Bones on Thames

Dr Bones is moored on the Thames, close to chez Nous at the moment. Yesterday, we popped over for supper. Bones, Boots, Steve and Wallace were just returning from a walk.

Wallace is a very ‘can do’ doggie. I was rather pleased to catch a pic of him mid canter.

Dr B. and Boots went off to guide the Rev Rattue, leaving me to be menaced by this swan.

I was very glad to see them returning through the gloom.

This morning I popped over for a cuppa (as you can see, Boots was helping).

The swan decided to make rude gestures with its foot.

Exeter Quayside & Canal

My Pa and I bullied the rest of the family down to the quayside. The quay was built to service the wool trade. This is the lovely little customs house.
This little building looks rather Dutch doesn’t it?
All these little lockups are now chichi shops, except for a rather good coffee place.
It’s all been done rather well, with canoe hire
…and a cute little chain ferry. The only other one I know is in Stratford-upon-Avon, the one connecting St Hilda’s to Christchurch meadow is long gone.
We decided to take a boat trip up the canal.
Canal swing bridges are usually operated by someone walking along the bank. In this case a chap jumped from the boat each time.
He then swung on the the bridge itself, and jumped back into the boat. Wondering whether he’d fall in all added to the enjoyment of the trip.
Boater friends tell me that the Exeter Ship Canal is one of the oldest.
It’s certainly absolutely lovely.
Here is some gratuitous male flesh for Lorna’s delight & delectation.
I’d rather like a long trip down this canal. Any takers?

Gracious Heavens

No, not the Islay S&M club meeting – this is Roy, who donned scuba gear (for the first time) to check under his boat.

Cruise to Banbury on nb Bones

On Saturday, The Boy and I joined Dr Bones and Crew at Twyford Mill, for a cruise up to Banbury.

Boots decided that it was more fun to run up and down the tow path, with the odd pause to pose looking noble…

…or checking out the locks.

As Maffi was hors de combat, and I’m not very handy, it was up to The Boy and Dr Bones to navigate the locks.

Locks are rather scary when you’re at the bottom – and the water is coming in!

What was Molly doing? A little bit of looking out…

…some snoozing…

…and a bit of a cuddle.

“Hey Boots, look…food!”

The dainties from the Cornucopia deli in Eynsham, are NOT FOR DOGS!

We jumped ship at Banbury, and took the train home.

“Hey Boots – we’re famous!”

This week just gone we had some friends visiting. No visit to Traves-Lawrence Towers is complete without a trip over to Annie’s Tea Room in Thrupp, so we pottered over there on Tuesday.

It gave us the chance to catch up with Dr Bones, Maffi, Boots & Molly. Dr Bones was kind enough to show my friend Elaine’s urchins round nb Bones. I hope Dr Bones doesn’t mind that she’s become a tourist attraction.

Parrot Resurrection

On Saturday Dr Bones invited us over to Osney Island for a little al fresco supper.

When it got dark and cold we retired into NB Bones. My eye fell on a platic parrot. Dr Bones had been given it as a present. In theory you recorded a message, which it would then repeat back in…well parrot fashion. It had never worked, and once our trusty boaters realised that its batteries were dead…

…they decided the ‘jump start’ it.

“Live my pretty!”.

Hurrah for engineers, as they got it working!

Tyson – Bargee

Here is a very bad picture of Tyson – who is moored next to Dr Bones at the moment. I wonder if he was called Tyson because he bit another cat’s ear off? Still, he was very friendly with us.

I’ve always loved the idea of ship’s cats. It seems to underscore the concept of the ship as a travelling home and/or community. However, one needs to remember that they were (are?) working cats, keeping the vermin down, not pets. Although I’m sure they were given plenty of strokes and rubs behind the ears – after all, Simon was awarded his medal not just for ratting, but for raising morale.

Here is a picture The Boy took of Tyson. It’s not much better, but at least you can see his face!

Burgundy 2008 – Down by the Yonne

I’ve hung out with dirty bargees for so long now, I find myself twitching slightly in the presence of nice boats.

Auxerre is on the Yonne – and there were some very, nice boats indeed…

…including this swish hire boat…

…a cute boat lift…

…and this lovely barge, which I really lusted over.

These urchins looked like they were about to make off with the pedalos!

Burgundy 2008 – Canal du Nivernais

Our friend from Oxford Cruisers, Steve Malpus, used to work on the Canal du Nivernais – so it was extra interesting to go on a boat trip.

The canal was built to increase the amount of wood that could be floated down to Paris from the Morvan. The canal links the Loire to the Yonne. Today, it’s mostly used by pleasure traffic.

I thought this boat house was rather splendid.

Most of the canal is wider than ones that I’m used to in the UK.

The canal is kept in good condition – as you can see from this shot of the bank.

Our cruise was down a narrow part of the canal, with lots of tunnels.

I DO like industrial architecture.

The light at the end of the tunnel!

The Boy was rather taken with the boat’s rear view mirror!

There’s a story connected with this bridge, but I was unable to get the gist of it.

[The Boy tells me it was built for a farmer to get his cows across – and there was me thinking it was something romantic!]

We didn’t get to see much wildlife – but there were lots of dragonflies…

…and this nice woolly dog!