We appear to be the only decorated boat at Furness Vale Marina, and as such, we claim our prize. Unlike Pillings Lock, the marina has no liveaboards, and many of the boats are winterised, so perhaps this is not surprising.
The plan this time is to spend Christmas week on the boat. We will not be going far, but if the weather forecast is correct, far enough to experience the rain and gales and spill a few strangers' sherries as we helplessly bump into their carefully moored boats.
36 lock free miles on the Macclesfield and Upper Peak Forest canals is the challenge. And with eight days allocated, the maths (4.5 miles per day) makes it sound easy. I hope so.
Convalescing aboard will be Jemmathedog. A few days ago she had 4 teeth removed. But with 2 gone from one side, 1 the other side and one at the front, it has really left her no safe place to chew and she is wandering around the house looking glum and confused. Perhaps some fresh sniffs on previously unexplored towpaths will be the tonic she needs.
Our tonic will hopefully be some lazy days on the boat interspersed with some short dog walks (for Jemma) and longer dog walks (for Rocky), meeting up with family and friends to include some meals out at Sasso (Disley), Murillos (Marple), Sutton Hall (Gurnett Aqueduct), Lazeez Indian (Macclesfield), and just maybe the odd pint in the Wharf and Waters Green Taven at Macclesfield.
Unless there are any other entries, we we will celebrate our self awarded first prize for Christmas boat decoration at Furness Vale with a small sherry! No one else seems daft enough to be on board.