Friday 2 November 2012

Arriving at Middlewich

Cholmondeston Lock to Bridge 30, Middlewich Branch : 9 miles, 3 locks
Total to date : 99 miles, 47 locks, 20 lift bridges, 6 tunnels, 6 aqueducts
Note : "In the drink" has been moved to the bottom of each blog page - it might get too long to live up here.

I had an online work appointment for 8am this morning on Skype.  I set the alarm for the first time in ages.  We didn't want to be too late heading off as we had a few hours cruising ahead of us.  I decided it would be better to be showered, dressed, breakfasted, before my appointment.  I know they can't see but it would have been a bit odd sitting here in my dressing gown.

It was a glorious morning.  The fog was a bit heavier when we first got up but by the time we were heading off at about 8.30am it had thinned and the sun was peeking through.  Lovely.  I walked ahead to the first lock of the day.  As we cruised past Venetian Marina (which looks like it's getting a bit of a facelift since Whilton have taken over) each boat had ice on its roof.  We had been sheltered by some trees but they weren't.

I told Mick that today I was going to stay at the tiller for an entire lock process.  There was only one boat in sight and they had gone down the lock in front of us.  I didn't want to make a git of myself in front of other boaters... but all went well.  I also did a lot of the steering today and the bridges were a breeze.  There was no wind so that helps.  Finally.... finally.... I'm feeling more confident.

The views from this section of canal are just spectacular.  The canal is quite elevated a lot of the way and we were looking down over rolling green farmland.  There were also a couple of very pretty canalside buildings.  With the steering being easier than the Llangollen (no current, bywashes, reeds and shrubs growing way out into the canal) we actually enjoyed the day, maybe more than any before.

We were moored at Middlewich in time for lunch at the White Bear pub.  Mick had delicious haddock and chips (they came with the obligatory mushy peas).  I can almost hear the cries of outrage but I have to say it..... I just don't get the mushy pea thing.  I think I better write about this topic separately.

We checked out some of the stores in town and did a Tesco shop for as much as we could comfortably carry back to the boat.  We'll do the same thing another 2 or 3 times while we're here and save having to get the delivery I was planning on.  I was going to try Ocado.  Mick went for a walk to Kings Lock Chandlery while I did another couple of hours work.

I had a message on Facebook from an old workmate that I haven't been in contact with for a few years (long before the thought of taking off to England came about).  It feels a bit strange telling someone that we've taken off to the other side of the world to live in steel corridor.  I didn't explain - just sent her a link to the blog.  Hi Colleen!

So tonight, for the first time, we are actually moored opposite suburban houses with gardens leading down to the canal.  On our side the houses are a bit higher than the canal so we only see a row of shrubbery.  I'll take some photos of our current mooring tomorrow.

Lots of photos today :
1. Ice on a narrowboat roof this morning (not ours)
2. Fog clearing as we pass Venetian Marina
3. A view down a quiet stretch of canal
4. Mick (on the right) at a lock
5. An elevated view
6. This cottage even got a mention in our canal guide. Lovely decorative gable
7. And so did this converted stable block
8. Plus the cottage next door to it
9. With a lovely painted door
10. Woohooo
11. Mick coming out of a lock
12. White Bear pub for lunh
13. Pretty cottage in Middlewich
14. Holly!


In the drink to date : Elly's phone charger (retrieved - it floated!), Mick's sunglasses, hearth brush, mooring hook (retrieved with sea searcher)

1 comment:

Alison G said...

Hi Elly & Mick,
Wow, what gorgeous scenery. Hope u r both well.
I have been very busy with work, family & Goldfields' 10th Exhibition last week. Was terrific & we were all very happy with it, the Town Hall looked really beaut.
I have done only a few hexagons since you left & I don't think I will get too many done before Xmas as we are starting reno's on the loo, laundry & kitchen. I have been stripping wallpaper - oh, the joy of it, but it's finished!
Hoping to have most of it completed for family day here on Boxing Day.
Rachel has moved to Melbourne (& kids) with Colin, very happy. Missing her heaps.
Time for zzz's, will keep in touch,
xx Alison