Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bringing the curtain down on 2013.

First of all, we must take a very heavy slap on the wrist for ignoring our blog for the last three months. Is it really that long since we tied up after our last summer trip? Granted, boating has taken a back seat since September, but not to have blogged for over three months is poor......

We are just back from a couple of days away on Blue Moon to round off the year. A bit of peace and quiet and short trips between pubs was the order of the day. Sunday was a lovely day with blue skies and sunshine, although the temperature could have been a little warmer according to Louise who unearthed her winter boating hat to keep her ears warm !!

'Komrade' Louise doing her impression of Deputy Dawg
Fradley in the winter sunshine
We spent Sunday night down at Huddlesford at enjoyed a lovely Sunday dinner in friendly surroundings. We stayed put as the wind and rain dominated Monday morning although John braved the weather and took Jasper for a three mile 'mud run' along the towpath which Jasper thoroughly enjoyed !!

A wet and happy Jasper
The weather improved on Monday afternoon and so we 'pub hopped' back to Fradley and moored above Shade House Lock. It is good to see that CaRT have been busy chopping back the trees on the non towpath side along the Coventry which was much needed. We came face to face with a kingfisher near to the new Kings Orchard Marina where we could almost reach out and touch it and then had very close encounters with a buzzard and a sparrowhawk perched in a tree approaching Brookhay Cottage.
The Swan
We spent the evening in The Swan at Fradley together with John & Pauline from nb Kali 2, who also moor at Kings Bromley. The pub was full of boaters and dogs and together with a cracking meal and a few good pints of real ale, what more could you ask for. You just can't beat the place. We were very tempted to hang around and go to the new years eve party planned there for tonight, but we have other plans in place so will save that for another year.

Jasper doing his impression of a ram, he's a Derby fan at heart.
So after mooring up for the last time this morning, another year comes to an end. The festive season has been a quiet one for us remembering those close to us that are no longer here. Our boating this year has been most enjoyable and we have met so many wonderful people whilst out on the cut, forming some great new friendships and meeting up again with others from previous years.

Our plans for 2014 are under way but not yet confirmed, but we hope to explore some parts of the BCN which we have not seen before, head back down to the Avon which we really enjoy but have not been back to for a few years and make time to re visit the Ashby and Macclesfield / Peak Forest. 

So to all our friends out there who read our blog, best wishes to you all for 2014. We hope to meet up somewhere along the way and enjoy the best that our waterways have to offer. Happy 2014 !!!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lots of comings and goings

We have had a very enjoyable and busy week since we last posted. We have welcomed several guests on board, visited relatives and thoroughly enjoyed the company of new found friends.

We said our goodbyes to James and Doug on Tuesday morning and headed off towards Mountsorrel. At the lock we met up again with David and Sheena on nb Tombee Too and cruised the remainder of the day with them, unfortunately in some quite heavy rain, although it did brighten up later on.
Unusual development at Mountsorrel with moorings

Jasper checking out the scenery
We travelled as far as Zouch cut and that evening we were visited by Johns friend Nick and his seven year old twin boys Jack and Hugh. They spent a bit of time with us and explored the boat and then we went and worked out how a lock raised and lowered a boat.

Hugh & Jack
Wednesday saw us head down through Kegworth, past the imposing Ratcliffe on Soar power station and onto the Trent, where surprisingly enough we met up with David and Sheena again at Sawley Locks. We travelled with them again and decided to call it a day just above Weston Lock as the biting wind finally won the day. They came aboard for a drink to round the afternoon off before we were joined by our friends Dean and Denise for the evening. It was great to catch up with them after some time.

Ratcliffe Power Station
Our mooring that evening was actually right opposite the end of the garden of Louise's Auntie Jean and Uncle Barry. Thursday morning was forecast to be windy and wet and it duly arrived right on cue. So off we went for a coffee with Jean and Barry and we returned a couple of hours later laden with some freshly cut runner beans and a big bag of plums.....well worth the little visit. We had so much produce, we shared it with David and Sheena and then arranged to travel up to Findern with them and have a meal at Nadee Indian Restaurant beside Bridge 21.

Stenson Lock
The weather really picked up and we had a decent afternoon trip. We enjoyed a drink aboard Tombee Too before our youngest son Luke and his girlfriend Annabelle also joined us....never ones to miss out on a free meal !!! The evening and the meal were excellent.

