Friday, 17 August 2012

Middlewich to Wheelock

Yesterday we travelled south from Middlewich in beautiful warm sunny weather but this morning we are cocooned within our steel shells once more with the patter of familiar raindrops on the roof. And as the forecast predicts that nothing will change for the rest of the daylight hours, we have decided to remain tied fast to the towpath and use the time as a ‘make and mend’ day; to get up to date with all the little jobs that tend to be neglected when one is heavily involved with travelling.



The Heron that allowed me to take his portrait


So since we topped up our freshwater tanks at Middlewich yesterday, it’s been a good opportunity today to put the washing machine on and get up to date with laundry that’s been piling up for a while. The generator is on and everything sounds most business-like as the unfamiliar whirring and pumping goes on under the galley worktop.

Similarly it’s been a useful time for re-sealing the chimney flues of both my stoves where the fire cement has cracked and fallen out over the year. Now they both need repainting of course which is another job, probably for the next rainy day I suppose……. Ah well! So life goes on.


007  Salt works

A salt works at Middlewich


Though the Trent and Mersey Canal possesses its own unique beauty, already I am missing the wonderful views and magnificent vista that surrounds the Shropshire Union Canal in every one of its different branches and forms.

I miss its very rural nature; the very fact that Chester is the only large built up area anywhere on its whole length is amazing and wonderful for me, compared with the industrial (or ex industrial), very conurbated Trent and Mersey Canal. Furthermore the whole of the former’s structure appears to be so well looked after in comparison with the poor old Trent and Mersey, which after only one day’s travel feels like a poor relation.

With ‘Futurest’s deep draft at the stern, yesterday after numerous attempts to moor at a quiet rural spot that had enough depth alongside to accommodate her, I had to give up in the end and be content with these limited visitor moorings here at at Wheelock. We just happened to be lucky enough to find two available spaces for our little flotilla to moor.

But on the Shropshire Union canal we were physically able to tie up just about anywhere we liked, as well as at all of the numerous and well maintained visitor moorings that the local canal society continually look after.


015  Stud Green Bridge (162)

…..nevertheless a beautiful setting on the Trent and Mersey Canal


However after tying up yesterday afternoon, a gentleman in the boat astern of ‘Futurest’ greeted me with:

“Is your heel better?”

Now meeting, and sometimes travelling in company with, so many different people in this roaming life, and my memory for names being a little, at best …. well tired perhaps, I have a continuing fear that somebody whose performance is better in that respect than mine, will greet me with my name and yet to me they will appear as strangers. What an embarrassment that would be.

This is how I felt yesterday when greeted cordially by my neighbour. But just as panic was beginning to take over, he continued:

“No we don’t know each other but I read your blog”

Phew! That was a near one. But of course I was thrilled when he said he enjoyed it.

Unfortunately in my fluster I forgot to ask his name so I’ll just say: Thank you dear Sir for reading my blog and I’m so glad you enjoy it.

He had just recently taken delivery of his boat ‘Eleventh Heaven’ from Braidbar Boats and indeed it looked beautiful. I hope you and your lady enjoy your life on her as much as I do on ‘Futurest’.

Though I failed to get the gentleman’s name I took a photo of his name panel which is a wonderful piece of artwork. I hope he doesn’t mind me displaying it here.


017  The boat of a blog reader at Wheelock

‘Eleventh Heaven’


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