Pepper PotsYou get a bit fed up with rain. There was a little bit this morning as we came down the Trent & Mersey canal towards Stoke on Trent. We had a brief stop at the Royal Doulton Factory Shop where large quantities of expensive china and glassware are on sale. I shall draw a veil over this excursion.

There are lots of the old 'pepper pot' kilns standing around the area, I suspect they are protected as they sre often surrounded by waste land where the rest of the factory has been demolished.

After some discussion we turned off onto the Caldon Branch of the canal, in part so we can be near a main line station for Jennifers return tomorrow.  

Mad SwanAt one point we were attacked by a deranged swan which may seem like nothing serious but they seem quite big and unplesant when they have a go. This one had a mate and two cygnets and was quite determined. Luckily It broke off to have a go at someone else.

This canal turned out to be very slow going as it is very narrow, shallow and windy. Much of the way is pretty grotty until you start to escape the urban desert and get back into countryside although it's still got a lot of villages in it. Even the rain doesn't put of the fishermen (see photo). It doesn't look like much to those of us who like fresh snapper.

Anyway the rain started in ernest, and we eventually gave up for the day at about 4pm at which point the rain stopped and the sun even made an appearance. According to the map we'd have to go quite some distance more to get out into the countryside again.

FishermenTook a walk to a local(ish) pub, the Hollybush in Brown End (no kidding). Good pint of bass then back to the boat for a BBQ in the sun. Great. A nice couple warned us that the forcast was for 4" of rain. Seemed hard to believe sitting on the tow path in the warm sun. Later on when the rain