Sunday 13 April 2014

Farewell Winton's Folly

Penkridge to Tixall Wide : 9 miles, 6 locks
To date : 1173 miles, 832 locks

Last night we had a last supper with Barry and Carol at the Littleton Arms in Penkridge.  An enjoyable meal and company.  We had a good laugh at each trying to take our own photo.  Carol won the award for sure!  I think she was laughing too hard to do anything sensible.  They came back for coffee, beer, and more laughter before setting off "home" in the dark.  They had moored a lock and a bridge back on the 5 day moorings.

This morning we did a quick wander around Penkridge market.  No chooks on a Saturday so that was a bit of a shame.  We decided we'd move on again and get in a couple of hours cruising.  We had one last cup of tea with Barry and Carol, bid them farewell for now, and off we went.

I had a funny thing happen today at the first lock of the day.  When I walked forward to set the lock a boat was about to come onto the lock from below.  Aside from the steerer there were 3 more adults who were busy talking to each other with windlass in hand. I closed the gates for them because all their three crew had walked to the other end of the lock by then.  The fellow walked off to get a bottle of rum (so he told the steerer) and as I went to the opposite end the two women said "we're going shopping" and walked off!  I was a bit stunned. They just left their boat in the lock with steerer onboard.  I figured it was up to me to work the lock for them then?  In hindsight I wish I'd just wandered off back to our boat to talk to Mick who was waiting with a rather confused look on his face.

We had lunch moored outside Midland Chandlers and I went in and bought a couple more of the Michele Butler coffee mugs I like.  I noticed as I came out that they have a very nice painted advertising sign.

We're on new water for the stretch from Midland Chandlers to Tixall Wide.  The weather was pleasant enough and the sun even came out so we continued on.  We passed nb Rock n Roll with Ann at the helm.  Quick hellos called across the canal and waves to Kev who was peering through a window.  Pity we didn't know they were heading our way.  I was inside and heard the "ding dong" of our door bell that we use to get the attention of whoever isn't steering.  By the time I got out to see why Mick was calling, Rock n Roll was right there beside us.  Never mind.  Nice to see you in passing!

Tixall Lock was very pretty with a lovely lock cottage alongside. In the end we made it all the way to Tixall Wide, or should it be Tixall Wind.  We moored up with the wind howling.  We have a lovely view of the old Tixall Gatehouse.  Mick's happy because tomorrow he will be able to touch up the black paint below the gunwales.  Can't have the next owners seeing her for the first time with the dings from the Audlem locks and their feral bywashes!


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