BBQ in the rainWe arrived rather late at Autherley Junction, Wolverhampton (really part of Birmingham), due to trouble and strife at the bank, more fuel needed for the car, a larger (and more pleasant lunch than expected with my brother and sister in law), several torrential downpours on the motorway and perhaps a bit of a late start. We had most of the stuff we needed, Mary having staged a raid on the Slough Tesco yesterday. £240 worth, probably NZ $240 worth of stuff, It's hard to believe how expensive things are here. A sad omission was red wine and beer kindly corrected by my brother Stephen while we were getting the briefing on the boat. This still leaves coffee to get, not urgent yet but in the morning.....

Seems this is the first voyage of the nearly 65' by 7' Elizabeth, it's all brand spanking new, whew! Mary has been removing labels from everything and assembling Mr Tesco's finest BBQ since we set off around 5pm.

A couple of maps were requred and bought and the chandlers but the choice of route was in some part determined by the direction the boat was pointing. Those of you familiar with canals and narrowboats will understand that they are not turned on a whim as the canal is not the requisite 65' wide. Anyway we set of clockwise around the Four Counties Ring, 110 miles of inland waterways through Shropshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and the West Midlands.

First stop is just out of Brewood, some 5 miles, no locks and through delightful countryside from Autherley Junction. All up just over 2 hours running, and one torrential downpour with thunder and lightning. Great.

The BBQ is lit, the kiwi flag is up, the beer is coolish, the IPod is playing, the potatoes are on and it's raining. Onward!