Last night arrangements had been made to meet my brother for lunch and so we really did have an early start at 7am, in order to arrive at Annie’s Tea Room at Thrupp for lunchtime.
After a brief stop at Lower Heyford water point we were soon into that shady corridor called The Cleeves where we met Alex coming back from taking Boots for a walk.
Now Boots is very fond of cats (fond of chasing them that is) and spotting Catty in her cage in the pointy bit promptly did an about turn in order to follow us and keep tabs on Catty.
In the end I had to stop the boat to let Alex catch up and put a lead on Boots or else he might have ended up in Thrupp with us! In about a couple of hours we were down as far as Kirtlington Quarry and Pigeon’s Lock passing the Jane’s Teas a wonderfully quirky establishment which we really must visit one Sunday afternoon which is the only time she opens.
By 11am we were at Baker’s Lock near Enslow and just about to text my brother to say we were on schedule when Catty jumped ship and we spent an anxious 20 minutes praying that she wouldn’t be gone too long, fortunately she was bribed back on board with some ham and we were able to navigate the twist and turns of the River Cherwell until we were back on the canal at Shipton Weir Lock. Another half hour and we were in Thrupp Wide where we met Jim walking down to meet us.
Paul & Rosemary on nb Prancing Pony were at the water point and kindly opened the lift bridge for us. We even found a mooring easily and were soon enjoying Tasty Tart (goat’s cheese and red pepper) with a salad at Annie’s. After lunch we returned back to the boat for a cup of tea and a natter before Jim had to drive back home to Dorchester.
The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing in any shade we could find and as the evening cooled off playing a game of Rummikub and talking to anyone who cared to stop and chat.