Though the air temperature is up to nine or ten degrees today the thick grey cloud overhead, leaning heavily on the dark roofs of the village houses opposite us on the tow-path, has so far not encouraged the Sun to show his face.
But in spite of strong blustery squalls of rain hammering on ‘Futurest’s roof and cratch-cover as they pass swiftly across at regular intervals, the bells of the small but ancient Cropredy Parish Church ring out defiantly as I write, calling the faithful to Sunday Worship, as they will have done for centuries.
Furthermore notwithstanding this particularly bombastic phase of the weather, Spring continues to strengthen, and the flowers are plentiful and flourishing. The abundant Primrose smiles gratefully at the bounteous supply of rain while the bright yellow Daffodil happily dances and ducks his way defiantly through the vicious mêlée completely unvexed at the petulant climatic behaviour.
Since arriving home after our Winter tour we have had plenty of time now to re-accustom ourselves to our old relaxed way of life. The warm temperatures and exotic fauna and flora of the Southern Hemisphere now seem dreamlike almost and certainly far away. I repeat myself I know by saying that I thought it was all amazing and I still feel most privileged to have been able to experience the marvellous event. My life has been enriched. But it’s surprising how soon one becomes comfortable and appreciative of one’s current surroundings. Since we have moored here Janis and I have walked many miles along the numerous local footpaths and bridleways. There is so much to see and appreciate along these marvellous thoroughfares. New life is beginning again all around us and while recently born Lambs play excitedly and with such apparent confidence before doubt creeps in again and they have to dash back for the definite certainty of mother’s teat, the hedgerows and trees offer their bursting buds ready at any moment to bounce forth into the luxurious Summer colours we know so well.
Janis in contemplation of Primroses at Great Bourton
On Monday we leave this happy place and travel the short and familiar length of the Oxford Canal into busy Banbury where the following week the two little ships have an appointment with Tooley’s Dry Dock for their regular clean up beneath the waterline. After that we press on southwards towards Oxford and Reading for the Kennett and Avon Canal. The English Summer once more has everything to offer.