Unfortunately the first day of summer didn’t live up to its billing – it tipped down! We’d managed moored in Oxford, met up with Ray and Diane from nb Ferndale and Sue & Andy from nb Festina Lente and we weren’t going to let a bit of rain get in the way of a Monday half price breakfast in the Slug & Lettuce.
When we arrived we had to phone the pub to persuade them to actually open their doors – I don’t think they thought that anyone would actually be out in the appalling weather!
Sue decided that the ladies hand drier was a good way of getting her trousers to dry out a bit – that’s what she said she was doing anyway….
…and we managed to capture an incredibly rare image of a group of boaters in a pub drinking only water.
As Gordon and I had visited Oxford before, there were only a couple of things we wanted to do during our stay. The first was a trip up the Carfax Tower to have a look at the panorama of the ‘dreaming spires’. I managed to huff and puff my way up the ninety nine steps to appreciate the view.
Our next stop was at the Natural History Museum where we’d spotted an Exhibition by the Penwith artist Kurt Jackson – Bees and the Odd Wasp in my Bonnet. The paintings were wonderful…..
….as was the short film of Kurt talking about the story of how the exhibition came about.
When we were at Jane’s Tea Garden she recommended a visit to the Old Bookbinders Pub close to the canal in Jericho. It’s a pub/restaurant with a French theme and it proved to be every bit as good as Jane had said it would be. The six of us met up with Ray and Leonie, a couple of Kiwi ex boaters, and had a wonderful, and reasonably priced, meal. I reckon it’s a must visit if you find yourself in the area.
After Oxford our plans had been to go out onto the Thames and make our way towards the Basingstoke Canal. This was all thrown up in the air when we were contacted by Paul to say that our friend Elaine had been moved into a hospice in Macclesfield and was ready for a visit. We hastily decided that we could move all three boats back to Thrupp, where we could leave them safely while we hired a car to arrange a visit en masse.
Amazingly we managed to find space in Thrupp for all three boats on the seven day moorings which is very close to a miracle. So it was in Thrupp that we celebrated Gordon’s 64th Birthday with yet another lovely meal with good mates, this time in the Boat Inn.
We ate, drank and managed to finalise the plans for our road trip.