Thursday 5 September 2013

On the move again

It wasn't the 8 a.m. start we had briefly contemplated, but by 10 we were out of the marina and heading north from Great Haywood. We'd travelled up on Tuesday, and done lots of stuff on Wednesday, including tracking down Dave at Handsacre for yet another leatherwork purchase – this time a holster for that new windlass.

We'd thought that with school holidays over, the canals would be less busy, until we ran into a queue waiting to go up the very first lock. Seems that when the kids are away, all the old guys come out to play. My best beloved disembarked, windlass in holster, to go and give a hand, until she saw the blackberries. Then it was – "there's a boat coming down anyway, so they won't be short-handed", back into Erin Mae for a plastic container, and revert to hunter-gatherer.

Gathering blackberries while we may, at Hoo Mill

Coming up behind us was NB Rock'n'Roll, which I recognised from their blog. We only got to chat briefly to George, but not to Carol, who was busy being equally enchanted by the prospect of blackberry pie. We may not see them again this trip for a proper natter, either, as we're on a mission – to get to Congleton on the Macclesfield Canal by Saturday evening.

And so on to Stone, where my best beloved could not resist the sight of these characters definitely not on a mission.

We wondered whether their general disposition was due to the harshness of their work, the heat of the day, or the building next door, one of Stone's landmarks.

No time to stop and stare this time. We've tied up at Burlaston tonight, and that was one serious day's boating. Largely because it's probably going to tip down tomorrow, so it's been a pre-emptive strike at the lock-miles.


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