Monthly Archives: Mar 2018

Curtains! 30th March


P1260663smLast night we realised that we still had quite a few things to do before heading off downstream on the River Severn. So we decided that we’d get them done this morning and then see what the weather was like before setting off. To make it to the Droitwich Barge Canal we wanted to be on our way by 2pm as there are locks on the river which are manned by Lock Keepers.

The anchor needed to be attached at the bow and set out for easy deployment should it be needed. It also needs to not be in the way of getting on and off at the bow.

Whilst Mick was sorting this I took the opportunity to take down the Saloon curtains. Being hooked up still meant the washing machine could be used. Our dark blue curtains have been up a year now and were in desperate need of a wash.

P1260669smP1260671smBecause they are on poles at the top and bottom the brackets needed to be removed at either end. Tilly spends quite a bit of time using the curtains as a hammock, so that she can sit and be admired on the towpath side. She either backs into the corner or goes in head first and then does a pawstand to turn round.

P1260672smP1260678smNeedless to say the curtains, despite having been defurred only a short while ago, were covered in her fur again, there is also one tear (TILLY!!!). So out came the lint roller and a present we were sent by Joa (Tilly’s number one fan), an AmazeBrush. Using both of them I managed to remove a whole cat’s worth of fur before they went into the washing machine for a gentle 30C wash.

P1260675smI tried to make her leave me just one curtain!

With the windows now easily accessible I decided to give the frames a good clean. The channels get gunked up somewhat, so a chance to clean them out and make sure the drainage holes were clear couldn’t be missed.

When they were finished in the machine the curtains were hung back up to dry on their poles. They all came up very well. Just a shame we’d put all the brackets into a mug along with the screws for safe keeping. Not all the brackets are the same, only a subtle difference in the diameter or depth of the hole that the pole sits in. So it was hard to get all the holes in the oak window trim to match up with the brackets. We managed to get it so that only one new set of holes needed to be made.

P1260652smPlenty of boats were moving around the basin today, the start to peoples summer cruises going on. There were also plenty of people who stopped for a chat. By lunchtime we still had shopping to do, diesel and coal to get, so we wouldn’t make our 2pm deadline.

P1260683smThe bedroom curtains came down to be washed and I set off to the shops. Lidl is a short walk up the towpath and provided me with just about everything for a Sunday roast. I should have walked there via the shopping street as when I returned with my full bags I passed two butchers still with good looking joints on show in the late afternoon. A large Co-op has plenty to choose from including a deli counter, oh well our Sunday dinner will still be tasty.

0 locks, 0 miles, 11 curtains washed, 1 anchor attached and positioned, 1 so so bored cat, 0 sausage rolls left, 3 window frames spotless, 2 butchers, 1 greengrocers bypassed, 1 soggy wet afternoon.

I Knew Where My Funnel Was! 29th March


P1260564smWith more washing on the cards and an engine service imminent we got on with more chores today.

P1260559smP1260562smMick got on with changing the oil and tightening the stern gland. Not sure if it was just a ‘boy look’ but Mick couldn’t find his oil funnel in the stern lockers, so he made a request to use the one we’d bought for topping up the water tank when the canal was frozen. This had been marked and stored away in the galley for safe keeping (I knew where my funnel was!). As we’re not likely to need it until next winter I let him use it.

P1260537smP1260566smThere is just no point in even thinking about spending much time outside today. Anyway Tom still doesn’t want me to help him in the box at the back, so the doors stayed shut. So I just had to keep an eye on the wagtails from inside instead and help with the washing.

P1260592smI got on with  a bit of research regarding paints. The other day Mick found a section of grab rail where the paint is starting to lift, I also came across a small bubble under one of the cleats on the grab rail. Even though I touched up the paint on Lillian a few times I wanted to double check on the right things to use for Oleanna. Being almost next door to Limekiln Chandlers it would be silly not to pick up anything that I needed. After reading and watching a couple of youtube videos it looks like I wasn’t just getting away with it, I just needed some more primer and some suitable undercoat. A quick dash through the rain and we were stocked up.

Oleanna had a sweep through and more loads of washing went through the machine.

About a month ago I was reprimanded by my friend Frank for the lack of sausage rolls being made onboard of late, apparently Steve has been missing the photos of them!

