He even let me ( or at least didn't object when I did) model the afore-mentioned moped!
Ater a quick walk around Anderton (not the nature reserve as a pub lunch beckoned) we headed back to the boat and began an afternoon of chores.
Everything came off the roof so it could be swept and washed and whilst Andy was doing that, I sawed up some wood I'd fished out of a lock a few days earlier and then began "darning" the fly screen nets over the port holes... you may remember a few months back I got distracted talking to a dog on the towpath (as you do) and got too close to a tree in the process - WHICH put holes through 4 nets on the starboard side... I tried to replace them but the company that made them has stopped (or is stopping) trading now do to having children!
Whilst I was doing my mending, a boat turned up behind us and suddenly went in to reverse... I have to admit, at first I was thinking "What is this plonker doing" whilst at the same time preparing my "I'm friendly to everyone face"... it turned out a few mins later it was a couple we'd gone down the Rufford branch of the Leeds and Liverpool with LAST YEAR who'd spotted us and wanted to drop in a bottle of wine as a thank you for our help - it WAS a horrible wet and windy day when we went down with them and also HER (Jayne with a y) first time boating... given the conditions at the time, it really was a baptism of fire for her. ANYWAY - it was really lovely of them to stop by and especially so given the gift .
After a brief catch up - during which we forgot our manners and didn't even off THEM a drink, they departed to continue on their trip and we got back to our chores.
I have to admit- my darning isn't exactly invisible (despite what the thread says on the packet) but at least fly's wont get through it!
Next morning, we decided we'd set off ourselves with plan to get to Harecastle Tunnel in time for Wednesday passage - TURNS out we needn't have rushed, 'cause if I'd read it properly, I'd have know the winter time-table was now over!
On departure, we topped up the water tank at Anderton Services and continued our way along the Trent & Mersey canal. I dont know whether it's always as low, but progress was slow as a result of shallow water... not that we should be rushing along anyways but you know what I mean. As we approached 'Lion Salt Works' (on tick over of course) a lady stuck her head out of the boat we were passing and shouted that she reads this blog - I appologised of course lol.
There as some lovely canal side properties along this stretch and we dreamed about owning quite a few of them... this was our favourite so far.
We chugged for 11 hours and 45 mins and ended the day at Rode Heath... Towards the end it did get rather cold so we were pleased to get in doors with the fire blazing.
IT turned out, Rode Heath was quite a nice place to stop for the night anyway.... there was a pub canal side, (although we didn't partake on this occasion and we had a lovely and quiet evening's sleep... which came very easily after such a long day.
We got up with the daylight the following morning and chugged on - planning to get to Harecastle Tunnel with an aim of ending our day at Etruria. The double/paired locks were easy enough - although it was a little frustrating occasionally when I was all lined up to go in one side, only to find the lock was broken and a bit of zig-zagging was required....