Kept us at the nature park mooring for a week. It is the longest we have stayed in one place ever. But wet and windy weather isn’t desirable for cruising. It was a lovely quiet spot. Only a couple of boats passed, and we only had another boats company for one night, in that time we were there. It was a nice place for dog walking, and even Izzy was getting used to the route. A few mornings the Konik ponies that were grazing the scrub were in shot for a photo, but I didn’t have a camera. The one morning I took the phone this was the closest I got unfortunately.
I was glad to stay as I wanted to visit the Christmas Fair at Middleton Hall. Charlie decided to come as well, and I entrusted him with the phone camera to take photo’s. Bad move as he only took two photo’s, and neither were looking Christmassy!
The admission was £2 which went to the upkeep of the Hall, which is all managed by volunteers. It gave a chance to look around the inside; a museum room upstairs plotted the history of the Peel family, of whom the famous Robert Peel was a member., and also police memorabilia. The family owned Drayton Manor in the 17th and 18th centuries, but the manor was demolished in 1920 due to the family not being able to afford the upkeep of it. The area is now a theme park. Robert Peel was the MP for Tamworth, as well as founding the police force. There were lots of local artisan stalls selling jewelry, candles, bags, cakes, fruit and veg etc. I managed to get a few christmas gifts to my delight. Also got some veg with black carrots and golden beetroot to try (both much sweeter than the normal varieties).
Keeping an eye on the weather forecast, we decided to move on Tuesday as it was forecast dry. The plan was to fill up with water and empty the toilet cassettes, and get the washing done; stopping only when this task was completed. I only have a 3kg machine onboard, so had 3 loads to do. We achieved it and managed to get to Whittington. We were last moored here in August when we had our granddaughter onboard. I am surprised at the lack of boats moored and moving along this stretch of canal, although suits us fine. Wednesday I managed to book a haircut appointment in Whittington (always manage to get an on the day appointment whenever I need a haircut). Whilst I was there Charlie moved along to the next winding hole and turned the boat around so we could head back toward Fazeley again. The plan this time was to go to the large out of town shopping park, and try and get a few more christmas presents. We found a mooring near the roadway we needed to walk along, which just happens to be in one of the CRT designated winter mooring spots (although the signs for this are nowhere to be seen). Today we went shopping and purchased a few more gifts (at least we have something now). It’s quite scary walking around an area that typically has been designed for cars, despite traffic lights and crossings, drivers don’t always look for pedestrians. Tomorrow we are off to turn again at Fazeley, and head back toward Whittington; although we will probably stop at a place called Hopwas, as there were nice moorings there (and Charlie fancied a pub pint! with 2 pubs to choose from). The weather for the weekend is wet and windy again so we will stay put until it passes. The temperature though as been exceptionally mild for December these last few days. Only 2 weeks now till the boat goes into the boatyard. I have negotiated to take it in 2 days early, and we have booked a car from Lichfield.