We are still feeling bloated from all the delicious food and drink provided by our generous Christmas hosts, Elaine and David. But who cares if we now have to wear harem pants? It was hugely enjoyable and the Christmas lunch of Indian takeaway dishes of all our favourite things was a genius idea.
We left Alrewas on Boxing day but not before exploring the iron bridges which span the marshes of the River Trent. We paddled across a field back into the prettiest part of the villiage, soft and mellow, with its old cotton mill and 13th century church.
|Christmas Day. Jonesey's friend Roly|
It was a lovely mild, fresh and breezy cruise into Burton. We tied up on Shobnall Fields which turned out to be good moorings. The old Shobnall rec has been transformed into a tidy park for Jonesy to play ball in, complete with running tracks and tennis courts. We laid on a Boxing day buffet for Dawn and Craig and it was all very civilised being set in the remnants of a Victorian arboretum. This part of town does have a reputation and one of our party has been mugged on this tow path. So it goes beyond rumour.
When we went to bed, there had been talk of us being hacked to death in our bed for the sake of a ten quid hit. However, the reality was that we spent a peaceful night and were not even troubled by noise from the A38. Captain left the boat keys on the roof all night so that we and the boat might have easily been pirated. We weren't. The dual carriageway is horrible. Planners allowed the builders to carve up what was the civic gift of a leafy space for the town's brewery workers. Some trees survive but there used to be a bandstand where the road is and long gone is the paddling pool that was a focal point on sunny days.
We were both born here and spent most of our adult lives pretty much in this place. So it was very evocative to bring Princess Lucy back to our home. First mate walked the streets for an hour this morning and every step released a memory of childhood, teenage years and being a young mum delivering Leigh to his first school in Grange Street. Some of the streets are looking even more shabby than when we lived in Wellington Street. Wendy's Wool Shop is now a Sari emporium but the area survives, just about, thanks to its Asian entrepreneurs.
We are told that there is a big drug problem on Waterloo Street but the biggest nuisance seem to be the need for black and blue wheelie bins which have to live permanently on the pavement.
We have left Burton now and are moored outside The Dragon in Willington. In contrast, this holds no significance whatsoever.
Refective mood over.