Friday, 13 September 2013

Friday the 13th

Spent yesterday afternoon at Pinkhill. Where the sunshine was reminiscent of summer. Though it rained all night. This morning it was grey and overcast, but the river was kind and gentle enough to just pootle along without any worries.

Oxford cruisers have agreed to sort us out on Monday. Wehey! Waved at Andy on Nb Festina Lente on my down to Eynsham lock. Hi Andy.

When I was in the lock, a Hireboat (Caribbean cruiser style) further on downstream, got a rope caught around it's propeller and was drifting about in the middle of the river. By the time I got there, they were wedged in some bushes, looking a bit embarrassed. I turned around and towed them back to the safety of the lock landing. Yep, dogma's massive 21hp actually towed something. The bloke tried to blame his missus (who was still shoreside). I am most proud of the fact that I didn't graunch it into nb 'Armadillo' as I was coming alongside. That would have been embarrassing.

After many unnecessary thankyous, I tickovered my way down to Godstow, in the alternating grey pizzle and sunshine. Then ran aground by the footbridge. Ack! Firmly wedged on some sunken debris. So I had to use the pole to punt myself off. Turned around without ending up in the weir, or taking out the bridge. And found a more suitable place a little further upstream.

After lunch, I took Sumo on a pilgrimage to Binsey and the 12th century church of St. Margaret of Antioch. Via the dog friendly "Perch Inn". Not because I am overly religious, but because I've always wanted to visit the 'treacle well' from "Alice in Wonderland". I've never had the opportunity before. It was a bit of a trek. We got a bit wet. But it was well worth it.

The churchyard was a very peaceful place, and I envied the people who were fortunate enough to rest there. Out in the countryside. Under the trees, with no traffic noise. People have been recorded making pilgrimages to the healing well for at least 1400 years. It was so popular, a town of inns and taverns sprang up to cater for them all. Though that is sadly now long gone. Today there was nobody there, except me and Sumo. The earliest readable grave was from 1778. I wondered what they would make of the England of today. Then I thanked them for sharing their tranquil spot for a half an hour, and wandered back to the boat.

No Wind. No Worries. Waterproofs and Hat needed.

The ruins of Godstow nunnery. Brought into disrepute for "entertaining" monks from nearby Oxford. Rosamond the Fair was buried here, in front of the high altar. Before the site was redeveloped into a private house, and then a ruin.

Bisney ('Thornbury' in pagan times).

The treacle well, where the 3 sisters lived. Godstow is the place that "Alice in Wonderland" was first conceived of. The picnic party decided to head upstream, past Port Meadow. Instead of their more usual downstream route to Nuneham.

A pre-christian healing spring, miraculously "found" by Oxford's St. Tildeswilde in the 8th century. The water level was too low to get to, without a bucket or a cup, on a rope or a chain. None was provided. Which I thought a shame.

1778. The name illegible, unfortunately.

On a sunnier, less wet day, this would have been a nice spot to idle away a few contemplative moments. Or maybe offer up a few thoughts to loved ones, who are no longer with us.

..... I had a couple of more pictures to upload, but the connection is painfully slow, and the inverter is down to hotel-three-star. More later.....


  1. Hi Ken thanks for waving but that must of been one of the other 24 'Festina Lente' on the system ..hope the skipper returned your wave...we are in Aston Marina on the Trent and Mersey at the moment.

  2. 24? How can that be? I thought boats with the same name had to have unique ID numbers? But yeah, he did wave. :)


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