It’s over a week since I’ve blogged – the connection hasn’t been the best, so I’ve now got to play catch-up and remember what we’ve done the past week.
We moved from Barlaston to Stone on Sunday morning and just managed to squeeze into a mooring spot amongst the Boaters Christian Fellowship bods. We were waylaid several times and asked to go to their rally, but we declined. I managed to get an appointment on Monday morning with the local vet for Cassie’s booster jabs, and also for her sore ear. She needed some drops, but it’s all cleared up now. After her appointment we moved on again, this time to Great Hayward, where we spent the majority of the week.
On arrival we were pleased to see an old friend – Terry, of TR Boat Handling, who took us for our Handling Course last September. His training boat ‘Shropshire Lass’ was moored there as he was just finishing off a course. He usually works up and down the Shroppie, but because of the stoppage at Shebdon Bank he has had to change his route for the being. It was lovely to see him, and he came aboard to admire the boat and have a cuppa.
On Tuesday morning we went for a wander around the village while the engine service was being done at Anglo Welsh. We were pleasantly surprised at the reasonable cost. We also filled with diesel.
On Wednesday morning we were just about to set out for a visit to Shugborough Hall, when we got chatting to a lady on the towpath. The outcome was that she recommended a local couple who make boat canopies who were currently fitting one on a boat just the other side of the junction, so we went down to have a look and get a quote for the pram-hood canopy that we have decided to have, to give us extra weather-proof room when we are moored up. The quote was several hundred pounds cheaper than Wilson’s, and AJ’s and the work was of the best quality, so we decided then and there to ask them to make ours. We made an arrangement to meet the following day not far from their boat.
We then made our long awaited visit to Shugborough – we’ve been this way many times over the years and never been able to spare the time before.
The canal by the entrance to Shugborough, very peaceful and pretty
We enjoyed our visit, but had to admit that we’d been to better ‘stately homes’. The servants quarters and the kitchens were the most interesting, and there were ‘guides’ in costume, talking about their ‘lives’ – a kitchen maid, a laundry maid, and a footman. Rog liked the brew-house, and we both had a taste of the latest brew – a bit strong and hoppy tasting for me.
On Thursday we moved to Milford for our measuring up session with Tim and Lisa. Tim did some measuring up and made sure that he knew exactly what we wanted, then went back to his boat to bend the poles to fit. He then brought them back and put the fittings on - I must admit to a slight qualm as he drilled into the boat! By the time he had finished the wind had got up, so he decided to wait until morning to make the paper patterns for the canopy itself. So, at eight o’clock on Friday morning, they came back and made the patterns. As usual, I forgot to take photographs, but I will remember when they come back to fit it in two or three weeks time.
We left there at about 9.30 and made our way to Penkridge, where we are at the moment. We went to the Co-Op yesterday afternoon to replenish the store-cupboard, and then, this morning, we went to the market. Rog bought two new pairs of trainers, and I bought new socks. Also purchased were another couple of identity tags for Cassie (she’s always losing them), a couple of small rugs for the bedroom, and a few other bits and pieces.
We will move on to Gailey tomorrow – one of our favourite places on the whole canal system – I’m looking forward to seeing it again.