When I'd seen Simon yesterday we'd agreed I'd bring Starcross over from the visitor moorings beyond bridge 38 on to the wharf itself for him to have a look over the boat and take some photos for the brochure. The weather, however, was atrocious, with a howling gale and pouring rain so we decided we'd do the paperwork in Simon's office and then
So I missed my last chance to steer Starcross! Instead I made my way over to the Junction Inn for lunch and then, with the rain worse than ever, set off to walk the mile or so to Norbury village for one of the two daily buses to Stoke-on-Trent. The road was well on the way to being flooded and I was just cursing the disinclination of car drivers to show any consideration for pedestrians on country roads when a car came up behind me and the driver stopped and offered me a lift! Not only that, but because I would now be early for my bus with only a patch of very wet grass to wait on, Christine - a local resident on her way to pick up her daughter from nursery - went out of her way to run me all the way into Newport, where I could at least wait under shelter.
The bus duly arrived and took me to Stoke station where I found that by waiting an hour I could use a "Virgin Trains Only" ticket as far as Manchester, re-booking there for Lancaster and saving £10 over the through fare via Crewe. Unfortunately, with an hour to wait and Joule's "Glebe Inn" just around the corner I spent most of that before the train arrived!
It's not quite the end as far as Starcross and I are concerned. I'm still responsible for her while she's at Norbury and I'll have to visit from time to time to keep the boat aired and run the engine to keep the batteries charged. I've also still got quite a few personal effects on board which will also need recovering although hopefully not until the