Friday, 1 November 2013

Katz’n’ice, early drinking and lots of friends

Tuesday 29th October to Friday 1st November 2013

The highlight for Tuesday would be the theatre-outing for a production of Cats, but we had planned on a dinner out before the show and La Bella Napoli was the chosen destination – their pre-Theatre dinner was very good indeed and with plenty in the restaurant you would almost be forgiven for thinking it was a Saturday night – not Tuesday.

The show was very well staged and presented; the cast very good and the performance was therefore of a high standard.

The walk back to the boat was fortunately downhill but the air was very cold – colder than we had felt for quite a while.

In the morning, the air from the night before was even colder and for the first time in quite a while there was some ice on the roof of the boat – a sign that we are not that far away from winter.

At least the day was clear and we had the task of cruising down to Barlaston ahead of us; and so we were off relatively early and without the need for a water tank top up we were moored up before lunch and just short of a little bit of rain (good timing again).

Diane wanted another trip up to Wedgwood – for another look around, which we did together. Returning after a visit to the café we sort of settled down for the rest of the day and didn’t do too much at all – I should have also said that it was a day off for me – I had worked too many hours for the fortnight so the easy way was to do nothing – which I did.

As with many things whilst we are out on short cruises like this, there is a reason for moving and a schedule of sorts to be met – sometimes I know about it and sometimes I don’t – this time I did – we were back into Stone to prepare for the Fireworks on the weekend.

We have been having a little trouble with the engine actually starting – we are almost convinced that it is switch related and not battery – a few mornings have seen the engine just fail to turn over but after checking the circuitry behind the panel it seems to spring into life when next tried. Another job for Clive Penny when we get back to the marina.

Coming into Stone we texted Lynn and Phil to let them know we would be up to see them; just after that we had a call from Dot and Gordon – they would be in Stone in the afternoon and then we passed Joan and Jim (Two Jays) and let them know that we would walk back up to see them, just as soon as we found a mooring spot closer to The Star and didn’t need to restart the engine again.

The afternoon was a longer than expected enjoyment. First we caught up with Joan and Jim aboard their boat – tea and a lovely slice of freshly cooked cake – Jim, you can hire her out anytime!

Whilst there, Lynn walked past with Freedie, and she did get a bit of a shock with me peering through the window of a different boat – let her know that we were on our way to see her and Phil.

After saying goodbye to J&J we walked on a bit further to see L&P to see how they both were – some more tea and treats; sorted out dates for lunch and then Phil drove us back into town – so nice he is to do that and so very much appreciated.

Diane noticed that we had a couple of messages from Dot – they were just down from the Star Lock – so off we went. In the darkness that had already descended, now that summer time was long gone we found Ewn Ha Cul and the two inhabitants whom we had not seen for so long.

Time in some ways stands still for boaters – especially when you see one another after a long break – was it really that long since we last met.

Over a cuppa we talked of what we had done and what we are planning to do.

Dot brought the results of her labour – two beautiful bedside lamps that we had commissioned and whilst we had seen photos of them previously, they do look quite magnificent (pictures coming soon)

But it wasn’t long before we needed to get back for Banjo – 7 hours is bit longer than the original plan of no more than 4 and he would be in need of a tree or two and his dinner.

So we walked back by torchlight to the boat – the gang is starting to re-assemble!

It was even early by the GLW’s standards but there she was at 7:45am searching the wine rack for a fresh bottle of white wine; just barely out of bed and the bottle was duly passed across for yours truly to open it for her.

Well alright, I will own up she was just using it for cooking – getting an early start on a slow cooked stew that she had decided for today’s fayre (Friday).

Diane, Dot and Gordon along with Banjo walked down to the marina to accompany Elaine and Paul (Caxton) back up to Stone for some general get-togethering (i.e. visiting the pub).

9 Miles, 7 Locks

Totals: 2210 Miles, 1651 Locks, 74 Tunnels, 32 Lift Bridges, 145 Swing Bridges

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