Karen and Jo glammed up for a silver wedding anniversary complete with wellies and walking boots 😉
On Thursday evening Karen and I drove to Rugby to pick Jo up from the station; she was down from Edinburgh for a long weekend starting with staying with us for a couple of nights. The towpath had become so muddy by the boat that we decided to move up to Calcutt resy on the Friday.
First, we moved the car to the reservoir car park used by fishermen and walkers and then walked back to Tomlow to fetch the boat. We just had the three locks at Calcutt to go up and Jo was happy to set them as she hadn’t had a cruise since last autumn.
Not sure why I’m looking so happy at Calcutt bottom lock, but Buddy has obviously decided to stay put and not waste his energy walking to the back of the boat when I’m about to set off 😊
Coming up the middle lock
The Calcutt boatyard is in the pound below the top lock and I was surprised to see so many hire boats moored up and not out on holiday. We found out why a little later.
Once through the top lock we reversed into the old single lock where there’s a water point and filled up with water – I didn’t fall in this time 😉
It was such a lovely day that Jo and I walked to the boatyard to buy ice creams whilst waiting for the tank to fill. It was my first of the year so a sort of landmark really. We met Chris when we were in the shop and got chatting. He has just started working back at the yard having had a few years off and we got around to talking about the rain and the muddy towpaths. He told us that the boats are currently being returned in the worst state they have ever seen with regards to being muddy.
He also explained that although most of the boats are booked out, four had already come back early because of the weather and the mud; thus, explaining why so many hire boats were moored in their pound. He said that two couples reckoned it was their worst holiday ever and they wouldn’t dream of doing it again – such a shame as I suspect very few people would think like that if the conditions were better.
We moored at the one free spot left on the offside with Chris’s boat in front of us and Paul with his two boats in front of him.
It was good to have a catch up with Paul; we hadn’t seen him since we were here last September. Poor Paul has to lug two boats around with him – the second boat was his girlfriend’s and it seems she has become an ex as she hasn’t come back for many months now.
We woke to a glorious morning on Saturday and got ready to travel down to Oxford for the day.
Looking back to Calcutt top lock on Saturday morning…
…and in the other direction towards Napton junction
The reason we were off to Oxford was to celebrate Karen’s sister’s silver wedding anniversary. Heather and Keith had hired a hall at University college for the evening. It was an excuse for the girls to dress up, hence the picture at the top of the blog. The path to the car from the boat, across the reservoir, was really muddy so the girls had to put their boots on. We dropped Buddy off at his ‘hotel’ in Leamington. He stays with a really nice couple who dote on dogs and Julie sends pictures or videos every hour or so!
Before the party, we were meeting up with Karen’s other two children, Matthew and Catherine but first we split up as Karen and I had some shopping to do. I needed a suit for Sophie’s wedding in June and we also wanted to replace some of our saucepans and frying pans. We were successful, which was really good as we both hate shopping 😉
Later in the afternoon we met up with the children and they treated us to a delicious afternoon tea which Matt and I enjoyed with a beer rather than tea:
Then it was off to the college:
Proud mum 😊
Me and Karen dressed up for the party 😉
We didn’t get home until gone one on Sunday morning, but we had had a great time and are now looking forward to Karen’s last four days working from the boat.