Thursday 9 May 2019

Cream teas and cold feet

This was a great bonus today, we met up with John & Louise who we do try to each year but it's tricky sometimes with geography. 

After a heavy shower we walked up to their boat and the grand chat-in started over coffee, it was then adjourned to the  The Swan aka The Mucky Duck at Fradley.  Its changed hands twice since we were last there and I can tell you the steak pies, from Coates Butchers in Alrewas and they were superb.
Later adjourned to WaL where we had a cream tea, well with maybe a little wine too.

They departed at bedtime but walked back to farewells over coffee and watering up.

WaL coming into one of the three locks today

At Shadehouse lock, saying goodbye to John & Louise from NB Ploddin' Along

Saying goodbye to the Wallies.

It was freezing this morning, over coffee I asked the others if it was overkill to out on my extra warm fleece lined trousers, No, put them on was the advice and I did.
The  journey around to Armitage, Handsacre and Rugeley was uneventful.

In Rugeley the flag of The Black Country, confirmed by a son-in-law that we are now in said country.

We caught up with a boat approaching Plum Pudding cutting, actually we almost ran into them as they were going so very very slowly, probably about the same speed as I go when I'm helming, but it was a benefit as her crew hopped off to see that the way was clear.  For non-boaty readers, Plum Pudding was an old single file tunnel now with the roof removed, but still only single file.  

Approaching Plum Pudding, look carefully to see her crew member checking for traffic coming.

She goes in with WaL following on closely afterwards.

The view behind.

Now before we knew it we arrived at Colwich Lock, this is always a bottleneck and we've never been through without a wait.  Not today, a single hander was coming out and although we waved as soon as we saw him the gates were shut,  I hopped off but as I walked unto the lock, I saw a man had opened them for us. 


I walked up, greeted him and thanked him.  Cute dog too.
"Parlez vows Français?" he asked
Oh golly, now straining my French from school and a couple of other trips (Paris with my sister looking at art) I thanked him in French, quickly removing "tu" and added the more polite "vous" then asked him how he was managing in England without any English, was it difficult?  
He answered by saying he was visiting Wales, now one of us was getting it wrong and it turned out to be him, he was English, lived in Little Haywood and had just returned from Hong Kong, appalled that the British don't speak other languages and had tried French on me.
I thought it a good joke and he walked along with us to Little Haywood telling us all about the area.

French Hong Konger.

The lovely Shrugborough now barely visible from the canal but in this exact spot.  In taking this shot a man on NB Centurion said hello and he read the blog, I should have asked your name sir, apologies.

Did I tell you it was freezing today?  Well which much laughter and hooting this lot came past, the boy on the back confirmed that "Yes his feet were a bit cold!"

With the heating on, we snugged up.

Supper was a bit of a hotchpotch.  So I baked red peppers cut in halves, they had tomatoes inside and a whole tin of green olives on the top with mushrooms, then halloumi cheese on the side and to top it off fried eggs on the top.  
So far this year David's favourite supper.

PS  I heard back from David Lewis, farmer with more knowledge than us and he says about this photograph;

The tractor was 'bed forming'. It follows a stone and clod separater and forms flat topped beds necessary for growing straight carrots and parsnips. Not for potatoes as they are grown in ridges often in pairs. 


  1. That Frenchy you saw at Colwich Lock told us he was a retired P&O Captain and that Narrowboats are just Sheds on Water
    We meet him quite often cruising up to Great Haywood

  2. Yes indeed he did say he was a retired merchant seaman. He was most amusing and very informative. Next time we are around there and are not under "Starters orders", we'll go exploring where he recommended.
    Anyway how are you two? Where are you two? Come visit!

    Big Fat Kisses to Steve.