We have spent a couple of enjoyable weeks in the Tramway area of Banbury near our old mooring catching up with our local friends.
Almost everybody on the moorings seems to have caught the boat painting bug, which Joy is hoping I will catch too.
We both had haircuts whilst in town, me at the barbers in Castle Quays and Joy at The Graduate Salon at the college.
We shared a couple of evenings with Jill & John (nb Skylark) involving good food, drink, games and giggles, just possibly occasioned by the bottle of Ouzo which they had brought us back from their holiday!
There was a trip back to Atherstone in the middle of our stay to help Linda and Cookie celebrate their wedding anniversary, but before joining them we had afternoon tea at The Larder a great little ‘40s themed cafe in Long Street Atherstone which we hadn’t discovered before.
We had tried to hire a car for the Saturday but all the companies we tried, wanted us to have a 2 day weekend hire. In the end our friend June offered her car, as she was away for the weekend with her biker pals, so we were able to arrange a days temporary insurance for about £20. It also gave us the excuse to have a nice meal at The Jaypur Restaurant together to thank her before bidding farewell to Banbury again.
On Wednesday morning I had an appointment at The Horton hospital for a eye check up (all OK) so after that I met Joy in Morrisons where she was meeting her friend Norma for lunch and after getting a few provisions for the trip we returned to the boat and set off for Aynho waving goodbye to friends once more.
We arrived at Aynho Wharf just in time to get a pump-out before they closed and were fortunate to be able to moor opposite as a hire boat was just leaving. Later we got chatting to the crew of one of Oxfordshire Narrowboats fleet who were bemused that they had used a tankful of water since leaving Banbury that morning so I helped them shuffle their boat across to the water point opposite. It later transpired that four of them had had showers since filling up so if they weren’t used to being ‘careful’ with their water perhaps it wasn’t surprising they had run out.
Thursday we made our way down to Heyford and found a spot opposite the church where we have moored many times before but never with a view of the bows of the ‘Big Woolwich’ Bath through our front window, dwarfing our modest craft!
As boaters may know Lower Heyford is a renowned mobile phone blackspot so we were glad to be using the O2 network for our phones (via GiffGaff) as it’s the only viable provider in the area and also had the foresight to have purchased an O2 PAYG data SIM before leaving Banbury to temporarily replace our EE contract SIM.