Sunday 8th June
Lots of noise from the Fine Lady Bakery opposite in the night. Also a terrible noise from a vixen. Not a good place to moor. We went up to the old canal arm by Tesco to turn, and returned to find another mooring on Spiceball Park, the first one after Sovereign Wharf.
We walked to Peter and Fran’s house, where we were given a lift to their church (Jubilee) which is a New Frontiers church plant in a housing estate a little out of the centre. Good worship, good talk based on the “Lord’s Prayer”. There was also a prophetic word about a car piled high with luggage, going on a journey which was not a holiday. There were several visitors there. Alex was playing bass guitar.
Worship band at Jubilee Church, Banbury
Fran and Peter
Back to Peter and Fran’s for lunch (paella - excellent) then we walked back to the boat for zzzzzz. In the evening we went to the Mill for a concert by Caladh Nua, a 5-piece folk band from southern Ireland. Very talented musicians. Banjo/whistle, fiddle/bodhran, fiddle/voice, accordion, guitar. Old Rosie Cider at the bar – a pleasant surprise.
Monday 9th June
Lots of boats started moving at around 9am, so we cruised slowly down to Tooley’s Boatyard, where John came to service our boat engine. He also fitted the diesel gauge sender, and we now have a diesel gauge that works! Hazel went shopping.
When the engine service was finished (lunchtime) we moved across the canal to another mooring outside the GF social club, where Hugo could venture into their garden.
The moorings here are mostly 48H. The ones in the centre say no return within 28 days.
Tuesday 10th June
We set off fairly early, down through the lift bridge and lock, to the facilities block where we did everything. Then on to bridge 178 for Morrison’s shopping. Then on to the winding hole to turn and moor up on the 14 day moorings. We are still hoping to hear from Anna but there is a poor signal here so we will need to return to a mooring just below the lock tomorrow to meet her at either the bus station or the railway station. She doesn’t have a phone but she does have wifi so we will send emails to find each other.
James washed the starboard side of the boat and applied the Canal Ministries sticky logo. We’ll do the other side when we moor port side on.
The new sticker for Gabriel
Hugo brought in a mouse which he lost under the washing machine. Later we think it went under the fridge, as he was waiting there.
Later still we had a hunt for the mouse, and pulled out the fridge, and peered under the washing machine – no sign of it. The we spotted something on the carpet, and it turned to be the hind legs and tail of a very small mouse! Hugo had obviously caught it again.
James discovered an email from Anna which he hadn’t seen, saying they would be arriving by train or bus at around 2pm. Reply sent to arrange to meet by the lock.
1 lock, 1 mile, 1 lift bridge, 1 mouse, 1hr00.
Wednesday 11th June
As we hadn’t done much travelling and the water may not be hot enough, we had set the Webasto to come on early to heat the water for showers. This was very successful.
We moved on up past Morrison’s to bridge 166, below the lock. James went to the post office to post back the defective solar panel controller and Hazel’s Dad’s fathers day card.
We had another email from Anna to say she and Zach were arriving by bus at around 2.30pm, so James checked what she looked like on Facebook, (not seen since she was 5) and went to meet them.
We took them for a cruise up through the lock and lift bridge, past Spiceball Park to the turning point by Tesco, back down through lift bridge and lock, past Morrison’s to the turning point, returning to our start point by bridge 166. Tea and cake followed, and then James took them for a quick stroll round Banbury, including a drink at the Old Reindeer Inn. Back on the boat, Hazel had prepared lasagne followed by strawberries and ice cream. They caught the last bus back around 1845 (very early for a last bus). It was great to see them. We are very pleased that they took the trouble to come and find us.
Zach and Anna
Zach Anna and Hazel
Later we wandered up to the folk club, now no longer at the Mill, but instead at the Banbury Cross pub in Butchers Row. The support act was Dave Oakley, and the main event was the Jigantics, a 5-piece band who had a range of styles – Cajun, folk, blues, rock. Very entertaining.
It was good to see Peter and Fran there.
2 locks, 3 miles, 2 lift bridges, 2hr00