Gary has been telling me for days (or even weeks!) that I need to update the blog – but the weather has been too nice to sit inside chained to the computer!
I now have a lot of catching up, as even the last blog was a week out of date when I posted it!
So what have we been up to in the last 3 weeks or so?
We spent a couple of nights in Banbury, whilst Gary had an eye test and we caught up with some shopping! Then, as Gary had to collect some new contact lenses and we had to wait a week for them to arrive, we decided to head back down the canal towards Thrupp.
We had a lovely sunday lunch in the The Great Western Pub at Aynho, and they have a really nice courtyard garden too!
Whilst we were moored above Dashwood Lock, enjoying the sunshine, we saw a familar boat heading towards us.
It was NB No Problem, with Meg and Penny running the towpath alongside!
We managed a bit of a catch up chat with Sue and Vic whilst helping them down the lock as they headed to a rendezvous with family on the Thames!
We didnt get as far as Thrupp before we had to head back towards Banbury, and as we went through Lower Heyford Gary managed to photograph me opening the lift bridge for him!
Kings Sutton Lock looks smart now with its new fencing.
We stopped back in Banbury again, to collect Garys contact lenses and some on-line shopping I had ordered from BHS, and then headed up towards Cropredy.
We like to moor just below Little Bourton Lock, where there are rings to tie to – but unfortunately CRT have not been getting them cleared – so we had to moor at the far end of the lock landing instead!
You can only see a couple of rings from the canal – and none from the towpath side!
In the morning we were being spied on from the grass opposite!
We were booked into Cropredy Marina for a few days whilst we made a visit down south.
Yvonne and Roy had very kindly dropped the car down to us again (it takes about 10 minutes for them to drive from home to Wigrams Marina where we stayed before, and only 20 minutes to drive to Cropredy Marina!!)
We headed south, and stayed with Mum again (thanks Mum!). Gary had a final hospital appointment, and we did the usual catch up with family and friends, and I managed a hair cut again! One day I will have to find a hairdresser nearer the canals!!
We had a lovely lunch with Mum at an Indian Restaurant in Port Solent and then had a stroll along to the sea lock – where a boat was just approaching, so we were treated to seeing it work!
The tide was out, and no-one was coming out so the lock was emptied quickly producing loads of froth!
The cruiser entered the lock. The gates shut behind and the boat tied up to the side.
The top gates were then opened a few inches to let the water in.
The water frothed up and the boat bopped about a fair bit!
When the lock was full the gates were opened fully and the boat untied to head into Port Solent.
Some complicated lock gates here!
They have a large boat hoist – and loads of big yachts!
We headed back to Muleless on Friday afternoon, getting caught in some heavy traffic on the way – but at least we dont have to suffer that very often now!
We were treated to a nice clear evening and the moon rising over us.
On Saturday we made use of the car to do a really big shop to top up the cupboards and wine cellar!
And I took advantage of the electric and water on hand to catch up with all my washing!
On Sunday we dropped the car back to Yvonne and Roy and were treated to another of Yvonnes terrific sunday lunches in the company of all the family! Then Roy dropped us back at the boat to recuperate!
Monday we took advantage of the marina services and used their excellent and very powerful pump out!
We then moved all of 200 yds and moored on the towpath just before Cropredy Lock! As much as we liked the Marina, it was time to move on!
On Tuesday Geoff and Mags and Meg the dog from NB Seyella came past, just as we were about to set off, so after a few quick words as they passed we followed them down the lock where we had a better chance to chat as they went through.
They were heading into Banbury to do some much needed shopping, so we hope to see them properly another time.
As we headed out of Cropredy we noticed that the towpath restoration works were coming along nicely.
Gary spotted these “falcons” going past on the railway tracks. He tells me they transport old and new ballast to and from renewal sites. You can tell he is an “old railway man”!!
We stopped again at Little Bourton lock, and in the morning there was a flurry of boats at the lock, so Gary decided to do a bit of lock work for a change and help some of the boats through!
We headed off to Banbury, and found it empty! There was hardly a boat moored anywhere!
We stopped to fill up with water, and popped into Morrisons to top up our supplies of salad and milk etc.
We then moved off and moored up just passed that lift bridge that caught us out on our first trip down this way!
The farmer was working in the field opposite the boat – wrapping all his hay bales in plastic using yet another of those handy gadgets! Does anyone know why they do this – and does the hay not sweat and ferment inside?
As Thursday was promised to be a really nice day, we just moved a short distance down to just before Kings Sutton Lock and soon had the chairs and brolly deployed.
Shortly after NB Festina Lente came past, and moored up just ahead of us. After they had sorted themselves out Andy popped back for a chat – we hadnt seen them since we passed them at Fenny Compton back at the beginning of June!
We had a barbecue dinner, and then sat outside relaxing with drinks as the evening cooled down.
As we set off Friday, walking to the lock I passed Festina Lente and had a quick chat with Andy and Sue through the side hatch – the perfect photo opportunity – and I forgot again!
We were aiming for our mooring spot by the lift bridge before Somerton Deep lock, and we had a pleasant plod along in a nice breeze which stopped us getting too hot.
We stopped at a very quiet Aynho Wharf to top up with water and had an ice cream whilst we filled, and then moved on to our mooring.
Again it was straight out with the chairs and brolly – another scorching day!
Festina Lente eventually pulled in and moored before the lift bridge behind us, so still no photo!
Today was forecast to be thundery showers, so we were staying put! The onboard hairdresser had been booked to colour my hair and we were going to rest after a “hectic and hot” week!
Festina Lente had decided to move on, so I at last remembered to take a photo of them from the side hatch as they passed!
So there we are, up-to-date! We have sat here today with thundery showers passing around us, but not actually over us and I at last have gotten around to updating the blog!