Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Oil on water

It must have rained quite hard last night as there was a small puddle of water on the floor by the front doors. I wasn't able to work out how it got there, but I wiped it up and it didn't reappear.

I checked the oil levels - both engine and gearbox were fine. And that pool of oil below the engine? As soon as I started mopping it up I realised that it was no more than a thin film on top of water. Phew! That's all wiped up now too.

After coffee we walked into Aynho along the pavement-less 60mph road. Nicholson says it's a mile, but we reckon it's more than that. The hotel in the centre of the village, the Cartwright Arms, looked good. We perused the menu out of curiosity but knew we had the sausages from the farm shop on board, so we crossed the road to walk round the exterior of the church (locked).

There are some rather large houses in Aynho. This one is flanked by similarly grand buildings, hidden from view in my photo.

After lunch we again took our lives in our hands as we walked the other way to Clifton. The lovely-looking thatched pub here, the Duke of Cumberland's Head, has closed. There's an apologetic note from the landlord attached to the hoarding outside - the pub must have been the centre of the community.

Opposite our mooring at Aynho Wharf was this interestingly-named boat. I guess the owner has now left his employment.

We decided to move on at 1700. Almost immediately it started to rain. And pour. And hail. There was a bridge coming up; by the time I got there the rain had eased. Nevertheless I stopped underneath to put my waterproof trousers on (better late than never) and warm up a little. Carrying on we found our second lift bridge to operate; the first being the one in Banbury. There are no photos of Somerton Deep Lock as I didn't want my camera to get wet. Just past Somerton we came across The Barocha, Bob and Jan's boat, so we stopped to say hello. They were in the middle of eating, but we ended up joining them while Jan (the other one) cooked our sausages for us. It was good to see them and to be able to spend the evening talking.

We find ourselves moored at the edge of a cow field. The cows seem to have mooved (sorry, couldn't help it) away, but there is fresh evidence that they have been here recently (watch where you step). Apparently they like to lick the dew off the side of boats in the morning. I'm not looking forward to that. Or they could chew through the MOOring ropes (ouch!) and cast us adrift. Hmm. It was a lovely sunset across the fields, though.

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