Pastures New

Thursday 18 April 2019

We hadn’t planned to leave the marina again until after the Easter break but the weather forecast for the weekend was so glorious and the following week showery we decided to bring our plans forward.

So, after doing a few jobs, we left just after mid-day and made the lock-less 5 mile trip into Rugeley, through the Armitage Tunnel (which isn’t really a tunnel any more, just a very narrow bit with a bridge over it) and tied up near Tescos where we did some shopping  before spending a quiet night there.

Friday 19 April 2019

We had arranged to take our friends, Pam & David, for a short trip today so we had a quiet morning and met them in the afternoon and went up to the winding hole past Taft Wharf and back again.

We just found a slot again to moor in then finished the day off with a Chinese takeaway from Peter’s Kitchen (a traditional Cantonese name?).

Saturday 20 April 2019

Today we set off at 10:40 and at Great Haywood there was a ‘Floating Market’ with traders selling their wares from boats, we weren’t tempted to stop, even if we could have found a space to moor.

So we continued through Haywood lock and turned onto the Staffs & Worcs canal at the junction stopping for lunch on Tixall Wide, a stretch of canal made to look like a lake to appease the local landowner.

After lunch we pressed on to Radford Bank (near Stafford) where we found tonight’s mooring and took some refreshment at the eponymous pub.

Sunday 21 April 2019

This morning we treated ourselves to breakfast at the Radford Bank Inn before leaving. Can’t say ‘carvery style’ works well for breakfasts as the fried bread was positively curly under the heat lamps, but a new batch of fried eggs were brought out just in time for us, however we thought the cost was very reasonable at £4.49 for ‘all you can eat’ but a bit cheeky to offer mushrooms, then charge 89p extra and £1.99 for a cup of tea.

With no washing up to delay us we set off to tackle the 5 miles and 5 locks to Penkridge. We met boats at every lock which was helpful and encountered two fishing competitions on the way.

We were able to tie up in the sunshine on Penkridge visitor moorings. Being Easter Sunday, Joy cooked us a roast lamb roast dinner and we spent the night here with the murmur of the M6 in the background.

Monday 22 April 2019

An early start this morning  as Jane and Gordon (who moor nearby) had offered to take us to Penkridge Market & Car Boot Sale so they picked us up in their car at 8:30 am and we spent a few hours looking for bargains then all came back to our boat for a lunch of pies & pasties purchased from ‘The Cheshire Pie Co.’ who had a stall there.

With such an early start we were confused (time-wise) for the rest of the day as the afternoon seemed endless, however just as we decided to watch a film on TV someone opposite decided to do some hammering in their new shed and the TV signal kept dropping out so we decided to go through Filance Lock and moor by the Cross Keys pub. No we didn’t go in but Chris walked to the Balti Palace to get a takeaway in the evening, on the way a passing car tooted and two young women waved frantically at him. He says he has no idea who they were and it must be his film star-like good looks…. or a case of mistaken identity.

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Today was Saint George’s Day, or was it? According to The Church of England, Saint George’s Day can’t fall in Easter Week so it should be transferred to the following Monday but nobody told the politicians! (ITV News Report)

This morning we pottered up to Otherton Boat Haven where Jane and Gordon have their mooring as we are going to join them there. We saw Jacqui, the owner, and were given a spot which may or may not be permanent and told “let’s leave it until tomorrow  to sort things out”.

Duckings, herons and lambs snapped on the way!