I was sitting in front of my tent heating up water for coffee first thing this morning when the campsite owner, and horse rescuer, came to tell me the (only) toilet was blocked. She stayed to have a little chat and was halfway through her best (only) cycling story – about the time she rode 20 miles to Billing Aquadrome and was too tired to ride back – when Raisin shot out of the tent in pursuit of one of the 10 resident cats. The lady didn’t seem bothered so I continued to listen to her stories. By the time I found Raisin, she was clearing up after last night’s barbecue, crunching on a bone that had been dropped in the grass. I got it out of her mouth but doubted it was the first, and worried for the rest of the day about perforated bowels.
It was misty when we set off, and chilly, as we headed east towards Northampton, through little villages and open country. At Weedon Bec – Best Northamptonshire Village 2015 (not the prettiest, or the tidiest; simply the best) – I bought bread rolls and Supernoodles, for lunch and dinner, and chocolate, for my soul.
By the time we reached Northampton the sun was shining bright and hot, and I rode, and Raisin ran, straight through the middle of town on well marked and well surfaced cycle paths, mostly along the river Nene (pronounced ‘nen’ round here). It was super.
At a park we stopped for lunch and a sweet young couple asked if they could play with Raisin. They told me they had to leave their dog at home in Poland, and missed her terribly. Raisin played balley with them for ages until she was too hot.
The path east out of Northampton follows the A45, initally on a raised bank some distance from the road, which was pleasant, and then right next it, which was not. But at least it was safe, and direct. We are staying tonight at a new marina on the Nene, in Earls Barton, not far from Wellingborough. We passed Whiston church on the way, perched on a hill, and can see it now from the tent.
The setup here is more upmarket than at Badby and the toilet works fine. It was a treat to have an Indian takeaway for dinner rather noodles again. It was delivered here, and I ate it at the camping area’s picnic table chatting to some boaters who were cooking a meal on the barbecue. On the menu was chicken and chorizo kebabs, and ‘evasive’ American crayfish they had caught earlier (with difficulty, presumably).
If Raisin has been damaged by last night’s barbecue bones, she has shown no sign of it so far but her output this evening suggests she did find plenty to eat, whatever it was, when I wasn’t looking. She is such a greedy guts, but I love her.