Thursday, 1 October 2015

Alrewas to Lawton

Hi, nice to see you again.

Our friend Rob and his girlfriend Louise are in the market for a boat and while they were in the area looking round boatyards they called in for a visit before we left Alrewas. They booked into the B&B at the George and Dragon and we spent a very pleasant evening together in the pub. We laughed and gossiped all night and drank far to much beer and as it must be 2 years since we last saw Rob there was an awful lot to catch up on, but it's the sign of true friends when we you just pick up as if it were last week. I hope you find a suitable boat soon Rob, we're on the case and will let you know if we come across anything suitable on our travels.

Alrewas is still one of my favourite villages. Here's a small selection of the very desirable houses.

This is Jasmine Cottage

very well know amongst boaters as the owner has a small stall selling home-made jams and pickles and home grown veggies. She had some lovely courgettes but as Roger thinks they are "Devil's Food" I had to resist the urge to buy some.

 The cottage by the bridge has 2 beautiful porkers in the back garden. I'm not sure what they were looking for but they were digging a huge hole. Maybe they were looking for truffles?

We finally said goodbye to Rob & Louise and Alrewas on Saturday afternoon and headed back up through Fradley. We passed Bruce and Sheila on Sanity Again and had a quick chat in passing. Sheila was hard at it kneeling on the roof doing the cleaning while Bruce was supervising. It seemed the wrong way round to me but Roger thought he was right, must be a man thing!

The Indian Summer is still with us and although the mornings have been a bit chilly, by afternoon we've been sweltering and I've even dug out my shorts and T-shirts again. Long may it last....

Just past Great Heywood we came across this little chap sitting sunning himself. At first I though it was a stuffed one as they usually fly off just as I get the camera out but it very obligingly sat there until we'd gone past before whizzing back off up the canal.

A bit further on we came across this prolific sunflower. Have you ever seen so many flower heads on one stalk before?

I've had lots of compliments about my flowers this year. It's the first time I haven't grown anything edible, apart from herbs that is, but we were in France when the majority of tomato plants were on sale and I couldn't find any suitable dwarf varieties when we came back.

Instead I've got a tub of Dianthus which have been a bit slow getting going but are coming into their own at the moment

plus 2 tubs of Begonias which have been very prolific and have flowered all summer

I also have 2 tubs of Marigolds which have also been extremely successful and which attract lots of honey bees

My herb trough has had a good year too. It's crammed full of Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Oregano, Spearmint and Chocolate Mint. If I get a chocolate craving and don't have any stashed away I sometimes pick and chew a Chocolate Mint leaf which tastes just like After Eights. Not as good as the real thing obviously, but not a bad substitute and without any calories.  I've already started cutting and drying some of the herbs ready for the winter. It's really easy to do and there are little bunches hanging up all round the boat.

 Today we came through Harecastle Tunnel.................BOO!

It's not my favorurite trip by any means but I managed to stay outside for most of the way, until we got to the really low bit when my bottle went and I had to go inside. If I had to drive the boat through I reckon I'd be OK, but I'm really glad I have a man who can to do it for me instead. We did it in exactly 30 minutes and emerged into the glorious sunshine again before setting off down "Heartbreak Hill". We're now moored in a lovely quiet spot and Roger is fishing while I cook the dinner and type this. Life is good, roll on tomorrow................

Bye for now

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