Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Into the valley of the Penk

We'd estimated two and a half hours for today's cruise, so set off just before half seven. In the event, we did it quite a bit faster and only just had time to get the wash load done. Partly this was because not only were the first three locks with us, someone had left the top gates open. Although this was very handy for us and saved Sheila, who was lockwheeling, a bit of trouble, it's really not a good idea when the gates are in the poor condition these ones are.

At every lock, either the top or the bottom gates are leaking like fury – it's just as well that the Staffs and Worcs is well supplied with water, courtesy of the beer drinking habits of the citizens of Wolverhampton. (The canal, along with the Shroppie, is fed from the water treatment works either side of Autherley Junction.)

Sheila managed to get the washing machine running between Rodbaston and Otherton locks, aided by me taking my time on tickover. Fortunately, the weather at that stage was very pleasant indeed, a little breezy, perhaps, but warm and occasionally sunny. Since then, from just before we stopped, indeed, it's been intermittently wet and the wind much more gusty.

We'd tied by ten, had an early coffee and then took recycling to the skips before walking down into the village to do a bit of shopping at the butcher, the baker (excellent bread there) and, inevitably, the Co-op. It's been a quiet afternoon, catching up with some IT chores and reading and relaxing. 44 years ago, it was tipping it down in Aberdeen. The wedding photos show distinct footprints in the red carpet where Sheila and her father went into King's College chapel.

44 years, eh, who'd have thought she'd put up with grumpy old me for so long? Ah well, as Chuck Berry said, "C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell".

Just to finish, the Spread Eagle: it's a 15 minute walk from the canal, alongside the A5 and then an 'interesting' crossing of the A449 to get to the pub, but once there, it's good value. It's very much a Marston's Carvery chain pub, but the service was friendly and prompt and the food decent quality. And it's very good value both for the drink and the food, as long as you stay off the Peroni. Sheila's garlic mushrooms were decently meaty and not over cooked and I had an interesting starter, pork and chorizo taquitos. Basically, two tortilla wraps deep fried so that they were crispy crunchy and filled with a spicy meaty mix. The medium size plate was just right at the carvery.

We'd go back again if it wasn't for that walk...


Anonymous said...

Have a good day -------

Best wishes'
Mike Griffin.

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Can't let such an auspicious day pass without wishing you heartiest congrats! Not the anniversary, the fact you survived that walk!


Bruce in Sanity said...

Thank you both. We had a very good day all round.