I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Lechlade (River Thames) – Tuesday 28th July

I was woken up about 6am to the sound of cows licking the boat - it is a strange sound!  We had been warned that the heifers in the field this year are particularly naughty but so far we haven’t seen any sign of this though when FL was up here earlier in the summer Andy was seen running across the field in his purple underpants at 5am chasing a heifer who had stolen his flag – pole and all!  He did get it back!

Richard got down into the engine hole and discovered that the fuse had blown in the big inverter.  Now where to get another – a quick Viber message and Ray said he had one!  It worked and the washing machine sprung into life – trouble is the engine had to run until it was finished.  (In the US the washing machines are so quick – goodness knows why ours take so long.) Thank you Ray – you saved our bacon!  Richard has ordered two new fuses which will be delivered to his son who is coming to visit on Sunday.

We had arranged to meet up with someone I became friends with over the phone about six years ago.  I worked for a recycling company and was known as the “bottle top queen”!  We collected milk bottle tops to go off for recycling – you may think that they can be recycled in your green bins but they can’t, they just get thrown away whereas there are specialists who can recycle them into garden furniture, children’s toys etc.  Charities collect them and then send them to GHS and get money in return.  Brenda used to collect for a local cancer charity and that’s how I got to know her!!  We then became Facebook friends.  Anyway, back to today!!  We met at the Trout which overlooks St. John’s Lock which is a lovely old inn – low ceilings and flag stone floors.  Richard and I thought we would have a light lunch and chose a ploughmans – we didn’t eat again today!  It was huge and very nice indeed.  It was really nice meeting up with Brenda and her husband, Les and they very kindly dropped us off in Lechlade afterwards.

Diane had dropped a prescription off at the chemist for me earlier so I went to collect it – as usual there was one item missing which wouldn’t be in until tomorrow at 11.30am.  Too late we would be gone.  I’ll have to try in Oxford.

We walked back to Mary H over Halfpenny Bridge.  It gained its name from the toll originally levied for crossing it. It was not a popular toll and the locals were having none of it. Resentment increased every year and in 1839 they rebelled and all banded together and refused to pay the toll. This inevitably led to some lively altercations with the toll collectors, and people tended to cross the bridge in groups in a show of strength to make it easier for them to resist the demands of the toll gatherers. All efforts at extracting tolls were finally abandoned in 1875 and the bridge has been toll-free ever since.

On our walk across the field back to Mary H, Muffin found a stick or should I call it a bough!  He took it proudly back to the boat then sat there chewing it!  Ray and Diane called round on their way for a walk and offered to take Muffin – off he went without a backward glance.  He does love Ferndale and her crew :-)

Sue made us another of her lovely loaves and we both had a sandwich for supper - I'm going to ask her for the recipe tomorrow and have a go as it really is lovely.

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