Apart from a day on our friends' boat on the River Soar in March, we haven't been further from Norbury Junction than Brewood (southwards) or Tyrley (northwards) since last December. There have been a variety of reasons for this, but lack of enthusiasm is not one of them and I've been looking forward to tomorrow when I'm taking Starcross off on the first long trip of the year.
So, as soon as I can decently get away from work its off on the folding bike to Hereford station, train to Shrewsbury, a (hopefully) seamless transfer onto the 519 bus to Newport and, pausing only for some last minute shopping, a five mile cycle along the A518 to Norbury Junction.
Simultaneously, I hope, my crew (Hugh) will be on the train from Huddersfield to Stafford, then the 481 bus to Gnosall and a two-and-a-half mile walk to Norbury, where he will arrive, if all goes to plan, just after I do and in time for us to set off and get a few miles under our belt before closing time.
Two and a bit days to Middlewich, and a weekend at the Boat and Folk Festival. I don't make a point of taking Starcross to boat rallies and I'm not over-bothered about folk music but there are some good pubs in Middlewich and its a great excuse to get out on the cut!