Summer Cruise – Day 40

Monday 13th July – Day 35

The day started with a bus ride to Sainsbury’s to collect my mouse from Argos. When I returned we cast off and headed through the lift bridge which Joy was winding up when Mark, who used to operate Dusty the coalboat appeared and lent a hand, down through Banbury Lock and on to Tramway where we used to have a mooring. There was precious little space but a kind boater moved his boat to make room for us. Within a few minutes, we had seen four of our friends who moor here.

This morning I forgot to take the faulty mouse back to Argos for a refund, so I got the bike out and found the back tyre flat again so I fitted the new tyre & tube before tackling the uphill climb to Argos. The bike managed it well with some pedal assistance on the steepest bit and coming back I had to use the brakes to stop being too scared at an indicated speed of 35 kph (22 mph).

We quickly settled in and later I walked over to Morrisons for a few bits and to collect a package from the Amazon lockers.

Tuesday 14th July – Day 36

I visited Halfords (by bike) & bought a new security lock for the bike and some ‘Green Slime’ to put in the tyres to try and stop getting more flats.

Later Joy and I walked over to Morrisons for more shopping returning with a full backpack plus an extra carrier bag.

This afternoon we had a socially distanced catch up with Joy’s friend Sandra from the Artery Art Classes.

Wednesday 15th July – Day 37

This morning was spent upgrading my laptop’s Linux operating system, I now have Linux Mint 20  “Ulyana” and what’s more, it’s still working.

Joy prepared a mousaka ready for tomorrow and this afternoon we spent time with our friend Jill catching up on all the local gossip news.

Thursday 16th July – Day 38

We found we were running low on water this morning and coincidentally a mooring became free right next to our old mooring where there is, of course, a tap.

So we made a dash for it somewhat to the bewilderment of Paul who was just coming to see me with a gift of Brasso, was he trying to say that some polishing was needed? We got our fill of water and pruned a few tree branches, with Paul’s help to enable our TV aerial to be set-up.

The ‘patio’ at our old mooring is looking a bit forlorn as the current tenants only visit occasionally. The legend that is Paul returned later with other gifts including window cleaner & teabags!

Thursday afternoon meant Art Class for Joy and Accordion practice for me, I hope it didn’t scare the moorhens too much.

I also did some window cleaning and filled the bike tyres with  the slime.

For tea, it was Joy’s delicious homemade mousaka which she prepared yesterday.

Friday 17th July – Day 39

This morning started with domestic chores, up to the service area with the rubbish and get milk from Morrisons (or was it the other way round?)

At lunchtime, we got a taxi up to Banbury and visited the Art Shop again, and coincidentally bumped into Jacqui, who works there, in town. Joy bought a couple of new jigsaws at The Works and I went into Wilco for some cable clips & came out with a bike basket too! Unfortunately, it didn’t fit my bike so I had to return it.

Later, our friend Jill invited us for a meal and we spent a pleasant evening with her enjoying the fresh air and a lovely meal in the front deck of her boat.

Saturday 18th July – Day 40

We slipped away from our mooring at 9 am and soon descended Grant’s Lock where we were dismayed to the lock cottage boarded up, empty and vandalised, such a shame as it was occupied and quite nice last time we passed it, two years ago.

Kings Sutton Lock Cottage

Kings Sutton lock cottage, on the other hand, was looking very good with hanging baskets flourishing, obviously still a work-in-progress as the old outbuildings were brimming with builders equipment.

Under the M40 bridge and we were on our way to the overnight mooring we had booked at ‘The Pig Place’, we were greeted by our ‘old’ friends Tim and Annie. Oh luxury, electrical hook up again!

The reason for this, was my nephew Rowland and family were visiting from Denmark and as it was eight years since we last saw them were pleased to arrange a get together. Jeremy, Louise, Morley & Iona were also part of the plan and arrived in time for a late lunch at The Pig Place’s outdoor cafe & bar.

Socially Distanced Seating at The Pig Place

Rowland, Jeannette, Cornelia, Thomas, their friend Julio, not forgetting Cookie their Jack Russell arrived from London at 3:30 for an even later lunch and we spent an all-too-brief three and a bit hours catching up with news and introductions (as the younger ones hadn’t met each other before) We even had a video chat with my brother Jim (Rowland’s dad) in Spain. It was all quite interesting with a mixture of languages to be heard, Jeannette & Julio are Columbian and Cornelia & Thomas (aka Coco & Toto) are bi-lingual so Spanish was in evidence but thankfully they all speak English very fluently although Coco & Toto have a bit of an American accent!

After Rowland & Co. had departed we sent Jer & Louise off to collect a Chinese takeaway before they had to head back to Birmingham.

A week of birthdays coming up with Morley turning 17 and Coco & Toto are both ten, well they would be, they’re twins!


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