Wednesday 11 September 2013


It's amazing what this Erin Mae adventure leads to. It was another day for going not very far (drizzle, mizzle) and Oakgrove, whose praises Nicholson's guide sang, was just over a mile and a half away. It has a swing bridge, notorious in the past for the effort needed to open it, but now electrically operated.

Oh the power of the BW (CRT) key to stop traffic! As we approached, a single boater was waiting to go through, concerned that WWIII might break out by the time he'd operated the bridge, stopped the cars, got back to NB Empire, taken her through, secured his boat and walked back to the bridge to re-set it. So he'd waited for another boat, which turned out to be Erin Mae, and we went through together with a minimum of hassle. Both of us tied up just beyond the bridge to have some lunch and consider the rain.

Everything conspired to persuade us to stay. The Fool's Nook pub is in a beautiful setting, has a passable, basic menu should you decide to eat, free WiFi, a welcoming atmosphere and an open fire.

John went off there for a nibble, while we had fresh, home-made bread and soup. Mmmm! But we had  a problem. With fires for the last few nights, we'd just run out of kindling. The girl in the pub thought there was a place about 20 minutes walk up the road that sold firewood, and we thought a bit of exercise would do no harm. Off we set.

It was quite a trawl up the hill alongside the busy A523. After about half a mile we came to a care home complex, some houses and a sign indicating we were entering Macclesfield, which we hadn't anticipated. One of the houses was apparently being renovated, and outside the front door, along with some bits and pieces that looked as though they were bound for the tip, was this!

I walked up the drive and looked in the front window, whereupon a man having a snooze on the settee got up and came to the door. I apologised for disturbing him, and wondered out loud whether he had any need for the bag of wood bits. "Take it with you" he said, magnanimously. I did a double take, and came home with the prize.

So we shall have a fire tonight. If the wood's wet, or impregnated with some obnoxious substance, we can always go over to The Fool's Nook and enjoy theirs.


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