This morning we said our goodbyes to David and Sheena as they headed off before us. The last five days with them have been really good fun and it is scary how many things we have in common. We have thoroughly enjoyed their company and hopefully we will get the chance to do it again sometime soon.
David & Sheena nb Tombee Too
We then walked up to Mercia Marina and had breakfast at The Willow Tree coffee shop before meeting another of Johns workmates, Paul, and his partner Jane who were very excited as they were actually picking up their first boat, Lady Mellisa. It is quite similar to ours being an Aqualine and we had a good look round it with them before leaving them to settle in before they sail it back to Kings Bromley over the weekend. Best of luck guys !!

We finally set off late morning and have had a very pleasant cruise in some good weather. We passed Bruce and Sheila on Nb Sanity Again at Horninglow as they headed back towards Mercia Marina. We have moored for the night just above Wychnor Lock on the river section towards Alrewas, our last night before we head for home tomorrow. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Leicester and a Chance meeting

We were up and about early on Monday morning for our eagerly awaited trip through Leicester. Over the years we have heard all sorts of stories about this particular stretch....none of them particularly good and so we were delighted to be doing the journey with David and Sheena on nb Tombee Too.

After we both shuffled across onto the services at Kilby Bridge, we set off soon after 7.30am and enjoyed the run down through South Wigston and towards Aylestone. The countryside was pleasant and everyone we saw was cheerful. There weren't many boats moving at all and the majority of the locks were pretty much in our favour.
BM and Tombee Too at Kings Lock
We were surprised to find two volunteer lock keepers at Aylestone Mill Lock, but they were very busy as they locked five boats through in the space of twenty minutes.

Boooo hisssss..The King Power Stadium. Home of the enemy.
On into the city.....
The Mile Straight
and out the other side.....

Belgrave Lock and Space Centre
The northern side of the city was probably the 'worst' around Abbey Park, with a number of lager drinking folk occupying benches by the lock at Limekiln Lock, not that they were bothered with us. Surprisingly, we spotted four kingfishers between here and Belgrave Lock. 

Overall, the run from Kilby Bridge was most enjoyable, undoubtedly helped by travelling with David and Sheena and we certainly wouldn't have second thoughts about doing it again. 

We arrived at our intended destination at Watermead Park mid afternoon where we had arranged to meet James and Doug from Nb 'Chance'. They are at MGM boats at Thurmaston administering some TLC to their boat. We moored opposite and Doug was soon over to say hello and invited on board for drinks, soon to be followed by James taking a well earned rest from rubbing down the paintwork. We chatted for a while and Louise introduced James to 'Cheeky Vimto' a concoction of port and blue WKD. We arranged to meet later for drinks and a meal. 

We were welcomed aboard their lovely boat later before heading off out for a meal. Our first choice didn't do food on a Monday, so off we went to Paprika a huge Indian restaurant nearby. We had a lovely meal and a great time despite seeming to be the only ones eating. Not only was the restaurant huge, but the portions were so overwhelming that none of us got close to finishing. We ended a terrific night with coffee on board BM.
James, Doug, Louise & John. 
We had a thoroughly enjoyable time guys....it was great to finally meet up and we really hope we have the opportunity to do it again very soon. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lazy days at Welford and Foxton.

We decided to spend a few easy days on this peaceful stretch of canal and make the most of it. Friday morning was bright and still and we enjoyed the run up to Welford Junction, sharing the steering and dog walking as we went. We turned onto the Welford Arm which we haven't done for about three years, and soon were at the end on what is the highest point of The Grand Union Canal. We used the services and walked into the village to do a bit of shopping. By the time we got back, the skies darkened and the rain soon followed and so we decided to stay put. 
Welford Lock
It seemed as though everyone else had the same idea and by late afternoon there wasnt a mooring spot to be had. We ended up having a meal in the Wharf Inn - a good old boating pub if ever there was !!
Mooring at a premium at Welford. 
We had a meeting arranged with our friends Chris and Gratz on Saturday at Foxton around midday, so we left in the drizzle in good time, enjoying breakfast on the move. We only met three or four boats on the run to Foxton and couldn't quite believe how quiet it was when we arrived. We met up as arranged and enjoyed a drink and chat on the boat before we decided to descend the flight. We were able to go straight in and the lock keepers happily did all the paddles (probably to stave off the boredom of there being hardly any boats) whilst Louise and Chris did the gates and Gratz and I put the world to rights on the rear deck and discussed our respective retirement plans (she's got 11 days more to do than me which I kept reminding her of)
The obligatory Foxton snap

