Friday, 27 September 2013


Autumn is really coming into it's own now. The trees are starting to change colour and drop their leaves and there are fungi popping up all over the place. I forage fruits from the hedgerows but I won't touch the mushrooms as I have quite a serious allergy.

This was the view of Westport Lake from our mooring this morning. As you can see it's been another glorious sunny day.

Before we left we took Chico for a walk round the lake. This was the view from the other side.

Part of the bank had collapsed but instead of using that horrid orange plastic netting to keep people away from the edge they'd used this lovely woven willow screen.

This is the "eco-friendly" visitor centre and cafe. It was built with straw bale walls and is covered with solar panels.

The paths around the lake are very well maintained and consequently very well used. We saw a couple of these twin seat bikes being used by disabled people and their carers. They were having a great time and the lady on the right of the picture just couldn't stop laughing. We could hear her coming from quite a distance; she certainly didn't need a bell!

It was about 11.00 by the time we finally set off. I like the Stafford area. It's very built up with all the pottery factories but the intricate brickwork of the kilns always amazes me.

We did a quick detour at Etruria to top up the water tank and dump the rubbish and buy some plums from a moored boat. They were 20p a bag and were the tastiest, juiciest plums we've ever had.

The second lock is leaking quite badly as you can see from these "pissers". I do hope C&RT are planning to do some maintenance soon before it gets much worse.

This is Etruria Flint & Bone Mill which is right in front of you as you come out of the second lock. It used to be part of the Etruria museum but I'm not sure if it's still open. We didn't really have time to stop and find out.

Cockshutts Lock takes you right under the railway bridge. While we were going down 2 trains wizzed past. The standard of graffiti has dropped since we were last here. It's just a mess now.

I wasn't sure whether to pull over for a bit of recreation here. Fishing, shooting or line dancing?  Just too much choice!

We're now moored just outside Barlaston. It's nice and quiet despite being fairly close to the railway line and since I took the photo a few more boats have arrived and moored up behind us.

We walked into the village as Roger wanted to visit the Big Boy's Toys shop. They had some lovely models and remote control toys but he managed to resist buying anything. I was so pleased I took him to the Plume of Feathers for a pint. They had 3 real ales on but the food didn't sound very exciting. It was all burgers & curries.

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