Monday 27 May 2013


Love it when you learn something new and unexpected. Our Sunday steaks, bought at Nantwich market, were from Dexter cattle. In my ignorance, I'd never heard of them, but the stall-keeper was able to talk a bit about this breed which, apparently, is making a come-back and is great for traditional beef. Seems Pam Ayres keeps some: "If you’ve got a bit of land, a breed like the Dexter can work out a lot cheaper than the supermarket, plus they do a pretty good job of mowing the lawn." (cited by Wikipedia).

A week ago, at the home of new acquaintances John and Hilary, I discovered something else new. I'd always assumed hot-air balloons went wherever the wind took them, while the pilot took pot-luck. Not so. Apparently as you go up the wind will change direction at certain heights – the knack is to remember the changes. By adjusting the height of the balloon, you have some control over the direction of travel (says Hilary, an HAB pilot). Not so new was the confirmation that any landing in a balloon is basically a more-or-less controlled crash!

So the Erin Mae adventure continues to enlarge our horizons. We left our mooring at Audlem…

saying farewell to NB Robin, on which The Boat Band (Cajun roots) had been staying.

On our way up the remaining 12 locks of the Audlem flight we were helped by CaRT man Dick…

 and by Pam, who runs a dairy herd and sells excellent cakes from a stall at the top lock. She knew all about Dexters!


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