has got a coach home next Saturday for £11 showing it pays to shop around!

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