Christmas on the Canal

Christmas on the Canal

Still here in Kidlington.

Had the first part of my tooth surgery done the other day which consisted of removing the root of the old tooth.

They had put a stem and cap. The stem had fractured the root and the cap fell out. They advised that the root was beyond repair and options included 1)bodge 2)removal.

I opted for 2)removal although it was more expensive.

Chewing gum is bad for your fillings and caps

‘Dental experts’ tell us chewing gum can aid in the dissolution of plaque. Chewing is healthy….

What they don’t tell us is that the chewing of gum for significant periods of time isn’t so good for caps, fillings and other artificial oral constructions made in place of your teeth.


Since I started doing this job full time. I’ve been chewing gum more routinely. Every day in fact. When I work, I (used to) get in the car and have some gum.

My fillings I’ve had since I was at secondary school. The cap I had done when I was at school also. 35 years ago.

All fine for 35 years. Had the cap stem re-cemented when it came out around 18 years ago, otherwise, all fine.

As soon as I chew gum every day. Filling comes out after 4 months. Stem snaps root after 11 months.

I’m not putting this down to chance.


Only one thing has changed in my oral habits and that’s chewing gum.

Dental work is very expensive

No coincidence the fact that a)you can’t get an NHS dentist nowadays b)dental work goes from expensive to eye watering.

I’ve had an idea! Chew more gum…


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Cute Baby Hedgehog escapes from hovering Red Kite

Cute Baby Hedgehog escapes from hovering Red Kite

That’s the title I created (without the help of AI).

Due to my continued mooring in Kidlington, I’m hoping to publish a couple of youtube videos, to keep the content rolling.

Here’s one I made the other day.

YouTube player

Baby Hedgehog

As you can see.

I could have waited for the Kite, which would have made a better video, but I was a bit short for time, so I picked the little blighter up.

Tesamol alternative window insulator.

Tesamol alternative window insulator.

Having found that the supply of Tesamol has just about dried up. This year to insulate my single glaze windows, I’m trying out this alternative, Magzo.

It’s an insulation film that’s easy to fit. I’ve made a video about it.

YouTube player

This is just one of my winter jobs to be done.

I’ll add the others to this blog as I go along.

More mooring in Kidlington

More mooring in Kidlington

Since my visit to the dentist and presentation with £2,500 worth of work to be done. Not cosmetic. Essential work to be done, I’ve decided it would be better to remain a little while here in this big ‘ol village.


Caught it the other day whilst wondering around Oxford getting things for work.

Walked in an Oxfam close to the Ashmolean, think that’s where I caught it. The shop was with people, (more than 4), the temperature was warm, the atmosphere was damp, (due to the rain). I stayed for as long as I could find out whether they sold lanyard clips and where the nearest WHSmiths was. That was long enough…

Went on through the pouring rain, right on into the centre of Oxford and the Westgate Arcarde and the Ryman stationer located on the perimeters.

It was not quite as warm in here. There were not as many customers, and they were not in such close proximity.

By the time I got back to the car, I could feel a cold coming on.

At the time, I put it down to the fact that I was drenched and had been walking around in the rain. I would warm up, have a lemsip, and it would go away after an early night.


Turned out, it didn’t get better. Symptoms escalated and sleep was difficult.

Developed some: aches, lightheadedness, runny nose, slight coughing and mucus build up, general cold-like symptoms.

On the Friday, I felt pretty washed out. This seemed to be the ONLY main symptom.

Rather than just go into work, I thought I’d use up one of the Lateral Flow tests they’d given me when I worked at Serco in Hinckley. We used to dish them out all day.

Surprisingly to me, it returned a positive result.

Positive lateral flow tester
My Positive COVID test 20th October 2023

You can’t see the ‘T’ for some strange reason. You can see the second line though which is the positive indicator.

It is not faint. It is strong.

Came as a surprise to me and I’m 100% certain, without these tests I would have bowled into work and spread my latest iteration merrily around to all that I encountered.

