We have long planned to have Christmas in Marple, and there was never any real doubt that we’d get here. However in the last week, the situation in the country in general has felt sufficiently strange that it was difficult to be certain. We raced up Heartbreak Hill and on up the Bosley Locks to be sure. In the first lockdown, these flights had padlocks on them to stop people moving around. We weren’t sure if we might suddenly be plunged back in to that.
Reaching the top of Bosley three days ahead of our schedule meant that we could properly slow down. There were other things that could be a problem, but we could explain our way out of all the ones I could think of.
As our pace dropped to an hour or two of driving per day and no locks, I stepped up the pace of work on the cupboard. With the facings fitted, the paint pots also came out and now it looks almost complete. (I will build and paint a replacement table latch in due course, but not quite yet).
This morning we had let the water tank run to the point where the display was flashing red at us. Despite having decided to keep the levels high, we had put off filling up for one reason after another. Today it was our priority, so I put my hat on and we set off.
The hat got the now customary smiles and waves. Under one bridge a woman walking the other way also had a Santa hat – “Nice hat!” I called, which got a laugh. We reached the water point and moored up. I connected the hose as usual and went to turn it on. A jet of water sprayed out. By the time the hose was on full, the jet was on to the wall behind. Before that it had drawn a wet and cold line across my trousers.
So that was the third of three tanks sorted in three days. Now we just had to finish the journey to Marple. The weather forecast had been predicting freezing conditions tonight, so we had wanted to ensure we arrived instead of being iced in elsewhere. The forecast is now showing (slightly) milder conditions overnight.
We passed the entrance to the North Cheshire Cruising Club. This was the first Cruising Club on the narrow canal system of England set up in 1943. The graceful arched bridge is typical of the Macclesfield Canal architecture.
We arrived in Marple just before sunset, and were pleased to find a very convenient mooring spot. We walked down to see Nye, David and Bryn. It was great to catch up with them all again. We had a relaxed chat and were provided with an excellent dinner.