Said the soothsayer to Julius Caesar. At least according to Shakespeare’s version of events. This was 44BC, 2027 years before Mags and I married, with no such dire prediction. It wasn’t an auspicious day for Julius, but it worked out well for us.
30 years on and she’s not lost that twinkle in her eye…
To celebrate we had our longest cruise of the year so far, 8½ miles in 3¼ hours.
The weather wasn’t as bad as the weatherman predicted, a bit damp at times, and breezy, but nothing exceptional.
We had a late start, though, not getting going till 11:30, heading along the long straight through Ravenshaw Wood.
Alongside the canal through this and Fradley Wood there are dozens of these boxey containers fixed in the trees, and marked by a piece of plastic tape. I’m guessing it’s some sort of monitoring project, they are far to numerous to be nest boxes. Maybe something to do with the imminent arrival of HS2?
One business that still seems to be doing well is the euphemistically named “sanitary ware”. Lots of loos outside Armitage’s, in the town of the same name.
Between Armitage and Rugeley there used to be a short tunnel through a sandstone ridge, but this was opened out fairly quickly when the unstable nature of the rock was recognised. Since then the widening of the A38 has led to it being partially “tunnelised” again.
Just beyond are permanent moorings alongside Hawksyard Priory. Wee Willie Winkie still keeps an eye on things, though the traditional candle has been replaced by an LED lantern…
The Dutch barge in the foreground, and the narrowboat next along, are both for sale.
£52,000 and £40,000 respectively.
Rugeley was busy with boats on the unregulated stretch prior to Bridge 66, quiet on the 48 hour moorings. A lot of folk still in winter (hanging about) mode, I guess.
Leaving the town the canal does a sharp right turn at Brindley Bank, and immediately over an aqueduct over the Trent.
We pulled in at a regular stop, opposite the pig farm (downwind!) just before Bridge 69. In the summer it’s popular here, tonight we’re on our own.
Mooring near Bridge 69.½
An hour and a half should see us in Great Haywood tomorrow.
Locks 0, miles 8½