Our unplanned, but very enjoyable, meeting with Jill and Graham on nb' ‘Matilda Rose’ on Thursday turned into an impromptu meal with them on the towpath in the shade of the hedge.
Doug prepared our share of the food with the help of Mutley who’d wandered the few yards along the canal to us, and was very happy to be one of the lads for while.
With contributions from both sides, we had a lovely meal and relaxed in the cool of the evening, having a jolly good time with Graham and Jill. It was great to meet up again guys!
We took off Friday morning with farewells to Jill and Graham, Mutley and Baxter and made our way, in very hot weather again, towards Leighton Buzzard. We soon realised that we left our camera in the pocket of one of Jill and Graham’s chairs, which had been neatly stored back in their top boxes. Luckily, their son was visiting them and Graham used his car to get it back to us. The full story was a bit more chaotic (due to James’ stupidity!) but eventually Graham managed to locate us at Slapton Lock. Hence there are no photos of the journey until this point.
We travelled some of the way with working boat ‘Towcester’. Watching Jules operate and steer this huge and heavy boat was wonderful and at every opportunity she had she was cleaning and polishing.
‘Towcester’ had to stop for deliveries to be made so we carried on alone, stopping in Leighton Buzzard at the shopping moorings. James did a bit of boat cleaning (inspired by Jules) while Doug got some shopping. The sun was scorching and we were very pleased to nearly be at our destination.
Rounding the bend in the canal after getting through Leighton Lock we spotted our resting place for the day – nb ‘Derwent6’ with Del and Al on board were waiting for us! We’d planned to meet up after Del met us at Hemel Hempstead on his bike ride the other day.
They had, very kindly, saved a bottle of Champagne from Al’s birthday party year, which we couldn’t attend and it wasn’t long before we’d cracked it open and were belatedly toasting Al’s health.
Later, walking to “The Globe” for a meal we met Valerie and Richard on nb ‘Stardust’ who is a blog reader and who we’d first met in Paddington Basin. Nice to see you both again.
In the pub, which was heaving with customers, we had a job to find a table but Doug persuaded a very nice young couple to move tables (in the middle of their dessert). They did so with great pleasure, declining the offer of a drink for their kindness (they are in the background as we choose from our menus). James chose from the ‘Golden Years’ menu which was designed for those over a certain age! and which was half the price of the main meals (which were still very reasonably priced).
We pinched one of Del’s photos to show how well the evening went:-
We all went back to ‘Chance’ for cheese and biscuits and some of Del and Al’s very nice port. As is normal, the evening ended this morning at 1:30’sh and, as is normal, we enjoyed their company very much. We’ve decided to stay put for today, at Del and Al’s suggestion, and to join them for a BBQ this evening.