Yesterday we came off the electric mooring before our time ran out on it and went to go through the lock. This one had more than just a neat garden, but a pond with fountain, statues and lilac and cherry trees. One would hardly think the lock and river needed a water feature, but it has been nicely themed.
I went to work the lock as it was self service. I was half way through turning the paddles when the lock keeper appeared and explained he was covering two locks today and had just come back from another one. We opened and closed the gaes, then he said I could get back on the boat since we were “on holiday”. He said see you tomorrow, but that wasn’t quite our plan. The weather forecast for Saturday was so poor that we were not planning to travel. It was uncertain enough on a day like this where sunshine and heavy rain were both forecast. We were only going a short distance, as we were already near the end point of navigation for a boat of our length.
Mooring by the pub had been suggested but it did not look a suitable place and in any case was only for 24 hours. We are up against a rather wiggly bank but it seems to work. We headed off to find a cafe for lunch, having noticed a few cafes the day before. We settled on the first one we saw and were very happy with The Tea Chest Cafe, very delicious bruschetta and soup.
I wanted to buy a card and post it so we took our chances with the intermittent showers and headed into town. Some very friendly people gave us leaflets and local walking advice at the library/ community services/ visitor information centre. They were pleased to have got bunting up and extra happy it was inside and so not soaking up the rain. The post box toppers were beaded with droplets as well as jewels.
I thought that as well as cafes there were plenty of card or gift shops but as not having much success finding them. One was actually an antique shop that was still an interesting visit. They had some amusing cards but not suitable for my sister. I wasn’t convinced this item was there for a coronation theme. What was being celebrated? And the other item next to it was even more infuriating.
We had toured around and Shane spotted cards. While I was choosing Shane discovered that the shop did refills of laundry fluid and soap. We had just been saying such shops were hard to come by and here it was. Perfect find! The staff were fun and entertaining too. The weather held out for our return trip, card written and bottles collected. There was a sad reminder of the dangers of fast flowing rivers, on the walk back, a bench covered with flowers, beside a footbridge, just along from where the boat is moored I had just read in the library that a teenage lad had gone into the water and not surfaced last week. Shane has been saying to me over the last few days to take extra care getting on and off. Slipping into the canal is not nice but is more survivable.
The rain has battered much of the day today. It has been a day of watching the telly – being moved.