Pootling around Stone in May

From last Thursday until Sunday we went pootling on the Trent & Mersey around Aston Marina. As chance had it we had four days of wonderful spring weather. On the Thursday we polished the cabin sides using our power polisher. The night was very calm and a hot air balloon floated very slowly overhead, using its burner quite a lot. I think we've seen this balloon before near Barlaston.

Balloon over Aston Marina

On Friday we headed south and moored up at Burston. It is a lovely little hamlet with a mill pond and a good pub, the Greyhound. We went exploring the village; the hedgerows were abundant and quite a picture.

Moored at Burston

Burston Millpond (being repaired)

Whilst we were moored up at Burston, NB No Problem with Sue and Vic arrived and we had a good chat. As we talked we heard the unmistakable sounds of a Bollinder coming down the canal from Stone. It was NB Spey, one of the former Thomas Clayton tar boats. 

NB No Problem with NB Spey passing

NB Spey heading south

That night we returned to Aston to have meal at The Bistro with Maggie's brother and sister-in-law. We so enjoyed the trip we repeated it on Saturday with our friends Anne and Edward Winter who drove over from Sheffield.

Cattle cooling-off in the canal
Swan family at Aston Marina, cygnets being fed grass

On Sunday we returned home by rail. Unfortunately the journey was disrupted when the train arrived at Rugby. The driver, who was due to take the London Midland train on to Euston, failed to turn up for work! We had to swap to another train, half-an-hour later, which was full. We felt a bit sorry for the poor guard who was left to pick up the pieces with no obvious way of returning to Crewe. 

Evening panorama at Aston Marina