Early on Monday morning we heard a knock on the roof of the boat which turned out to be the local landowner demanding £4 for staying overnight on his 'land' (funny that, thought we were on water, lol!) - after a heated debate about the legality of this as there was absolutely nothing to advertise that we'd be charged (Barry used the word 'entrapment' at one stage!), we paid up and decided to find another spot to moor - goodness me, we've already paid £93.50 for the privilege of being on the River Thames for 14 days - we're going to have to be more careful about where we choose our stopovers!
Travelling to collect Kim from Oxford, I caught the first number 64 bus out of Lechlade at 0910hrs taking me to Carterton and then had a quick change to the S2 into Oxford where I collected my glasses from Specsavers - not sure how I'm going to get on with them as I'm not too keen on varifocals but was persuaded to give them another go by the optician, and the sunglasses really don't seem to be the same ones I'd ordered almost two weeks ago - I wish I'd never bothered updating my spectacles now, it's turned into a bit of a nightmare!
Swan sign in Lechlade - how cute!
Ah well, I walked to Sarah's and had a coffee with her before Kim arrived, parked up outside her house and we then returned to Oxford, had some lunch, then got the buses back to Lechlade where we had the most delicious fish and chip supper from 'Monica's Plaice' on the High Street, run by a delightful family from Madeira. Barry had found a 'free' mooring at The New Inn, so he'd had a pint at lunchtime and it would've been rude for us not to return and have another drink in the evening - so we did!
There were a number of extremely tame swans that came to visit us, and a lady from Oxford moored up alongside us in her punt - incredibly she travels along the Thames in this small boat and sleeps the night in there with her covers over - how exciting, but also how brave!
A feeding frenzy - and a bit of swan upping!
Is this my best side? Feed me first please ...
A magnificent evening light magnifies the reflections on the river ...
while the sun pokes his head out and lightens the scene a little on Northern Pride
The church spire dominates the sky-line of Lechlade ...
and later the sun peeks through once more to illuminate the cloud formations
Monica's Plaice serves us some mean fish and chips - and curry sauce - yum!
The church again ... and a very old Post Box
Kim is now with us until Saturday which is fabulous, as we weren't expecting her until August. We'll be chilling all the way back to Oxford ready to meet up with Captain Ahab and his motley crew on Sunday in Abingdon! Goodness me, what a fun life we're having; never a dull moment!
On Tuesday Kim and I had a stroll into Lechlade and visited the Christmas Shop - how bizarre to have only a few shops and one of them sells xmas goodies all year round! I said to the woman in the shop that she must get fed-up of xmas - "Oh no," she said, "I love it!" She must be crazy!
The swans came back to visit Kim on Tuesday for more bread and loving!
Our first stop was at Buscot where we'd seen a National Trust property, Buscot Park so thought we'd take a walk there - the only problem was that as usual we'd picked the wrong day to visit as the house wasn't open Mondays and Tuesdays, and the gardens didn't open until 1400hrs. So we moored rather precariously at the National Trust picnic site called 'Cheese Wharf', and walked a mile or so to Buscot village where we found a path to the weir and sat on the grass and had a picnic lunch - very pleasant.
After lunch we walked to Buscot Lock where this watery figure watches over the boaters - he was originally found at the source of the Thames
A residence in Buscot A walking visit to Buscot Lock
Sandra and Kim chill at the lock ... watching the lock-keeper work
Some of the sights seen on our stroll back to the boat
Our next stop was only another couple of miles along, to Kelmscott, where we moored for the night. We're getting used to mooring up at random places now - so long as it's not too shallow and we can get close enough to the bank, even if we have to put a plank across, it's a case of grabbing anything remotely suitable. Another walk transpired to check out Kelmscott and it's attractions, which turned into one pub and a few houses - apparently there's just 100 inhabitants here but it has the most delightful pub called 'The Plough' which has a very salubrious restaurant decorated with fairy lights and elm tree branches woven across the room.
After a drink sitting in the pub gardens we had a walk around the village, famous for Kelmscott Manor where William Morris lived from 1871 until his death in 1896. We'd have visited the house but it was only open on a Wednesday (!) and costs £8.50 entrance fee, it's not National Trust or English Heritage unfortunately.
Walking into Kelmscot
The Plough at Kelmscot
Chilling in the pub garden
Not sure what's going on here - maybe Sandra's just snatching a precious hug?!
A taste of Kelmscot - isn't it gorgeous?
Time stands still in the village - no rushing here
Unusual upright stone walls
You wouldn't want to take the wrong turn and end up in this field!
Not such a friendly swan - this one growled and barked aggressively intermittently at Kim from the time we stopped until we left
We had another quiet evening on the boat playing Barry's card game - six-handed rummy. We have a tournament in progress until Kim leaves to see who wins by then, making the most of having an extra person on board as we can't play it with only two people.
It's wonderful to have almost six days with Kim, we see each other far too rarely so will make the most of our time together.
One of the great things about such isolation - the sky is so huge, especially at night
It's a fuschia, I know this one!!!