The Bus Station Cafe. 3rd December

Nadkey Bridge to Bluebird Bridge via the water point.

The puzzles just weren’t the same in the Sunday paper, not enough of them either.

Blue Sky

The weather really couldn’t make it’s mind up as we drank our cuppas in bed. One minute bright sunshine, the next torrential rain. Despite Tilly doing her best to persuade us to let her out she was kept in, so that with the next bout of sun we could push off and make it to the water point. Some serious underwear washing was needed and the water tank couldn’t be relied on having enough to even start the washing machine before we got to the tap.

New twigs for the parkBuilding site

Only a mile and a half into Banbury. On the off side what is going to be a new park has new trees planted. A couple of chaps were trying to straighten them up and retie them to their supports, they did look forlorn. Then the building site where numerous houses are going up. When Mick returned from Morrisons yesterday he was surprised at how many new houses were going up at this end of the town. At least the popular mooring between bridges 170 and 171 will have a park to look at. I say popular but today nobody was moored there, only a few boats at Tramway and a couple near the foundry behind the station.

Don't you just love it when the autofocus focuses on the rain drops!

As we rounded the bend between the two bridges below Banbury Lock I could see that a boat was on the water point, hose out. We pulled up opposite and pulled back away from the lock. A chap stuck his head out and asked if we were wanting water, they had their washing machine on, but were happy to pull away. This they did so that we could take over the tap and put our washing machine on. First they pulled backwards then as the next sunny spell came over head they headed to the lock.

Rubbish disposed of, water tank full, yellow water tank emptied we too pushed off the water point and reversed back to the moorings between bridges. This would mean that we could run the washing machine again and then top up the tank before heading up the lock and finding a mooring by Castle Quays tomorrow. Up ahead on the outskirts of town a bridge is having a lot of work done to it, a dam blocks the canal, so once we are past the taps, we would have to reverse back to them as there is nowhere to turn. Shortly after we moored up another boat came past heading for the water point, Monday must be wash day.

Pip shoes

I headed off to the Post Office to send my knitted items on their way, also to pick up some Christmas shopping that had arrived. A walk through Castle Quays meant a bit of browsing for more presents. I had a few things in mind, but nothing jumped out at me. However a sale at Clarks did draw me in. I’m constantly on the lookout for shoes, I don’t have many pairs on the boat, just enough practical ones to get me by and two smart pairs. Out of the smarter shoes, one pair are for formal funerial wear, the other brighter, but they have now seen better days. So when I spotted some bright red shoes they had to be tried on, at half price they had my name all over them. Now I could have returned back to the boat and put a very big hefty hint in to Mick, but that risked the only pair in my size having gone and he might already have finished buying me presents, so I’d end up missing out on them. There was obviously nothing for it but to buy them myself. Ooops!

This evening we ventured out for a meal. Yes, Mick forever the romantic took me to the Bus Station Cafe! It was our 16th anniversary!!

My boy!

When I say the Bus Station Cafe, I don’t really mean that. From our mooring you do have to walk through the bus station and just on the other side where you’d expect there to be steaming mugs of tea and bacon butties is PawPaw, a Chinese restaurant and takeaway. Brightly lit and colourful inside we hoped their food would be better than we found in Stratford a few months ago. A steady stream of people picking up food on a Monday night was a good sign.

RoseYummy food

Our table looked very pretty with red rose serviette sculptures. Mick didn’t want to pull his apart as it looked like it had taken a while to make. A bottle of wine, crispy aromatic duck, 2 main courses and a veg side dish were all very nice. Warmer plates for our duck would have been nice, but that was our only criticism. The jolly waitress looked after us very well. A good choice, just a shame about it’s location.

0 locks, 1.54 miles, 1 full water tank, 1 empty wee tank, 0 rubbish, 3 bottle banks, 2 parcels dropped off, 2 parcels picked up, 2 loads washing, 2 showers, 1 pair of shoes, 1 bottle pinot, 1/4 crispy duck, 2 mains, 2 rice, 1 broccoli, 2 more glasses of wine at home, 16 lovely years with my boy.