Homeward Bound


On from Springwood Haven and down to Hawkesbury junction or Sutton Stop as it’s known. A day or two here – visit the Greyhound. Meet up with simon again, then on to Rugby to restock.

Busy, noisy but plenty of space at Hawkesbury junction

Steve cycled down the canal to bridge 6 – miles – to visit Tesco’s – a barn of a place. Had to wait (10 mins) for the staff to fetch the bottle of Laphroaig, as the case was empty. Checked there was a bottle in there but I didn’t’ check it was the right one! Got the cheaper and not-so-nice bottle of Select rather than the 10yr old! Doh.

One reason we stayed, apart from eating & drinking at the Greyhound, was to see the Coventry Morris men perform. And very good they were too.

A good “side” as they call them – stick dances and even a sword dance plus some clog dancing from two ladies.

And, how to find your boat in the dark – leave some lights on!

Next day we’re off. Simon has his first go at the junction – a complete U-turn required here!

Not quite round in one but it is his first time. Won’t mentions Steve’s last attempt!

Down the North Oxford Canal now – quite a pretty route.

Tried to moor up  at the familiar All Oaks Wood visitor moorings but it was full – and quite a few of these “continuous moorers” were there. CRT did clear these away last year but it seems a few are back. Starting to rain. We tried 2 spots, trying to squeeze inbetween boats but no go, then the prop got fouled by a polo shirt. Luckily we managed to fit in at the end after one boat left. Not a good day. Simon also couldn’t get in and pushed off – in the rain!

Next day we went off to the Rugby moorings – no pix here, well not very scenic but lots of opportunities to go shopping – M&S (twice), Tesco, FatFace (10% military discount!), TKMax etc – such fun. At least the boat is stocked up. Thanks to Viv’s Sparks card, she had lots of 10% off this and 20% off that, so our fridge is now bursting. Plus some more gin (Jensen’s – a new one and very nice) and another whisky for Steve, some compensation for the Laphroiag! A bottle of Kilchoman (only in M&S and on clearance so 20% off, hurrah!).

Simon had tried Rugby but got stuck on the water point. Forcing him to shop at 0500 the next day in the 24hr Tesco (real fun?) and move off to near Barby.

We passed him and moored at one of our all time favourites – bridge 87, Willoughby – just outside Braunston.

Viv does the very fiddly job of preparing fresh thyme for tonight’s meal (Wok’ed lambs liver with thyme & lime juice – Ken Hom recipe)

Our mooring – alone now – there were 6 boats around us this morning.

Very rural spot

And an abundance of these chaps! Viv made a pot of jam earlier this year and she makes two more pots today! Plus a few spare to go with the M&S ice cream, cream and meringues!

Just seen a boat “A Frayed Knot” go by, shouting, another RNSA member? And I said yes! The first I’ve seen, he said! His blue ensign flying from the back of his boat. Must get a burgee . . .