We had planned to boat back up to Cropredy Friday night, but after feeling a bit unwell in the week things only got worse and Friday morning saw me contacting NHS Direct & visiting Banbury Heath Centre which offers a walk-in service for unregistered patients who are unable to go to their own GP practice. The doctor poked, probed and then declared I had an infection of the lower intestine and prescribed antibiotics strong enough to fell a horse. By Sunday I was feeling well enough for the trip up to Cropredy, but was ‘done-in’ by the time we got there. We had planned to visit our friends, Ted & Carol, in Leicester the next day but they kindly volunteered to come to us and crew for our trip back to Claydon.
Unfortunately they were delayed by a closure of the M1 and we wondered if we would make it to Claydon Bottom Lock before the flight was closed for the day as part of water conservation measures, never-the-less we did the necessary car shuffling and were off by 11:30 and with all the locks in our favour, just made it in time to see the BW man standing at the lock!
Was he locking it up? It was 15 minutes before the deadline. No, he was opening the paddles ready for us to go through… Hoorah!
We fairly flew up the locks with Ted and the lockie getting the paddles & gates ready for us and we arrived back on the summit level in time to spend the afternoon reminiscing over old photos and sharing a meal together.
Thank God for good friends, well we have known each other about 35 years!
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men
Gang aft agley,
An’lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
Robert Burns – 1785