I have been a little preoccupied with Christmas plans and present decisions. I am a little further forward after visiting some shops in Nantwich but decisions continue and last night we had some discussion about decorations. We pulled back the mattress to get out the deep hidden Christmas stash. Mainly it was table covers and napkins, but there were also a few Christmas themed items of clothing.
It has been misty lately but yesterday the mist burnt off to some very sunny weather and I was very hot locking and met a woman basking in a t-shirt. I decided today I could abandon the thermals, thick coat and scarf, especially as today promised lots of locks too. The low sun made it hard to see where we were headed too, when it was straight ahead. Shane abandoned his usual woolly hat. I wasn’t the only person to take his picture today.
The locks here are tending to have a crossover bridge, which looks nice and easy but once the gates are open they block the bridge and sometimes they swing quite fast so I was not daring to sprint round them. Ended up doing a lot of clambering over them. Every lock was set against us so we had an energetic day. We didn’ t see any other moving boats today and no passers by helping out either. The flight is called Heartbreak Hill and we were heading up it.
There were lots of birds twittering and there is some lovely countryside once you get past Middlewich. This lock in Middleweight had some of original stones to set your feet against to push the gates. The stone was veined with a harder rock and the white veins were proud above the worn stone around it. It doesn’t show as well in the phot as I hoped though. Might be able to see the raised white veins if you look closely.
As usual we did swap over and Shane locked for a bit too. Even driving I didn’t need any more layers, just zipping up my fleece. For a stretch there were paired locks . Still neither were set our way and sometimes only one was operational anyway. Shane told me that this stretch had been due for repair, and were therefore going to be closed. Perhaps we were lucky that storms have made them reprioritise and let us use this flight.
With restrictions increasing due to the rise in covid cases, we have been aware that it is possible that the canals could close to restrict movement. We think canals are one of the safer ways of travelling. We do go to shops, but are currently avoiding pubs and we are only seeing other people briefly and outdoors. We are following the rules (in fact have been more cautious than English rules) but not everyone does or did.
As the sun lowered we came to a suitable mooring point by a field of sheep. They were quite alarmed by the sound of the spikes being hammered in… Or the sight of Santa.