Monday, November 09, 2009

Places to go and things to do

We had time to stop at Rugeley which is just as well because Ann had tooth ache. The local Dentist was able to take a look and provided antibiotics after some treatment. We walked round town doing some shopping but sadly found it lacking. Several shops had closed down including Woolworths which is still empty. Banks, building societies, card shops and low cost stores are open. Morrisons and Wilkins are quite busy. Charity shops are providing worthwhile goods. “In fact I have replaced my winter coat and disposed of our video recorder.”
It was not far to Great Haywood, only seven lock miles but we had to get past Colwich Lock. The lower gates were always hard to open or close because the balance beams are too short. In fact the locks up from Fradley were just as difficult for the same reason. Longer beams would provide better leverage. They all needed two people to operate them. It will be interesting to see what British Waterways can do about it because a bridge across the lock gets in the way of longer beams!
We now have some time in one area to explore due to the stoppages. We are limited to about 9 miles going north on the Trent & Mersey and three miles west on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire. Turning points mark the limit before the stoppage because we need to be able to return to Great Haywood. There are no turns south before that lock so cannot go that way.
We are not too down hearted because boating facilities are available and the village has a Post Office, shops, butcher and even a medical centre within walking distance of the canal.
We got the hourly bus to Stafford. It took a bit longer than usual due to an accident which meant that the driver had to go a different way. We walked across town to the station and got all our tickets for the train home at Christmas. After a bite to eat at a cafe and some shopping we returned to the boat just before it got dark. Shugborough Hall will be having a firework event over the weekend so we moved north to get away. Molly gets so upset with the bangs and whistles, even the TV had to be turned down or off when fireworks were on that as well!
Now we settle down to shop on line, write and post Christmas cards, wrap some gifts and play games! Ann so likes that Nindendo DS with those games and brain training that she could not wait to use it. And wot fun it is too, even I had a go!

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