I had a restless sleep with dreams of frustration, embarrassment and anxiety. I have not had one of those for a while and wondered if having to travel was bothering me, or perhaps the cramp in my calf and toothache were contributing. Anyway paracetamol helped a lot and we managed to gather a breakfast together from the remnants found in the fridge and jam jar. It is always satisfying to feel you don’t have to throw anything out.

We were pretty well packed and there was just enough hot water for a short shower each before setting off to keep the batteries topped up, before going to the station. Shane drove while I stripped the bed and cleared space so that if Rob needs to do wiring for the new solar panels while we are away, he isn’t having to tidy away a pepper mill or garlic, or spare glasses or slippers.

I was still able to pop out and enjoy the morning cruise and we saw kites and a kestrel. I managed to be out when we approached the bridges Shane had included in his walk photos yesterday.

We will no doubt be back this way and look forward to seeing the changes as building work is happening. Shortly we were approaching the area where we wanted to leave the boat. The mooring that Shane thought was ideal was already taken by the aptly named boat Tickety Boo

Tickety Boo for them

We continued round the corner and there were spaces and with careful positioning we maximised the roof access to light (not good for Rob to be working under branches) but it did mean we were still on a bit of a curve so getting in very close at both ends was not possible, but it was good enough. There was a supermarket nearby so I went to buy lunches for the journey and scope for recycling facilities. A friendly staff member showed me where there was glass recycling. I went back to get jars and bottles and some other rubbish. I had seen a bin nearby.

On the way , crossing the bridge over the canal, there was some supermarket (and other) rubbish that had been retrieved from the canal and left on the pavement. The supermarket did not have metal recycling, just clothes, shoes glass and aluminium cans.

Not good in the canal but not good here either

Of course having made the special trip we did see other glass bins on the way to the station, but I wouldn’t want to clank my way along the road on the off chance and risk having them on the way. Our journey involved 3 train changes. On our first train there was a confusing sign saying the train terminated here so there was indecision about boarding it. That was the correct train for us but once aboard we saw a girl looking confused. She had been told to get on the train at that platform but she felt it wasn’t going the right way. Google maps wasn’t giving her answers so Shane checked her ticket and his train app. In fact the next train at that platform was the right one for her and she needed to get off at the next station, Leamington Spa, and go back the other way. She downloaded the same app Shane was using and took a photo of his screen with her journey on it. We were getting off too and were able to help her find the right platform and show her that, again it was not the first train, but the second that was hers. She was communicating well with us and understanding us but English was not her first language and the names she was contending with were all difficult to understand as the spoken and written did not match well – to Bicester on the Marylebone train. She was having a long difficult journey but remained cheerful.

Meanwhile our Leamington Spa train was delayed. I had time to root around in my bag and take more paracetamol which should be kicking in by the time I ate lunch on the train. Shane was a bit worried about the delay in case it meant missing a train further down the line. As we pulled away from the station I saw an advert saying “every station was an adventure” certainly so for that girl finding her way around a foreign system.

At Nuneaton we had a short wait for the next train. This one came past – not for us, and one you’d be unlikely to board in error – a bit of a rubbish train, you would think.

Freight bases passing us by

Waiting at our platform in Nuneaton we were right opposite a mural. It was not a long wait either.

At Crewe there was a less than helpful platform display. This would have been very unsatisfactory if trying to explain to the girl how to get her train. 

Crewe platform “information”

We were on our last leg and this train was more crowded. Some other trains had been cancelled. An announcement was made apologising for delays due to an earlier incident. The announcers voice sounded very hesitant and even slightly upset. It didn’t sound good. Later announcements confirmed that we were delayed due to a fatality on the line. It is always salutary to learn, even if your day has not been the best, it could definitely be worse. It was sad to think while some people were unhappy about their delayed journey (“sorry for the inconvenience”), somebody else was suddenly bereaved.

The weather at Wigan was just as it had been last two times we were working locks there. I sent a photo to the friends who had been with us last time…happy memories! I am looking forward to meeting her on Friday and we plan to hide in an art gallery so it won’t matter if it rains.

We are safely back in Edinburgh and have checked the stocks of painkillers. Paracetamol isn’t really quite keeping up so I will be ringing the dentist first thing as this is getting steadily worse. I’m glad I am in Edinburgh with more chance of getting that sorted. Thanks to Shane for a soft macaroni cheese dinner.