Thursday, 14 October 2010


I had several goes at mooring up here, but couldn't get my boat in as it was so shallow and muddy. The next day, I walked back along this bit of towpath and found a willow had come crashing down on the same spot!

Much more welcome was the discovery of a huge overgrown and neglected orchard at Cheddington. I've never seen so many apples, the branches bowed down with them all. All different kinds too! I asked at the nearby church and was told that the orchard had been bought by a retired man who, finding the supermarkets weren't interested (don't know if it was the need for perfection or if the costs of harvesting made it non-viable), was letting it all go wild. Such a shame, although I guess it's a wonderful source of food for insects and birds.
The person I spoke to told me how the womenfolk of the village used to be employed in apple-picking there each year but now they just went in and collected what they wanted for themselves. I brought a few home myself to wrap in newspaper and see if I can keep some over winter.

I'm on the very peaceful Aylesbury arm now, enjoying the narrow locks and rural setting. There was a long section of reedy narrowness I enjoyed very much - quite exciting moving through that rustling corridor.

Now however, the grim reaper has been up and down, cutting them back, which I suppose is more practical but less fun.

Blackbird out in the sticks. Very little in the way of passing traffic here :-)

One exciting thing: at last I have a toaster! It's brilliant!


Anonymous said...

Hi Carrie,
I have had two of those toaster for years noww, firstly whilst camping and latterly in constant use in my camper van. You are absolutely right. They ARE brilliant.
Enjoy your country stay.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what else is brilliant - throwing apples from hand to hand, and seeing camels in the desert, and getting into a nice hot bath, and...

... sorry, Carolyn's just called me away to make Douglas some coffee...



Boatwoman said...

We have not been down there yet, but it looks lovely. Our problem is draft. When the boat is fully loaded she sits on the bottom, so we may not get down there without a push LOL.
What fantastic Apples and such a shame they go to waste.
One of these days we will get that way I am sure.
Happy cruising. Jo

Anonymous said...

Hi David. Thanks, yes, I am enjoying the area - good walks hereabouts too. Sustained by lovely toast, of course ;-)

Simon, your thin disguise of Arthur from Cabin Pressure is fooling no-one. But made me laugh :-)

Hi Jo. Yes, very shallow and muddy in parts, but just as I was going to step off in Aylesbury Basin, someone called out to go easy as the edge was slippery and the basin very deep! Just what you want to hear as you step ashore!
- Carrie

Alan said...


You seem to be in our neck of the woods ?

Would love to meet up, but I have problewm of a very elderly mum currently in hospital miles from me, making life very difficult at the moment. (Should have been boating next week, but now unfortunately cancelled).

Are you travelling further down the GU ? If you get to Cow Roast or Berkhamsted, I could try and come and find you ?

Alan (Narrowboat Chalice, also known as "confused of Braunston"!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Alan. It would be good to meet up. I expect I will be heading Berkhamsted/Cowroast way at some point so will contact you on CWF maybe?
It can't be easy with all the travelling. I hope Mum is comfortable.
- Carrie

Anonymous said...

Aah, what a shame about those apples - I'm looking for a wild crabapples to turn into jam with the last 2 bags of blackberries in my freezer.

There's bound to be one in Surrey somewhere!

We're plotting a winter cruise with Simon - hope we can get something sorted, it would be lovely to see you again.

Sue, Indigo Dream

Alan said...

Hi Carrie,

yes would love to meet at some stage if situation with my mum stabilises.

You can message me on CWDF, and I should pick it up fairly soon after.

We love the Aylesbury Arm - can't get enough of it, (.....other than when I put a dent in the boat!).


Neil Corbett said...

I think I'm right in saying that it's good for the apple tree to have the fruit picked, so you should feel duty bound to go and get a lot more.