We had a very nice light lunch in the Bridge 61 pub, another proper boaters pub, and a very nice pint of Langtons Inclined Plane before Chris and Gratz joined us up as far as Debdale before we said our goodbyes. We continued on and were joined by an abundance of kingfishers. We must have seen five in the short time it took us to reach Fleckney where we moored just before Kibworth Top Lock for the night.
Today we have travelled down as far as Kilby Bridge. We did the trip with nb Tombee Too and crew David and Sheena. It made the trip very enjoyable and made light work of the locks. Unfortunately the weather gradually deteriorated, although the promised rain didn't materialise as badly as predicted, but the wind was difficult at times. 
The medieval church at Wystowe
Tomorrow we will travel with them again as we head through Leicester. It will be a first for us to travel through the city by boat and although we know it is a long day ahead of us we are quite looking forward to the challenge. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Busy Braunston and a cracking view.

Again posted late due to lack of signal

Thursday 12th September 2013

The forecast for Wednesday was for rain from early afternoon, so we set off early hoping to make Braunston before it arrived. The canal was very busy with traffic. We passed nb Darley and nb Whitby moored up in Rugby and then had a clear run through Hillmorton where there were friendly volunteer lock keepers on each pair of locks. The clouds started to darken as we approached Braunston and we were surprised to find it so busy in the village. I know it's Braunston, but at 12.30pm we were lucky to find the last spot at the far end of the marina, otherwise we would have had to enter the flight of locks. We stayed put for the rest of the day as the rain came as forecast. We did enjoy a late night wander into the village which lured us and the dogs into The Old Plough for a couple of beers.

Darley & Whitby
Today has been glorious. Early mist greeted us but we set off up the lock flight with nb William about 8am. They are from Derbyshire too and actually live very close to where John works so there was plenty to chat about. They were heading for Whilton Marina where they were putting their boat of 14 years on brokerage as boating was becoming difficult. You couldn't help but feel for them as they clearly wanted to continue. We dread the day when that decision comes for us...hopefully a good way off yet !!
Idyllic setting at Norton Junction
Once through Watford we enjoyed a cruise up through Crick Tunnel before stopping near to Bridge 14 and taking a walk up Cracks Hill. A really worthwhile trek with some fabulous views over the surrounding area. I'm not sure who were more tired when we got back to the boat...us or the dogs.

View from Cracks Hill with BM bottom left
View dominated by wind turbines...I quite like them. 
We stopped off briefly at Yelvertoft and walked into the village hoping to pick up some meat from the butcher, only to find that he has retired...how inconsiderate. We have moored for the night in a lovely spot near to Bridge 21...total peace and quiet. Just how we like it. 

Onto the North Oxford

** Posted late due to no 3G...bloody technology

Tuesday 10th  September 2013

The last few days have been a real joy and a good wind down for us. We travelled the remainder of the Coventry Canal on Tuesday morning, passing Caxton moored up in Nuneaton. Unfortunately no sign of Paul or Elaine as it would have been nice to meet them and tell them how much we enjoy their blog.
The Manly Ferry aka Caxton
The turn onto the Ashby Canal was very tempting especially as we haven't been up there this year, but I'm sure it won't be long before we visit it again. I've never quite understood Charity Dock and it seems to get more cluttered with sad looking craft every time we pass, but I couldn't help but chuckle at this little fellow perched on the bow of one of the boats. I even considered putting an offer in for
him, but was strongly advised not to !!!!
Marston Junction - The Ashby Canal
Can't see what the problem is myself !!
We stopped of at Hawkesbury and used the services before continuing onto the North Oxford. The Greyhound was very tempting for lunch but willpower won the day (it doesn't happen very often). We eventually moored up just beyond All Oaks Wood for the night.

Sutton Stop

Monday, September 9, 2013

Lovely weekend....but there's always one.

Well we are finally untied and off on our late summer holiday. Two weeks to negotiaite the Leicester Ring should be quite pleasant and relaxing. We are later than usual for our last main trip of the year due to other events and also it happened to be our eldest sons 21st birthday at the beginning of the month and it was considered to be rude had we been not been there to celebrate it with him.

Note we said it should be relaxing....boating is always relaxing, but this trip has things going on at home in the background as we have 'tradesmen' in at home providing us with a new kitchen and bathroom whilst we are away. Bringing it all together to make it happen has been an absolute nightmare and today we must have made and received half a dozen calls about matters which have already been discussed. We can't help but ask ourselves whether we have done the right thing, but its too late now and we just hope we can enjoy our holiday in a stress free environment.

