Weekend wanderings to Norbury
2nd August 2013
My lack of posts recently has much more to do with a lack of time rather than any lack of desire!
In fact, we have had two successive weekends away on the boat making full use of my altered working hours which effectively gives me a three day weekend every week. Not that we have travelled very far as foraging the first of the summer crops was the primary objective - cherries and wild raspberries.
Paused at an inoperative Aldersley bottom lock
This weekend saw us move further afield, turning north up the Shropshire Union at Autherley Junction and soon spied a big cherry tree laden with shiny black cherries which were obligingly hanging over the canal. This allowed us to participate in out favourite form of foraging - rooftop gathering. In a few minutes we had gathered 5kg of these beauties. Big, sweet and containing a thick and succulent juice which soon covered the back deck.
Cherry harvest - part one
Along the way we found yet more cherry treed containing a mix of red and black berries, a little smaller but very plentiful. We didn't pick as we already had about three hours of stoning ahead of us so they were left for the return journey.
Along the way we passed Stretton Wharf and couldn't resist a visit to see Montgomery aka The Jam Butty - but more of that in a future post.
A quick flash of Montgomery's shapely bottom!
It was a hot still day which got stickier as time moved on. We had a vague plan to moor at Gnosall but decided to wind before night. The snag was that I had forgotten that the next winding point is at Norbury, nearly and hour and a half further on. We had just reached the embankment before Norbury when the towering clouds behind us started to rumble and flash and put us in urgent need of a mooring. The problem is that on the embankment the margins are barely under water so when we spied push tug Atlas and two mud hoppers tied up on the offside we found our prayers answered.
Impromptu mooring near Norbury
In no time we were tied to these River Canal Transport craft and ducked inside just as the first big fat blobs of rain spattered on the roof. Its a good job we stopped as the rail hammered away to a greater or lesser extent for the next 8 hours.
We wounded off our evening with a dictionary less game of scrabble which against all the odds, Helen won with her last couple of words. A bad scrabble player always blames his / her tiles....