Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hot Hot Hot!!!

Elaine here ...
On Tuesday we awoke from our overnight moorings at Hassall Green - my brother, Trevor, awoke about 2 hours before us - but that was to be expected!!!

It was revving up to be a warm day, so we set off for our first of many locks of the Hassall Green locks are intercepted by the M6; Trevor reckoned it was like 'two different worlds colliding'  - oh so true - and how glad that we were in this particular world !!!
M6 whizzing past us !
Bombo and Sam were having a hard day, as usual, but today Sam decided he was going to share Bombo's life ring !!!
Oh, Mum, tell him to get outa my day-bed !
After 13 locks we made a welcome stop at some some excellent services - Wheelock I think it was.  There was also a pet food shop across the road, so while I left the boys to do the water and the rubbish - I ran to the shop with Bombo and got stocked up!

Did I mention it was really hot yesterday??!!!

Not long after our stop, we thought we had better stop for a spot of lunch - had to feed Trev before he left us after his mini 'working holiday' !!
Food time !
Sam flaked out in the life ring - could this be a takeover bid?! Watch out Bombo, he is moving in on your territory :)

After lunch, Trev and I did another 3 locks - of the Booth Lane flight.  You can see Booth Lane in the picture below - it runs along side the canal !

We moored up and walked with Trevor along the road back to Sandbach station, where he was going to get his train back to Macc (via Stockport).  Did I mention it was a hot and sunny day yesterday?  I was soooooo hot and the dogs were even hotter, with their fur coats on!

We decided to walk back down Mill Lane and thence to the canal and down the towpath --- too much traffic the other way - the boys were freaking out !

On the way back along the towpath poor Sam was suffering from the heat and kept launching himself on puddles and mud to try and cool down, so we had to give a very quick dip in the canal to keep him going!  He really didn't mind it - it helped to spur him on anyway !

By the time we got back to the boat we had a text from Trevor to say he was already back in Macclesfield - incredible !!  We had thought we might find a pub on our walk back to the boat but it wasn't to be as the only one we saw was well shut !  When we got back to the boat we decided to move it along a bit - to be closer to a pub that we could see in the Nicholson book.  This meant doing just one more lock !  (Just one moor little lock, Mr Creosote !!!!)

We moored up just before King's Lock at Middlewich and opposite a pub but by this time, I was also having a 'Sam-style' meltdown so had to have a cold shower and a lie down - I was done-for - there was no way I was getting to the pub!  Paul gave the dogs a cold shower also and then popped out to the Chippy over the road and got us some tea!!!

An early night was in order for me but Paul stayed up til God-knows-when, watching football!

After a good night's sleep, we got up this morning (Wednesday morning) and cleaned up the boat - somehow we had gained a layer of grass all over the carpet over the last day or so!  Paul popped down to the local Chandlery with the dogs, but that turned out to be a dead loss for what he was after so he chucked the dogs back in the boat and went for a stroll into Middlewich town - to find a hardware store.  (We have had some pictures from Sydney framed, so he wanted to put them up).

Eventually we set off - we had a quick lock to do (King's Lock) and then we had a sharp left turn to do at the Wardle Canal - which is apparently the shortest canal in the country as it only lasts for 47m and terminates with a single lock !  It connects the Trent and Mersey canal to the Middlewich arm of the Shropshire canal.   There was a bit of a traffic jam with one boat before us and two boats after us going up the lock and 4 boats on the way down - so I had a good chat with various folk whilst we were all waiting our turn.  

A couple of the boaters told me the story of an old lady who used to live at the Wardle lock cottage - apparently she would sit outside with her cup of tea and sort all the boaters out who came to the lock.  Evidently she passed away in March and she is sadly missed by the regular boaters - one lady told me the town gave her a grand send off, when she died, by taking the coffin along the canal on a narrowboat and thence to the Church for the service - nice !  I found an article about here - you can read it if you follow this link - she sounds like a colourful character!

Eventually we had our turn through the lock (did I mention it was hot again today?!) - we passed through the first bridge and we were met by the crew of Lady Esther - who told us that they read our blog - thank you !!! Nice to meet you, albeit briefly !

Bombo assumed his position for the day - it was too hot for him to have his life jacket on today - he doesn't move once he gets in that life ring anyway !

We passed by this grand looking stables building along the way ...

We decided to moor up between Bridge 12 and 13 - where we found a beautiful valley view below.  Paul took the dogs off for a walk - much to their dismay - as it was too hot for them again (me too!).   Here are some pics he took on his walk ... 

When he got back, the dogs were 'done for' and crashed out in a big heap!  We decided to move along a bit because - although it was a picturesque mooring, it wasn't very comfortable for the boat as it didn't quite fit into the bank and all the boats that were going past it were causing it to bash around too much.  Paul was happy to make a move as he had met a chap on the way back down the towpath who told him he had perfect tv reception - evidently there was some football thing on again tonight(!) - so we moved on!

So - here we are at 9 pm on Wednesday night - all the windows, doors and hatches open and still warm!  People kept telling us all day that there were going to be thunderstorms today, but they didn't happen !  We'll see what tomorrow brings ...

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