Over the weekend we had our good friends Steve and Madeleine with us. They met us at the marina at Kings Bromley on Saturday afternoon and we had a pleasant cruise down as far as Huddlesford, mooring up just before the heavens opened. A nice meal in The Plough in the evening before retiring for the night.
Early morning skies at Huddlesford
Sunday morning was sunny and still. We had breakfast on the move as we had Sunday lunch booked at the Samuel Barlow at Alvecote. We were lucky at Glascote Locks. We were straight through, passing another boat between locks, but by the time we had ascended the bottom lock there were three waiting to follow us up. We arrived at Alvecote in good time and met with Steve and Madeleine's daughter Eleanor and her friend Rebecca who joined us for lunch.
Now that's our idea of a pub !!
A very popular pub and thank goodness we had booked. 30 people had booked for 1pm, but the quality of the food was excellent and the service very personal and friendly. 

We said goodbye to our guests and then headed on through Polesworth and moored before Grendon in a very peaceful location.
Steve, Rebecca, Madeleine and Eleanor
I have been reading blogs tonight and catching up on what folks are up to. The Manly Ferry and Maffi are two of our favourite blogs and both have recently named and shamed other boats who make life a misery for the rest of us. Well, we'd like to add a third. Nb Sark is the name. Whilst we were sat out on the towpath enjoying the world passing us by, we could hear a boat getting ever closer for  some considerable time due to the high revving engine.  When it eventually came around the corner into view the bow wave was one of the biggest we've ever seen. We looked in amazement as it continued to travel towards us with a token drop in the engine revs, but still far higher than any 'normal' boat. We just stared and looked in bewilderment as they obviously found it most funny and clearly knowing they were in the wrong. 

This morning we ascended the Atherstone flight which was as busy as we have ever seen it. As we exited Lock 6, who should be tied up on the lock landing but our friend nb Sark. By this time it was 10.30am and plenty of boats would have passed but still it sat there tied up and looking like having no intention of moving. Bloody ignorant.
Sark moored on lock landing...tw@ts
By the time we reached the top of the flight we had started to encounter some of the working boats coming away from the Shackerstone Festival held this weekend. We passed Nb Tench and then butty 'Australia' being bow hauled by a young lady on her own. We didn't envy the huge queue of boats waiting to follow her down. One boat was waiting a couple of hours before it finally started to descend the flight. After lunch and some shopping we headed off again, calling in at Springwood Haven to discuss a problem with our inverter when it is hooked up to the landline. Extremely helpful and knowledgeable and fingers crossed it is problem fixed.

Tomorrow looks like a decent day and so we will press on through Hawkesbury and onto the North Oxford. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Music to our ears....back to boating.

We can't quite believe that it's September already. We are getting ready to set off on our last big (for us) trip of the year this weekend. It's nine weeks since we finished our last trip and the weather has been glorious since then. We have met friends out and about on their boats during this time and longed to be out on the cut ourselves in the sunshine and all we have managed since has been a couple of days here and there which has been very frustrating.

We have been busy though with another of our loves.....music. The blog at the minute resembles the pages of N.M.E. rather than a boating blog, but for us they are good way of recording memories. Our last post detailed our fabulous weekend at Henley on Thames at the Rewind Festival and in this last week we have seen musicians from either end of the music spectrum - one just starting out on what we have no doubt will be a glittering career and the other, a music icon.

So, from the playing fields of the Derbyshire village of Doveridge last weekend, let us introduce you to JJ Rosa. Remember the name...you may well have heard it here first. Described as a mix of Jimi Hendrix and Amy Winehouse her sound is unique and the reviews she has had so far all indicate a really bright future. Originally from Stockport and now from London she is about to release her first album. She went down a storm headlining this small festival which also featured Brian Nash the former lead guitarist of Frankie Goes to Hollywood who gave a great solo rendition of 'The Power of Love'.

JJ Rosa
To have a listen and get hooked, click on the  link.....JJ Rosa - Boy Boy. From there you can actually download a FREE 4 track EP...I wonder if she needs an agent ??

Last night we headed off up to Leeds and the brand new purpose built concert venue, the First Direct Arena. Impressive it is too and well worth a visit if you ever get the chance to see your favourite band there. So the music icon......his music spans five decades and some of his musicians have played with him from the start or very early days.....none other than Elton John. We have seen him many times and with Louise being in the fan club we are lucky to get seats close to the stage. 13,000 were packed in and the show lasted a little under three hours without a break. The last half hour we were right up in front of the stage dancing away...it was just fabulous and everyone went home very happy.

