We’re finally progressing towards our planned destination at a swift speed. I returned the hire car to Enterprise in Fazeley on Monday morning. Fortunately my elder sister Kath was able to collect me from there and get me back to the boat. Barry and Kim had by then moved to Alrewas!
Barry took the chance to hand over his Greeting Cards business to Kath to manage while we’re away in New Zealand, so rest assured your orders will continue to be fulfilled!
The River Trent
I had a lovely walk from one lock to the other on the River Trent section after Alrewas. A welcome break from catching up on Ad-extra work. Since then it’s been full-on for me, though I’ve been in and out doing locks, and had a brief respite yesterday lunchtime when we met up with our dear friend Andrew Denny (aka Granny Buttons) at The Dragon in Willington.
We moored in that area over much of the winter of 2015, at Mercia, and really enjoyed our surroundings. We find Willington to be a very friendly and well-kept village. The lunch was delicious with great service, good social distancing and hygiene was observed. We hadn’t realised we’d be participating in the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme does that was a bonus. Andrew got Barry to take a few head and shoulders shots of him, and we got him to return the favour and take a few of us together. Such pictures are a rarity, and both Andrew and Barry admire each other’s skills in this department.
As we cruised past Andrews’ gorgeous house, once we’d said a fond farewell, he managed to get a few shots of us waving. Haere Ra Andrew. Till we meet again, take good care of your lovely self.
Areandare’s Birth Place
Not long afterwards, We cruised past Areandare’s birth place near Stenson Lock, on the Trent and Mersey Canal. It seems there’s a brand new building sprung up since we were last here …
A humongous (they always feel like that!) recently purchased shiny wide-beam boat beat us to the lock. The new owner had come out of Mercia Marina, turned left (the only way they can go!) and travelled down to get a lesson in driving and locking from a fellow wide-beamer (unlikely to be a real word but hey ho!). They look magnificent inside, but there’s no way Barry or I would want to be driving one of these clumsy things on the canals. She bounced into the lock with what looked like little accuracy using a steering wheel …
A Celebratory Walk
Last night we moored up a short distance from Swarkeston. Kim was ecstatic to finally finish her Masters In Inclusive Education Thesis and jumped around the boat for joy. We’re hoping to see a lot more of her in the next ten days before we head much further south. What an epic journey she’s been on to complete it. I’m so proud of her.
We celebrated with a few drinks and a walk along the Little Eaton to Melbourne (the UK version!) and Worthington Cycle Path after dinner.
This evening we moored on the wide River Trent. It’s been a while since we were last moored where waters meet near Trent Lock; early 2018 Barry reckons. I wasn’t with him as we think I’d left the boat at Shardlow to go to mums.
This evening we’re meeting up with a dear friend originally from the UK, who I worked with in midwifery at Gisborne Maternity Unit and Te Puia Springs. We haven’t seen each other since I left in 2013. Julie returned to the UK a few years after us, and also lives on a narrowboat.
Our Journey …
We’re making fabulous progress on our journey to Debdale Wharf. There may be a few modifications to our plan, but nothing is certain as yet. We’re all used to uncertainty now aye?! The orange highlighter marks our route …