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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

What a Difference a Day Makes!

"What a difference a day makes. Twenty-four little hours brought the sun and the flowers where there used to be rain..." ~lyrics by Renee Olmstead

   The morning after the weekend of high wind and lashing rains which flooded Britain, we decided to take advantage of a break in the weather and, like geese, begin our trek south.
   We have a month plus a hand full of days before we leave for the States. We want to spend some time with family over here before visiting family over there.

The Blue star is the R. Sow. The blue dot marks part of the diversion behind Shugborough Hall; the black star is the R,. Trent; the yellow bar highlights where all three join just above Essex bridge. The red circle is the green meadow which is flooded in the pictures below.
   We woke to sopping wet towpaths on the Trent and Mersey adjacent to Shugborough Estate, where the River Sow curves around behind it allowing a diversion of some of its waters to flow directly behind Shugborough Hall, curving closely 'round and then joining the flow of the River Sow as it meets the nearby River Trent just after the weir above Essex bridge. 
Swollen R. Trent and flooded path from Essex Bridge. The green far right is the Trent's usual bank. 
    Merging of the R. Sow, left & the R. Trent  just before Essex Bridge at Shugborough Hall.
   The two rivers flow together in different colors--the Trent being darker and muddier as it carries away soil from swelling over its banks.The River Sow flooded Shugborough Park and its lovely green meadow. 
Swollen R. Trent, foreground; Shugborough meadow flooded by R. Sow, background.
   As we continued on we passed these two lovely boats breasted up together like lovers. Les said he is sure Roger Fuller also built NB Hadar--Jo and Keith Lodge's boat.
Ilford and Azalea. Azalea was built by Roger Fuller.
   Away we go southward, around the forested high ground of Cannock Chase. A pair of Swans glide past with their rapidly growing juveniles in brown feather.

A family of swans with forested Cannock Chase retreating in the background.
   The spires of Rugely power station appear in the distance, marring this lovely landscape. 
Rugely Power Station provides electricity powered by coal.
    As we enter the town itself we pass terraced gardens built down sharp hillsides to the canal. Stopping just after bridge 66 we moored up and walked over to Morrisons supermarket for a top up of our supplies.
Steeply terraced hillside back yards look down on the Trent & Mersey canal as we cruise through Rugely.

A tiny birdhouse and its larger cousin--the canal side Gazebo.
This back garden is a tribute to Charlie Chaplin!
As we pass on through town, the steep hillside gives way and back decks are  nearly even with the canal.
 I love this back garden with small green rooms

The gate's open and the kettle's on--what kept you so long?

As we cruised out of Rugely we passed a huge house for sale--with an adjacent indoor swimming pool!

    Mooring up for the night on the far side of Rugely--out in the country, we slept through still more rain. The next morning we started off late, apparently we both needed a lie-in to replenish our batteries. Through sullen, weeping skies we reached Fradley Junction where the Trent and Mersey canal meets the Coventry Canal.

Double rainbows appeared in the sky as we moored up outside Whittington on the Coventry Canal.
    I brought NB Valerie through the locks, turned and brought her through the swing bridge onto the Coventry, where we moored up. After a stroll through the Fradley Reservoir we walked back to our boat, ate lunch and decided to carry on southward to stop at Whittington just outside Lichfield.


life afloat on nb tickety boo said...

Lovely post! I love the "green room" garden, us boaters have miles of huge green rooms like that...spoilt we are :))

Mike Muir said...

Glad to see you are off the T & M safely. We are currently moored at Brinklow (All Oaks Corner) heading fo Rugby.
mike and Phill on Garnet

Les Biggs said...

Hi Deb,
We are indeed.Hope we catch up with you in person some day soon!

Les Biggs said...

Hello Mike,
We should eventually catch up with you as we head for the North Oxford in coming weeks. We look forward to seeing you both again.

Anonymous said...

We went past those in March. Along that row of houses there is a guy there who keeps a sparrowhawk, it was in the garden while he was cleaning it's pen and I commented that it looked real and then it had a little wing flap. It did cause a laugh. Sue crashed the boat outside the house with the pool, it was up for sale then. Oh happy days. Hope you are both well. Carol BV

Charmaine said...

I love your photos, Jaq and Les. What an intimate view of English life you are giving us!

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs