It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I heard some honking in the morning, a lone goose. I went to get some scraps to feed it but by the time I got out it had swum well past the boat and in stead I met a group of ducks on the tow path before I caught up with the goose and they got the scraps. More ducks and geese appeared later and I got a few more items from the compost bowl. Before setting off I spotted a nuthatch in the tree next to us and we watched it’s unusual agile action up and down the trunk packing at the bark.

It was colder today and definitely felt wintery, but not snow, frost or rain, so good for travelling, though it wasn’t long before Shane was chilly and I drove to let him go in and make himself coffee, rather than just making it for him. I was thinking thermals might have been a good idea.

Out in the fields on our short journey we saw some more unusual sheep that Shane thought looked like a horse. I didn’t get a good look at them as I was driving, but it was very big and fluffy, and sharing the field was a Shetland pony, an alpaca and to complete yesterday’s nativity stable scene, there was a donkey.

 

We needed to get water so stopped in Higher Poynton. We have been here a few times and knew there was a little snack stall at the canal. Last time we went to the shop was September 2020 for an ice cream and we had been impressed by the ingenuity of the shop owner who had a pulley system for receiving money and  delivering your purchase and change, while maintaining a safe distance. They have some outside tables for customers. Today was not an ice cream day – my hands were already cold. But I was pleased to see they had free range eggs ( including duck, quail and goose eggs) for sale so I was able to see their seasonally enhanced trolley system in action again.

Santa getting loaded up for delivery
Take your chosen item and put money in the pot

There were people feeding the ducks and among the mallards was a larger cross breed duck. Many other birds were coming around for crumbs too – sparrows, a blackbird and a couple of robins.  The water was slow filling so it was nice to have other entertainments around, while we waited.

 

Robin at the water point
Drake’s tail and a hybrid duck snapped from a hybrid

There were more people around walking today than normal for a week day, probably some people were off work and school as we saw quite a few school age children. We only saw one boat moving though. They were , like everyone else, wearing woolly hats, and cosy coats and jumpers, but when we had passed I was surprised to see the driver had shorts on! 

 

Not many boaters on a cold day hooded and snooded from the waist up anyway

As usual we notice boat names and today I learned a new word, in Welsh. It was the name of a boat that is part of the canal and waterways chaplaincy service. Shane pronounced the word, which means “blessing” in an authentic Welsh accent, though he didn’t know the word either.

A Christmas Welsh blessing

We have now arrived in Marple and got moored 5 minutes from Nye and David’s flat. I put some finishing touches on the tree in its new position and did some more wrapping and arranged some presents under the tree. Then we went round to see Nye, David and Bryn. There was a pile of post for us at Nye’s – a redirected card from a schoolfriend of mine, a card from a schoolfriend of Bryn and Nye’s for all of us, a present for me from a friend, Margaret, a pay slip of back pay, for me and a huge pile of books that Shane had ordered for himself! I admired their original decoration theme – Christmas tree frogs. Bryn and Nye cooked a tasty pasta bake for us. We look forward to a few more meetings over the next few days. Shane is just finishing unwrapping all those books. We’re going to need a bigger shelf!

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