So late last evening we had collected last family members to visit of the season, daughter Verity, husband Mitch and Mitch's sister Gemma. Frequent Flyers to this blog may remember that Mitch is a Kiwi, has fast long legs and never sits still. He also likes to sleep a lot.
David and I thought the kindest way of waking them is just to set off. From where we were it takes about 10 minutes to arrive at the stop lock at Scholar Green, this was amusing as when we pulled up one boat was on the water point, another was parked back a bit then others all along. Its hard to tell who is exactly next in turn. I got off as a chap was turning the lock and opening the gate. He called us through. It turned out he was a single hander who effectively did the lock for us, David went through and hovered and Mitch and I turned it back again for him. So thats nice.
Yes Mitch only took seconds to get dressed and was on deck for duty. When's the next lock he asked?
"Well its in about another ten minutes then its just locks all day!" was the answer..... and so it proved to be.
|I am sure this has been much photographed but I liked it.|
|An old building left aside after other buildings erected all around at Kidsgrove|
So we set off proper down past Red Bull yard now on the Trent and Mersey canal again, we had worked this well by having Amanda to help on the way up and now three to help (Or do it all on the way down) Truth be told sometimes it hard to find enough locks to keep Amanda happy....
But having four crew does make light work I can tell you.
|This is looking back through the gloom to Mow Cop David and I visited yesterday|
|Daughter Verity in pensive mood|
|Verity and Gemma|
So it all continued very well, a couple of hire boats going our way, but they stopped for lunch breaks etc... We made grand progress then it rained. Now hire boats mostly have to continue in the rain but we don't, so a prolonged lunch occurred after a few hours it cleared off and as the forecast for the following day was rain all day we jointly made the decision to kick off again, passing the boats who had moored up for the day. Now Reader did I ever tell you that Verity loves dogs? Actually she is dog mad but can't have one because they work full time and live in London. When they were all small we had a Saint Bernard, which quickly became my fourth child. Just look what was on the tow path that afternoon........
|As they approached, she instantly rolled over to have her tummy rubbed|
|She's big, she hairy, she's slobbery and she was nearly stolen.|
|A Newfoundland, these dogs have webbed toes and love to rescue people from water|
|This looked precious and just left there....|
|Anyone know what it is?|
|Gemma and Mitch are very close, here they are kicking.|
|She loves him really.|
|How cute is that?|
To have five of us onboard was a challenge frankly... The best bit was the food, I have never had the fridge so RAMMED, so as we moored up ever so late for us at about 7:30pm but I had dinner ready, it was chicken ginger and red pepper stir fry and Cherry and almond tart that gave a wee bit more space in the fridge again.
Gemma was on the couch, the marrieds were in the spare bed and their bags were pretty much everywhere.
Drying five bath towels is impossible so some staggered showers ensued, David had his at 3am.