Tixall Wide

We returned to Albert on Friday travelling by train . Trains on the network were delayed, ours by about 20 minutes, which didn't cause us any difficulties until London Midland decided to cancel the stop at Stone to make up time. This meant taking a replacement bus 30 minutes later.  In the end, with the marina being between Stone and Stafford, we just got a taxi.
We just had to sample lunch at the Aston Marina Bistro.  It was as good as the last time. After setting up Albert (water etc) we left early afternoon to go south.
Phyllis May II at Aston
In the marina we passed Terry and Monica Darlington's new boat. We understand Terry continues to make good progress after his stroke last year which caused him to cancel the event at Aston to mark the publication of his new book.
Leaving Aston Marina

The weather was warmer and sunny but all the way south we were followed by a big black cloud that came to nought but made wonderful contrasts.
Maggie looking back
Great boat dog at Sandon Lock

Boat with a large chimney at Weston
I think this is the reason - steam powered using coal
We love mooring at Tixall Wide so just had to make it to Great Haywood and turn down the Staffs and Worcester. 
Crossing the River Trent at Great Haywood

Moored boats and black cloud, near Swivel Bridge, Great Haywood

Tixall wide was relatively quiet with only five boats moored up. We found a suitable space overlooking the Elizabethan gate house. The only problem with the mooring was the large male swan (cob?) who had taken residence. As we moved closer we expected him to be disturbed and move off or at least turn aggressive; his mate was on a nest on the opposite side of the wide. To the contrary, he stayed put so we worked around him, putting our lines either side. The swan in fact stayed until we turned in for night - he had moved off by the morning.

Our neighbour the swan

Setting sun over Tixall Wide

Gatehouse at Tixall after sunset