We set off on Monday morning and stopped at Aynho Wharf for fuel, water, loo emptying, postcards for Flo to send and souvenirs of Flo’s trip – she bought a key ring with a boat that she thinks looks a bit like ours. Flo and I then continued up the towpath to give Ozzy a walk whilst Rog finished off at the Wharf.
Waiting to be picked up
First lock was Somerton Deep Lock – we were 4th in the queue, so quite a long wait
I love this lock, it’s so pretty with Clematis growing all over the bridge and gypsophilia (probably spelt that wrong!) along the wall.
Flo opted to stay with Rog and go down with the boat.
About to exit the lock
Bacon butties were in order afterwards and we continued on towards the Heyfords – we stopped a bit earlier than planned as we found a decent mooring spot. Flo played with Ozzy for a long while, then we had a game of Scrabble which Flo didn’t really enjoy!
Tuesday turned out to be a longer journey than expected as we’d planned to moor around Lower Heyford but it was skanky, so we continued on. Unfortunately there was nowhere to moor between there and Thrupp, so we ended up on the visitor moorings at Thrupp – the first time we have been able to moor there. Of course it would have been rude not to sample the pub, so we took Flo to The Boat for a very late lunch. It was excellent – in fact we couldn’t eat it all, so we brought some chips back to the boat, re-heated them on the oven and had chip butties for tea – yum
Handy to have a lock buddy
Moored at Thrupp
On Wednesday morning we reversed back to the lift bridge at Thrupp and then moored on the services to fill with water, empty the loo cassettes (it’s amazing how quickly one little girl can fill one!). Emma arrived shortly afterwards with Milly and Lizzie, and we did a quick turnaround as we didn’t want to hog the waterpoint for too long. We said goodbye to Flo and welcomed Milly on board. Again we had quite a long trek back to decent moorings for the night, moored where we were on Monday night.
Milly did so want to help with the locks, but she wasn’t quite strong enough, so she sat and ‘supervised’ Grandad!
On Thursday we headed for Aynho, where we did what was necessary to service the boat yet again! We managed to get a mooring quite near the bridge, and went to the shop so Milly could take her turn at buying souvenirs. Then of course, we just had to go to the pub for lunch – again! Back at the boat,Milly and I played Scrabble (she didn’t enjoy it either!) so we dug in the cupboard to see what other games we could find, and settled on Yahtzee – we played the best of three games and I won 2 of them. But she determined to beat me again before she left.
On Friday we headed for Twyford Wharf where we had arranged to meet Emma and Ben to hand Milly back. The weather was foul – cold and windy with torrential rain showers, and poor Milly had to remain inside the boat – Rog and I got absolutely soaked just doing the locks. Luckily it was a shortish journey and by lunchtime we were moored and inside drying off. We had dashed to the Farm Shop at the pig farm and treated ourselves to some of their delicious bacon from the farm’s Tamworth pigs, so we had bacon butties for lunch. Milly then insisted that she get her own back at Yahtzee, and beat me at all three games!
The sky was pretty spectacular most of the afternoon with continuing heavy showers.
The weather was much better this morning, still breezy and chilly, but at least we had intermittent sunshine. The rest of the family arrived around mid-day and Emma and Ben had brought lots of yummy goodies for lunch. We sat and had a picnic on the towpath, and a good old natter, which was lovely, and the girls ran up and down with Ozzy. All too soon it was time for them to head back home. The boat feels very quiet and empty now, and Ozzy is sunk in a deep depression that he’s lost his playmates. I keep catching him standing staring up the towpath in the direction they went, hoping that they might return.
We’ve had a lovely week and I hope the girls have too – Emma says we have to have them both together next time, she’s seen far too much of the M40 this week!
We are now about to turn on the telly and Rog will suffer through the Cup Final, in the faint hope that the Villa will beat the Arse!