Calcutt (some local interest items)

Karen left for work at five on Tuesday morning as she has lots to finish before the holiday break.  She didn't need her torch walking across the causeway to the car as the moon was shining so brightly.

Grainy because it was taken with a phone

By the time I got up the clouds had rolled in and it was raining.  I had thought of moving and calling in at Calcutt boat yard to get a pump out and all three forms of fuel but decided to stay put another day.  

When it stopped raining Buddy and I walked up to the top of Napton hill.  At over 500’ high it commands a great view – apparently seven counties can be seen from the top but I haven’t worked out which ones yet.

Looking south towards Banbury and Oxfordshire - too misty to see seven counties today – can only just see Warwickshire where I am standing

There are several interesting sights at the top of the hill.

The church dates back to the 11th century but I doubt they had anti-dog fouling signs on the graves in those days

A herd of highland looking cattle that seemed very tame and wound Buddy up

It’s been three years since Karen and I last walked up here to the windmill whose sails can be seen on the skyline from the Oxford and Grand Union canals for what feels like miles.  The windmill was in a bit of a sorry state when we last came up but is now looking a lot brighter, even in the mist.

The windmill that now seems to be fully restored

Windmill appearing in the mist behind the cattle.  The one at the front has decidedly wonky horns.

Between the windmill and the church is a little area where there used to be a WWII observer tower.  It is now nice to sit on the picnic tables and have a rest and some time for contemplation.

The spot where the WWII observer tower stood

Plaque explaining the history – it must have been quite dramatic seeing the bombs falling on Coventry from this spot

Many of the houses in Napton are built of a lovely mellow stone – here are a few that we passed today:

Three years ago The Plough was a busy pub – one of four in the village then.  It has since closed down and it looks like it is being converted to a private residence.  The Navigation is another pub that we have used a few times in the past but that has recently closed down too.  I can’t imagine the Folly Inn will close as it seems to be so popular and people travel quite a distance to it.  We have never been to the fourth pub, the Kings Head, as it looks like the Chef & Brewer or Harvester places that started appearing everywhere in the 70s and 80s.  I’m probably doing it a disservice so maybe we’ll visit one day.

This used to be The Plough last time we walked through here

Looking to the north from the top of the hill – we are currently moored inside the red circle and the boats at Napton marina can be seen to the right and slightly below

Whilst we were out, several people commented on how Christmassy Buddy looked with his tinsel round his collar.  I had to explain that it was my wife’s doing – she tied it on so tightly that I couldn’t remove it and would consequently feel embarrassed going out for walks.

Before we got home we crossed the South Oxford canal and could see the boatyard we walked past yesterday.

Lots of idle hire boats

On the way back home we passed our boat and I took a picture as it’s not often we can see the boat from the other side of the canal

In the evening Karen and I went to Jo’s house in Stratford to have an evening of bridge practice with Jo and Ileen.  It reminded me of last Monday at bridge classes. We always play opposite Jo and Ileen and as there was a spare member (Maggie) she joined our table and we took turns to sit out.  She didn’t really know us and at one point asked who was my wife; I replied that all three of them were.  The three girls couldn’t stop laughing but poor Maggie was stunned into silence for a few hands.

Another picture Karen took of the moon when she left home on Tuesday morning

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