Monday, 15 July 2019

Strolling with family

Thursday 11th July; Oxford
The trains woke us occasionally last night, but not for long.  After breakfast, as no-one else was moving, we went down Isis lock to turn round.  As I walked up to set the lock, the local swan kids were having a preening lesson with one of the parents.  By the time I got hold of the camera most of them had sat themselves down and weren’t waggling their little stumpy tails any more.

Last year there was a board with instructions on turning below the lock using ropes and the large mooring poles on the pontoon.  It wasn’t there this year, but we had decided to ignore it anyway.  It was perfectly easy doing it the way they suggested, but no easier than winding normally.

Up we came again, getting filmed by some tourists as we did.  We slotted back into our spot and tied up.  As my sister and brother-in-law are visiting today, we had a quick clean round (the boat was rather in need of it) and I made come scones.

Cheese scones - fruit ones still in the oven!
They are a little irregular in shape as I don’t have a rolling pin or scone cutter on board.  But patting down with hands and cutting out using a wine-glass seemed to work just fine!

Philly and Richard arrived in time for a cup of tea before we went to the excellent Crisis Café in the Old Fire Station for lunch.  There are now 3 Crisis cafés run by Crisis, the homeless charity.  They provide ‘an opportunity for people that are experiencing homelessness to gain customer service, barista training and professional cooking skills in a real working kitchen and cafe environment’. So every purchase you make – for example, excellent tea and amazing ‘fireman’s breakfasts’, etc – will help people coping with homelessness.  Unfortunately this seems to be a necessity these days.

Then we popped back to the boat to collect Meg and had a pleasant walk down to the river past the derelict railway swingbridge.  This now is adorned with signs about its forthcoming restoration – funds have been obtained.  Rather an extensive restoration by the looks of it.

We walked back to Aristotle Bridge across Port Meadow.  The local yoof were, not surprisingly, taking advantage of the jumping and swimming opportunities in the area.

We went back to the boat for tea and scones.  The fluffy teenagers visited us but were out of luck.

After a lovely day catching up, our visitors set off for home and later we strolled round to the Old Bookbinders and had a lovely meal.

1 lock both ways, less than half a mile travelled.

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