Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Three weeks on the wagon

We've now managed 3 weeks without having any alcohol and have raised over £100 in donations for Cancer Research in addition to the money we'll personally be donating at the end of the month. I can't say it's been easy and is January always so long???  but there's now only 10 days to go and we're going to stick it out till the bitter end.  The only draw back has been that we haven't moored in some of the places we'd normally stop i.e. outside good pubs. It was especially difficult not to stop at The Anchor, especially when we saw Graham & Jill on n.b. Armadillo already moored there. 

We had another nocturnal visit from our mysterious creature before we left the moorings at Boggs Lock. Whatever it was had spent some time on the back deck and had left us a present.

I looked on Google but couldn't identify the droppings. I'd still like to think it was an otter although the droppings aren't typical of that animal which apparently is quite common in that area as shown by this bridge-side plaque.

Although the weather's been quite cold lately we've managed some beautiful sunny cruising days and haven't encountered as much as ice as was forecast. In fact most of  the ice that did form over the odd few nights had disappeared by the time we set off late morning.  Just before we left the Staffs & Worcester canal we came across a fallen branch which was blocking the canal. It took us about 20 minutes to get a rope around it and pull it to closer to the towpath so that we could creep past. Unfortunately it was much too big for us to pull out of the canal so Roger reported it to C&RT for them to deal with.

Can you believe how much the price of diesel has fallen recently? It was 63.9 p/l at Turners at Wheaton Aston and hasn't been that low for years.  It was 69.9 p/l at Norbury Junction a few miles away.

Did you spot the first sign of spring?  There were several clumps of wild primroses in the bank at Turners.

It won't be long now till Spring arrives properly. There are plenty of birds starting to sing again and we've seen lots and lots of robins.

We're now moored in one of the pounds on the Audlum flight for a couple of days. There are hardly any boats about either cruising or moored up. Most of the designated winter moorings where you have to pay to stay are deserted and the only moving boat we've seen for days was one that came up the lock flight in the dark late last night. Walking down the locks to go into the village this afternoon we only saw one other moored boat, apart from the long-term moorers that is. I've never known the canals to be so quiet in winter before. Do you think it's something to do with this years stoppages?

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