flooded fieldsEngine Start 85.5 Finish 91.1 -  4.6 hours
Distance 10 miles 4 Locks

Mostly fine but you can see the damage where the rain has flooded the river Trent. We also heard from some passing traffic how the Shropshire Union has overflowed and also been blocked by fallen trees and a small landslide. Having seen the narrow cuttings involved I can well imagine it taking only a little to block.

We were rather lucky that we went clockwise rather than our initial plan of going anti clockwise. I don't know what happens when you ring up Napton Narrowboats and say you won't be bringing their boat back on time.

A desperate shortage of provisions led Mary and I on a foray into Stone which is a really nice little country town.  Stone has an excellent small shopping centre and some splendid old buildings. If you're in the vicinity I suspect that the various pubs and restaurants would be well worth a check out.

Sartorial elegance, notStill pretty cold here, Mary can be seen modeling a very fetching hat provided by Jennifer.

There seemed to be an impending mutiny on the boat next to us. Madam came out in her dressing gown complaining that the 'captain' wanted to be off and had woken her up. The 'captain' and crew proceeded have a 'discussion' about the merits of this strategy and the 'captains' method of feeding the swans. We later learnt that they had traveled the previous day all the way from Autherley Junction (our destination) and plan to 'do' the Four Counties Ring in one week not two (or three).

Going too fast/far is one of the biggest problems people face with narrow-boating holidays (or indeed any kind of holiday) you have to learn to go slow and as a result you will see more. I am convinced that you see far more, meet more locals and generally have a far better time by traveling slowly or indeed staying put in one place.

The rush, rush, rush mentality means you pretty much only see the inside of your vehicle and interact with your fellow passengers. Hardly any point in that, you might as well stay home.

A little west highland terrier; Snowy; is looking for  new owner. The present owner is at his wits end as every time Snowy sees a stranger Snowy is off .The Trent