Thursday, July 25, 2019

Herbie in the heat

Aah, the peace of the countryside, well except for the railway 20 yards behind the hedge and the combine harvester roaring away on the other bank and the fact that we appear to be directly beneath the flight path from somewhere to somewhere else. My crew skulks in the bushes to avoid the sun while I sit patiently waiting to be struck by lightning or at least to have a stricken tree fall on us. We are out of the burning sun, but the air is thick and heavy and the breeze is like that from a fan heater.  Actually the coolest place is inside Herbie. Even though she is basically a tin box, her insulation keeps her remarkably cool.

We were heading for Heyford today but gave up in the heat with only a mile or so to go.  A sort of Captain Scott in reverse.

Our jolly up and down the Thames was lovely.  After a night on the canal down the Hythe bridge arm we collected our Peter and tootled down to Abingdon, dodging the rowers who, because they do it backwards, are a constant hazard until you get past Iffley.  Not only can they not see you, they creep up fast behind you so you don't see them.  I think the EA should loan out wing mirrors with their visitor licences.

Abingdon, as you all know, is lovely, and we tied up below the bridge and shambled over to the Nag's Head where we ate expensive Fish and Chips on the island.  The view is what you pay for.  Next night we went back to Iffley on the 'first night free' lock moorings and ate out again, this time at the Isis Farmhouse.  I can see while some of my faithful readers have mixed feelings about it.  It is a bit gloomy inside, but the beer is very good and the watermelon, olive and feta salad I ate in the garden was perfect for a hot day.

We returned to the canal via the beautiful Port meadow where the river is full of paddling cows, horses and dogs, and up the rather scruffier Dukes Cut, pressing on in the heat to The Jolly Boatman moorings at Thrupp where we found a shady spot and self catered (sorry Jolly).  En route we met Maffi and Molly hiding Dracula like from the daylight below a lock.  Kindly we allowed him to help us through the lock, we're all heart. All was fine in the evening apart from a wasp stinging me in the finger, right on a bony bit.  Today it itches like mad, but I expect I'll live.

If we survive the seemingly inevitable electric storms tonight we are treating ourselves to posh nosh at the Great Western tomorrow. Virtue has its own reward.


Simon Kelley said...

NB Melaleuca is on the Middle Level. Anyone who has been to the fens knows that it's flat without many trees. More specifically, the banks of the waterways are kept mown for maintenance access, so very very few trees grow close enough to the water to shade a boat. There is, however, one suitable willow. Just to the west of Lode's End lock. So we went there and moored under it, actually, more like, in it: the branches draped over the roof. Thus prepared, we awaited the hot weather. Maximum temperature reached inside the boat - 36 Celsius. Whew!


Vallypee said...

It’s been sizzling here too. 40C in the shade in southern NL, Belgium and northern France (where we’ve just been). I don’t blame you for seeking the shade!