Should I Stay Or Should I Go

There has been a bit of rain over the last few days punctuated by sunshine. It has never quite been clear whether we would escape the rain. We also have the creeping arrival of red boards on the Thames making travel uncertain. Also safe mooring is harder to find when the water levels are changing. After leaving Lechlade someone told me the place we had been was not allowed and you could be fined but there was no notice saying so and the two places we were apparently allowed were a place where the mooring was too short for us (the majority of boats we have seen here are not narrow boats and are much shorter) and a mooring someone suggested was in a field beside cows which we had been specifically warned against by a lockkeeper. We managed to overnight in a field by a campsite, whether it was allowed or not I don’t know.

There were lots of private moorings nearby at Radcot and we looked for Sandy Dee. We searched several sections but some mooring areas were gated off and we could not see them. The hammer is still separated from its owner. We had a pleasant stroll and wondered what size of group or group members was the limit for the footbridge.

Gate with an unspecified weight limit

We found the next day less than relaxing for multiple reasons but there were still interesting diversions Long the way, cormorants, well kept gardens at locks and cows all featured prominently.

In rushing water Shane (or the river) steered us to the safety of the electric charging mooring point on a floating jetty. Officially we should leave by noon the next day. The electric isn’t working, nonetheless people are being advised not to travel so we have been allowed to stay two nights and paid for mooring. It is a pretty spot and in a nature reserve so it has been a pleasant place to stay. Shane found switching off the inverter overnight saved some energy.

24 hour mooring for electric charging only
Flowers near the weir
Dragon fly at the lock garden

A couple of walks in the nature reserve have yielded huge numbers of birds and informative boards telling us about bats, and other wildlife. Bats shelter under this bridge, which we presume is largely undisturbed as the traffic is very specifically restricted. What about a small van, an ambulance, a tractor and trailer, a herd of cows? This road leads to a field of cows from a private road so not much tests its strength. There is path along the river under it.

Sign on bridge designated as suitable for cars and fire engines
Wooden bridge, apparently strong enough for fire engines

Yesterday we managed a mainly dry trip to the nearby villages by bike. We got shopping in Aston Community shop which was a lot more fruitful than expected, and a novel coronation display.

Floral crown in Aston community shop window
Felt corgi …. How much is that doggie in the window?

I was planning on getting a photo of wisteria and a knitted/crocheted pillar box topper. We had soft plastic wrappers to recycle and a co-op in the nearby town was a likely candidate so we decided to go there first and get the photos on the way back. We recycled successfully in Bampton and found a pillar box topper there too, as well as a nice lunch spot.

Weighed down by rain or responsibilitycrowdson the post box in Bampton
Details of postbox topper including a policeman and a horse and unmounted guard

Then made our escape before more rain arrived. Shane had remembered I wanted the crafted crowning glory in Aston, but was surprised to find that it had gone when we passed back through. The wisteria had stayed rooted and was blooming marvellous.

So we know everything is to hand nearby and Shane having deliberated this morning about onward travel, would it be too stressful, are we allowed to stay here, are we allowed to travel…. has returned from a chat with the lock keeper. We are advised against travelling and he has a slip for another 24 hour mooring and the sun is shining, for now.

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