Monday, 4 June 2012

One fine day

… in the merrie month of May a woefully wet June Jubilee weekend. After a suitably somnolent Sunday to recover from Saturday's exertions, with our attention divided between tennis from Paris, the pageant from the Thames and the rain on the windows, today beckoned bright and clear. Beeston castle was the target. We're getting to know this landmark, having passed it once on the way to Chester, and twice on Saturday's day trip. It's a constant feature of the view from the marina, sitting on a sandstone bluff that rises sharply from the Cheshire plain, at roughly 11 o'clock from where Erin Mae is pointing at this moment. Looking deceptively close…

Late afternoon sort of walk, we thought, so we set out at about 3.15 with an extremely late sandwich lunch in hand. Down the towpath towards The Shady Oak and Wharton's lock. This was a new test for my best beloved's artificial bit, not helped at all by yours truly picking the wrong route out of the marina, straight over a locked gate. That negotiated, she set a brisk pace – at the end of the day the Garmin told us that Erin Mae probably wouldn't have done it any quicker, in spite of my stopping to take photos of this and that, including…

These tiny field mice were so careless of their own safety, I nearly stepped on them. With no experience of such things, I don't have a clue whether they were relative babies, or if they're always that size – smaller than the top half of my thumb.

Well, we made Beeston Castle after four miles, had an interesting coffee break chatting to Edward III (one of the team putting on a medieval event team this weekend), and then hit the trail again. On the way home we stopped and chatted with Steve and Hazel on NB Lodestone, another Aqualine built around the same time as Erin Mae. It was interesting to see how they'd handled some of the questions we ourselves had had. Nice to meet you, guys!

But when we got back to the field mice, what should we find but one of them lying in the grass squashed flat as a pancake. So easy to do if you don't take quite enough notice of things around you, where you're going, what you're doing. Hm… yet another life lesson in there somewhere.


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