Today (Wednesday) was definitely the day to move. We had lunch at the Plough followed by an afternoon snooze and set off at 3.30. A lot of the trip was at tick over past all the 'Agenda 21' moorings. At the swing bridge before Duke's Cut I missed my footing stepping off the boat, dropped my rope and pole in the water and crashed to the ground banging my bad knee, OUCH!
It was quite a pleasant trip up until we were 'greeted' by a Kidlington resident who it would seem is the self appointed sheriff for this stretch of the waterway. Bones had moored directly opposite his garden, I moored behind her. Said sheriff came out of his garden walked along a footpath, which we later found was private and he was trespassing, crossed over the lock and then walked down the towpath. I was still mooring Milly and he walked right past me. Level with the stern of Bones he said to her, "You know this is a 24 hour mooring". Well no she didn't. There are no signs and she said as much. "Your lot took them down", said the sheriff. Well if his first volley across the bows didn't piss her off, that did.
"It's 24 hours because of the proximity to the houses", he pronounced. What a load of BS. I have moored on some canals right outside peoples front doors and had no complaints.
'Your lot' now what does that mean? Are we boaters some kind of splinter group of mainstream society. Are we a band of renegade people who flout the law and remove 6X6 posts set in concrete or was he maybe hinting that we are floating scum and just didn't want us here. Either way I think my 25 years in the RAF and the good Dr's eminence in her field would rather belie his thoughts of us as anything other than good people who because of people like him are assumed to be on the fringes of society.
Another resident came along the path and Mort said, "Oh look one that smiles". To which he countered, "Have you been having some problems?" Mort explained and the chap said that the 'sheriff' was a bit of a miserable git who thought he owned the canal.
It transpired on Thursday morning, speaking to the lady on the boat in front of Mort, that Mrs 'sheriff' was obviously the 'deputy' and had stood on the other side of the canal when she moored up with a face like a fart, arms crossed over her chest, scowling like there was no tomorrow. I feel sure that there has been some animosity on this stretch in the past, but what has that got to do with us, now. Given the rudeness and poor attitude of the sheriff and his deputy I am not surprised that there may have been trouble in the past. People behave towards us in response to how we treat them. Treat me like the good person I try to be and I will be a good and loyal friend. Treat me like dirt and I will shit in your garden (metaphorically speaking).
This is as far as I know a 14 day mooring and although we were going to move off today, we will stay a while and maybe come back here for a few days after the weekend. If you should be in this area please stop and enjoy the countryside for a few days it's quite lush, some natives might be a bit up themselves but don't let that spoil it for you.
Addendum:Have spoken to BW this morning (Thursday) and they say 14 days. Looks like I may be staying.