Friday 26 th June 2020   We both had a terrible night. It got to 28 ˚ and was airless. Rain started at 4am but it did nothing to cool the place down. The rain stopped as soon as it started but came again before 8am and continued heavily until midday. Once the rain had cleared we walked up into Christleton village. It felt so good to be back out and exploring again, although the church was only open for private prayer on Wednesday and Sunday. The centre of the village was delightful, a pretty village, full of some lovely old buildings. Even outwith the actual centre, there was an abundance of gorgeous properties.                                    St. James Church, Christleton                                                            Christleton Village Centre   We returned to the boat, picked up Harvey and went for a walk around the site of the Battle of Rowton Moor, a Civil War battle fought on 24 th September 164
Thursday 25 th June 2020   After breakfast we walked up to Beeston Castle. It was open but visiting was by prior arrangement only. However, we both enjoyed the walk although it had been hot before 8am and the day just got hotter. We then decided to head for Christleton and resume our exploration of the Shroppie and visit the castle on the return journey. Once down Wharton’s Lock it is an 8-mile, lock-free somewhat boring cruise. The countryside is lovely but there is the 2-mile stretch of privately moored boats at Hargrave to contend with. The algae was not quite as bad as yesterday, but there were numerous floating islands of reed, some completely blocking the canal and had to be pushed gently aside with the boat.                                       Floating Island of Reeds                                                                  Slow Moving Boat ahead of us     Towards the end of the long line of m
Wednesday 24 th June 2020   Again, last night, the farmers were cutting and turning grass in the nearby fields but then, about 10pm, a heavy dew came down and stopped them working. And gave us a quiet night. We left the mooring just after 9am in order to arrive at Venetian when Susan opened at 10. We passed up Minshull Lock, such a pretty place. The lock-keepers cottage here, we nearly bought when we first moved back to Cheshire in 2000.                                          Minshull Lock-Keepers Cottage                                                    Marina Dwellers at Syke’s Hollow   Syke’s Hollow had been reclaimed by the marina dwellers, Gazebo Wharf as they term it, 6 boats in all. Good for them. I suppose they will be there now until the end of the summer. At the marina, we took on fuel and a gas cylinder, bought some goods and Brenda had a well-earned ice-cream. Susan was pleased to see us
Tuesday 23 rd June 2020   It was a funny morning with the weather undecided which way to turn. The day though, became very hot, too hot for me, and Harvey and myself spent most of the afternoon inside. Harvey has not been quite right these last few days. He has always suffered with his belly in the summer heat and he has been having runny poo’s, normal in the hot weather, but with a touch of blood, although he is bright enough himself. The morning, and into the afternoon, became busy with jobs that we had got materials for while in Middlewich. The side doors were removed and the hinge pins cleaned and greased, the brassware on one being repositioned evenly. Wedges were made for the galley and dinette windows, to enable them to be just partly open, an idea we came up with during the winter cold. The front cratch and back end locker covers were given another coat of paint and felt pads were fitted to protect the paintwork when opening and closing. Then the engine room, again,
Monday 22 nd June 2020   Brenda went to Devaney’s, the Middlewich butcher’s first thing, only to find them closed on account of a family bereavement, so went instead to Morrison’s. I stayed on the boat, readying to move and doing more work on family history. On Brenda’s return we both went to Morrison’s for a mega shop. Such hard work lugging loads of shopping back to the boat. We have decided we need to buy a second sack trolley. After the shopping was unpacked and stowed away, we had a cup of tea and some lunch and left the mooring just before 2pm. It felt so bloody good to be off cruising again, picking up where we left off when we left Middlewich on 10 th February, over 4 months ago, supposedly on the start of the cruising year after spending most of the winter static, in and around Middlewich, before the Corona Virus lock-down stopped us, and everybody else, dead in our tracks. We had an uneventful trip as far as Aqueduct Marina where we moored. When Bridge Street wa
Sunday 21 st June 2020   The morning was spent largely hanging around. More family history was done. Manny was born around the time the TV series “Who Do You Think You Are” started and both gave me the impetus to start researching his family story. After 14 years, it sometimes feels it will never be complete. There are now about 14 lever arch ring files in Tracey’s loft that contains the research and only a few are completed. Sometimes, you wonder if anybody will ever read through it all. In the afternoon we visited Moira, Tracey’s father’s partner, and spent a nice few hours with her. Then, in the evening, we had a Chinese take-away with Tracey and the kids before leaving tomorrow. Eva’s hamster had been dying for over 24 hours and he passed away while we were there, so he was buried in the back garden with due ceremony and topped with a sunflower plant.
Saturday 20 th June 2020   Brenda took the dog out this morning and, after an hour, Harvey turned up back at the boat on his own. A frantic search for Brenda found her on the towpath talking with someone. At Tracey’s, the fencing was finished and the gate hung. Well pleased with the job but hard work. In the afternoon, we met with Martin and Shelley in the grounds of the Kings Lock pub, bringing our own beer. Again, it was nice to meet up with old friends. The Kings Lock would be our usual meeting place but it did feel funny not being allowed inside. There were quite a few groups meeting up in the same way with most tables being full. Roll on when the pubs reopen. Of course, there were no toilet facilities so we had to break up early. Brenda went for fish and chips, while I dragged the dog back to the boat, desperate for the loo. It was a long way back! We sat in the front cratch and ate our fish and chips, very novel. After a bit of TV, it was early nights. We heard tod