Day 5, Gayton Junction to Napton
Forgot to mention yesterday, that the Northampton Flight were all in our favour, just to make the afternoon perfect. Not so Buckby and Braunston today, I think the first two were, and I had to turn the rest. Since yesterday, Sebastian has been hankering after chips, so this morning I rang up the Bridge pub at Napton (where we had a CWF banter a few months back) and asked if they were doing food this evening. Yes, until eight, was the answer. Well, that gave us something to aim for. We got up Buckby fairly efficiently, sharing with Morpheus, through the Braunston Tunnel without hitting anything (I was on searchlight duty this time), but had some terribly slow people in front of us through the Braunston locks. Now I know it’s not a race, and I keep telling Jim that, but Baz really really deserved these chips.
I dashed into the shop at Braunston bottom lock for a loaf of lovely bread and a big tin of their very reasonably priced Brasso, and then dashed back again for ice creams all round. It is much more fun being here, with boats to look at, even if they do slow us down. Saw Aldgate and Angel in their new GU livery (but didn’t have the camera with me), and at last, but very sadly, Usk and Lucy, as well as a lot of the same boats we saw last year and some I couldn’t identify. It’s also nice having locks you can actually control, and that at least have a chance of being in your favour. (Of course all the Nene ones were, coming up, but it doesn’t count when you have to empty the bastards afterwards.)
We made it to Napton with about twenty minutes to spare and Baz and I left Jim to lock up and ran up to place our orders. The barman was on the verge of telling us that we were too late, but I gave him a look that suggested that I would have hysterics if he didn’t reconsider so he consulted a higher authority and we got our dinner.
Later, waiting at the (very quiet) bar, there was a man looking at the various real ales on offer. As I had just tried one, and Jim another, I ventured to describe them to him. I don’t know if he plumped for one in the end, but it turned out that he was someone rather famous (although probably not in Heat magazine, although I wouldn’t know for sure). Can it really be, I thought, and apparently it was. Tell you later – let the poor chap have his holiday first.
So, it looks as if we could be at Cropredy by tomorrow night, such is the insane pace that we have set; ten and a half hours today, ten and a quarter yesterday. If we do get there tomorrow, then we’ll be staying a week, so plenty of time to see everyone.By the way, here is a typical mother/teenager conversation that took place the other day:
Mother: I like rivets.
Teenage boy: I said you were weird.