Having been disappointed by the closure of Market Drayton's branch of T.O. Williams of Wem - an excellent "high class baker, patisserie and cheese specialist" I was pleased to see not only the farm shop stall at Adderley top lock open for business but also no fewer than three lockside stalls selling fruit, veg, eggs, cakes and flowers on the Audlem flight.
A bigger surprise awaited me at the moorings outside the Shroppie Fly. As I was preparing to leave after a delayed lunch break (at nearly four o'clock!) I was hailed by Ray and Jayne, from No Direction. We've been reading each other's blogs for some time but have never met, so it was great to do so at last.
Jayne taking a picture for her blog of me taking a picture of her for mine!
Ray also helped me down the last three locks of the Audlem flight - what a shame we didn't meet at the top!
The last surprise of the day came after I had tied up at bridge 89 a mile short of Nantwich. Here the canal is crossed by the Crewe to Cardiff railway line at a place where I always make a point of looking out of the train window for a glimpse of the cut. For once, I thought I would stop and watch the trains from the boat instead. However, my evening shower was cut short when the water finally ran out, so it was back on with the outdoor clothes, untie the boat and carry on to the water point at Nantwich. The rain, which had been holding off all day, choose this instant to start and when I got to the water point there was a boat already on it filling its tank! By the time I'd waited my turn and filled up there was just time to reverse back on to the moorings on Nantwich embankment and tie up before dark.
I knew I needed water at Market Drayton