Just the tonic that we both needed.
After a reasonably unsettling and upsetting Tuesday with the news we received, we definitely needed something to cheer us both up.
It had, of course, been pre-arranged that we would head down to Stone - the girls were to have an afternoon tea at The Dog and Doublet at Sandon; the guys would hang around in Stone awaiting their return.
|enjoying a male-free feast|
As it may have involved some time before they were likely to finish, it seemed only natural that we should occupy our time somehow.
We started in The Star Inn, before heading over to The Swan and then up to The Royal Exchange - 6 of us looking out for one another - Andy, Roly, Jim, Richard, Gordon and yours truly.
The time just seemed to disappear and before we knew the girls - Sue, Bev, Joan,
The front window seats of the Exchange were completely full and then some.
|yet again we have taken over the front window of The Royal Exchange|
The only disappointment was that Elaine and Paul were not able to make it.
We all headed off at a reasonable hour; we had a train to catch; others needed to get back to their boats; for Dot it was a "school" night.
Thursday came and after a bit of work we were off again - this time though, it was not far at all - for some years and a few times past this way we had intended to make a visit to the National Trust property at Little Moreton Hall - closest way from the canal is to moor by Bridge 86 and use the public footpath.
The problem sometimes with using these footpaths is that they traverse farm land - in particular farm land in use by livestock, and after rain some areas become a little bit muddy.
|not the driest of footpaths or easiest to pass|
Anyway, with slightly less than completely clean footwear we made it and had a very good look around the property which dates from the early part of the 16th century.
|we finally made it to Little Moreton Hall - notice the clean straight lines|
Some areas were closed, but what was open gave a good look at the style of the family(s) who lived here and the manner in which they lived.
|...and the stained glass windows - unfortunately they date from the 1830's|
|This table is only 1 of 3 original pieces of furniture still in the house|
|some of the original wall decoration|
|and an original 16thC convenience|
|The long hall|
After taking our time we headed back the same way, doing battle with our earlier nemesis, but in the end making it back to the boat.
We decided that we should move on a bit further and so finally moored on the Poole Aqueduct - above the start of the Cheshire Locks.
One consequence of this last movement, is that we brought up 3000 miles of canal travel - we are happy to have had the chance to travel so far, and hope for many more miles.
6 miles, 1 lock
YTD: 106 Miles, 38 Locks, 1 Tunnel, 2
Totals: 3000 Miles, 2159 Locks, 99 Tunnels, 36