Monday, 17 April 2017

Easter Bubbles

We spent Easter Sunday in Stone, batterned down, awaiting a deluge that never materialised. Our wonderful neighbours, Rod and Sue, arrived for lunch in more than decent weather. Bringing our post, Prosecco and chocolate cake, they were more than welcome. Mr Jones almost licked them away. His way of telling them that he loves them very much.
We even managed a gentle stroll down the tow path past the old Joules Brewery and back through the woodland which runs along the river.
After a small Babycham, we went for dinner at Smoke and Rye. Since The Plough incident, we are scoring the quality of service. These young staff scored 10 out of 10 for respect.  politeness and attention. The food is American, burgers, ribs, steaks and Mac 'n Cheese.   It is carbo loading at its best. Heavy on the gut but very tasty.
Today we leave Stone and head for a middle-of-nowhere mooring and a slightly healthier dinner on board.


Friday, 14 April 2017

The Star by the Lock

The Star must have been a siren call for hard grafting boat men, situated as it is,  literally on one of the prettiest locks you're likely to find. Last night we decided to take Mr Jones in for a pint and had our dinner there.  It's an interesting old pub with welcoming staff and good food. It's honest, unpretentious and the sort of pub we like.
It is thundering down and has been a rainy day off and on.  We are now holed up with the stove ticking over - coats dripping in the cratch. We can't actually move after stuffing down rather too much of a fish and chip supper.

It's a quiet night in having had visitors for lunch. Our friend Amanda and her five year old daughter Daisy came to check out our new boat. They live on the Wirral and this is nearer for them than Kings Orchard Marina near Lichfield.
We like Stone. It's a solid little town with plenty of green spaces for Jones to play ball in. The canal runs past the edge of the shops and restaurants. It has its fair share of charity shops but feels quite buoyant in comparison with Rugeley.
More exploring tomorrow and we will stay put quite happily until Monday.


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Rugely Hugely Appreciated

We really knocked ourselves out yesterday and cruised for a full hour and 20 minutes with no locks. Taxing but we just about made it from our lovely rural mooring to Rugely.
On our morning walk we met a very wise woman, a solo boater who lives and works at Fradley on her boat 'Don't Panic'. Jones was very frisky with her Cairn terrior Bonny who appeared to be dragging round a piece of slim cord and a triangle cut from a piece of Fablon bearing pebbles.
Mystified, we had to enquire as to its purpose. She told that it kept the runaway near her and the boat and that it had worked successfully for 6 years. Bonnie, like Jonesy, is very independent and thinks nothing of running off after a rabbit and had once  disappeared for 10 hours! Even though this string is not attached to anything - it fools her. The bright patterned fablon helps her owner see her if she burrows into some undergrowth. Genius.
We arrived at Rugely in the afternoon sun. It still has a Boots, a Wilcos and a Morrisons. We had a delicious dinner at Terrazza. This is an old fashioned Italian with fantastic service and food. After the contempt heaped on us by the staff at The Plough, we really noticed the difference and it was much appreciated. Perhaps the Plough could send their rather superior bearded hipster manager for a refresher training course to Terrazza?

Monday, 10 April 2017

Pizza Ahoy

Now we do love a pizza. Who doesn’t?  Lunch today was reheated pizza from Papa John’s in Lichfield and this made our fifth pizza indulgence this week. My but it was good today. It was even better last night as revenge pizza after we had stormed out of The Plough at Huddlesford. It was the second time they didn’t have our table even though we booked in person two weeks ago. They are shockingly bad at that joint and there are only so many times they can treat us with contempt.

We had a lovely afternoon lolling in the sun with Jim, Sarah, Ricky and Mr Jones followed by an equally enjoyable evening around Princess Lucy 2’s table scoffing our body weight in multiple toppings and drinking beer and wine. We can live without The Plough and, clearly, they can and will survive without us.

Today, it was much cooler and we went from tee shirts back to hats and gloves as we cruised through Fradley and up towards Handsacre. We are moored in beautiful countryside surrounded by acres of glorious yellow flowers. Trees are in blossom and willows sweep the canal. All is peaceful after a risotto dinner which has finally weaned us off the hard stuff.
No more pizza for at least 24 hours.


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Canal Speedbumps

One of, the many, sweeping changes that will be made when my own political party comes to power concerns speedbumps.
The Peoples Party of Common Sense, will both stop filling in potholes and stop providing speedbumps. This will save the country millions. A true win win.
I was reminded of this manifesto item yesterday when first mate complained that the bedroom drawers were flying open at random. The reason for this was twofold. First, Captain had made the very stiff and badly fitted drawers run beautifully. And second he had corrected the list of the boat with 125kg of railway 'chairs.'
Perhaps like the potholes, he should have left everything just as it was.
The boat is fully stocked and decorated with plants on the bow, and today we begin a little (fortnightish) cruise.
This afternoon we plan to meet up with Chertsey. Obviously we are looking to meeting up with the crew, but the main thing is that Mr Jones will catch up with their greyhound Ricky (nee Rocky).
The picture here is from that meeting.