Louise outside the arena
Just incase you didn't know who it was 
Signing autographs
So we are back to boating this weekend thank goodness. Of course, the forecast for the weekend is for some of the wet stuff. We are heading off around the Leicester Ring for a lazy fortnight from Saturday and hope to catch up with a few friends along the way.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Unwinding at Rewind Festival

Where does the time go? We've not blogged for several weeks now, but then again we haven't had time to do much boating either.

This weekend we headed off down to Henley on Thames with a group of friends (16 of us in all) and had a fabulous time at Temple Island Meadows at the Rewind 80's Festival. We had always fancied going and it just happened to coincide with one of our friends 50th birthday on Saturday (any excuse).  40,000 folks rolling back the years and listening to music of our younger years with bands such as ABC, Kim Wilde, The B 52's, Billy Ocean, Belinda Carlisle, Nik Kershaw, Heaven 17, Paul Carrack and many others. 

This was our first experience of Rewind, known as the friendly festival. Lots of colour and fancy dress outfits were on show and everyone in a party mood with not a hint of trouble to be seen. Pleasing 40,000 folks must be hard work for the organisers, but we had a wonderful time. Our only regret was not to have our boat moored on the river to return to each night, but we plan to put that right another year !!

Some pics from the weekend

View across the river from campsite
Kim Wilde putting on a great show
The Blow Monkeys were there too (they really were)
Our 'Birthday Girl' getting a good vantage point 
Cluedo - the hats had the rooms on them...brilliant
Not sure I'd want to be rescued by these two !!
Sunday was fancy dress day for us
Louise with 'Boy George'
ABC were just awesome

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Good weather arrives as we return home - typical !!

Well hasn't the weather been great this last few days. Summer seems to have finally arrived as we return to the marina at Kings Bromley and, even worse, we 'look forward' to work tomorrow morning. Having said that, the heat today has been really stifling and we're not sure we would be all that comfortable aboard. 

Our latest trip finished off with three days of lovely sunshine. Thursday morning we decided to stay put and do some washing and cleaning through the boat before we departed just before midday towards Autherley Junction. We had a really steady cruise following a trip boat from Coven to Hatherton Junction, and then enjoyed an ice cream at Gailey. We moored for the night just above Boggs Lock and enjoyed watching some of Wimbledon and drowning a few maggots. 
Left turn.

We decided to leave quite early on Friday morning and try to avoid the powerful sun later in the day. It was a cracking day to cruise with just a little breeze and the locks seemed to be in our favour all day. It was nice to see the renovations of the lock cottage at Deptmore Lock which were in full swing last time we passed two years ago.

Deptmore Lock
Tixall Wide was very tempting, although filling up with boats by 1pm in readiness for the weekend no doubt, but we decided to head for one of our favoured spots below Haywood Lock which we thought would offer some shade. We managed to squeeze between two boats and were moored up before 2pm.

We decided to go and find a bit of shade by the river and took some drinks and chairs with us and watched the world go by and the dogs had a great time in the water cooling off. 
Nice afternoon spot by the River Trent.
When we returned to Blue Moon we met the owner of nb Kingfisher moored in front of us. We got talking as you do and introduced ourselves etc. It turned out in conversation that he was a single handed liveaboard from Marsworth on the GU. 'Marsworth' we thought. We met a bloke from there last year - a right character who kept us entertained in The Navigation at Bugsworth for hours. It turned out that Dale and Dave were drinking partners in that part of the world. What a small world it is. We had a lovely couple of hours sitting outside the boats chatting (and drinking) and Jasper had great fun playing with Dale's eleven week old puppy called 'Nellie', 'a thoroughbred runt crossed with a collie' as Dale described her. We finished the lovely afternoon with a meal in the Clifford Arms and watched some of the tennis semi final involving Andy Murray until there was a brief power cut !!