P1260568smI’ve not been making them as often as I used to, mostly due to me trying to avoid normal pasty. But in Sainsburys the other day they had gluten free puff pastry, so we bought everything needed. Because Josh, my nephew won’t be eating them it meant that we could get pork and apple sausages and add red onion, instead of just using caramelised red onion sausages. Josh doesn’t like the strings of onion, he pulls them out! So for lunch I made a batch even though we weren’t planning on cruising anywhere.

P1260571smP1260573smJust for Steve I’ve included extra photos here of them being made. They smelt so good. Mick had just finished changing out of his oily clothes by the time they had cooled off enough to eat.

P1260575smVerdict on the pastry. It was okay, nowhere near as puffy and flaky as normal pastry. I’ll do them again for us, but if we have visitors I’ll use normal and put up with the side effects myself as I wouldn’t be able to resist them.

0 locks, 0 miles, 3 more loads washing, 1 litre primer, 1 litre undercoat, 9 litres of oil, 1 funnel, 2 ramp visits, 16 sausage rolls, 2 days worth, 1 very soggy day, 1 year almost since Steve visited!

Dong, Dong, Dong! 28th March


P1260553smThe flashing lights at the fairground go out at around 8.30pm and the basin becomes that bit calmer. A peaceful place to moor, well until the clock dongs! We wondered if it would go on all night, ringing out the hour and I can assure you it certainly does at 12 midnight, 3am, 5am, 6am, and 7am. At least that meant I slept for at least three hours straight.

P1260543smWe woke to rain, not much good for getting the starboard side washed and polished, but during the morning the skies cleared up and I got the buckets out.

P1260532smThis is one of THOSE moorings! NO trees, no sideways trees, nowhere to dig and even the wall isn’t that inviting to climb. I tried my best to help with the washing but apparently my help wasn’t required, so I took to sussing out what was under a rampy bit. At one point it appeared as if Tilly was walking on water underneath the pontoon that leads to the permanent moorings. Maybe it was just the way her tail was, or there is something submerged under there that took her weight.

Mick gave the chimney a good sweep, but sadly this meant that the roof got a good covering of soot. I’d held back washing until he’d finished. A spray down with the hose just moved the soot around and most of it was on the offside so it will have to wait until we moor the other way round again. Our grab rail is a little bit too bulky to cling onto, along with the reduced grip of my right hand I won’t risk standing on the offside gunnel anymore.

Half the roof was washed before lunch followed by the cabin side. I then started to apply some polish just as the heavens opened! I’d started so had to finish and kept bobbing back out in between showers. I’ll have to check it’s not a state tomorrow. The windows then got a wash assisted by Tilly following my every move inside. Now I need to wash them inside!

Mick spent the day doing loads of washing. Being hooked up has meant that the machine has been going for much of the day. At first he started to use the tumble drier in the service block, but it devoured ten units for one dry which equates to nearly £7. So the drying was done on board instead, slower but much cheaper.

P1260546smDuring the day NB Zelda came down the lock to fill up with water, so we had a chat with them. Our paths may well cross later in the year. An old BW work boat Scorpio came down late afternoon and has been moored by the Tontine Hotel. This may be it’s mooring or it may just be here for Easter. The lock was filled and emptied several more times during the day, but this was to lower groups of kids in canoes. You could hear them coming a mile off, they sounded like they were having a good time.

The level of the sides of the basin make for a big step up onto Oleanna, the water only being half an inch lower if that. I’m really surprised that I didn’t get soggy feet each time the lock emptied.

Still no news from Finesse, a shame as here is ideal for a visit. But we’ll stay tomorrow anyway and do more washing.

0 locks, 0 miles, 3 boats, 3 locks of kids, 1 interesting ramp, 1 holy cat, 2 swans who weren’t too happy with Tilly, 1 swept chimney, 0.5 roof to rewash, 80% shiny, 20% filthy, 3 loads washing.

25%. 27th March

Wolverely Lock to Stourport Upper Basin

P1260480smJust as we were about to roll the covers up for the days cruise a boat came past beating us to the lock. So we prepared Oleanna at a more leisurely pace. Down the lock and on towards Kidderminster. At the second lock it looked like someone was about to come up as a chap was opening up the top paddles. He’d done it all a bit too quickly and it was soon obvious that he’d been setting the lock for us. This was Jim, one of those people who have adopted a length of canal and spend their days helping boats through the locks, not an official C&RT Volunteer Lockie. He was a very jolly chap, chatting away about his beautiful canal. Advanced warning that we’d need a handcuff key to get through the next few locks and that three boats were heading up stream from Stourport, soon to arrive so no need to close the gates. He was right and we met all three boats in the next half mile.

