These are the blueberry fruit bars Karen baked on Sunday morning. I have just stopped myself having my third one today. These are right at the top of my ten best Karen-made cakes.
Monday morning was cold yet again and the canal was only partly frozen so we set off for a three mile cruise to get ever nearer Fradley junction which we cannot pass until next Monday because of the lock maintenance work. Part of the route today was a two mile straight running parallel and right alongside the A38. Not the sort of stretch where we would moor up for lunch let alone overnight.
Karen spotted these snowdrops in bloom – our first of the year.
We went through just three locks today – this one is Barton Turn lock.
And this one, Wychnor lock, still has an old crane and wooden storehouse next to it. It always amazes me how things like this are still standing especially after canals went into disuse.
This is our new location with a nice wide tow path so we can get some log sawing done. It is also far enough away from the A38 so that we are not drowned out by traffic noise. We are now just three miles and six locks from Fradley junction so we will spend some time here at Wychnor and a bit further west in Alrewas. Secretly, I think Karen took this picture to show off the clean side of the boat. We stopped for water on our way down to Wychnor against the opposite tow path and stupidly forgot to clean that side of the boat.
After a cup of tea and another blueberry fruit bar we wandered to yet another deserted medieval village and took some pictures. Some of the houses in the village were destroyed in order to build the canal.
These signs are at the entrance to the site. We found the one on the stile really evocative and sums up the care some people show for places.
The church and two farm houses are all that remain standing.
When we were walking back to the boat we saw two C&RT guys. They were trying to retrieve a fridge/freezer from the canal.
Apparently it was first reported a week ago and this was the third time they had been out to try and get it; they couldn't even find it on the previous two occasions. I felt rather proud of myself as I managed to use the term ’drag rake’ in a normal conversation. I asked them if they were assembling their drag rake to retrieve the fridge/freezer.
They managed to latch onto it but health and safety risk assessment said they had to drag it to the next lock in order to retrieve it safely by solid ground.
One guy went off to take their van down to the next lock and left the other guy dragging it along. We gave up watching as we knew it was going to get tricky – there were some wide reed beds coming up and we could see that the drag rake wouldn’t be long enough.
Sure enough about 20 minutes after we got back on board he walked passed our boat with the drag rake disassembled and no fridge/freezer. Suspect we may feel a bump in the night when it reaches us.