Penkridge must be an unhealthy place

We agreed not to buy each other anything for valentine’s day but bought a potted rose for the boat; however, Karen brought me this mid morning snack (the picture was taken after I had eaten half the cake).

On Saturday morning we walked round Penkridge and visited the market.  If you like markets then I suppose it was good.  It had a wide variety of stalls but we remain sceptical that you ever really get a bargain at these places whether it’s fruit and vegetables, clothes or dog cushions.  We also visited the village gaol which has been restored.

These seven arches span the tiny River Penk.

We walked round the churchyard and were amazed at the number of graves.  It seemed totally out of proportion to the size of the village.  We came to the conclusion that locals must have a low life expectancy and the birth rate must be high.

Our plan for the rest of Saturday was to cover half the remaining distance down to Wolverhampton.  Our first lock was Filance lock.

The canal then met up with the M6 again and Otherton lock is right alongside it.

I went to set Rodbaston lock and found that I couldn’t fully open one of the gates.  Looking down I saw a sheet of plywood floating in the water preventing the gate from closing.  Fortunately our pole was just long enough at 11 feet for me to lean over and move it aside and it floated out of the lock.

The next lock was the strangely named Boggs lock.

The sun started to burn through the cloud and it actually felt warm for the first time in a while.  It does get cold when you are steering as you tend to be pretty motionless. 

By the time we got to Brick Kiln lock we saw blue skies which was a welcome relief from the last few grey days.

The sixth and last lock of the day was Gailey Top lock.

I cooked mussels in the evening and we had a cheeky box of chocolates.  On Sunday morning we prepared a curry for the slow cooker and cruised to Coven Heath which is just north of the M54 on the outskirts of Wolverhampton.  We had a lazy afternoon watching the rugby then having an early dinner.

We are excited about the week ahead and it could be quite different as we expect to get into the centre of Birmingham.

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