Kidderminster has a lot of shops just by the canal, very handy for stocking up the cupboards. So we moored up outside Sainsburys and went in for what I thought would be a top up shop. Firstly they had 25% off clothing, always worth a look, but neither of us found anything we wanted. Secondly and more importantly they had 25% off wine! They were even boasting about over the tannoy, so what were we to do!

IMG_20180327_135726617smA quick whisper between us (so that Sainsburys couldn’t hear!) and we planned to do a food shop and stock up with cat litter etc. Hopefully we’d get a voucher for triple points, then we could return to stock up on wine. However they had heard us and we only got vouchers for extra points on the things we’d just bought. It didn’t put us off though, as I stowed the first shop and made space in the wine cellar for six boxes Mick returned to buy them. he also had a look at what was on Sale in Maplins. They were having a closing down sale, but sadly he saw nothing that he thought we’d need.

After lunch we pressed on. A boat was coming up in Kidderminster Lock when we arrived so Mick dropped me off and I walked up to help. The chap said they’d had such a going on, not knowing that they’d need a handcuff key for these locks, ‘It didn’t mention it anywhere in Nicholsons’. I’d forgotten too, but at least I only had to walk back to Oleanna to get one, the chap had had to cycle back to Stourport presumably to buy one. By the sounds of it they were planning on heading up into Birmingham where they would defiantly need one.

P1260492smAs I walked back to the lock they were nearly up, apparently the off side paddle couldn’t be unlocked (I should have tried as sometimes an older handcuff key works better) and the bottom gates were leaking. He’d tried to open the gate but had no luck and was walking back to check that the bottom paddles were closed properly. I walked over the top gate and leant on it, it was so nearly there just a second person leaning on it would have been enough. But the lady at the helm had decided that the gate needed to open and this wouldn’t happen without help from the boat. She engaged gear, as the boat sped up her husband suggested she took it easier, I winced as she hit the gate! The boat bounced back. Her husband came to join me and the two of us gently pushed open the gate, luckily no harm had been done.

I was really quite shocked  by what had just happened. The chap took over the helm and as they left the lock the lady said they’d had such a day, all sorts of bridges, locks. She was obviously after some sympathy, but sorry she got none from me. Lets just say I’m glad she only ‘nudged’ the gate and hadn’t felt the need to ram it, as we’d all have still been there now!

P1260502smWe continued on working our way down the next few locks and meandering our way to Stourport. This stretch seemed more familiar to us. We started to look out for good places that we might be able to meet up with Finesse. The Bird In Hand pub seemed a possible and not too far to return to if there was nowhere else. The visitor moorings before York Street Lock were almost empty, just one boat, NB Zelda who we’d shared the locks through Wigan with last year. We moored up and Mick walked down to the Upper Basin to see if there was anywhere suitable and free there. A boat was just pulling in taking up the last space, so we decided to stay put and see if someone moved off in the morning.

P1260530smA half hour later just as we’d settled down for the day the boat came past, there must now be a space. Mick popped down again, there was space for us. Covers were rolled up again and we descended the 12ft deep lock into the basin. With Oleanna winded I’d be able to wash the starboard side. The boat behind us had been having engine trouble, but once it had got going they moved off as well, so we moved back into his space. The view wasn’t quite so good as at first, but with an electric post just behind us that took C&RT cards we got hooked up. Perfect, there is parking right next to us for a van, electric and water. So even if Finesse don’t make it out to us we’ll have clean clothes and bedding before we leave.

DSCF7114sm6 locks, 6 miles, 1 helper, 25% off, 6 boxes, 1 set of stern treads only just touching the floor, 0 to buy at Maplins, 1 ram nudge, 0 peculiar bridges, 2 moorings, 1 wind, 1 electric bollard, 1 fire left to go out, 1 cat not allowed to go out!

So This Is Where It Was. 26th March

Kinver to Wolverely Lock

Another sunny morning a bit of dew visible on the freshly mown lawn across the way (he started at 8am yesterday morning, old time 7am!).

P1260394smPootleing out through Kinver there are three houses on the off side. A boat the size of a day boat had just come past us and was now moored up outside the first one. Looking at maps we couldn’t see any road access to these properties, OS maps have a footpath marked. So anything large would need to be delivered by canal and certainly the pile of coal bags by the mooring backed this up.

