Day 40 Aston to Armitage

The marina office doesn’t open until 10.00 on Sunday and as usual I was up at 7.00. So after breakfast, feeling fit once again, I scrubbed the boat roof and side decks. Cleaned shower tray, replaced bathmat with clean one (and washed the the other)cleaned the cooker, emptied loo and filled water tank.

Left about 10.30 I suppose but didn’t check. Then ran into an hour-long queue at the first lock. Cleared that about about 12.30 and stopped for lunch. Locks have been easy all day, I only did five and had help for all but one so they went quickly. Two of them I shared with a couple who have a short narrowboat. While waiting in the queue the bloke explained that he normally does the lock work but he has a hernia so his wife was doing it. Maybe his is worse than mine but I’ve done >300 locks in the last 6 weeks many of them singlehanded. After the last one there is a long lock-free pound to Fradley Jnct. I hoped to get there by this evening but having lost time yesterday I didn’t. Maybe another hour or so tomorrow morning.

Lots of suburban developments along this stretch, the houses are nothing special but everyone with a canal frontage seems to have made a real effort to make the most of it. On the southern outskirts of Rugely there was a short private drive with about 5-6 houses on it arranged facing the canal with a shared driveway along the front. The residents had obviously agreed a ‘theme’ and put a row of large blue plant pots, different shapes and shades but all blue, along the canal edge and planted them up.

Someone (Tony?) said I should stop at the Plum Pudding for a pint. I passed it late this afternoon, but didn’t stop. Amused to see gentrification has hit Rugely, it’s now the Plum Pudding Brasserie.

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