Tuesday, 24 July 2012

This Is What We Signed Up For

Yes folks, in common with most of you, (except in Scotland), we are, at last, experiencing summer conditions. Most of last week was spent in Banbury, where we moored in the town centre until Monday, and over the weekend we entertained my bestest friend John, his Partner Lorraine and their daughter Cara, whose picture is below. Cara has been on the boat once before, when we were moored at Trent Lock and complained that I never mentioned her in my blog at the time. So, Cara, I have mentioned you three times now, so hope I am forgiven.
Cara tries out the tiller on TCW

We took them north to Cropredy for the day, and had drinks at the Red Lion, before returning to Banbury. Everybody had a go at everything and they all seemed to enjoy the experience. On Sunday we entertained Sue and Geoff. I worked with Sue in John Lewis and got to know Geoff on our mini weekend breaks away in Europe.
We went the other direction with Sue and Geoff and Geoff was keen to pick our brains about boating as they are about to buy a house with a mooring and they are considering a cruiser to potter around at the weekends. While The Cat’s Whiskers is a long way from a cruiser, Sue was keen to experience “life afloat” and they both seemed to embrace the life, though to be fair, the weather on Sunday was glorious, so they saw the canal at its best.
Sue and Geoff joined us in Banbury on Sunday for the day

Last Friday we decided to pop down the cut, turn the boat around and get some water and empty our loos at the lock in the centre of Banbury. While we were busy doing our business who should glide by but actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales, in their boat “Peggy Thompson”, which, we found out later, is moored just up the cut from the town. These two are well known boaters and Timothy is often to be seen on waterways programmes on TV and in the press, championing the canals, so it was good to see them practicing what they preach. Just got to see David Suchet now to get the set!

So, at long lase, this is what we signed up for. The weather is now glorious, and we registered 34 degrees at 2pm today, which is something to do with the reflection off the water, I guess. It can’t be that hot. One passing boater even said, “I wish it would rain, I’m so hot”. After experiencing similar temperatures yesterday, we were up at 7am and away half an hour later. We set ourselves a gruelling seven-hour cruise today from Aynho to Thrupp. This is quite untypical of us, but we want to get on to the Thames while the weather is still settled, so we had to put the miles in. That should happen either tomorrow or Thursday sometime as we are only a few miles north of Oxford at present and a couple of hundred metres from “The Boat Inn” at Thrupp. “Morse” writer, Colin Dexter, is a regular at the pub and set one of his books, and later an episode on TV, “The Last Enemy”, around the pub, after a body was mysteriously found in the canal. Better watch my step!
Roger tries out The Boat Inn. Shame it was a Greene King pub
The Thames is back at its normal levels now, so we should be safe to navigate downsteam to Reading safely. We are doing in over four days and hopefully meeting Dorothy and Steve, some more of my John Lewis pals on Monday.

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