Oxford to Nuneaton
Whilst this circular route is billed as a tough two weeks, we seemed to fairly fly around it.
We had paused in London, and then took another breather in Oxford. Now you have to remember that this was only two years after the summer of love, and here was a boy from the boonies wandering through the hedonistic university fleshpot town of Oxford. As I recall, everyone looked like John Lennon with loads of hair (see my last post for an image of my own short back and sides), wire glasses and strangest of all, bare feet. It seemed that footwear had gone completely out of fashion and I was fascinated by all those black soled feet - I had never seen anything like it and it look so hip and cool.
The only trouble was that I couldn't tell the boys f rom the girls - very confusiung for an eight year old.
The sun continued to shine as we made our way up the Oxford Canal, eventually joining the Grand Union section and then onto the North Oxford to Coventry. Because Capt Snr didn't know the meaning of slow we added the branch to Coventry into our itinary and went out for an end of holiday meal. This was an unusual event for the cash strapped Ahab's, and I was tempted by the strange sounding "smoked mackrel". Matilda did her best to disuade me, reasoning that Mackrel tend to feed round sewage outfall pipes (no treatment plants back then) so the fish were tainted, dirty and unsafe. These dire warnings encouraged me further and I insisted on smoked mackrel or nothing - and so started a likelong taste for the fish. The same applied to girlfriends as I recall, I ditched one just because my mother approved of her!
And so the epic Thames circle was completed, and I had fallen even further under the watery spell.