Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Queing in Braunston

The weather looked good in the morning with rain in the afternoon, so we set off at around 8.30am and made our way into Braunston. It was still busy with boats at one of the main hubs of the system. We managed to get on the water point and had to wait while the two boats in front of us filled first. While that was going on Del went to the chandlers and picked up some oil and filters. When we were full of water we went into the marina and had a ten pound pumpout.

We then managed to get on our way again and joined the queue to get through the locks. There were four boats in front of us here and as these are double locks it wasn't long before we were moving again. We still had to dodge the orange bollards, even though all this work had been done at the tunnel entrance!!! We then had the tunnel to deal with and met five boats on the way through, one of them right on the kink, but no damage was done.....Phew!

Just as we came out the other side the heavens opened, all these hold ups meant we were running a bit late. So we pulled over and shut ourselves away listening to the rain on the roof.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Timing it right through Napton

We got up to a dismal day after such a nice day yesterday. The drizzle started to clear at around 11.30am so we set off hoping that everyone else might have stopped for lunch. We were right and we got to the Marston Doles with no queues. We also went down the Napton flight in bright sunshine and going straight in and out of locks with no waiting. It was very busy at the bottom of Napton locks with the Folk and Beer festival on next weekend, but to be honest we are a bit festivalled out at the moment. As the weather was so good we pressed on, joining the Grand Union, until we could see the thunder and lightening display in the distance, and it was clear we needed to stop. We just got moored up in time before the heavens opened. We had some dinner only disturbed by the wasps and low flying helicopters coming out the hedges.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Errrr Moving!

We were up at 6.00am this morning because we wanted to get onto the water point early so we could beat the rush (if there was one), we don't do rush...... We tip toed our way past the moored boats in Cropredy and managed to get filled as the Cropredy bell struck 7.00am and the sun came up over the trees.It was very quiet till we got to the Claydon flight of five locks where we had a couple of boats in front of us waiting to go through. When we got to the summit we realised how shallow it was and as we were now full of diesel and had a full tank of water, we were very heavy. So we were nearly at idle for most of the way!!

We got through (with no scratches) the Fenny cutting (the old tunnel) which was very overgrown and tricky in places. We arrived at Fenny Compton at midday, and there were a couple of spaces on the 14 days.

We had to go to LeeSan and pick up a couple of carbon filters which set us back £150.00, but these are needed to stop a smell we seem to be getting outside when we flush the toilet, more about that later.
To drown our sorrows we spent more money and had lunch in the Whalf inn pub. We got talking to another boater (Whistler) who had engine problems, that made us feel better. We then set of for the countryside and cruised for another two hours before mooring up. We are back to a poor phone and internet signal but we have got peace and quiet.............

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Recovery Day

Aching from the three hectic days we had a bit of a lay in and didn't wake up till 9.30am, and guess what the weather was beautiful sunshine.... Typical!!!

We said goodbye to Pat and Keith for the day, who had visitors Marcus, Ann and John and were on a trip to Banbury.

The campers were already on the move and the queues were a mile long. The school at the gates was serving a drive through breakfast for them as they headed for the main roads, a great idea....

After we had showered the queues to the locks were fourteen boats deep and there was a three hour waiting point. They had best put the kettle on........

We (feeling smug) sat out in the cratch and just watched it all going on.... People trying to moor for the locks with no spaces and people trying to put their tents down and not having enough room in the boot of the car.... We love people watching!!!!!

Del then went over the brasses while Al cleaned up the inside. The boots were clean and put on the roof to dry.

Al popped up the shop and got a paper so we could catch up on the news.
At this point we would just like to thank all those people we met over the weekend we just had a fabulous time!!!

We said our goodbyes to a lot of boats as they left today, n.b Bones (a fellow blogger, see link) being one of them.

Everyone we have spoken to has said how they really enjoyed themselves, how would it have been if the weather was better......

We just chilled with the papers in the cratch till the last campers left at 6.00pm and then Pat and Keith arrived back from Banbury just before sunset. We sat and had a few beers with them before we had some dinner out in the cratch listening to Bruce Springsteen late evening!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day Three at the Cropredy Festival

Well it was our turn to get up early and join the queue for a good seat for the last day of the festival.

We managed to get there at 9.55am ( don't know how, so don't ask) and there was already a crowd. The gates opened at 11.00am and we managed to save a spot using chairs and blankets and a few plastic sacks. It then started to rain and the rest of the crew turned up at about 11.30am. We stayed and watched Richard Digence, who turned out to be very good, before we headed back to Derwent6 for some breakfast while a Reggie band playing Sergent Pepper and Pink Floyd tracks.....Sacrilege.

A couple who we met in the Brasenose (and we have forgotten your names, sorry) had managed to get us some go-cart tyres for fenders and had left them on the roof for us, so thank you very much for those.

We then met up with Dusty the coal boat and got topped up with diesel. By this time the rain was tipping it down and the field was now becoming a quagmire, but we didn't care, we had the right gear on and it was good fun.

We then watched the group Ahab, who we saw in the pub and they didn't disappoint on stage, we will be getting their new album in November.

