Hours cruised – 4
Interesting people – 0
Idiots – 0 – Maybe idiots are a northern phenonenon
Canal Reptile experts – 1
Classic Album – Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing
Plans to meet up with family in Wolseley meant another short day, which given the torrential rain we woke to, seemed like a good plan.
The rain had to be down to the fact that we had just called home to ask someone to water the garden to prevent it dying due to the unseasonably dry weather. Sure enough, as we put the phone down, the heavens opened!
Putting off the start of today’s cruise was definitely a good call, as within 1/2 an hour the rain had cleared, and with the exception of a brief shower later in the day, we remained fairly dry.
3 hrs and 2 locks later we arrived a Great Heywood Junction, and moored up to visit the Farm Shop. Plan was to buy a couple of scones to go with the clotted cream we had picked up in Stone. However, these shops have a way of drawing you in, and making you forget that £6 for a packet of biscuits is extortionate! The fact that I had refused to pay £1.50 for a large bag of crisps the day before, had been cunningly erased from by brain by the field that surrounds farm shops like these. 1/2 an hour later, 2 small carrier bags heavier, and a wallet £40 lighter we emerged ready to enjoy the homebaked scones, hand crafted cheeses, and beer brewed by pixies from the tears of a dragon. Though to be fair the scones, clotted cream & homemade jam were very good, and the fact that the jam was free as it was literally home made from home grown fruit evened things out nicely!
Whilst enjoying our cream tea, we were regaled by what turned out to be the regions foremost experts on reptiles inhabiting the area who told us of the monster terrapins and 2m long grass snakes that lurk in the canals locally. I was a little “Yer Right as if” about the monster snake, but on doing extensive research (ie googling “Biggest grass snake in the UK”) I did learn that on rare occasions they could grow to 2m (well 190cm, but I will give him that. Not sure I would want to get close enough to a 1.9m snake to measure it. even if it was presumed to be a non venomous grass snake.)