Thursday, 16 March 2017

Visiting “Up North”.

After returning from India we had a week and a bit at home (doing “home things”) and then we were off again – but staying on English soil this time!


We headed to Tring firstly, to join Jaq Biggs (nb “Valerie”), with many friends and family, to celebrate the life of Les who sadly passed away while we were in India.


The few hours we all spent together was very moving and full of both joy and sorrow at the loss of such a lovely man. The message we all got from Jaq (and Les) was to “laugh and make the most of life”. It’s very sound advice.


We moved on from Tring and popped in to check on “Chance”. After three months there was minimal deterioration (James needs to get a bucket of soapy water and all should be ‘ship shape’ again!). Even after all the cold weather over the last three months the fuel tank was still half full and the engine started first time!


We moved onto spend the night with our close friends Pete and Rose near Stratford on Avon. We enjoyed a lovely meal with them (and much catch-up chat) at a nearby hostelry. Thanks to you both – it was lovely to see you again.


The next day we arrived in Stockton Heath, near Warrington, to stay with dear friends Neil and Pauline (nb “Water Lily”). The spring weather was too good to miss so we headed out the short distance to the village of Walton for a walk and mooch around.


“Pauline’s Boys” !!


We’ve passed this way on the Bridgwater Canal many times but never stopped at pretty little Walton.


There was nothing moving on the canal sadly – it would have been lovely to see just one boat pass.


Our walk took us past the Walton Arms (to be visited later!) …..


…… and on towards the church.


There was so much to see in India but there were certainly no spring flowers! “Oh to be in England now that spring is there” definitely sprung to mind.


Our walk took us into the grounds of Walton Hall ……


….. where spring had most certainly sprung.


Then back out into the village, past the vast carpet of purple crocus …….


… and into the pub for a well earned drink!


We had two wonderful, fun filled evenings with Pauline and Neil ……


……. and, with two “glitter ball devotees” out of the four of us, the time we had with them was a great laugh!


The next morning after saying farewell to Neil and Pauline we popped up to the cemetery on the hill overlooking Stockton Heath and Warrington to say ‘hello’ to another recently passed friend, before driving the short distance to Manchester.


We spent five days in the city – time passes very quickly when you’re enjoying yourself! With many friends in and around the city it’s seems as though it’s fast becoming our second home. We notice that new gates are being fitted to the top lock of the “Rochdale Nine”. 


The drained portion of the canal down from the lock was showing a shocking amount of debris and rubbish!


There are quite a few favourite haunts of ours around the city. One of the most unusual is “Via” in Canal Street. Originally a warehouse or factory, its been going as pub for many years now and the inside has been fitted out using woodwork and furniture from disused churches. It’s a fascinating place with lots of nooks and crannies, staircases and walkways to explore. It’s worth a look sometime!

Well, Manchester came up with the goods once again and we thoroughly enjoyed our short stay. In a few days time we shall be leaving Britain’s shores and back on the high seas!

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