Thursday 14 September

Steve from CRT rang this morning to say he’d come up with another plan.  He would let us into the Brook on Sunday (not Saturday as per his original plan), we’d overnight on the pontoon above lock 8 and then once the tide was high enough he’d let us out of the Brook and we’d be on our way.  He asked if this was alright with us but as he’s the keeper of the keys, so to speak, we have little choice but to go along with his plan.

I went to tell Pip and Mick the news.   Another day to wait.

In the meantime, Storm went down into the engine this morning to check oil and water levels and afterwards he ran the engine for an hour just to make sure all was well as he thinks we may have had some air in the engine cooling system as the water cap had been under quite a bit of pressure.

A reader of Oleanna’s blog had suggested that a visit to Barton Grange Garden Centre was worth the mile or so walk from Bilsborrow.  It was a nice sunny morning so we all went for a look.  It was billed as a “Destination Garden Centre” and seemed to be the destination for lots of drivers judging by the size of the carpark and the distance of the buildings from the road.

The pedestrian route in was not straight forward.

It wasn’t dog friendly either and with only one seat positioned in the shade, Storm was left to wander around in the sunshine.  Surprisingly there was a pet shop area inside the centre though with everything you would need and more for your pet.  We could have bought Max a halloween suit that would have turned him into a walking skeleton if you’d come across him in the dark!

Physically, the garden centre was so big there were many things on sale you wouldn’t expect to find in a garden centre,   It was a ‘house’ than ‘garden’ centre.  They had kitchen gadgets for every conceivable job and even for some jobs that you didn’t realise you needed a gadget!  Prices were generally beyond our budget although we did come away with a couple of stocking fillers.

That took care of the morning.

Pip has been putting me to shame with all her crocheting and knitting so yesterday I got out my box of fabric and started to make a material collage.  This kept me busy all afternoon and I’ll finish it off when I get home to my sewing machine.

Following Storm’s running of the engine we had a tankful of hot water.  I was in need of a hair cut so  Storm set up the hair trimmers and selected the correct comb for a number six all over.   My hairdresser does quite a good job.  Afterwards I needed a shower to wash away the hair trimmings.

This is what happens if you sit still for too long…

After tea we took Max for another stroll around the village and it felt very Autumnal with a real chill in the air.  We came back to the boat, lit the stove, and settled down to watch Film 4’s The Legend, a biopic of the Kray brothers, exploring their rise to power from the point of view of Reggie’s wife Frances, in which Tom Hardy plays both twins.   The stuff of nightmares!

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