April 28

Steppin’ Out; Day 8 Great Haywood to Fradley Jct

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A beautiful morning to wake up to, even if I didn’t see it till ten past nine. A top coat warmer it was, only two t shirts and a fleece, summer must have arrived early. I wonder if last nights drinking has anything to do with it, surely not. We frequented a place called the Clifford Arms at Great Haywood just up from the canal. It looked ok from the outside and wasn’t too bad when we walked in but not a lot of atmosphere. Not particularly a friendly place but no problem. We sampled three of the real ales for sale and they were just nondescript. They sat in the glass fine and looked ok but no real taste. We just had a couple and went back to the boat and a glass of whisky to finish off.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No rush so we upped ropes about 11 and set of into the tropical weather singing Coconut Airways or what ever it is. Nice steady run down to Rugeley where we moored up for lunch and I went across to Morrison to do a bit of shopping and get some cash as I had just about run out. It felt quite strange being away from the water and amongst people. A necessary evil is this eating and shopping lark. As you’ve seen in the photo’s it’s obvious I hardly eat anything at all.

I do feel now that I’m beginning to get the hang ofthis boat handling and managed fairly well when the wind got up this afternoon and then we met a bit of traffic and I had to do a bit of shunting when we arrived at a bridge with someone halfway through but it wasn’t a problem at all. This last week has been one hell of a crash course in boating. The first few days literaly. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAit seems so long ago that we picked Forty Winks up and took that first 200yd dash across the canal and crashed it into the bank to moor up to have a cuppa before setting off yet it is only a week ago. Tomorrow I take her into my first permanent berth in a marina and get used to a new life.

First before all of this can happen we need another visit from International Rescue because as we got to the last lock at Fradley the gear box has stuck in forward and won’t go into neutral or reverse so we walked her into the lock and then just ran her up to a mooring. At least this is where we intended to be so if you’re going to break down then that’s not too bad a way of doing it. It is pelting it down with rain at the moment and we’re getting ready to go to the pub which is about 500yds or so away so we might end up having to put waterproofs on. I hope you appreciate the extremes we are willing to go to just to make an accurate report on the facilities available to you.

Have fun. God bless you

Nige

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