P1260403smOn we pootled through the sun, spring is with us and today we saw our first duckling bobbing about rushing to catch flies. That is however the down side to the sun coming out and warming the world, the flies have also come out!

P1260409smAt Whittington Lock we waited as a boat ahead of us worked it’s way down and then we reset the lock and followed suit. Here the lock cottage sits right over the bywash, they seem to have had problems with damp as the outside of the brickwork looks as if it’s been covered in something a little like clingfilm in the past, this is now hanging loose in parts. A pretty setting despite the sewage works across the way.

P1260427smP1260431smThe boat in front had pulled in just short of Debdale Lock so we were no longer following them, we still had to reset the lock. Alongside the lock chamber is a sandstone cliff, in which has been carved out a large room. This is the first lock that hasn’t had a very handy bridge across the bottom gates. There is one but it is more a footpath and you have to walk down the towpath, climb over a style before you can get to it. The bottom gates do have a plank on them to cross there, but only the gate paddle mechanisms to cling onto leaving a big gap in the middle. I don’t jump from gate to gate anyway, so the trip round to open them was a long one. Mick tried with the boat hook to close the offside gate once Oleanna was out of the chamber, but these locks are so deep and the lock beams very new so there was little to push against before there was no space left. So another walk round was required.

P1260435smA mile further on and we reached the moorings that we’d thought were in Kinver. There was the lock, the bench to eat chilled medication on, the river and crazy golf, we had reached Wolverely. We pulled in and had some lunch, Mick partaking of a pork pie bought in Kinver, not one to rival a Vermeulen’s pie. Then under orders from Bridget (NB Blackbird) we walked up to the Old Smithy Tearoom for some chilled medication. This was far superior to yesterdays, Mick had Toffee Fudge and mine had so much chocolate in it, yum!

P1260436smWe walked into the village, which Bridget had described in a message this morning as a hamlet. This had worried me slightly and wondered if it would be similar to Owd Nells up on the Lancaster Canal. But luckily Wolverely is a proper hamlet, not fake.

P1260439smP1260444smA brook drifts through the village, a line of pretty cottages sits beside it. A large pub and village store at the centre. I suspect the bakery may have been part of the village store which sadly had already closed for the day, so we couldn’t look round there. As we walked to have a look up the hill we both did a double take at a building that jumped out at us. Now housing we were looking at what had been Sebright Grammar School, very smart indeed. The school is now further up the hill along a road carved through the sandstone. It was kicking out time for the kids and the pub car park was full of waiting parents.

P1260442smP1260446smThe villages around here seem to like to have their churches as close to God as possible. High up on a hill over looking its flock sits St John the Baptist. We followed the winding road up to the main entrance passing houses that have been built from sandstone blocks, bricks and all sorts, lumpy bumpy houses.

P1260454smInside the red church is quite simple, although a balcony runs round all three sides. We had a good look round and then perused the grave yard. This went on for what felt like miles. Surly the village wasn’t big enough to have had this many people!

P1260470smWe then followed the footpath back down the cliff, cut deep into the sand stone. P1260476smAt the bottom the Sleepy Hollow cottage was for sale  with it’s own Man Cave £330,000. Further round the village a bigger property is for sale for far more (Link). Think we’d prefer the first one if anyone is feeling generous.

DSCF7121sm2 locks, 4.1 miles, 3 roadless houses, 1 runabout boat, 1st ducklings, 1 large lockside cave, 1 lock moved several miles, 2 chilled medications, 2 schools, 1 loo in view, 1 pretty hamlet, 2.5 hours of tree climbing and river jumping, it’s good this canal.

Rocky. 25th March


P1260217smAt last we’ve managed to be in Kinver when the Rock Houses are actually open to the public. At this time of year they are only open Thursday to Sunday.

The walk up to the rocky outcrop takes you up Stone Lane where houses sit on the red sand stone, garden paths have been carved though it and you dice with death when the pavement vanishes and the road narrows. We survived despite drivers only looking for cars.

P1260226smWhite washed walls and bent brick chimney stacks sit high above. With the sun out there were plenty of people about, so we followed up the path to the houses.