I have no doubt this is happening at schools and workplaces around the country.

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Mooring in Kidlington

Mooring in Kidlington


It’s been a wee while since I got here to Kidlington and I know those out there of my readership are baying for new information, so here it is.

The bright lights of Kidlington

When I was navigating down to the Thames, I noticed this spot on the Offside bank.

It’s coming through the village. Unlike the mooring on the CRT side, there is somewhere to park my car, which is obviously a key consideration.

The only other place to park in Kidlington has less than 1 bar reception, which rules it out.

On my way back up I decided to give it a go. I’m not going to give you the exact location. I don’t think I’d gain anything by publicising it, suffice to say, I’m now moored on Cherwell Council land.

Oorrfff moiy laaaaand!

No crazed employees with pitchforks have approached the boat shouting this yet.

They were out with their strimmers the other day. Said nothin.

I can’t say a boat staying would be of much interest generally. As long as your not putting your gear all over their land, there isn’t really much going on to see.

Here’s a pic.

Bonnie's new home
Bonnie’s new home
Bonnie's new home
Bonnie’s new home


Has 5 pubs. 3 Chinese takeways, a Tesco and a large Sainsburys.

It’s also got a swimming pool and their are buses to Oxford every 20 mins or so. Day and night.

The mobile signal is 4bars 4G, which is on both o2 and three meaning I can take and receive calls and use the internet without any problems at all.

Solar is OK. There’s a lot of tree cover later on in the afternoon, so it’s not magnificent but it’s certainly acceptable. I never have to start my engine.

There’s a Post Office about a 12min walk which has agreed to take my Post Restanté post.

All very cosy.

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Wolvercote, Oxford to Lechlade

Wolvercote, Oxford to Lechlade

Not really Wolvercote, although that’s the nearest village.

It’s actually within the ‘Oxford’ city signs, so, technically, I’m IN Oxford, although it’s about a 30 minute ride on the bike. The cycle path from entering ‘the City’ becomes made up asphalt for the 6 or so miles into town.

Means it’s an easy and pleasant ride. Lot’s of walkers, boaters and cyclists, tourists, locals and families.

I’ve been here now for 2 weeks. I will be leaving today to move closer in to town.

I’m mooring about 1/4 mile from ‘Dukes Cut‘ named after the Duke of Marlborough who commissioned it’s creation in 1789. This is the northernmost entry to the Thames, by-passing Kings Lock.

It’s got solar. It’s got mobile. It’s got parking (for now). The parking is only temporary whilst the landowner is providing access to the navies working on the A44 improvements to store their equipment.

There’s room for 3 boats.

Here’s what it looks like.

Mooring at Dukes Cut - Oxford Canal
Mooring at Dukes Cut – Oxford Canal
Mooring at Dukes Cut - Oxford Canal
Mooring at Dukes Cut – Oxford Canal
Drinkwater lift-bridge - Wolvercote
Drinkwater lift-bridge – Wolvercote
View to the A44
View to the A44

Enslow to Wolvercote

Skipping Kidlington, which is the next stop down.

There’s places to stop, but they don’t provide me with three things I need, parking, solar and mobile.

Enslow was a nice stopover. On the edge of a nature reserve.

Cobwebs on TV booster
Morning cobwebs

Spiders like it there too.

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Allen’s Lock to Enslow

Allen’s Lock to Enslow

For CRT continuous cruising rules, this is as far as I need to go, which is approximately 26 miles from my starting location which was Varney’s Lock, just above Cropredy.

Seeing as the canal and river trust are breathing down my neck about my movements, I’ve kept them all logged on this little map.

The red ‘P’s denote the movement requirement for a 12 month period by the powers that be.

Seeing as I’m down this way, I’m going to take a little trip along the Thames in the coming weeks…

I made a video this time of my journey down which worked out around 7 miles and took me between three and four hours on the boat.

Click below to have a look…

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