Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Shropshire Union Canal Trip
Had a nice jaunt over to Staffordshire yesterday in the car with the help of Mr. Tom Tom. Managed to find my old chum Trevor straight away as we looked over the canal to the Wharf beyond - he was painting a narrowboat in the bright sunshine. It was quite surprise to see him there as I expected to do some detective work as I hadn't heard from him for about 7 years and imagined he had moved. He hadn't changed all that much - a few more white hairs like the rest of us baby boomers. He had time to take us over to his moorings and show us the delightful spot he'd found under some huge trees and far from lifes hustle and bustle. It looked a bit like Steptoe's yard with lean-to's and tree houses and old rotting tractors and steam engines etc. Also a handy workbench and welding gear. Several boats were tied up there and so we were invited to sleep in one that was empty overnight instead of the B&B we suggested. It was great to catch up with what he'd been doing and to see his daughter who lives nearby. We went for a nice meandering walk in the woods to see the "fairy glade" where the magic yew stood and to see the badger tracks and leavings. It was quite a climb up the top of a steep bank and see the canal far below glinting in the last rays of the evening sun. Later we had a drink or two in the local canalside pub and a nice meal.
We had a rather uncomfortable nights sleep due to the bed with a dip in the middle and the sounds of badgers hooting in the woods ( or were they furry owls?). It was freezing cold too. Trevor's boat is amazing- it's like walking into a smokey museum! Nice to see he'd pinned up some of Archie's old Xmas cards amongst all the drawings by his girls and the piles of books and other debris.
We left for home after toast cooked on the wood burning stove and managed to find a different way back via Whitchurch.
Oh, I forgot to mention that while Trevor was painting his boat in the afternoon we went off to find Stafford which was about 10 miles away and had a look round the shops and bought a few useful items like sheets and a duvet cover. Also Hazel found a hole punch that you hit with a hammer in a charity shop. I found some smaller varieties with numbers on in Booksale.
This afternoon we went into town after lunch to get some milk and bread. I found a nice book about cartoons and comics in Booksale again. Archie seems o.k. at the moment ( fingers crossed ) his texts are more cheery and he seems to be enjoying the evenings entertainments like bowling ( with a square ball ) and the quiz.