P1260231smWe’d let our National Trust membership lapse and had had long debates as to whether to join again. I’d totted up the entrance fees for places we are likely to pass this year, they amounted to two thirds of joint membership, would it be worth it? Well knowing us when considering visiting somewhere we would be put off by the fees at some of the bigger houses, so we decided to bite the bullet and join again. We now have to make the most of it. The chap took our details and handed us our receipt which should gain us entrance until we receive our cards.

P1260280smP1260238smThe Holy Austin Rock Houses sit carved into the red sandstone. The stone is so soft that it was easily worked by hand to create rooms, doorways and windows. The first formal record of the Rock Houses dates from 1777 in a book by Joseph Healey. Whilst walking along the edge of the cliffs he was caught in a thunderstorm, he feared for his life and clambered down the rock face towards where he could see smoke rising. Here he was offered shelter and was amazed at how clean and cosy the houses were. In 1830 six families were recorded to be living in the rock, the houses were passed down from generation to generation, The Shaw family being resident for some 150 years.

P1260251smP1260277smLiving on the edge of the countryside they avoided much of the pollution form the industrial revolution, the families tended to live longer lives than those who toiled in the local iron works. Towards the end of the 19th Century local industry died and many people were forced to seek work nearer to Birmingham. Kinver revitalised itself when wealthy business men moved out to the countryside, in 1901 a light railway (more a tramway) linked Kinver to Stourbridge bringing day trippers. The families in the houses took advantage of the tourists visits, inviting them in and offering them tea and cakes, one young girl seemed to be constantly baking to keep up with the demand from the curious town dwellers. J.R.Tolkein most probably visited around this time and it is thought that the houses gave him the inspiration for the Hobbit Holes, descriptions of Bag End being very similar to that of the houses and gardens at the time (Link to article).

P1260297smP1260305smBy the 30’s the houses had been connected to the local gas supply, but people were moving away. The last family moved out shortly before the outbreak of WW2. A small cafe stayed open through to 1967, but then the site was abandoned. The houses became unsafe and vandalised, the amount of names carved into the surfaces resembles hieroglyphics. For safety they ended up being cut off which most probably saved them for future generations. The remains were taken over by the National Trust who had to demolish some of the dwellings as they were too far gone by 1989. By 1992 a restoration project was set up.

P1260292smP1260311smThere are two houses laid out on display, large rooms with stoves to keep them cosy. The only inhabitants now a colony of Lesser Horseshoe Bats, a vulnerable species. A cafe sits high above in three rebuilt cottages.

P1260326smP1260349smOnce we’d looked round the houses it was time for some sunlight and views. Many paths cover the hill top and we followed one up to above the houses. From here we could see for miles and miles. Malvern, Wolverhampton and many places were in view today. The paths were full of walkers enjoying the first glimpse of spring that we’ve had. Grandad was helping (or not) two young girls to raise kites.

P1260343smP1260362smP1260371smWe walked round the purple route following the arrows, these however seem to take you on a bit of a further route than is marked on the map we had, so we took a short cut down into the valley below to find Nanny’s Rock. Here another rocky outcrop sits with it’s caves that you can climb through giving views out over the woodland. Numerous names have been added to the walls here too.

P1260384smWith it being a sunny day and we’d walked up and down steep inclines we deserved a treat. There was a dispensing van near to the houses but the variety wasn’t so good. So we stopped off at the Co-op and then found a bench to enjoy our medication.

When we opened the doors to the boat the smell of slowly cooking pork met us. It was a tasty joint, but sadly we’d picked one without much potential for crackling.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 very sunny day, 2 dices with death, 2 cosy houses, 3 squirrel stoves, 17,000 visitors, 150 cakes a year, 150 years residency, 1 joint membership, 360 degrees, 2 chilled medication (the new praline is very nice), 7 hours on the low stove, 2 hours tree climbing and river jumping.

So Where Was That Place?! 24th March

Greensforge Lock to Kinver Lock

The hire boat that had sped past the other day returned past us this morning, but far slower. This was either because they’d been advised to slow down past moored boats or they’d spotted the fishing match that had set up around us. According to the Lockie yesterday they had headed to Kinver to wind and then were due back at Norbury Junction on Sunday. Canal plan suggests this would take them 16.5 hours, so doable if the boat was due back late on Sunday, not our idea of a pleasurable cruise. Each to their own.

