Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Goodbye and Hello

Sunday 19th June to Friday 24th June 2016

Just a week ago and we were winging our way to Lechlade and now here we were back in Oxford, but it seemed that the intervening week was a hell of a lot longer than just 7 days and as a form of present for the journey from which we had just returned, we were rejoined by Andy and Sue – seems that they couldn’t do without us – that’s what I am saying for now and if that was not sufficient reason to be pleased, we were also joined by Dot and Gordon on nb Ewn Ha Cul – on their way south they had passed Roly and Bev heading in the other direction.

NB: we ran our engine despite the notice and stuff the neighbours – there were no complaints – probably because you cannot hear it anyway.

A roast lunch/dinner was in order and it would be more than the usual 2, the hob and oven were at bulging point but Diane produced another great dinner, albeit for 6 and the boat was full of fun and friends and happy times.
It was a bit like an Australian BBQ – men altogether in one group and the women in the other room – strange thing was that there were full bottles of red wine left over – oh well, they will do for next time.

Monday meant that we had to move – our 48 hours were up and we were contemplating further rule abandonment by staying an extra day, but Diane and Dot went to check the situation in Jericho and at about 18:30 we moved down to a quiet spot down there – opposite the site of the new wharf development.

Plans had been made the previous day to take advantage of the Slug and Lettuce Monday offer – 50% off all food – we all headed off for breakfast – we didn't think we were too early having first checked the opening time, but a locked door awaited us on arrival – seems that they were unusually quiet because they had forgot to open the place – can’t serve ‘em if you don’t let ‘em in.

The food was lovely and we sat for a while before deciding that we all needed a bit of Oxford exploration – even though Diane and I have been here a number of times before, it is still a lovely city to wander around in and absorb the atmosphere of a university city.

We returned to the boat, simply to rest for a bit – well Diane rested and I carried on working.

Tuesday was shopping day and we did a little bit – Waitrose – free coffee and not-free danishes – we did buy a few things and then carried onto Aldi, Aldi just a bit further down the road.
By the time we returned to the boat we had been joined by Andy and Sue who had moored just in front.

We had been looking forward to the late afternoon – having made plans to catch up with Leonie and Ray Eddington (previously of nb Firefly(NZ)) and who were both now working in Oxford – we hadn’t seen them for a couple of years and they would be returning to NZ later this year.
The recommended establishment was Bookbinders in Jericho – a pub that we had wanted to visit before.
This is one pub that, if you are in Oxford, you really must visit. Just go for a drink or for some food but enjoy the feel of the place.
We probably were just going to have a drink, but Dot and Gordon had arrived and had taken a table in the eating area, so naturally we all joined and had a great time together.

A return visit was organised for the following Friday to sample the Moules and Frites.

The six of us – Andy, Sue, Dot, Gordon and us had plans for the weekend together and we needed to find some longer moorings than just 48 hours – we had already been “clocked” in the Oxford area, so something further afield was required – suggestion – Thrupp – at least there were plenty of spaces in that area, so Wednesday morning (with very cloudy skies) we headed off – first down Isis Lock, wind, water-up and then back up again.
It wasn’t that long before the light rain started and whilst it did not become torrential it was steady enough that soon we were well wet.
Just 3 locks and the same number of lift bridges plus a few miles and we were there.
FL had arrived first and has secured one of the 7-day moorings; not long after we were also these and managed the mooring next to the last of these, but the boat on the end was only stopping for lunch, so they moved off and we moved in – 2 down, 1 to go.
The boat betweeen us was being readied and we casually asked what their plans were – they were leaving but were very kind and agreed to stay long enough for Ewn Ha Cul to arrived and we secured three 7-day moorings together – how was that for a stroke of luck?

The weekend plans were finalised and we enjoyed the lovely surroundings that are Thrupp – Annie’s tea rooms, where we had a surprise visit from Maffie – seems he finds us wherever we may be – good to see him again; the Boat Inn was invaded to celebrate Gordon’s birthday.

Andy had hired a people mover for the weekend trip and we made use of that with the trip back into Oxford for the meal at Bookbinders – this time there were 8 of us.
The Moules and frites were very good (but only served on Fridays) – poor Andy had to stay sober to get us back, but we managed a pint when we did get back, but generally it was a relatively early night in preparation for the next day.

7 Miles, 6 Locks, 3 Lift Bridges
YTD:  315 Miles (504 km) , 229 Locks, 4 Tunnels, 10 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges

Total: 4064 Miles (6502 km), 2928 Locks, 116 Tunnels, 55 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges

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