Murphy Furphy

14 October 2019

So, I failed to invoke Murphy’s Law. The one about “buy something because you might have need of it, so inevitably you’ll never need it”.

But the upside is that when Grahame and I took over the helm, later in the day, we had nice shiny new, and very effective wet weather gear to keep us warm and dry.

The day actually started under sunny skies and I thought I was on a winner.

Long John pulled off a mighty U- turn under the bridge at Chester and did not wet a single pedestrian as he revved the engine. Came close though!!

Tight turn

We passed by a narrowboat while exiting Chester which made us all feel a little nostalgic. If only we had a sprig of wattle!

No wattle, but plenty of other flora to enjoy.

We had a few locks to negotiate before reaching the peace and quiet of the countryside once again.


The remnants of Beeston Castle, perched up on a rocky outcrop, provided a nice background as we continued our way east back to Barbridge Junction. We thought the windmill was a nice touch.

Beeston Castle ruins

The Staircase lock we encountered two days earlier created a mathematical conundrum. There was a boat coming the other way. Could we use the locks at the same time to go in different directions? Yes we can!

It went something like this but not quite because the front boat in the lower picture is going the same way

Step 1: They filled and entered the top lock, we emptied and entered the bottom lock. We both closed gates behind us.

Step 2: They emptied the water from the top lock into the middle lock and then drove into the middle lock, closing the gate behind them. The top lock was now empty, the middle lock full. We stayed put because the bottom lock was still empty.

Step 3: They emptied the water from the middle lock to fill our bottom lock. We entered middle lock, they exited the middle lock. Crossover!!! The middle lock was now empty but the bottom lock was full. Gates were closed.

The crossover

Step 4: They emptied the bottom lock and exited to proceed on their merry way closing the gate behind them.

Step 5: We filled the top lock to get water back into the system. Top lock full. Middle lock empty. We are still in middle lock.

Step 6: We then let the water from the top lock drain to the middle lock. The top lock now empty, the middle lock now full.

Step 7: We enter the top lock and closed the gates behind us.

Step 6: We filled top lock again and exited to go on our merry way closing the gates behind us.

Got it???!!! At least I think that’s how it worked.

Today was the coldest day so far. Temperature wise, it didn’t seem so bad, but a slight breeze created that little extra coolness. I lost count of how many layers, but I know the last three include a light jumper, a puffer vest, a Mountain Designs wind and waterproof jacket. And of course there was the beanie, scarf and gloves!!

Snug as a bug ( 5 layers)

This was before the r#*n started. Then I added my new waterproof trousers and a Kathmandu waterproof and wind proof jacket.

Six layers

We finally moored near the village of Church Minshull. We grabbed umbrellas and donned every piece of clothing we owned to walk into the village for dinner. The Badger Inn was our destination and despite a scary walk on a very busy narrow road we made it safely.

The pub was warm (and dry), the food was lovely. We enjoyed it so much , we stayed on for the trivia night.

Our team “Ellie-McBoat-Face came last but we were the best all Australian team and cheered proudly when our name was announced. There was only one Australian question and of course it was regarding Neighbours, a show none of us have ever watched. We walked back via our country lane with the weight of defeat on our shoulders. No wonder it was r#*ning.

Walking home in the r#*n.
Jude’s Arty pic.

It had been a big day. A distance of 20 miles (32 kms) and a 42 minute drive by car. But preferred our route!!

Sequence score: Original Partlands v Others: Others Win

  • Grahame 5
  • John 4
  • Judi 4
  • Jenny 3

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