We wouldn’t have batted an eyelid a couple of months ago, at the delights that have felt so incredible today. We had to move for water and a pump-out but didn’t need groceries. Barry cycled to Nantwich on Monday, as he had a Greeting Card order to post, so he got some shopping while he was there. Today Pip and Mick, from NB Oleanna, our new lockdown boating buddies, collected our fruit and veg box at Bridge 95 from Nantwich Veg Boxes. Consequently, we thought we’d return to Calveley for a change of scenery, having not been there for many weeks.
On the three-miles or so journey to the winding hole and back to Calveley Services, we had a brief catch up with Jim and Sheila on ‘Flavours Afloat The Coffee Boat’. They’ve now headed towards Nantwich ready to trade this weekend. If you’re around that area, do go and see them and buy some coffee. They may even, dare I say it, have some home-made fudge for sale …
Filling Up and Emptying
At the water point, we got to know Duncan and Elaine, on NB Coddiwomple (love that name!) who we’ve spotted cruising past a few times. They’ve spent the lockdown locally too. Their (scuppered by COVID) plan was to cruise the Llangollen as soon as it opened on 27th March. With a booking next month for the Ribble Link, they’re not certain what the next few weeks will bring, but they’re hopeful they’ll make the Lancaster Canal. Fingers crossed for you both.
It took a lot longer than expected to fill up and empty, despite Barry and I getting up before 8am this morning! Kim was teaching at 12 midday, and 1.30 pm, so we were on quite a strict timescale. All went fine.
We did need some milk and intended stopping at the garage on the now busy again A51. Then we saw that the Calveley Mill shop by the canal was open. How marvellous. A new shop! It was like Christmas for Kim and me. I went for a box of ten Corona (I know!), and milk, Kim got herself a dress and scarf – and other goodies like Prosecco. It’s amazing what small things can do for your happiness factor when you’ve been isolated for so long.
Busy On The Canal, Roads and Sky
It’s felt far more frantic today than it has been for weeks. Narrowboats in both directions, some we’ve never seen during lockdown previously. A kayaker, cyclists and walkers. Trucks, vans and cars zooming along the roads. And planes aplenty.
We snuck past Barbridge Junction, where Barry and I bought our first narrowboat ‘Northern Pride‘ in April 2009. Wow! Over eleven years ago.
We also spotted our first moorhen chicks – they’re just the cutest black balls of fluff. But mummy and daddy were very protective and swiftly hid them in the reeds before I could take a picture. Whereas our friends Mr and Mrs swan seemed ecstatic to show off with their eight cygnets again …
Mowing and Moving
We’ve noticed lots of mowers out today too, sadly cutting back lots of the wonderful wild flowers that have been embracing the banks of the canal recently. Barry tells me it’s important they do this. One because some boaters complain if they don’t. And two, because if the foliage is just allowed to grow wild, it could erode the banks – which wouldn’t be good. I have to acknowledge that mostly they’ve left lots of the wildness that’s not totally adjacent to the canal or path.
Kim and I have even given ourselves some time out and joined Barry on the back of the boat for a change – it’s been so gorgeous.
Picking Up Our Box And Back To Base
We stopped at NB Olleanna to collect the mixed fruit and veg box from Pip, and sang Happy Birthday to Mick. Their mooring stretch is packed! Most likely boats keen to travel up Hurleston Locks on Saturday when we’re ‘allowed’ to move again. Good luck to you all! We suspect it’s going to be like the M5 both ways for a while in that direction.
We were thankful to be able to moor back up in the bubble with Dave, Plum hopes to be back with us tomorrow. Mummy mallard brought her ducklings straight to Kim for food, and Brock the dog was over the moon to have his stick-throwing-friend again. Kimberley Doolittle, I think could be her new nickname …
Still Checking Into The Symptom Study?
Are you remembering? Writing this daily blog gives me a nudge. Mostly I’ve already checked-in, today not till writing! Phew! Happily symptom-free. 276,210 people with COVID in the UK today they say. Three days ago, there were 252,926. Hmmm, I wonder, we seem to be on an increase …