Then came Rick Wakeman and he was a bonus and a joy to watch and listen to. He can make a keyboard talk.

Then it was Martyn Joseph, who was a bit like Bruce Springsteen, with acoustic guitar, though he will never be the Boss.

Then it was Fairport Convention who done their thing. They did a section on Excalibur a musical they are involved in, but we feel they should have stuck to the folk music, which they do best. While they were on we had thunder and lightening and the rain.....oh the rain!!! We got soaked again. When it ended, we said our goodbyes to all the crew we had spent the festival with, and when we joined the crowd walking out, it was like walking in a mud bath. We all sang songs to lift our spirits. We got back to Derwent6 at about 1.00am and cleaned ourselves up a bit before getting into bed.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day two at the Cropredy Festival

We did have the aim to get up early and get our place in the festival this morning but we were so shattered that we didn't get up till 10.00am so that went wrong! Yep it was wet and raining again but who cares. We had to quickly get our stuff together and meet up with all the rest of our friends who were all ready there. We were a bit further back but it wasn't too sad because if you want to see someone close up you just go up the front.
We then took a walk to The Brasenose pub as the first band was on at midday which we wanted to see. They play in the back of a trailer in the pub garden. The festival also started at twelve but the joy of this event is that you can pick and choose who you want to see.

We were in for a treat when we saw a young lad, Blair Dunlop, who was just eighteen on a acoustic guitar who played it very differently. We then wandered back to Derwent6 for some lunch and sat and listened to a couple of bands before heading back to the main arena. We got another treat in seeing the 3 Daft Monkey's who were brill..........We also watched Little Feat, but the highlight for us was a group of eleven players who played all sorts of instruments including brass, wind, strings and percussion called Bellowhead. A great headliner, it all finished at midnight and we got back to Derwent6 at 12.30pm, Shattered for the second day!!!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Let the Show Begin

Woke up to rain this morning!!!!Typical. After a hearty breakfast we got packed with rolls, drinks and the chairs before we set off to the festival. The first job was to get our wristbands and the queues weren't too bad. But then the rain got a bit heavier and on our way back to the Brasenose pub we decided to stay at the festival and wait by the gates to get a good spot when it opened. They opened at 2.00pm and we managed to get a good spot for the day. You just have to put your chairs and a blanket down to save it, everyone knows the rules.

You can then have a walk round all the stalls and suss out the places to eat before settling down for the show which started at 4.00pm today. Well as it did the heavens just opened and we huddled under an umbrella, but still got soaked.

The sun came out on and off, but so did the rain. We saw bands like Leatherat, Thea Gillmore and just the best was Status Quo. We all soon warmed up stomping in the mud, all great fun.
The show ended at 11.00pm today and we got in the queues to get out. Good job Derwent6 was just a ten minute walk away.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Burgers and Good Music

What a difference today!!!!After the showers we had yesterday Del was out doing the brasses while Al made some flapjacks and cleaned inside Derwent6.

We then fired up the BBQ and at 12.30pm Phil and Marlene joined us for burger and sausages in a roll. Pat and Keith then walked along with some extra rolls and we sat in the sunshine listening to music. After everyone had wandered off, we walked back up to the shop and replenished the meat we had used.

We got back to Derwent6 at about 5.30pm and had a bite to eat with some wine in the cratch on Derwent6.

We left for The Red Lion pub and got there just in time to see the Swamp Band who are from Banbury and are very good. They played a lot of Country stuff.
The 9.00am band came on and were very disappointed, so it was drink up time and we made our way over to The Brasenose Arms. A band called Ahab were on with a folky rock mix. They were fantastic and really new on the scene. After the gig we got talking to the lead singer and were invited to a session with them with Bob Harris from Radio Two. Rude not to!!!

After a great night we got back to Derwent6 at around 12.30am and had cheese on toast before bed....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

All hotting up

Things are really starting to hot up here at Cropredy. All the boats now have their bunting out and the fields are ready for all the campers and caravaners. The stage is now ready for sound checks and the stalls are all being put together. It is just a great atmosphere here.
Today we just had a wander round and picked up some more bits before it gets really busy.
In the evening we went up to The Red Lion for a drink with friends. A relaxing day...we're going to need it!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Roll out the barrels

We were up early this morning as Al had a bus to catch. We had a boat go by us with our surname on it but we never had the chance to shout out if they were related or not... Maybe we will see them again to ask. Al left at 9.30am to catch the bus for 10.00 into Banbury. She then got the train down to Reading where she had lunch with her friends, Joy and Yaz.
Del was busy saving a spot for n.b Thema while doing some touching up on Derwent6. A couple of boats had moved and we were hoping they could get the spot before someone else jumped in there. Luckily they came along at the right time and all was well.
Del was then treated to a fried brunch by his Mum, Pat. Also Keith had finished the barrels which he very kindly painted the roses and castles on for us. They looked great on the roof of Derwent6 and all we've got to do now is fill them with Wine and Rum! Al got back at around 7.00pm and we had a bite to eat. We were going to go to the pub, but just crashed out instead!