Saturday morning, big town centre nearby… must be shopping!
When we were heading down the canal to Oxford, there was large, comfortable looking and seemingly quite new armchair floating in the basin by the lock, rather in the way of boaters. With no habitation or even parking conveniently close by someone must have gone to some considerable effort to donate it: we were looking for the matching sofa, to no avail. They’re a bit odd that way in Banbury – Oxfordshire’s take on NfN?. We were quite pleased on returning that there was no sign of The Spanish Inquisition at all let alone the comfy chair.
Moored up in Castle Quay shopping parade, the chief cook was only yards from Marks & Spencer, Holland & Barrett, all your favourite mobile phone shops, and the Saturday market where a young, handsome (apparently) and smooth-talking Frenchman sold the chief cook some astonishingly expensive and smelly cheese. Not wishing to stay in town on the Saturday night, we headed a bit further uphill near to Great Bourton lock. We felt marginally sorry for Dink & Malc, who – seemingly as always – were sitting in their conservatory, waving to all and sundry passing down the canal. In the last few months, next to their abode has grown a positively enormous rectangular warehouse/box/monstrosity which goes on for hundreds of yards overlooking and dwarfing everything. Progress!?
As our “planning” in Oxford had got as far as heading North a bit, we’d decided to stop over in Cropredy on Sunday night while one of us repatriated the car on Monday, and the other caught up on a fortnight’s washing and drying. Oh the glamour.
So a quick cruise into the Marina (who were pleased to see us) – felt almost like home. And once again, the only bird we noted as we passed Peewit Farm was a Curlew who put on a lovely loud low pass over the boat for us. We had seen a lone high-flying Lapwing the other side of Banbury, but none near their namesake farm.
By the time the washing and driving chores were sorted, it was a bit late in the day to head off cruising, so we stopped another night, and got our exercise for the day walking to the comfortable Brasenose Arms for dinner – it’s rapidly becoming a favourite feeding station. They’ve got a very comfy sofa…