Monday, October 08, 2012

Anyone else for tea?

We’ve been having a great time.

Despite all the banners around the town, I’m not sure what I expected of Banbury Canal Day.  A dozen or perhaps twenty boats with their bunting hanging out, maybe an IWA stall and a bouncy castle, and a couple of hundred gongoozlers at best.

Well I’m here to tell you that I was wrong.  Well I was right enough about the boats, but as for the rest, I had clearly underestimated the good folk of Banbury.  For a start this event is unexpectedly big.  A craft market, a large French and Italian food market, in fact stalls all over the place. Live music of a surprisingly good standard in a couple of places thanks to the organisation of our old folky friend Derek Droscher. (Who else could persuade Barbara Dickson to sing at their local folk festival?), and as for the punters, there were millions of them.  OK, I exaggerate, but there were many thousands.  The place was teeming all day.  I wasn’t the only one who was a bit gobsmacked. Well done Banbury, we’ll be back for sure. 

A couple of pictures:

This boat had a wheel at the front underneath, and holes at the back for wheelbarrow handles.  Now there’s clever.  BTW I thought Eric Sykes was dead!

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Canoodlers too -

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If you really must run a generator on your stern, then why not get a proper one like this -

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I want one!

We also learned the secret of what happens to the Napton Buffalos (See a few posts back).  They end up as burgers!  What an ignominious fate for such impressive creatures.  Quite tasty though according to Kath.  I dined on yummy curry goat from the stall next door.   If you take my advice, never miss a chance to eat curry goat (unless you’re a vegetarian).

The best bit for us, being moored at the epicentre of the event, was the chance to play host to blogging friends.  Much tea was drunk and lardy cake eaten aboard Herbie as we nattered to Maffi (& Molly), Bones (& Boots), and Oakie (Ray)(without a dog).  In the food market we also made our first face to face encounter with the alarmingly tall but reassuringly friendly Captain Ahab (Andy) and his remarkable serial food forager wife Helen who was doing a roaring trade at their Wild Side stall selling jams and chutneys made from fruits plucked from the towpath hedgerows, (although I wonder which canal supplied the dates in the delicious rhubarb date and ginger chutney we enjoyed with our cheese sandwiches for lunch today – Suez I suppose).  I stole one of Andy’s donuts, but mollified him with a free canalometer.  I’m not sure who came off best.

Today we resumed our journey back towards base.  Suffice it to say it was wet wet wet.  I seems every time we pass through Fenny Compton it pees with rain.  Never mind, tomorrow night we’re going to the Folly at Napton.  That’s good no matter how bad the weather is.


Anonymous said...

That sounds wonderful - wish we'd been there!

We're stranded (safely) at Cookham Lock waiting for the Thames to get off red/yellow boards - the story of our year really :-)

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

MortimerBones said...

Thanks for the tea!!!!! DO come back. It was lurvely to see you both and natter.....and I still havent had the nightcap!

Maffi said...

Nice to see you both again. Next year?

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

see for info on wheelei boat

Captain Ahab said...

I love the canalometer - every time Helen asked "how log to?" I replied... What I really need is a Canalometer of the Caldon Canal. Great to meet you.