Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Are we chuffed? Oh yes.

Because today (Wednesday 8th) we met our beautiful grandson for the first time.  He is 2 days old.


The besotted grandparents with little Finn.

Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th March; Calcutt marina

We have a complicated few days ahead of us with family matters and Calcutt is much closer to it all than Devon, so we will be on the boat for nearly a week and may even have time for a short cruise. 

After a detour to visit our daughter and her family – how lovely to be able to say that! – on the way up on Wednesday, we stayed in the marina on Thursday.  I took the folding bike and trundled off to Napton shop.  I say trundled, because although a lot of the way is level there was quite a strong side-wind.  By the time I reached the uphill bit from the King’s Head – up which I had to walk - I was really quite warm.  The flowers are coming out in the gardens and it is beginning to feel like spring at last.  A small tortoiseshell butterfly was feeding on these flowers but wouldn’t stay still long enough for a photo.

1 napton garden

After lunch we took Meg for a good walk, starting  at Napton reservoir, glittering in the sunshine

2 napton reservoir

and across the fields to join the towpath at bridge 109 on the South Oxford canal.  The fields were very wet and boggy especially around the gates; the towpath was much better.  We walked over the bridge at Napton Junction and on to Nimrod bridge 108 on the Grand Union.  It was glorious in the sunshine and there were violets along the towpath.

3 violets on towpath

There was an interesting boat moored along this stretch; it had an outboard motor and looked like the sort of ‘shed’ boat you sometimes see with a liveaboard boat; and it had this on the roof where people put stone ornaments or a pot of plants.

4 on odd boat with outboard

We walked up the road for a short way and then across a field of oilseed rape.  The path is clearly not heavily used and the crop had been sown across it, so we picked our way carefully between plants.  The mud here is very sticky and we had to scrape it off our boots at the gate.  Judging by the mucky lower rail of the fence we weren’t the first to do it!  As we walked past the woods near Calcutt farm we spotted an old tree house, now roofless and looking rather sad.  The lower rungs look to have been removed to prevent access.

5 tree house seen in calcutt farm wood

The paths crossed more wet and muddy fields past the back of Ventnor marina, till we rejoined the towpath at bridge 18 on the Grand Union, Tomlow bridge.  We crossed back into the marina at Calcutt top lock, and it was so warm that Dave felt obliged to have the first ice cream of the season.

It took a good 20 minutes to get the mud off the dog and our boots.  The evening quickly got cold so the fire was lit and we were sorted.

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