It was raining again when we set off, but only that rain that really doesn't get you wet, so it didn't really count. It was sad the leave the lovely countryside behind and get back into the urban sprawl, of Stoke. Well it will be urban sprawl one they decide to build on the areas that they have knocked down! By the time we had passed through the staircase lock the sun was trying to do it's thing, and it was just as well as the washing needed drying.
Ivy House Lift Bridge. An electric bridge and these always have your heart in your mouth as to weather they are going to work or jam with a queue of traffic. No problems today.
We decided to go to the pictures this afternoon. We were too late to see the Great Gatsby so we settled on the new Star Trek movie. We got there a bit earlier than predicted so decided to go and see Iron Man III. Neither of us had seen the other two so not sure what to expect. I quite enjoyed it really. I thought the humour in it was good, but missed some of the 'in' stuff as I didn't know what had gone on previously. I was amazed at the age of some of the kids in there. It is Certificate 12A and some of them were well below that. I though that there were several scenes that I wouldn't have been happy to have my children see. After a little more shopping we ended up back at the boat as there were several traditional boats arriving for the Etruria Festival on 1st and 2nd June. In fact we just got the last place where they weren't moving you on to make space for them. I think that if we hadn't been leaving first thing in the morning they may have done anyway.
In the canal here is a beautiful mandarin duck. I believe that these were originally imported for estates etc and the escapees have become naturalised. It is the first time I have seen one so close. The really amazing thing is that it seem he has taken up with a lady mallard and had a ducking. They seem to go around in a group with the Mandarin being quite protective. I'm not sure if he has just adopted them or it is possible to cross breed? I suppose that as they are both birds it must be physically possible and you do get mongrel Mallards of every hue. It is a shame that there is only one duckling as some of the results could have been spectacular!!
Mandarin Duck. (Male)
Mandarin duck and family?