So here we were waiting for them to arrive, Amanda and David (Yes them AGAIN), they text to say leaving at at 5pm, at 5:45pm they text to say they had not got out of town yet (This should not have taken 10 mins ordinarily), but then usually its not the night before a Bank Holiday Weekend. Sat Nav says they will be late, David (mine) hate loathes and detests Sat Nav in any form, we often say that we prefer a map and an argument. The other two however do not possess a map, they are a super high tech modern interweb couple who smirk at us.
Well they arrived, unloaded their car into the side hatch and at the same time loaded their car with our bags full of dirty washing as we were borrowing “Their Car”.
Now reader I have to tell you that Mr Lewis is infinitely proud of his car, a BMW 320d M Sport Touring (He asked me to put that in in case anyone wants to buy it), he strokes it, polishes it, tinkers with it, cleans it and would likely prefer to see his wife carried off over the shoulder by a Viking raider than anyone drive his car. Yes you have guessed it, I was going to drive the thing, me, a woman.
Oh just before you go I have to show you how to blow up the tyres…..?
Yes they go down and there’s no spare……
So with wheels pumped up, seat fitted to my shape.. off we went into the darkness, well I did get the lights on later. I was pretty nervous of driving this car, I have driven all sorts of vehicles but being a farmers wife, even a tractor on one and one only occasion, but none of them as cherished as this one. To get out of Oxford the Sat Nav directed us, its impossible to have a conversation with the thing on, she does interrupt so, but as soon as the M40 was located we pulled the plug on her.
Well, I had terrible aching shoulders all the way home, it may well have had something to do with how tightly I was gripping the wheel. Nice bit of wellie its got though (David I never went over 65mph).
Home visits can be a nice break, not really this time though, straight to the washing machine to do over night. Friday do emergency dash to get my nails done (Now three breaks), went to a party, a wedding, and a lunch plus doing all washing and ironing. Then packed it all again to come home, it never fits back into the same bags.
Meanwhile, the boat sharers, took the boat for us for the next four days down the Thames, I think they enjoyed faster travel than on the canals, and turned right at Reading getting onto the K&A for us.
I had the following text from Amanda.
“…Things to know about the K&A. Locks are heavy and big double things. Winding gear good. Gates bastards. Armco? What’s that? We have seen only one small stretch of it just outside Reading. None since. Weirs and sluices make entering and leaving locks interesting. However it is all looking gorgeous. No pubs, no Canal side shops. It may improve further down.”
I wanted stay home, but Mr Lewis needed his car to go to work in ghastly thought that, WORK. We caught up with them again west of Reading, as we exchanged bags again, I am always sorry when they can’t stay longer. They had done two long days on this section, hard graft and only at the end of the day did they moor up on a smallish section of Armco for us. Next surprise is that water points are a rare breed. Our next one is 12 miles and 13 locks!!!!!
It started to rain…. hard…… and so it continued….. for many hours…… I was twitchy, we were on a river section and I thought it was racing by. Gulp.
to be continued.