Penultimate week (we think)

Trip Start Apr 02, 2012
Trip End Oct 31, 2012

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Where I stayed
Staffs and Worcester Canal
What I did
Bridge Inn

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday 19th - Coven, Staffordshire
9 miles
1 lock

Had a lovely time with Eian, Claire, Amy and Poppy yesterday. We met them at The Bridge pub in Brewood for lunch after misleading them a little with my wrong information about directions. The village of Brewood is really quiet and relaxing and the pub was no different. It was fairly quiet and very restful. The staff were helpful in catering for our small children and the food, though slow in coming, was worth waiting for. I believe it is cooked from scratch when ordered which makes it really fresh and tasty. Poppy needed a little distraction between first and second course so the children and I popped across the road and on board Charis and fed the ducks ALL our remaining duck bread. After the family had left to continue their journey, we decided not to move any further but to go to St Mary and St Chad's Church in Brewood the following morning and then continue our journey on towards Autherley Junction after that

I took a stroll around the village yesterday and it really is a very pleasing and interesting place. The name derives from the Celtic Bre meaning hill, therefor "wood on the hill".  It originally consisted of a Roman fort on Beacon Hill to defend Watling Street (which is now the A5). The church seems to be at the highest point and is a tall, elegant 16C building which has been greatly restored. Inside is beautiful with a lovely timbered roof and stone walls. The lighting brings out the warmth of both. Also in the village are old smithy cottages built around 1350. Speedwell Castle, on the market square, has a strikingly ornate facade and was built by an apothecary around 1740. He is reputed to have won handsomely on a horse named Speedwell and used his winnings to build this dwelling. The chemist shop has an 18C exterior. The village has many shops and other services including a first and middle school, a library, a very tiny bank, a library, a very small police station, 3 pubs and 3 other eating places. It seems to be a very successful village as it is growing. The people we met in the church this morning were very friendly although a bit wary of yet another proposed estate about to be built containing 60 dwellings. The old and the new buildings fit in well together, lets hope the same can be said about its inhabitants.

Bryan's reflections
It's amazing what little frustrations can do to annoy you to a level of anger and rage. We have stopped cruising for the day and moored up. It's Sunday. We went to church this morning and I really enjoyed the service and the fellowship and came away with a feeling of wellbeing. Even the showers did not dim my feeling of happiness, after all I took Hazel's advice and got togged up in waterproofs and boots and felt dry and secure. As we drifted along I saw a grebe catch a fish for its lunch. I also spotted a kingfisher, a sight that gives me pleasure every time. What then is causing Bryan to have angry and murderous thoughts? It's a fly! Not just any fly but the Bruce Lee of flies.I sprayed it with fly killer and it merely landed on my chest, wiping its face with its front legs, looking at me as much as to say, "Thanks for the facial." I tried on numerous occasions to hit it with newspapers, books, anything that came to hand, but to no avail. At the moment I'm wearing a pair of shorts and the fly is sitting on my surgical stocking. It seems to like it there, almost as if he (I'm sure it's a male, a female wouldn't be so cocky) had found Shangri La. My leg is getting sore where I keep slapping it with my book. I swear this fly is now mooning me, rubbings its back legs together. I am growing in frustration but also in admiration for this fly. I don't want to kill it BUT IT HAS TO GO. I'll think positive thoughts of the multitude of good things that have happened today but the little beggar has just buzzed my ear. It really is strange how something so small and insignificant can cause such furore. SO, next time you feel small or insignificant, think of what a tour de force you could be.

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