P1260083smWe were luckily at the end of the fishing match, one chap close to our stern and another at our bow. The chap in front was quite chatty and as we pulled away said he couldn’t have done it any batter himself. Nice to have a conversation rather than just a begrudging head nod or grunt. Soon we were at Greensforge Lock which was empty, so I walked down to check if anyone was approaching from below. The lock bridges make this tricksy, you have to walk to the bottom of them to be able to see and sure enough there was a boat just pulling in to come up. I waved them on walked back up, signalled to Mick that one was coming up and opened the gates.

P1260088smA small project boat came into the lock, a very proud lady walked up with a windlass. They’d had the boat since October but hadn’t been able to do much yet as everything had been ripped out  and for much of the time the cabin walls had been covered in condensation. Newly blacked and an extension just welded over the well deck they were hoping to make some headway. Being almost empty the boat was light and couldn’t help but be pulled at quite a speed towards the top gates, the chap at the helm was nowhere to be seen! The inevitable collision occurred, ‘We need to get new fenders too!’ but luckily no damage was done to their boat, the lock or the chap inside who was more interested in getting their broken generator off the boat. I pointed out that maybe they should move the boat back as the bow fender was about to catch the top gate, the chap was nowhere to be seen again. However we could both just push the boat back out of harms way, if it had been Oleanna we’d have had no chance. For an enthusiastic couple I’d have expected a little bit more care with their battered project, maybe when it’s complete they’ll have a bit more respect for it and the lock gates.

P1260094smP1260101smP1260092smA large immaculate garden sits along the off side, the house isn’t much to look at, but the garden more than makes up for it. The chap, John, who owns it also owns Ashwood Nurseries behind. He has won numerous medals for his plants through the years. It’s a shame we hadn’t been here last weekend when his garden was open to visitors. The money he raises goes to charity and it would certainly be worth the entrance fee.

P1260105smP1260115smWe made our way along the edge of red sandstone outcrops. At Rocky Lock there used to be a cave beside it, but what looks like a recent landslip has almost covered the entrance. The canal follows the curves of a river which is destined to meet up with the River Stour. Red sandstone on one side and boggy woodland the other.

P1260148smP1260156smAs we approached Stourton Junction we could see a coal boat coming towards us. A shame we didn’t know we’d pass NB Roach, another couple of bags of coal wouldn’t go amiss. Straight on and onto waters we’ve only done the once before. Stewponey Lock sits beside a busy road and a BW yard. Black and white buildings and the small toll house suggests an age where it would have been filled with hustle and bustle, horses and boats. Today it’s just the noise of the traffic. P1260165smThe lock gates have seen better days, some patching up has already happened, but I suspect some more will need to happen soon.

P1260173smThrough Dunsley Tunnel, all of 25 yards long, which really is just a fat bridge. It makes us laugh at the transit time on the signs especially when they say ‘1 minute’. A pootle around a rolling meadow to what we had planned to be our last lock of the day, Hyde Lock. The lock cottage has newish garden gates, miniature lock gates. Once below we started to wonder if we’d remembered Kinver correctly.

Normally between the two of us we remember places quite well, were there are places to moor, but today somehow the place we had planned to moor had been cut out of the canal and moved, but where too?! Back on Lillian we’d come through heading northwards. There had been a boat taking it’s time in a lock to get a disabled passenger on board. A pirate boat was coming through a lock and we had to wait, this was beside a pub with plenty of gongoozlers drinking their pints on a sunny day. We then pulled in and walked to a hut that sold chilled medication which we ate on a bench by Lillian before carrying on. Today there was a lock by a pub, but it wasn’t the right pub. This was the lock with the disabled passenger, where had the one above gone because we’d not passed through it and we’d planned to moor there!

We now think where we were thinking of is a couple more locks further south.

P1260204smA C&RT fund raiser came over for a chat as we worked our way down Kinver Lock. He was very chatty and not of the normal breed, he’d already got two people to sign up today so wasn’t going to hard sell us anything. Spaces in the visitor moorings gave us a choice of where to pull in for the day. A quick lunch and then a walk into the village to check out the butcher and get a Saturday newspaper. Sadly they had run out of our chosen paper, but we did get a nice joint of pork which I’ll slow roast on the stove tomorrow.

DSCF7114sm6 locks, 5.04 miles, 1 straight on, 1 chatty fisherman, +16 hours to get back! 1 bumped about project, 2 landslips, 1 lock missing, 0 chilled medication hut, 2 boaters with failing memory, 1 pork joint, 1 substitute newspaper, 1 twisted sock almost complete.