Flecknoe (our first sleepover guests on the new boat)

Reindeer made by an enterprising boater

There was still the odd bit of ice on the water on Friday morning but not enough to stop us going for a cruise.  We headed the couple of miles south down to the end of the North Oxford canal where it meets the Grand Union at Braunston.

We stopped for water and lunch and then headed west along the Grand Union a couple more miles to Flecknoe.  This time I moored quite close to the bridge so that Karen didn’t have far to walk in the dark when she got home from work. At weekends we tend to moor away from bridges as we don’t need easy access to the car but during the week, when Karen is commuting in the dark, we may as well be as close to the road as possible.

On Saturday morning we drove down to Hartley Wintney to meet the people we are renting a house from for Christmas.  It was even homelier than depicted by the pictures on the AirBnB site and we were really happy with our choice.

As we were near my youngest daughter, Polly, we popped to see her and had a quick lunch in a local pub.  We did have to follow her in her car – quite a nerve wracking experience as I have never seen her drive before!

Judith and Nigel joined us after we got home in the afternoon and as it was already dusk we stayed in for the rest of the day.  They slept on the dinette which converts to a double bed.  This was the first time it has been used as a bed and it seemed to work really well and they had a comfortable night.

Sunday was a really clear day so after a leisurely cooked breakfast we went for a circular walk.  We started off along the towpath and passed the boat selling wooden reindeer at the top of this blog entry.

We turned away from the canal at Wolfhamcote and took them to see the abandoned church there.

Whenever we have walked around these lanes before it has always been quiet – no other walkers or cars – but it seemed really busy this weekend.

More walkers behind us

Braunston church spire in the distance

One of the ruins of the abandoned village

We ended up walking through the village of Flecknoe and as we passed the pub we popped in for a quick drink.  As we were leaving we literally bumped into our friend Nicola who moors her boat down at Braunston.  She seemed to be well known in the pub and she explained that a few winters ago she was frozen in for several weeks just where we are currently moored.  We are moored next to bridge 102 and she became known as 102 by the locals.

View as we walked into Flecknoe village

Walking back home from the pub Judith decided she would like one of the wooden reindeer so we walked back along the towpath and she chose one.  

All in all a lovely relaxing weekend

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