Les and I left Braunston on Tuesday last. We cruised contentedly out to the moorings by Onley prison--about three miles north of Braunston--and found a lovely, quiet spot to set up house for a few days. We had arranged to meet Sue and Vic of NB No Problem as they cruised down from Barby after a week with family.
Imagine our delight when NB Oakfield came through the bridge hole to moor up in front of us and No Problem came around a curve in the opposite direction at nearly the same moment! We hadn't visited with Keith and Ann since late 2012 when we were all moored at Rugby. We hadn't seen Sue and Vic since we dined together at Windsor in July 2013.
As both boats went to moor up a cow fell in the canal from the farmer's field on the off side, another boat came through the bridge behind us and pulled over to attempt a cow rescue, and before you could say "Moo, Moo buckaroo" a crowd of boaters were working to save the calf which had ideas of its own; I could see it thinking, "Geez a bovine just wants to have a little drink--a little bath--a little privacy from the herd, but NOOoo! Everybody and their cousins' sisters' friends show up-oh and their dogs. I'm outta' here," and off it swam for a shallow spot where it heaved itself back to dry land.
|Cow in the cut! © NB Oakfield, 2016|
|Should we stay or should we go now!|
On Sunday we all enjoyed Sue and Vic's hospitality with one of his legendary roast dinners aboard No Problem. The custard on the pud was Maffi cruising along to moor up amongst us to join in the fun.
|The crew left to right: Vic, Maffi, Ann, Keith, Jaq, and Les.|
|...and frost licked fields in the early morning sunshine; mist hovers above the cut as the day unfolds near Onley.|
|Four boats filled with friends!|
We spotted nearly 100 rabbits tearing back and forth across the fields from one side to the other. It was truly comical to watch them hopping around but not really getting very far. I wonder where they will all go when the fields are turned into watery berths with boats moored up.
Les and I walked back from the spot where the old canal used to follow the contours of the land--before it was straightened to cut off time and save money back in the day. We laughed at the lambs--one was white with black knee patches; another sheep had two black twins which watched us curiously until Les said, "Mint sauce"; the lambs turned and scarpered off quickly. Their mama didn't raise any fools!
This morning we all gathered at Keith and Ann's boat for coffee, tea, cake, and conversation which didn't touch on toilets once--a rare thing in a group of boaters!
|Goodbye from Oakfield, goodbye from Millie M, goodbye from No Problem, Goodbye from Valerie; goodbye from us goodbye!|
Ahhhhh yes, we are back to boating again on our terms; a few days here with friends, a handful of days there in the countryside quiet, a day moored up near town for any bits and bobs, and then off again to see what we have missed for the last three years. We haven't been this far north in all that time! Bliss!