After a few days in the shady suburbs, on the 7 day moorings near Frenchay Bridge we took our leave of Oxford on Wednesday and headed northward once more. We had found that the moorings were a bit shallow there and some mornings we wondered if we would get off as the boat was starting to list a bit, of course, the two best moorings were taken up by BW workboats! In the event we got away without any bother, leaving our Kiwi neighbour on Brogan’s Run who had no such problems with his ‘plastic’ cruiser.
Whilst we were there Catty managed to escape and went off exploring the neighbouring gardens which she found was a Bad Plan as she strayed onto the territory of two other cats who cleverly trapped her behind a fence and she had to cry for mummy to rescue her. Joy had to knock on the front door of the house and the lady let her through to the garden to retrieve the wanderer!
We thought that we would make the return journey in easy stages and one stage was easier as BW had removed bridge 233 for repair, we travelled back as far as Kidlington Green lock where we found a pleasant stopping place just above the lock, which was very peaceful. We caught the bus and collected our car from Thrupp so that Joy could go to her watercolour class at Upper Heyford whilst I went shopping in Bicester, we had a picnic lunch and visited friends in the afternoon before returning to the boat for dinner and then returning to The Chapel – Heyford Park for church that evening.
Yesterday (Friday) Joy took the car back to Thrupp whilst I took the boat back singlehanded and was fortunate to meet a boat just leaving Roundham Lock and another waiting to enter it as I left (couldn’t have planned it better!). We were also lucky with finding a mooring too, right outside The Jolly Boatman, thanks to Alex & Helen on nb Polly-Helen who left off their painting to move their boat and shoehorn us in.
We treated ourselves to lunch at Annie’s Tea Room where we naturally met Maffi and generally put the world to rights and the afternoon was spent on long overdue boat maintenance jobs. Joy touched up the paintwork on the rear doors whilst I fitted a vice to my workbench so that I could manufacture some turnbuttons from aluminium coat hooks (really!) to replace the broken wooden ones on our cratch table. Oh…and in the evening I beat Joy at Scrabble (hee hee!) but only by a few points.