We were in no rush to get back to the marina on Saturday - we never are. We said goodbye to Dale and Nellie on Saturday morning as they left about 9am. We took the dogs down to the river for a swim and even had a good paddle ourselves. After applying plenty of suncream, we set off about 10am.
Dale & Nellie - nb Kingfisher
Bad timing as we found ourselves waiting for a day boat as it emerged from Haywood Lock and then pulled out behind it. Entertainment at it's best - it's just a shame I wasn't in a position to photograph the carnage it caused. The steerer panicked as a boat appeared towards him and was clearly put off by the long line of moored boats to his offside, although there was ample room to get through. He made the mistake of putting the boat into neutral, thinking it would steer. As we know it won't, but then when he put it back in gear he pushed the tiller the wrong way and headed for the oncoming boat. PANIC - hits neutral again - no response. Points the tiller the other way - no response. PANIC - puts in gear - points tiller the other way (wrong way) PANIC - hits full throttle as a last resort and swings the stern of the boat round almost 90 degrees to collide with the first moored boat on the offside with a resounding thump. The owner of the moored boat quickly appeared and managed to remain relatively calm. A smile and raised eyebrows were exchanged between us and I took the opportunity to make a quick exit down the nearside !!

We were back tied up at Kings Bromley by mid afternoon and the sun was very strong. We wished we could just have carried on past. We have had a great trip and are totally relaxed and refreshed. The Weaver is certainly a place we will return to and it was nice to see the Shroppie and Staffs & Worcs again after a couple of years.

It was also nice to see our pet fish again in the marina (click on link) - next time there will be a hook attached !!

Let's hope that the good weather continues for a good time yet, although not the best for us hayfever sufferers. Roll on September and our next good trip to look forward to.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

All quiet on the beautiful Shroppie.

Apologies for the lack of posts this week, but there are a few reasons for this. Firstly, and most importantly it was Louise's birthday on Monday (21 again + VAT) and we met up with friends. Secondly we seem to have moored in the worst places to try and get any signal and lastly I'm getting fed up with 'Blogger' particularly when it comes to adding photos. 

Anyway, moans over and we are now down at the southern end of the 'Shroppie' near to Bridge 8 at Chillington. A lovely still and sunny evening sat in the cratch with a glass of wine...perfect. 

Since our last post which should have been there for all to see and wasn't on Sunday, we have covered some miles on the lovely Shroppie. We really enjoy it on here for the spectacular views and the secluded cuttings. It can be a bit monotonous with the long straights at times, but if we could alter one thing it is the vast number of online moorings which stretch for as far as the eye can see at times.

Monday evening saw us head to Overwater Marina where we met up with our friends Christine & Alan who moor there. Like us, they used to have shares in Inglewood, but have since bought their own boat too. We decided to stay in the marina as it made socialising and boat viewing much easier. We had a lovely catch up with them and had a top meal at The Lord Combemere in Audlem before heading back to Blue Moon for coffee.
Some may recognise this boat passed near Overwater. 
We made an early escape on Tuesday morning to tackle the Audlem flight. If you had to pick a flight of locks to work through this would be at the top of most lists we reckon. The lock gear is easy and the scenery is hard to beat. The only problem can be the strength of the bypass weirs and the one entering Lock 10 was in a particularly foul mood this morning. A little touching up required!!!
Looking up the Audlem Flight
We made it up the flight in a little over 2 hours, helped by some boats descending. At the top we passed our other ex shared boat Marbury (again) but this time with different owners, so we stopped for a brief word.

The locks were not finished for the day yet as we ascended Adderley and then Tyrley Locks before entering Woodseaves Cutting. It was noticeable how many landslips and fallen trees have occurred recently, but also the number of trees that had been cut back. It did appear wider than we last remembered it. We moored at Goldstone Wharf and had a lovely meal at The Wharf Tavern...one of our favourites, and it was certainly very busy for a Tuesday night. 

Folks were up and about early this morning. One boat decided that they would moor on the water point beyond us at 7.15am and leave their engine running whilst they filled for over half an hour !! We left about 9.00am and headed south. There were quite a lot of boats heading the other way and I would think the locks towards Audlem would be a long drag today (he says with a wry grin). 
View of 'The Wrekin' from Shebdon 
The former Cadburys Wharf at Knighton.

We stopped off at Norbury Wharf to fill with diesel. 175 litres with a base price of 76.9p saw the tank full to the brim. We always try to use Norbury (or Turners Garage) if we are out this way as it makes a decent saving on the cost of filling up. After an ice cream, we continued south in some decent weather and decided to keep going through Gnosall, Wheaton Aston and Brewood even though we could have easily moored at all three. Even the staff at Norbury Wharf were saying how quiet it has been and Countrywide Cruisers at Brewood had 12 boats moored up, some of which look as though they haven't been used at all this 'summer'. If these boats aren't out, they aren't earning money and people aren't putting money into the economy and subsequently people are going to lose jobs and firms are going to go under which is the last thing the waterways needs at this time. I hope I'm wrong, but all the hire bases we have passed on this trip seem to have more boats in than out.