Friday 26 September

We have arranged to meet up with Pip & Mick later today and they’ve invited us to join them for dinner on board their boat, Lilyann at Bramble Cuttings, just north of Middlewich, a mooring spot loved by all of us. We were last there in January.

We headed off in sunshine towards our rendezvous.   We stopped briefly in Middlewich to shop for provisions and after lunch we continued on our way again.

On the Middlewich branch all the locks were set in our favour and so we passed through quite quickly.   At the last lock on the branch there was a group of people armed with windlasses and I was expecting to find a boat waiting for us to pass through. However, they were just receiving some training on how to operate a lock and they took a keen interest in all that I was doing.   Their trainer told me that I had passed the test – phew!

We turned left onto the Trent & Mersey and at the first of the locks ahead of us, there was a single handed heading in the same direction as us which meant that we had to fill each lock again before we could proceed.   I helped him close gates and paddles to hasten his transit time through the locks. We doubled up with him in the only “Big Lock” and here we were helped by a young man in a wheel chair, who was very keen to open the lock gates.

We arrived at Bramble Cuttings only to find the moorings were already occupied and so we moored up just south against the towpath. We texted Pip and Mick to let them know and they replied to say they still had a few miles to cover before they would reach us.

I baked one of our favourite chocolate cakes and did some knitting.   My selection of wares is growing and I hope to sell some of these soon for Christmas gifts to help boost our dwindling finances.

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Lilyann managed to moor just behind us.   The WASP is back! We kept Max constrained because since we last met, Pip’s cat Houdini, has joined them on board and isn’t too keen on dogs.

We had a delicious meal and enjoyed a boozy evening with them exchanging tales of our travels.   Thank you both for a fun time.

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