Summer Cruise – Day 65

Thursday 6th August – Day 59

I found out today that dipping the end of a live phone charging lead into a glass of lime cordial is not a good idea because it doesn’t work any more. I didn’t do it on purpose, you understand, it just kind of happened while making the bed.

As a consequence, a trip into town was necessitated. I had also been thinking of buying a new bike helmet and needed some Tomorite so thought that a visit to Wilko would procure all three items. Although their website lists all the items they had none in stock, they could not order them in or let me order online for delivery to the shop and so they lost my business. A phone accessories stall in the mall provided the phone lead, Halfords the helmet & Homebase the Tomorite.

Joy had her art class in the afternoon and when it cooled down in the evening we walked over to Morrisons for some shopping.

Friday 7th August – Day 60

I awoke this morning with a strange feeling and on getting out of bed felt that the floor was sloping, it was! The water level was very low and we were aground. Boats were still able to navigate the centre of the canal so I waited for a few boats to come out of Banbury as each one would bring a lock-full of water with them, unfortunately, the ones coming towards Banbury were letting a lock-full out.

Our neighbours managed to get away by mid-morning, but we were still stuck fast so I phoned C&RT and they promised to investigate. By the afternoon I could see that they were ‘running water down’ and I managed to free Wrens-Nest from the lump of silt we were wedged on and moved just a couple of yards and we were floating again.

Joy’s friend from art class, Norma, called by for a chat, Jill & Tricky (the lurcher) popped by on their way back from the shops and we refreshed them with ice cream and a cup of tea, poor Tricky only got water. Later we saw Maffi and Susan walking past and a had a brief chat with them too.

We decided to treat ourselves to a takeaway tonight and ordered from Jools, it was very nice, except my Kashmir Lamb was chicken, which I don’t eat! We had timed our food to be delivered after our Sainsburys delivery but Sainsburys didn’t turn up, on checking… I’d ordered it for Saturday! Another ‘Senior Moment’!!!

Saturday 8th August – Day 61

We have another visitor today, Tricky is staying with us while his mum goes to a birthday party in a yurt.
You can see how impressed he is.

I walked down to B & Q this morning and picked up the ‘Sun Sail’ I had ordered online, is it me or is daft to have the click & collect desk at the back of the store and then still have to queue at the tills to get out even though I paid online?

Now I just have to figure out how to fix it to the boat.

Our Sainsbury’s delivery arrived successfully today.

Sunday 9th August – Day 62

A quiet day today with church online from Rising Brook, Stafford.

This evening Jill came up and shared roast dinner with us.

Monday 10th August – Day 63

I was getting concerned about the remaining capacity in our black waste tank (that’s the toilet waste) following the aborted pump out at Heyford, since we wanted to spend a few more days here in Banbury ‘something had to be done’.

We decided we would cruise on up to Cropredy Marina, stay the night in Cropredy and return the next day.
Do you sense a ‘but’ coming?

We left Tramway moorings around 11 and were at Banbury Lock by half-past, just one boat in the queue and several waiting to come down. We entered the lock, taking the downhill boat’s place and all was well until we wanted to exit the lock, another boat had joined the queue and was attempting to moor but failing miserably and was blocking us from coming out of the lock. The wife pleaded her husband’s lack of experience but refused another boaters offer of help, he then proceeded to reverse out of the way allowing me to get out of the lock but was now blocking access to the lift bridge mooring. Eventually, a kind soul opened the bridge for us and we escaped, but not before I had bumped the bridge with our TV aerial mast!

Our journey up to Cropredy was uneventful (except camping paraphernalia dumped beside Hardwick Lock)  and we even found a shady place near Slat Mill Lock to stop for lunch.

We arrived at the marina just in time for someone else to beat us to the service pontoon. We moored temporarily and in due course got our pump out at their very efficient machine. It was self-service so I was able to make sure it was done to my satisfaction, and all for £16.00.

We left the marina and found a spot to tie up just above Cropredy Lock, where there was enough room to put chairs out in a bit of shade and spent a peaceful night there.

Tuesday 11th August – Day 64

Our plan this morning was an early start to get back to Banbury before it got too hot. Unfortunately, three other boats had the same idea and got the jump on us!

Even so, we were at the first lock by 8:20 where Joy had a coughing fit which wore her out for the rest of the journey. I single-handed the first lock, a boat was coming up the next one which always helps and the crew of a following boat helped me through all the following ones.

We got back to Banbury and moored at Spiceball Park. I biked up to Argos and collected an external aerial for our mobile broadband router.

We were opposite the Fine Lady bread factory which we hoped would quieten down in the evening, no such luck, so I went on a recce and found there was plenty of space at the town so we moved on down and treated ourselves to tea from the chippy.

Later we had a torrential downpour with thunder and lightning which cleared the air.

Wednesday 12th August – Day 65

The builders of the new shopping mall saw to it that we rose early so  I went reconnoitring again on the bike and found a space back at Tramway, so off we went.

Joy had a lunch arranged with some of her Arty friends so we got a taxi up to town and I went to the GF Club’s Waterside Bar for a pint and an All Day Breakfast.

Another hot afternoon, but another thunderstorm has started now which will hopefully cool things down a bit.

Tonight we are expecting another visit from Toni & Chris, if they brave the weather.

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