Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Mum.

Today saw us have a nice leisurely cruise from Kings Bromley to Huddlesford Junction and return. The occasion was an excuse to get out the marina really, but it coincided with Johns Mums birthday this week and she's always up for a trip out. She used to holiday with us on the boats, but due to poor health, limits her time now to days out, so what better 'present' to celebrate her 88th birthday.
'The birthday girl'

We left Kings Bromley at about 10am and tootled down towards Fradley. The rhododendrons are beginning to bloom, but the hot spell this coming week (fingers crossed) should mean they are soon spectacular. 

A short queue at Wood End lock (as always) and then down into Fradley and through the swingbridge. We noticed that the volunteer lock-keepers were again on duty at Junction Lock. Not sure yet whether I'm for the idea or not, but I do find it hard to knock folks with such enthusiasm, although we didn't require their services today.

At this point Louise realised she had omitted to bring a crucial ingredient for lunch....... bread !! Off she went to the shop at Fradley Junction telling herself to stay calm in the event that they didn't stock a loaf, but as luck would have it there were two left and so she relieved them of one and they relieved her of £1.50 for the privilege.

Once we had the full requirements for lunch, we cruised down as far as Huddlesford Junction and winded before mooring up for lunch near to the proposed new Pridewater Marina just beyond Streethay. We had passed a couple of months ago and were expecting to note some progress, but there appears to be none at all. Having checked the internet tonight I see that the opening has been delayed until May 2013 due to issues regarding connection of services....Hmmmm I wonder !! It was also nice to see The Plough has reopened and it was quite busy. Just hope that the prices are more sensible than in previous times.
It's been a long day zzzzzzzz 
Nest in the brickwork

After lunch, John walked Jasper back towards Fradley. He is now 14 weeks old and quite happy to walk alongside us off the lead and enjoyed the sounds and smells of the towpath, before spending the rest of the journey fast asleep. 

There were plenty of gongoozlers at Fradley, not that Joyce noticed as she was fast asleep, much to the amusement of those on the towpath.

As we got up to Wood End Lock, our marina 'neighbour' appeared on his bike  and was rewarded with a cold beer for locking us through. 

On entering the lock we noticed a nest in the brickwork of the bridge which was full of baby chicks. We presume swallows, but no adults about to raise the awareness of passers by. We just hope that they survive their precarious position

You can just about see the chicks
Next weekend sees us off out for 9-10 days, heading for Coventry initially as we have tickets to see 'Coldplay' in concert, and then off up the Ashby for the Diamond Jubilee weekend. Let's hope the weather improves as predicted.

Total 12.5 miles  6 locks

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