So for the last eighteen months an increasingly shabby shaft and plank have graced Starcross' newly painted roof. At Christmas, Hilary promised that she would repaint them for me - I don't think she trusts my technical ability with the paint brush! - and while we were at High Onn, she finally made a start.
Although not large items, it turned into a long-drawn-out process. After rubbing down, the first of two coats of undercoat/primer were applied. As there was nothing more to be done for a few hours we took the folding bikes out for a spin through the quiet lanes to the east of the canal, calling at Lapley - where we noted the village pub had closed down (a useful piece of information as its not far from the canal and we might otherwise have been tempted to walk or cycle over there for a meal one day) and then to Bradley (which the locals apparently call "Brade - ley" where pub and church lie in the sort of close proximity that typifies the English village as we all think of it.
Red Lion and Church, Bradley
Unlike at Lapley, the pub here appears to be thriving. So much so, that it was actually closed for a week for "complete refurbishment". I shouldn't pre-judge, but it looks from the outside as if it is a classic rustic country inn and I just hope (but fear) that its about to become yet another restaurant.
On the way back to High Onn, the quietness of the lanes was suddenly broken by the roar of engines coming from a field alongside the road. Looking through a gap in the hedge we found there was some sort of motorsport event taking place that involved racing Land Rovers and other assorted japolies over a rough track
It was vaguely interesting to watch for a minute or two, but then we remembered we had some paint drying at High Onn so rushed home to put on a second coat of undercoat before heading off back to our mooring at Norbury Junction. There wasn't time to put on the top coat so, to protect them from the rain the shaft and plank now reside on the cabin floor waiting for a combination of time, good weather and motivation to complete the job.