It was a chilly morning, and probably the coldest we’ve had so far. We both woke up to the sound of grass being torn, I peered under the blinds to see a cow looking at me – I don’t know who was more shocked!
Today we’ve had two hire boats who have really pi$$ed us off! Below are the first lot who watched while I helped a single-hander up the locks, they finally came over and I said it’s encouraged to help each other (thinking they were new), she then tells me they’ve been boating for 20 years! She then goes on to tell me what an awful year they’ve had having to work through Covid and not having a holiday – I really had to bite my tongue – try having to shield, continue your cancer treatment and then get brain tumours… I can trump you any day!! But unusually for me, I just smiled as she whinged on.
We had only one lock to ourselves today, all the other locks had boaters either side.
This boater was moored on the other side waiting for the lock, goodness knows how they managed to get over to that side, we heard quite a few knocks as the boat went in the lock.
We found the other welly!
Toby identifying a tree using google lens, the tree is a white willow.
The other hire-boater pulled out right in front of us – bad form when you’ve got locks in front of you. We got to the lock and Toby got off, He just sat on the seat with his arms crossed not entering into conversation, and waited for them to finish the lock. It’s not often Toby is hacked off, but when he is, you know it.
The lock below is of an unusual design in it’s diamond shaped. It’s that shape to allow more water to flow through the lock (it’s only 8 inches), as the next lock is Somerton Deep lock which is 12 ft.
We came across three lovely young single-handers travelling back to London. This is Caitlin, she moved on to her boat at 18 and is studying at UCL, we loved the footstool in the bag of coal, but I think she could do with another to see over the plants.
We stopped for lunch at The Pig Place which is on the canal bank and was started by a couple on a narrowboat. We had to raft up to the offending boat as there was no space, the lady said she was OK with it, to which I said well you’ll have to be as you pulled out in front of us. We didn’t speak again funnily enough! We enjoyed the most delicious (think M&S advert music) pork and apple burger with smoked cheese and onions on a brioche bun. It was fun to see chickens at our feet, and I was particularly taken by the building made of old doors.
We decided to moor up before Banbury but after the M40 as it’s really quite noisy with the constant hum of the traffic. I came across the perfect spot, but no, Toby wanted to carry on. We turned the bend and could see Banbury! Toby tries to come alongside, there’s no chance as it’s too shallow. He then decides to have a go at reversing back to the original spot (c200m), no chance, it’s too windy and Oliver won’t go where Toby want’s him to go! So onwards we go, and find one last space – Toby’s response was phew…my bacon’s been saved!
I was intrigues by this boat and the shape/direction of his tiller. That was as high as it went, and most of the time it was lower with his foot on it. How you see where you’re going and steer, I’ve no idea!
We moored up at 4pm (What3words location froth.like.pops). My night for a shower, and in my PJs before 7pm. What a find – chocolate orange fingers. We’re going to watch Cobra Kai (a spin off from the classic karate kids films) and will no doubt demolish the packet.