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Friday, 16 August 2013

Back to the boat.

It has been a busy day as I had to get quite a few jobs done before leaving to catch the train. I got packed up and sorted some paperwork out and then put all the bits and pieces back into the filing cabinet. There was the packing too, and trying to remember everything!

The next job was to take the car to the garage for an MOT. It was then to the council tip to get rid of the old oil from the boat that I had brought back. After that it was on to my Mum's to say good bye and have a chat with any little last minutes jobs that I could do. Then back home to finish any little jobs and wait for the phone call from the garage. That came at 1000 and it was a dash to the garage and thankful that they had passed her, and so quickly. They even did a little job on one of the CV boots. Once you have found a good garage you stick with them don't you. There was just enough time to pop back home to drop the cat off, pick up my bag and off to the station. We got there with 5 minutes to spare.

It is just under two hours to Manchester Piccadilly and the line passes through one of the  Standedge tunnels. Once again I didn't look up in time to see either tunnel entrance. The train arrived on time and I had just under an hour to wait for my next train. It passes the time people watching and it seems that catching trains is almost as stressful as catching aeroplanes judging by what I saw and years doing the same at airports.

Manchester Piccadilly Station.

Cast iron columns at Piccadilly Station.

Things started to go awry when the next train didn't arrive at the platform until it was the time it was due to leave. We therefore lost 10 minutes and I only had fifteen minutes to catch the next train. We set off on a Cross Country Train that was going all the way to Milford Haven stopping at about fifteen stations plus about five that you had to inform the Guard that you wanted to get off or it wouldn't stop! I was only going three stations to Crewe. We passed right past Jodrell Bank radio telescope and it is still an awesome sight. I was lucky at Crewe as although I only had a few minutes to get the next train the platforms were very close together and there was no problem. This train was going to Shrewsbury but I was getting off at the first stop, Nantwich.

Crewe Station with the train I arrived on standing ready to head off to Milford Haven.

The next hurdle was to be able to catch the bus. Normally this would be no problem as it stopped at the station. However there are large scale sewer works and this has caused a diversion. I only had 10 mins to get to the bus station but after a little bit of research I got the diversion route and headed that way to give me a bit more time. It was quite a walk to the first bus stop but I managed to get there on time. I suddenly realised that I only had a £10 note with me and hoped that they would let me on the bus. I asked for the ticket before showing the tenner so that he had issued the ticket. Try to form he had no change. I turned to the only other person on the bus to ask if she could change it and it turns out she was the one that had already taken the money from the driver. He was very good about it and told me to sit down. When we got to Audlem I asked if I had time to dash to the shop and get it changed but he had to go straight out and he couldn't wait, so I got a free ride. Big thanks to the driver. I started walking back to the Marina down the towpath. There was only one boat moving through the three locks I passed and who should I meet at the foot of the last lock but my beautiful wife who had come to meet me. What could have been a touch and go journey turned out to work out perfectly. Once we got back to the boat and had a cup of tea the sun had come out and it was a lovely afternoon. We sat out and I actually touched up the st'bd hull with rust converter and paint.

After eating and washing up we went for a turn round the Marina. It is quite busy with people arriving for the weekend. The evening was very peaceful and the sky was stunning too.

 Our boat in the middle of the picture.

The photograph doesn't do the sky justice.

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