We put the washing on and set off in the sunshine to fill up with diesel at the beautifully kept Sovereign Wharf. It was very reasonably priced as it usually is here at 87 per litre. While Bottle was chatting I chose some postcards and books from the book-swop. Then I spied some Bantams eggs on the counter which they were giving away, so we made donations in their charity box. Last year they raised money for their local St Katherine's Hospice. We then left, having hung all the washing up and opened the doors and side hatches to dry it as we cruised along.
We said hello to Dink and Malc as we slowly passed their idyllic little smallholding. How did we know their names you may wonder, they have a large named poster of themselves on the side of their cottage saying so! The garden is a haven for animals, with donkeys, geese chickens and a big Alsatian dog roaming around.
Although Banbury is very convenient for its variety of shops and eateries it is nice to leave the sound of the traffic behind. Also we will not miss people walking by shouting on their phones and peering at us as if we were strange creatures in a zoo!
As we approached Bourton Lock we saw two men each wearing high-viz jackets and hard hats which made us gaze upwards wondering what may be descending from above. Anyway when we were in the lock they popped up again over the gate, so we asked them what was going on in the fields. We had noticed a gang of men with chainsaws heavily pruning all the willow trees on our way down. They told us that they would be installing a flood embankment there. Bourton Lock Cottage is still looking un-loved, unlike the garden which is covered in many colourful scented flowers. There were quite a few boats on the move as it was such a beautiful day and we managed to swap locks with some of the ones on their way down. The good weather had also brought out the towpath walkers and cyclists too. The garden centres wood clad building was nearing completion as we came to Cropredy. Instead of using expensive scaffolding they have a couple of ‘cherry pickers’ on the job.