Sunday, 17 September 2017

To the top of Stone after a good evening

We visited the Plume of Feathers last night, partly out of curiosity to see what sort of a job Neil Morrissey had made of its renovation and partly to rendezvous with James, Elanor’s boyfriend. It was a very pleasant evening in all respects. The food is indeed as good as has been described and it is certainly dog friendly in the bar area. In addition, there is a good range of ales, including the Morrissey own brews.

This morning, we had what’s become our regular start for this run. I make some tea round about seven and Sheila and I drink it in bed, simultaneously snuggling with Sally and catching up on the news online. We then get washed and dressed and eat breakfast whilst Elanor is getting up. This enables whoever is due to steer to get started sometime just after eight, usually.

It’s a shortish run to the top of Meaford where we waited whilst a shareboat, Firefly, worked up. They had left the lock below ready for us, which was handy as one of the top paddles there is not working and the lock is presently very slow to fill. We were followed down by a privateer and crossed with a Black Prince hire boat above the bottom lock. All in all, it made for leisurely boating, not a problem when we were on such a short run as it gave a chance for the batteries to get reasonably charged.

There were several spaces above Stone Top although things have clearly been pretty busy over the weekend. Leaving Elanor and Sally on anchor watch, Sheila and I made a trip to Morrisons to top up the supplies of fruit and the like. We’ve had a quiet afternoon. The weather is occasionally sunny, occasionally wet and it’s distinctly cooler with a light northerly wind. I’ve lit the Squirrel again to keep us comfortable this evening.

Tomorrow, we’ll work down the first two locks and fill the tank on the water point just below before carrying on to a rural towpath mooring below Aston lock somewhere, probably near Burston.


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