Deck the Halls

Yesterday we stayed put in Macclesfield. Shane went to a nearby DIY store and I got on with some present wrapping. Over the last few days, Shane has been putting the finishing touches to his tandem cupboard and built a support for the Christmas tree, raising it to a more visible place and getting rid of the crate on the floor. This achieved making the place look better for guests and made more floor space by getting wood out of the way.

He didn’t want to stay in all the time though , so we did go back in to the market and there were lots of craft stalls. The day before I had seen the market packing away, so was pleased to get a chance to view the stalls. In the end the only thing purchased was from a hand dyed wool stall. I had a nice chat with the stall holder. Buying gifts for yourself ensures you get something you really want. I suspect Santa might be wrapping that for me.

The plan to stay a day was partly based on not having explored Macclesfield before, though we have passed through couple of times, when in a hurry, and partly on a forecast of fog. This forecast didn’t materialise except in the evenings. At one point last night Shane spotted blue flashing lights and we saw a fire engine in the bridge. A woman passing said it was a garden bonfire that had gone out of control and through the light mist we could see a blacker cloud of smoke.

Today was overcast and so we didn’t want, or need, to travel far but we did want to get stocked up in diesel as ice is forecast and we might get stuck and we rely on diesel for heating. There were a couple of options. When we arrived at the first they said we had better be quick as they expected a fuel boat in 5 minutes. Excellent timing. We got the tank filled by a chap who had greeted Shane with “ho ho ho” and had a chat with the friendly staff. Right on cue the fuel boat arrived and smoothly drove in to the space as we drove out, waving and wishing us merry Christmas. Their oily workboat was bedecked with tinsel, with a season’s greetings sign.

We decided that once we had lunch, we would stop for the day. I was getting cold driving with no sun. As we were mooring I saw to my surprise, across the canal,  2 Highland cows. 


Heilan’ coos, lounging in deepest England

I also noticed we were beside a hedge with both holly and ivy right next to each other. If the fuel boat was decorated, then, I should make an effort. While Shane put a second coat of paint on in the afternoon I did some decorating of the tree stand and a put a little greenery on Bartimaeus.


Holly and ivy sprigs above the bow doors but not covering the tunnel light
Ivy covered buoyancy aid on the hatch, shouldn’t affect its safety function

On a short walk later we saw horses and an unusual breed of sheep, large horns seem all the rage here. I felt we had quite a manger scene developing around us, bar the donkey, and the people. We did meet a man who claimed to be digging for gold, so I asked if he had found any frankincense or myrrh.



Impressive horned sheep
Al fresco manger for the sheep

Shane has now stowed all the wood that was left, leaving the saloon clearer than it has ever been since we moved on in July… Except for washing I have hung up, it looks quite spacious, now the door is back on the cupboard. 

Shane sawing wood to size, so it will fit in the bow locker