I was in need of a good walk so had decided I'd walk into Stone to get some fresh fruit and veg at the supermarket. The ground was icy so I walked along the towpath for a change. It was a little slippery in some places where the ice was thick but I thoroughly enjoyed the walk. Along the way I noticed two sets of birdie footprints in long tracks along the frozen canal. They were large so I figured they belonged to some swans. At one spot I could see one of them must have fallen through the ice! At the next bridge there they were.
I'd barely started my walk around the supermarket when I looked up to see Mick, Roly and Barry coming into the supermarket. They'd come to buy some beer (which you do when you have the offer of a lift!). I hurried up with my shopping and came home with them. That was a nice bonus. Thanks very much Roly!
When the boys unpacked the coal from the van they discovered that between them they were 2 bags short. Roly and Mick went back to Midlands to advise them of the error and luckily the girl at the counter remembered counting out 8 bags for their trolly. Their receipts showed 10 bags. So now we have a different brand of coal to try. We've been using the Excell brand that the marina sells so far. The new bags are Stoveglow so we'll see which we prefer. At £11.50 for Excell at the marina and the Stoveglow being £10 at Midlands, pricewise we're better of with the Stoveglow.... especially as we get 15% off at Midland Chandlers for 6 months.
While I had lunch there was a bit of a grinding noise which took a few minutes to identify. There was a boat coming into the marina and as we're near the entrance, the ice was being pushed against the boat as they crashed through it. It must have taken them about a dozen forwards and reverses to turn from the entrance into the middle of the marina. I gave up watching after that. With the engine revving they were able to break through the ice directly in front of them but there simply isn't any way to turn a boat through ice. They must have been desperate for diesel or a loo pumpout!
I had seen Carol from nb Winton's Folly as I headed out this morning and arranged to go over after lunch and help her set up a blog. When I arrived she was watching the ice breaker... and Barry was about to have a melt down over trying to install the new water pump he'd bought at the chandlery. Mick came over to lend assistance and Carol and I sat down to work on the blog.
We went back to nb Winton's Folly for dinner a little later. Such a treat to have someone else cook for you... especially as we haven't eaten many meals at all outside the boat. Thanks Carol!
Photos today :
1. The canal looks like an icy road
2. The swan prints
3. Close up
4. Ooopps... someone fell through
5. There they are in a section under a bridge that's not frozen
6. Boat crashing through the ice
7. And again
8. Carol typing her first blog entry