Friday, 4 July 2014

Underground, queues, rain then sunshine in the form of friends

Today we came through the Harecastle Tunnel. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! And I don’t like it. It took 35 minutes (fastest I have ever done it is 26 minutes several years ago when Mick was steering and we had bets about the time he’d take. That was one fast trip. Today wasn’t slow by any means (average time is 45 minutes) but it seems to take ages – intense concentration all the way not to hit the sides and to keep the head low as the roofline dips often. There is ample evidence that lots of people hit the roof sides with their superstructure …
And on to the Maccie a relief after the dreaded tunnel!
From there we made our way up on to the Macclesfield which is very different – quite narrow, tree-lined, not many non-CRT places to moor so far. We stopped at the first set of 48 hour moorings and set off to find the Tescos. Did quite a big shop but no pear cider and no chardonnay – we just couldn’t have carried anymore than we already had collected! Good thing there are still 2 chardonnays on the boat, hard luck, David, that you have drunk all your pear cider. My heart pumps custard!
Once back on the boat we set off for the stop lock which is only 1 foot deep, but THERE WAS A BLOODY QUEUE!!! We were the 4th boat on our side and the cut is extremely narrow there as well as rocky where the side has collapsed – right at the lock moorings, what’s more. Doh! Only the English can generate a queue at a one foot lock … We were finally through with two lovely coincidences: one of the boats coming our way was Black Prince’s Priscilla which we had last year or the year before; and David helped an NZ guy through the lock (he’d got off at the bridge hole so had no trouble alighting from the boat as did others). The boat is named Pounamu – a bit of a giveaway that it houses an NZer, don’t you think? We are are joining Keith for a drink before dinner.
Taffy, Michelle and my new hair
Now, these two people are a sensible height ...
Speaking of dinner, lunch was lovely. Michelle and Taffy arrived a bit late – they had their own traffic jam to contend with on the M6 at Jct 20. So lunch was quick but full of laughs and very yummy food, if I do say so myself (chilli, guacamole, sour cream, nachos, salad [leaves from the cabin-top garden], Adair’s lemon, honey and grated ginger dressing, followed by raspberries and double cream – not something we have in NZ, as we just tend to have cream that can be poured, whipped, whatever). Michelle then gave me a haircut fit for a boating woman (i.e. very short as befits a woman who may not get another haircut till she gets back to Michelle in Wellington in early October), in the saloon (not the salon), and they were off – heading for Wales to Taffy’s mum’s place. It was just wonderful to see them, even if only briefly, and we do hope they will join us for a few days next year on their trip over to the northern hemisphere. Taffy really doesn’t need to walk through the boat on his knees – he is tall, but he can stand up …
TV reception is pretty non-existent, but David says we can watch on the net. He is now having a lie down, and it is raining. Yay!! We are not planning on moving until at least after Olek arrives tomorrow, and maybe longer if the rain keeps up.
When this is done, I am having a nana nap too – it is just the right sort of day for it.


Jaqueline Biggs said...

Crikey Marilyn--I'm with you about the Queue at the stop lock!! Crazeee! I love your haircut!! It looks divine.
Big hugs,

Marilyn McDonald said...

Thanks, Jaq, I like my hair short too. Since we did the Hall Green Lock and queued, we have done it twice more with no waiting. I think the problem the first time was that the crew on the boat in the lock got confused and were trying to empty the lock using the top gate paddles. And given the difficulty in disembarking from boats there, no one was helping resolve it. David had got off in the bridgehole so he went up and sorted it out. Big hugs to you two too, M and D