Sunday 22 May 2016

Blossom and bridges

I've had a few days off Reader, please excuse me.  

This was the best shot I could get of the whole row of beautiful blossom trees right here as we left here this morning.  Simply stunning.

This canal goes through a range of features, these lovely open high embankments and then into fairly deep cuttings.  Our turn now for a cutting, it feels cold to me as pretty much its another place where the sun doesn't shine....

Some most attractive bridges

The cuttings mean that the tow path is very very muddy in places, but here not too bad.

This place did make my heart melt a bit.  Its not been ruined by an enormous extension whacked on it, its next to a enlarged area of the canal but I don't think it is a turning area, in short, as pretty as a picture.  However not for me as there are no shops, restaurants, theatres or civilisation anywhere nearby.

Chillington Hall

Chillington Hall at Brewood Staffordshire, David knew I would like to visit here, HERE    but as usual we are in the wrong place at the wrong time and its shut today.  
There is a wooded avenue and a great bridge going over the canal too.  David took these.
Perhaps later in the year we can pop back.

The bridge to Chillington Hall at the end of a wooded avenue

On the stone you could see the marks of the stone mason had made all those years ago, sadly my photo was blurred.

New what is to be done with a situation like this?  Abandoned boats, I can easily see this one sinking completely in the near future.  It must be possible to trace he owners by previous licences, insurance etc.  So if they have had a period of grace to sort out a solution and  not fulfilled their responsibilities, shouldn't these potential hazards be removed prior to sinking?  From a cruising hazard to an environmental one?
I will email this photo to CART and see what their policy is.
Anyone have a suggestion?

David took this next to the only lock to do,  he loves these pigs and was very nearly an owner once when the daughters and I thought one would make a wonderful birthday present.

So here is is the service point at Wheaton Aston.  Its not mentioned in our new guide book at all, three water taps here too.  Not a mention.
It was here also that  the boat which had been following us went past us.  Another boat that had the captain stand holding his boat on a rope on a bollard and stand watching us.  Please do not think any new Readers that I expect help to do "My" locks, as I do not, but I find it mildly curious that boaters do this, as I always go forward to chat and help.  Its not the law, I just do it.  But anyway folks are allowed in this democracy not to speak. I respect that.

So as I say this non hire boat came past as I was brushing mats, I smiled and tried to make eye contact, no response.  Just then this young couple came past, a couple both wearing dreadlocks and earrings in eyes noses and lips and "Cor Blimey" clothes I asked if there was a rubbish point here and they were charming, friendly and showed me where.  Plus as I had accidentally left my windless on the ground  slightly away from the boat, the guy, stopped pushing his wheelbarrow, picked it up and placed it oh so carefully onto our boat and explained he didn't want me to lose it.  Now I merely describe this small event in the light of the other boat just gone past as a point to illustrate that Lovely Boaters come in all shades and sizes, not necessarily looking just like me. 
Here ends the lesson (Or rant) for today.

This swan had just popped off the eggs to grab some grass

We moored up here.  It was open, widen enough for chairs and David left me alone here to relax.

I have only brought winter fleece lined trousers this trip, so Amanda brought me a skirt to borrow.  There may have been a book and teacup involved here.

David playing with ropes.

David was quite excited to moor here, we are right opposite a farm with silaging going on.


 I made this after doing a stock check in the larder.  It is full of dried fruit.  This has preserved ginger, lemon peel, raisins cranberries, nuts and cherries in it.  Trouble is it falls instantly apart, so we are eating it sprinkled onto greek yoghurt with raspberries.

We had cycled just a mile to a nearby village to visit a "Community Pub".  I haven't come across this before although I have heard of Community Shops,  but as villages hereabouts lose their pubs I think the barmaid told us that this pub has 30 shareholders and they are looking for Tenants currently and then to restart doing food.  I wish them all success with it as it was busy with locals tonight.

So back to the boat for a casual supper of eggs on toast.

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