Calcutt (while the cat’s away)

Buddy dressed up for the festive season.  Karen had tied it on so tightly I couldn’t remove it when taking him out for a walk!

He does seem rather proud of it and doesn’t try and take it off

On Sunday I went down to Southampton with my youngest son, Jake, to watch Southampton play Middlesborough.  It wasn’t the best football match we have ever seen but at least we won.

When I got back it was dark but when I looked across the reservoir I could see that Karen had been busy as the outside of the boat was all lit up.

A close up of one side as the picture from across the reservoir didn’t really work…

… but here it is anyway

I found a new circular walk for Monday morning and we set off after breakfast. Buddy still hasn’t learnt that not all dogs want to play so I generally put him on his lead when I see a dog approaching.  

We bumped into a lady with a couple of collies and we got chatting – when I meet a new dog owner I explain Buddy is really friendly and do they mind if I let him off his lead.  I explain that we need him to learn that some dogs don’t like to play.  He had a great time tearing around with the younger collie but was put in his place by the older one.  It was the first time I have seen him told off by a dog and then completely back off – so maybe he’s beginning to learn.

Part of our walk took us past the hire boat basin at Napton.  As it’s winter it was absolutely full of un-hired hire boats, I counted 30 in all – must make cash flow management interesting for companies like this that are seasonal.  

I made a big mistake when I went here for fuel a few years ago.  I asked them to fill the boat up and when I went to pay they wouldn’t do a split between heating and propulsion; they would only do 100% propulsion which meant paying the full rate of duty on the whole tank.  I normally declare all the fuel is for domestic use as we are liveaboards and only cruise when we need to generate hot water or run domestic items like washing machines.  Anyway I never went back again and never will and I always ask what split a yard will do before filling up.  

It still strikes me as odd as it’s the customer that has to make the declaration to HMRC regarding the split, not the supplier.  Fuel boats always operate on a defaut of 100% domestic as they tend to be supplying customers like us.

It did occur to me that we will probably benefit from Brexit as far as fuel duty is concerned.  Europe (other than the UK) operate full duty on all fuel for inland waterway craft and the UK has so far resisted Brussels’’ attempts to bring us into line.  I suppose if we leave then that pressure will disappear and us boaters will still be fortunate.

Near the end of the circular walk we came out on the towpath near the boat.  We just had to walk down to the next lock to get across to the other side and walk back.

We love our mooring on the offside as there is no towpath for people to walk or cycle along and we can see out onto the reservoir

Later in the afternoon, Judith and Nigel popped in for a cup of tea on their way back from a weekend in Yorkshire.

Buddy oblivious to how daft he looks

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