On Monday, we had arranged to meet Chris and Hilda of the sea going yacht Scharjade. They came to see nb Princess Lucy and we promised them a good dinner at a canal side pub. The last time we ate with them was at The Seafood Bar at The Crinan Hotel. The two men declared that this was the best fish and chips they had ever eaten.
We returned to the Hollybush at Denford, and mindful that on our previous visit there, the food had been mediocre, we looked for something 'safe' on the menu.
"Fish and chips," first mate suggested, "they can't do much to ruin that."
Well they could, and they did. Chris had asked the bar person whether they battered their fish. The look of disbelief said it all. They didn't batter anything that could be delivered in a packet. Four portions of dry, triangular slabs of something battered were delivered. Luckily we could laugh about it. The parsnips weren't so bad though.
Yesterday we made fantastic progress for us from Hazelhurst Junction all the way to Etruria. The lovely sunshine helped. There is a lot of new house building around the canal, so we thought that maybe something is happening to regenerate The Potteries at last. We walked into Hanley for shopping and dinner but found the centre almost empty of people. The only visible change in Hanley since first mate left 8 years ago was a giant 24 hour Tesco plonked outside The Regent's Theatre. This lit the deserted townscape.
Today we travelled north through the Harecastle tunnel and decided that the novelty of this dark and chilling experience had definitely worn off. We literally counted the yards painted on the tunnel sides. It was a huge relief to be out in the fresh air and back on The Macc'.
Tonight we enjoyed an excellent meal and service at The Rising Sun, Scholars Green. Tomorrow is the Bosley flight and a quiet night in. At least we have got to end of all Scarlet's weeping, whining and wailing in Gone With the Wind. Like Rhett, by the end of this epic melodrama, we couldn't give a damn.