Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A weekend at Shadehouse and a weather window to Handsacre.

We spent the weekend at Shadehouse, and then, with the weather being wet and blustery, we stayed yesterday as well.
We didn’t do so much; read a bit, watched TV a bit, took Meg for some long walks. I started running again last week and found it hard for a start, but did 5 miles at better than 8 minute miles this morning, so I’m back in the groove. I start my 10 week structured training plan next Monday, to get ready for the Liverpool ½ marathon at the end of March. I’m looking to get down to nearer 1:35:00 this year.

Today dawned fine and dry, the rain having blown over during the night. We got away around 11:00, after saying goodbye to Tony and Jacqui on Timewarp. I expect we’ll next see them around here again next year, unless we get down onto the Thames this summer. They’ve got seasonal lock-keepers jobs on the river, Tony looking after Marlow, and Jacqui doing Fleet. She said Fleet, but I guess she meant Temple, about a mile upstream. Better than working for a living! They'll not be all that far from Medmenham Abbey, where the Sir Francis Dashwood's Hellfire Club used to meet.

Away from Shadehouse VM
Just a gentle couple of hours today. The one and only lock was the pleasantly situated Woodend Lock, about 15 minutes from Shadehouse and at, would you believe, the end of the (Ravenshaw) Wood!

Woodend Lock
The section to Handsacre is rural, mainly wooded with arable fields through the trees.

Ravenshaw Wood. I bet the rhododendrons are a picture in the spring.
Coming into Handsacre you get a good view of Rugeley Power Station, with it’s own micro-climate.
We pulled over at around 13:15. The forecast said showers for this afternoon, and it wasn’t wrong. It’s just started to chuck it down. Still, I'm inside, doing this. :-)

If you look to the right you’ll see a new counter “ UK Waterways Sites” This, suggested by Andrew Denny of Granny Buttons fame, and implemented by Tony Blews, is rather more appropriate than the US based one. Especially as 21 of the top 100 on the US site are UK canal specific!

Locks 1, miles 4

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