Narrowboat News - Edition 6

Narrowboat News - Edition 6

Very soggy today. Started with drizzle and then it turned into thunder showers - not too cold. The sluices, drains and spillways that keep the canal at it’s prescribed level are all brimming over today. I only hope the reservoirs are similarly full. We ran into water shortages all over the place last year - only one month later. There is no water shortage in our shoes. The fire is now alight and the inside of the boat resemble a steam room. We have now turned off from retracing our route and and are headed towards the Shropshire Union canal. We took the opportunity at Haywood Junction to nip back the farm shop for cheese supplies - we really like the Char coal cheese! Looks a lot like black pudding!

We stopped in Rugely, it’s a noted stop for narrow boaters as being a great place to get heavy shopping. You can moor up a 300 m walk from a Tesco’s and if you ask to get a shopping trolley (cart) unlocked you can potentially wheel it all the way back to the boat. We use our two folding shopping trolleys for this kind of trip.

We’ve done it again… we went up the road to Penkridge today - J after the weekend newspaper, me seeking a few more plants… it was a lovely walk with many beautiful old buildings. The town was bustling, lots of people, both old and young, walking around town (It probably helped that it was dry) and it turned out that it was market day, Weds and Saturdays apparently. As I continued my plant hunt we split up with the intention of meeting at a pub on the way back to the boat.

I failed to find any suitable floral candidates but spotted a butchers shop on the way back and remembered that we had yet to find any ox-tongue (a bizarre UK delicacy of which we are both fond), so I popped in. Mindful of having a full store cupboard after yesterdays big shop, I asked for two slices from the very small bit he had on hand.

I arrived at our rendezvous - and happily announced my find, only to discover that he too had called in at the same butchers and purchased 8 slices of tongue. He had even gone as far as to ask the butcher not to sell any more if a woman with a woolly hat and orange glasses came in asking for tongue. Unfortunately I was served by the other butcher! Tongue sandwiches for dinner tonight (and tomorrow….)

Apparently this has been the wettest March in 40 years, with 90% more rain than usual. Many fields have big soggy areas in them and large tractor ruts. I’m not complaining - only one day did we end very soggy and it was a challenge to get dried out.

Lucy Neatby


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