Monday, 17 July 2017

Colwich to Haywood to Tixall

We were very pleased with last night’s mooring, far enough out of Rugeley to be very peaceful, despite the occasional train on the West Coast Mainline, and just short of Bridge 69, so not within range of the agricultural smells of the pig farm. After a good night’s kip, we made the planned early start at half seven and had a good run through to Wolseley Bridge and so on to Colwich. Sheila steered and I did lookout – there wasn't a lot of traffic.

Colwich lock was with us and on we went to Great Haywood without incident, getting there just after nine. Here, the lock was against us but with no boat in sight I started to turn it. No sooner had I drawn a bottom paddle than a boat appeared coming round the corner, so I dropped the paddle I’d just raised and refilled the lock. They were ever so grateful, though I’d given Sheila quite a bit of hassle as she’d got Sanity Again lined up on the lock and now had to back off onto the lock landing.

Once we were up, I set off to walk to the junction to see her through, but got waylaid by Ivor Bachelor who was standing by their boat Lepus, displaying Mel’s decorated canal ware, and who wanted a good old natter. (No change there, then.) I managed to get away just in time to check for boats approaching along the Staffs and Worcs as Sheila started the turn.

Plenty of room here on our favourite moorings, Tixall Wide, I’m pleased to say. After we’d tied and had coffee we set off to do some shopping. Dave on Anon was tied just before the water point, having his fuel polished, so after a fruitless hunt for Chinese leaf in the Farm Shop, we stopped to buy Sheila a new belt. He really is very good value. A belt with her choice of buckle and chosen from a selection of decorative styles, made to measure by fitting the buckle after she’d chosen the belt, cost just £16.

We wanted to continue the search for moleskin in the pharmacy at the other end of the village, so stopped on the way for a further and better natter with Ivor. He warned us that the little general store next to the pharmacy has closed, but we carried on in that direction anyway. No moleskin, perhaps not surprising as that pharmacy is managed by the same people as the Alrewas one.

On we went up the village to the other store where we got a few bits and pieces and headed back to the boat. All this had taken long enough that it was now lunchtime, since when we’ve been taking it pretty easy in the warm sun.

It’s been a bit of a birdy day. I heard a yaffle (green woodpecker) yakking at me as we passed the woods by Wolseley Bridge and then spotted a buzzard sitting hunched on a power line pole. Shortly after that, the electric blue flash of a kingfisher was seen flying across the cut towards the river.

Tomorrow, a lazier start heading for Deptmore Lock.

Location:Tixall Wide

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