Monday 3rd to Monday 10th May 2010.

Monday being a bank holiday I was allowed a fry-up for breakfast. I do mine lazy style by frying sliced potatoes in oil, adding bacon when the spuds are brown, then adding egg(s) on top of the bacon and serving on a large slice of toast on a hot plate.
There might be mushrooms or beans or tomatoes on the side but however it turns out it’s always yummy, until today.
Something about the thin egg shells and washed-out yolks made me check the markings and I was shocked to find these eggs, although in a “Free Range” box, were stamped 3UK12345.
According to the marks these eggs were from caged birds of UK origin and from farm number 12345. We bought them from a farm shop very close to a pub in Foxton village. It pays to check the eggs rather than the box.

Change of subject – some dogs hate the water but some just can’t get enough. This one ran across the fields to the canal, jumped in, swam around, crawled out and ran down the towpath into the distance. No owner in sight. Aren’t they funny.

Stopped at Hartshill BW Depot looking for someone to sell me lecky cards (don’t ask) but its not that sort of place is it.

Back on the boat we motored on through Atherstone’s shops and locks and rested up at Bradley Green for a couple of days.
V got picked up and taken to Bristol for aunt’s funeral while I accepted an invitation to a day out at RAF Cosford with Graham (G8LUV). Fabulous day, loads of free stuff to look at and it was nice to be out from under the wives’ feet. Must recommend it if you’re ex RAF or ex anything but interested in looking up inside the guts of Valiant, Victor and Vulcan.

Back on the water I was quite taken with this little boat on the way up the Coventry Canal. It’s called the Little Boat Shoppe and sells provisions like tea, coffee, milk, sweets, pop, etc only today it wasn’t, it was shut. Don’t blame them, it was so cold with that easterly wind.

Fazeley was its usual useful self on a Sunday, services open but offices closed. There’s something to keep kids busy while the water tank is being filled, it looks like a hand wound crane but unfortunately it can’t handle over 15 cwt. That’s a no-no for grown-ups like V I’m afraid.

Bumped into Chas, Ann, Terry and Myra on Moore to Life just after that awfully busy bit at Hopwas on the ‘Coventry’. Fortunately there was space for two (or three, can you believe it) and we pulled over after lots of waving and boaty greetings and got stuck into hot drinks, it being far too early for the other sort.

Nice to meet T&M after hearing their names mentioned once or twice (always favourably) and learning about their new (future) boat.

Bumped into Chris and Stell’ on nb.Belle just up the road at Fradley. Spent a couple of hours chatting over pizza and red wine but completely forgot to take a photograph of them on their splendid boat. If ever there was a flagship for the Sandhills line then theirs is it.
Thanks for the wireless router Chris, I’ve spent two evenings already getting to know it and still not managed to fire up the T-Mobile modem. It’ll come, I’m sure it will, I don’t give up easily.

Wood End Lock looked so pretty that I just had to take a piccy. Even on a grey day it makes you realise how picturesque the canals can be.

Nature is doing its best to impress, bluebells all over the place, even on the towpath. Tree blossom is hanging on until we’re past which I thank it for but flies, biguns with dangly legs, are making their way into the boat – yuk.

Rugeley leads to Great Haywood and from there we follow the hire-boat circuit to the Shroppy. A right turn and north again should see us back into sunshine in time to meet up with Mike and Jo (Sarah-Kate) somewhere before the Middlewich branch. Plans are to go down the Anderton Lift and explore the River Weaver before tacking Beatle Land, yeah, yeah, yeah.