Contraband Chips. 27th May

Jericho

Hair cutting, Tilly exploring, breakfast and baking, what a busy morning, good job the sun was out. However we had reports of rain to the north of us, would umbrellas be required?

Presents time

A little later than originally planned Andrew and Jac arrived, the Oxford traffic having held them up on their journey from London. Time for birthday presents a coffee and freshly baked biscuits. Jac got a new table cloth with embroidered bees on it and Mick got a new expanding hose for Oleanna and a weed burner for use in the garden at the house.

Jac fashioning Mick’s new hose

Originally we’d planned on doing the next part of our journey by boat, but getting a mooring where we were heading could have been a risk, limited space and only 24hrs. So we headed to Sandford Lock on the Thames by car, having to sit in Oxford traffic for some of the way.

Sat outside the Kings Arms with her dog Baxter was Jenny Leckenby, she’d spent some time watching the second round of the World Championship Pooh Sticks that was taking place at the weir stream. Inside we found the rest of our party, Ian, Sally and Sam Leckenby, first cousins and those once removed. A few people missing from the table, Josh who is mid A level revision, Jo and his family who live in the States.

With eight of us it was quite a noisy affair, sorry to those other diners. Mick and I had seen everyone last summer at the Royal International Air Tattoo, but Andrew and Jac had been away on holiday so it was the first time they’d seen Ian and Sally since their wedding, way longer since seeing Sam and Jenny.

Chips!

Sam and I chose our gluten free dishes from the separate menu, but were disappointed that we couldn’t have chips. This is because other things are fried in the same deep fat frier causing cross contamination which can be serious for those who are coeliac. Both of us are intolerant to gluten and were willing to risk a portion of chips between us. Solution was to get Jenny to order a side portion of chips to accompany her burger and chips. These were then passed over to Sam and myself to share away from panicking staff, our choice, our chips.

A long lunch, five hours. The service was slow, but that actually didn’t matter as there was tons to talk about. Ian’s plane that he’s building in France, the dogs cats horses goats, their granddaughter, news of Tim our other cousin out in Ukraine, all sorts.

All too soon it was time for us to leave the pub and restore the quiet. A shame we’d not brought Oleanna and Tilly as there would have been space to moor her. Hopefully we’ll get chance to catch up with Sam as we head downstream on the Thames in the next few days and it won’t be too long before we can all get together again.

Sally, Andrew, Ian, Mick, Jenny, Pip, Sam, Jac

An easier trip back to Jericho in the car and hopefully an easier drive back to London for the London Leckenbys.

River levels were checked again, it all looks pretty good for the next few days. With this in mind we looked at moorings in London. There are now more pre-bookable, payable moorings in London. For the dates we were looking at on the cheaper moorings we didn’t have much choice. Adjusting our dates a touch gave us a better window of opportunity. All booked, we just have to get there now.

0 locks, 0 miles, 3 presents, 8 biscuits, 22nd pair cast on, 1 bored cat, 8 cousins, 1 dog, 1 portion of contraband chips, 5 hours of noisy family catch up, 2 car rides, 1 plan came together, 1 lovely day.

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