Monday, 19 October: Audlem to Cholmondeston
Hilary had to be back at work this morning, so we had to set the alarm for 6.30 and she was away 45 minutes later, hoping to make a 09.30 meeting in Leominster. Despite the early start, I made myself have a lazy morning. When you have only limited time for boating the tendency is to try and cram as much in as possible and now that I suddenly have lots of time I have to learn to slow down!
So it was a lazy breakfast, followed by a visit to the shops and then an hour polishing brasses before getting away at 11.30. (The old working boaters would be highly amused to know that just because they used to polish a few chimney bands and the odd brass bedstead end modern-day boaters still feel obliged to polish every single bit of brass on their boats.)
At Hack Green locks I met two boats local to Norbury or thereabouts. The crew of Ysprid Rhydd ("Free Spirit" in Welsh) were particularly helpful, even tying up their own boat to help me - unasked - through the top lock, and I also passed Dorothy Goodbody which was particularly apt as my retirement do last Friday was well lubricated by the delicious ale of that name!
Old readers of this blog may now realise that for the first time it is being written and posted "in real time" thanks to my retirement present to myself of a new laptop and 3G "dongle" which means I can post from the boat as I go along. It took me about an hour whilst tied up at Nantwich for a late lunch to work out how to do it, but it seemed to work and if you are reading this then it worked again at Cholmondeston on the Middlewich branch, which is where I am tonight!