I know, I know I apologise for not posting. The signal has not been great and so I postponed posting until now.
After the Etruria weekend, which was so much fun. Monday we headed back to Stone with the help of volunteer lock keepers doing the first three locks for us and Rob the cycling lockie helping out as well. When we arrived in Stone we went to see Roger Fuller about our new top plank which he very kindly ordered for us. It was to big to carry back to the boat, so we would pick it up on the following morning.
Tuesday 7th June a good start to the day, picking up our new top plank from Roger Fuller. We loaded the top plank on to the roof of the back cabin before having a quick chat with Martin, Roger and Joe Fuller at the yard. Having said our goodbyes to everyone we realised that we were joining a queue at the locks. What was supposed to be a short day ended up as 6½ hours! By the time we reached Great Haywood it was well into late afternoon. The one lovely thing was Stuart and Dawn were moored at Great Haywood junction, where we had moored for the night, so we had tea and cake with them when we got there. It was wonderful to catch-up yet again.
We planned to stay at Great Haywood for the floating market which would be taking place over the weekend. We walked to the walled garden on the Shugborough Estate to see if it was open this time.
Hooray it was open and so we got to see the changes. The Blacksmith had sadly gone. But they have introduced a meadow and piggies.
Rarebreed Midland White piggy.
The glasshouses have not been restored yet.
Shugborough was to play host again to Iron Man UK and so the marquee’s were going up and the start and finish boards. It was going to be a busy weekend, what with that and the floating market.
The evenings sunset was made even more special with a Barn Owl quartering over the field.
The week had flown by and with Friday now upon us the floating market was set to get going.
We took a walk along the floating market, chatting to the various traders, many we already knew.
I also got to make some new friends. Jane and Paul on NB Pania are lovely Jane makes bags and hats, which are devine. We had a lovely time with them both.
At lunchtime we went to the Clifford Arms for something to eat. We were both rather fed up with the idea of having yet another salad. Instead we had Steak and Ale Pudding, which was scrummy. Keith returned to Hadar to pick up our 2 axes for Dave on Anon to make us some leather axe head covers. Dave did a fantastic job. I also bought a new wallet and coin purse. As the afternoon wore on the looming dark clouds began to drop their contents and then the heavens opened accompanied by thunder and lightning, and despite our best efforts we got drenched. Kay on the Oatcake boat very kindly gave us an umbrella, but we still were soaked by the time we got back to the boat.
Saturday the weather was to play up yet again later in the day. At the Iron Man UK it was the children who got to have their race.
On Sunday it was rain and more rain. The Iron Man UK event was done in the rain and many of the floating market boats did not bother to open up. It was not until much later in the day that the rain did stop, but by then it was closing up time and some of the boat had already left to go to Middlewich. We did however have a lovely weekend.
Today we left Great Haywood and are now in Rugeley, where we have shopped at Aldi and Tesco, walked around the town, visiting the charity shops as we always do. The weather once again has been hit and miss.