Not a good start - we forgot the boat key. We'd made Greenfield.
Once we got organised, we decided to go to Chester. The log fire was in every day.
Parked first night near Barbridge and got lost looking for The Davenport Arms. A 6 mile walk in the dark before I realised I had my phone with me, with maps. Safely back at the boat we strolled 5 minutes to The Barbridge Inn.
Bunbury staircase is always interesting
An old scrote occupied the bar as we ventured into The Cheshire Cat. I asked for my usual, pale and hoppy. Wainwright came the barman's reply. 'Squirrel piss' said old Scrote loudly. I touched my ear and suggested he might repeat his description, only with more volume, 'Squirrel piss you deaf bastard'. He'd recently returned from Thailand.
We walked into Chester from our Cheshire Cat mooring. The Boot up on the balcony is a Sam Smith cheap and cheerful. Always full. The Lockeeper was empty and expensive, waiting for Chester's beautiful people to arrive for happy hour.
The Old Men T-Shirt company sells nothing for women. How sexist is that?
I bought a retro flower power top from Soho's for Sheila. No idea of the size - rang my daughter who said a 10 (better than an 8 which was my guess). We've been back since for a 14.
They have a wide beam restaurant boat next to one of the hotels, clearly unable to turn round travelling east. We asked the question. The skipper had a glint in his eye when he told us they had a tiller and a prop at both ends.
On the way back, around 3.30pm we knocked on the door of The Old Trooper. A lad answered and told us they didn't open 'til 4pm but if we wanted to come in we could have a drink while we waited.
Bunbury staircase where we buddied up with guys from Bury-St-Edmunds
The only reason for going to Chester was, on the way back, to call in The Badger at Church Minshull. Sit in the tap room, play with the fire and talk to the barmaid. 'We're off the boat' 'Oh nice. Wait for the first freezing week and decide to come away'.
And after 14 years, that was that.