They even provided bags to take the cores and peels afterwards. Well done them.
It has indeed been a better day today, still with a rather cold wind but much sunnier and what wind there was was much gentler. Off we ambled at the usual time, yours truly steering and Sheila set up to do all two locks. It's one of the nicest stretches of the T&M, I reckon, the run from Rugeley to Great Haywood. There are just a few moored boats and there's the interest of the pig farm as you go by, followed by The Taft.
Maid of Oak is still there, though last time we passed she was for sale. You'd need to be either very well off or very dedicated to buy a modern wooden hull, we reckon, it being much harder to get adequately seasoned oak these days.
Arriving at Colwich just after nine, we had the place to ourselves initially, apart from the odd dog walker, but just as we left and Sheila closed up, who should appear in the distance but Ivor and Mel on Lepus. They'd been on the Macc and were not impressed by the depth. "What a ditch!" was Ivor's comment.. Right enough, in a deep draughted working boat like Lepus it must have been hard work.
There aren't many boats tied below Haywood but two of them were Mercia moorers Tootling by Gently and Ay Up Mi Duck. We'd already seen Crafty Foxes earlier, so that's three Mercia boats seen in one day.
I managed the turn onto the Staffs and Worcs in one smooth curve, even missing the bows of the Anglo-Welsh boats immediately through the bridge hole. It is nice when it comes together like that. Lots of room here on Tixall, still, though I'm sure it will fill up later with such a fine weekend in prospect.
We walked back to the Farm Shop for some nice veg and some Pork and Black Pudding sausages for tonight. They aren't selling bedding plants yet, to Sheila's disappointment as we had some very good surfinias from them last year, some of the best we've ever had. Trouble is, there's still a risk of frost so it's really too soon to be planting them out.
Since lunch we've not been totally idle, washing the side of the boat and I did some cleaning and tidying in the engine 'ole and the storage space alongside. After that, feeling full of virtue, we've been sitting out on the bow, Sheila knitting my guernsey and me catching up with my loafing.
Tomorrow, on to Deptmore.