We have to retract our damning of Rugeley. This morning the sun shone brightly on this decent little town. It is hardly the citizens' fault that they were shafted by Thatcher and had their pits closed.
In the huge canal side Tesco, the people were smiley and good natured. They didn't look poor, not judging by their trollies as they went about their Christmas shop. We didn't see any obvious heroin users as we did in Staybridge.
But it was hectic with longish queues as is normal for a couple of days before the holidays. We have been in similar situations in Burton's Tesco where if you accidentally make eye contact there is a palpable threat of violence. Not so in Rugeley. We've never encountered such polite and patient shoppers.
The meal was also very good in Terrazza although we puzzled over the waitor's insistence that all meals are 'cooked to order.' Is there any other possibility in a restaurant? Only kebab and chip shops have food cooked in advance of their customers requests.
We left Rugeley feeling much more disposed to the place although Jim was quite right - even the charity shops were terrible. And it comes to something when they have to close down Poundland (closing on January 9th).
We are now moored in Fradley. It is pitch black and The Swan looks inviting but we are meant to be having an alcohol free healthy night with dinner on board.
* Please note that the above views are not necessarily those of the Captain. Surely a cheeky one in the Swan would be alright? And if the beer tastes bad, we could wash it down later with some Princess Lucy wine.
Blogging will no doubt be suspended for a few festive days, but we WILL be back.