18 March 2009

Counting down

This beautiful Spring weather and everyone coming out of hibernation has given me a real yearning to be back on board and out there asap. Touch wood, plans for the working week on the Weaver are still on schedule. In fact, it looks like we’ll be leaving home a day early, giving us the whole weekend for spring cleaning and maintenance. Cue the rain….I also hope to catch up with Geoff and Mags on Seyella – they’ve had a tough week with Geoff’s brother sadly losing his battle against cancer and it would be nice to see them before they head off to Ellesemere Port.

Next week, I have a meeting in Harrogate on Monday, A’s off to Manchester on Thursday and then we’ll take the day off on Friday to get moving. We need the full works before leaving – water, gas bottle, pump out, diesel, rubbish, but then there’ll be no stopping us. As the Middlewich branch has an excellent Vodafone signal along much of its length, I suspect we’ll stop short of the town to enable us to do a work catch-up in the evening. Then after a quick paper run in the morning, we’ll push on through the locks before it gets interesting with the hire boats coming up, with the aim to get up to the vicinity of Acton Bridge. This stretch is one of my absolute faves and we’ll probably stop there on Sunday before moving back down to Anderton first thing Monday for passage down. That leaves the weekenders on the Weaver to do their stuff without us getting in their way, although we may well walk the dogs down to the river from the cut and have a bit of a gongoozle.

First stop will probably be Barnton Cut and from then on, we’ll potter about as and when the fancy takes us. We do want to see both ends of the river this time but as we don’t have to be back at Nantwich until the 10th , I don’t suppose this will be a problem. Currently, neither of us have anything in the diary that necessitates being at home so we could conceivably extend our stay to after Easter – and if we take a taxi to our engagement on the 11th, we could stay out, rather than come back just for this one social obligation. We’ll have to see…I know from experience that it pays to keep plans fairly fluid but interestingly both of us are showing no particular inclination to rush home...

This trip is important because it’s once again testing the viability of the work/cruise concept. Our last serious trial of whether it’s possible for us to do both ended in a slight marital disagreement and male hissy fit, thanks in large part to storm force winds that pinned us to the bank just shy of Coole Pilate on the Shroppie – and well clear of any serviceable data signal for A’s work. If we’d only been able to get to the embankment at Nantwich, then he’d have had booming 3G and all would have been well. As it was, there was lots of ‘I can’t work like this’ chuntering and the week was a bit of a write-off. Thankfully, we know the T&M is pretty good signal-wise and as we have three mobile operators to play with, we should be okay. My default, as mentioned in a previous post, is to go and colonise McDonalds in Northwich and use their free wi-fi. I can see us building a nice collection of hamburgers to take back to the dogs, although this time I’ll take extra special care to make sure Arthur’s beef pattie doesn’t fall out into the mouth of a conveniently placed Ranger.

One footnote. As you’ll have seen from the sidebar on the blog, you can now follow our riveting adventures via Twitter as I’ve crawled into the 21st century and worked out – roughly – how to tweet. So for the next couple of weeks at least, consider me your roving canal correspondent for the north west. I’m the twit @greygaltweet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Twitter? If you find Amazon a bit hard to work through then have a look here: http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/shop/canal.htm They are arranged in more logical order, it is a click through to Amazon but the guy running the site gets some commission to keep his site running.

Indigo Dream