I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Wednesday 12th October

Today we met a famous celebrity but more of that later! Blue sky and sunshine with white puffy clouds – I thought I must still be dreaming but it was real! We walked into Audlem and found a very quaint village but not much there. They advertise a butcher but he is closing up which leaves the usual shops - take-aways, paper shop, florist, Co-op and what looked like a rather nice delicatessen. There is also an excellent canal shop on the wharf which is in a converted mill. As we pulled away from our mooring it started to drizzle (thought it couldn’t last). There are 15 locks at Audlem and as we had already done 2 we had 13 left to attack. The locks are all fairly close together so it wasn’t too bad though most of the traffic was going our way so the locks were against us. At the top lock the lady who lives in the old lock keepers house was selling lovely cakes and fresh vegetables. I bought a few things including some wonderful carrots and broccoli straight out of the garden. We pulled over for lunch then set off to the 5 locks of the Adderley flight This time the traffic was both ways which is fact takes longer. At the top lock was another shop – Adderley Wharf Farm Shop - but this time a farm butchers though they also sold cakes and eggs. The cakes and eggs are for sale on the lock side but I had to walk to the farm for the meat. It’s all their own meat but I won’t go into details on here! Alison, the owner, was saying how surprised she was at the amount of boat traffic and this time of the year – I have to say that we have been quite surprised too. This is where we met Jack the sheep who was wandering along the towpath as if he owned the place – in fact it turns out that, as the local celebrity, he does – just don’t tell British Waterways! I watched him cross over the lock gates with my heart in my mouth but, of course, he does it all the time! Please click on this link and read about him – it’s a lovely story! (Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail) There are some attractive moorings at Adderley Wharf but we couldn’t get near the side as there was a concrete ledge so we kept going, checking the depth at the side at intervals. However this went on about two miles. We went through Betton Cutting which is supposed to be haunted by a shrieking spectre – working boatmen would avoid lingering there in the old days! As Richard was walking along the tow path with the boat hook he met someone who told him that the ledge is know as the Shroppie ledge and is a real pain! Fortunately not long after that we found a stretch where we could moor. Millie is becoming much braver now and today she came up on deck and even tried to jump up on the hatch door but because it was pushed right back she missed and fell – feet first of course. She has now got into the habit of going ashore as soon as we moor up instead of waiting until it gets dark.

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