We have had a busy old time, but with not having any data allowance left I have not been able to post until now, I apologise.
Having enjoyed a lovely weekend outside of the Kings Orchard marina it was moving Monday. A chilly yet dry start, so whilst I like just cruising in shirt sleeves, I did put my donkey jacket on.
Over the weekend we had sold some coal and met up with people we knew. On Saturday the historic working pair Nuneaton and Brighton stopped. Barry, Colin, Peter and Peter’s son all stopped for a cuppa. The cakes I had made earlier came in handy for the hungry men. Peter had also made some cookies which were yummy. They left us mid-afternoon and we then got chatting to a lady who moors in the marina, she was bored and thought she would go for a walk, her walked stopped with us. It turned out she was on the same Facebook group as me. Over the weekend we sold a few bags of coal some of it to Bobby and Tom on NB Rowan. I know Bobby from a Facebook group I am on, but this was the first time we had met for real. I also got to meet up with NB Tawny Pipit II, who we have been leap frogging. On Sunday Mike on Historic Working boat Victoria, he was heading down towards London, to take on a towing job. It is always lovely to catch-up with people and it makes for a wonderful weekend.
But as I said at the beginning, it was time to make a move for Rugeley. It was lovely going over old water and seeing the changes of which there were many, mainly due to lots of house building going on. We had a couple of close encounters with shared ownership boats, one on a tight bend and the other coming out of a bridge ‘ole. Just as well we knew what we were doing, because they certainly had no real idea.
At Fradley Junction we met up with Dawne and Stuart on NB Teazel and Nigel on NB Eagle. Stuart very kindly opened the swing bridge for us and whilst Keith did the turn, I walked up to the lock and had a lovely natter with the lock keeper who was on for the day. His usually partners were not there due to the fact he had been taken ill and was on his way to hospital. So I hope all was well with him. At Woodend lock it was nice to see the cottage bring lived in again because the last time we came through it was empty and looking sad. Unfortunately the lock is now sad because there was only one paddle top and bottom working, this made for slow going.
As I said before, around Rugeley there is a lot of home building going on. Family homes of 3,4 and 5 bedroom homes. I just wonder if they are affordable for the average wage earner?
We arrived at the Rugeley moorings and I walked ahead to see if there was anything nearer the bridge, we were in luck there was a space big enough for us, so having moored up, we locked the boat up and set off for the lovely new Tesco, which is right near the canal on the bank. I wonder if Morrison’s have noticed a difference, now Tesco and Aldi are in Rugeley. Tesco is a lovely big store with a café and selling everything from food, clothing and garden stuff. We had shopped with in an hour and so whilst I put the shopping away Keith moved us further out of Rugeley and onto a ringed mooring, which would do for the night or so we thought. Having had a rest we decided to take a walk into Rugeley. I usually remember places we visit, but Rugeley seems to escape my memory and I have no idea why. The only bit I can remember is a small indoor market, which has an eclectic taste in stalls. The rest of Rugeley is a blur. Like so many towns and cities it has a lot of empty shops and is looking forlorn. Hopefully with all the house building going on, it will bring life back to the town. We did our usual thing and that was we visited all the charity shops. I am looking for a wooden box to use for my sewing bits and bobs, because my old one is falling apart. I have not found anything yet, but I live in hope.
We arrived back at the boat at 4.30 pm to the sound of a machine running in the nearby factory and it was right by our back cabin. We both thought if this machine runs all night, we will be getting no sleep, so we moved out boat to the other side of the main road bridge and onto piled moorings, it was going to be much quieter.
Dinner was a curry we bought from Tesco on the cheap shelf and very nice too. After a lovely shower we settled down to watching ‘Brave Heart’