Well, what we thought was going to be a slow and quiet day turned into something totally different. We set off from Runcorn with Di trying to get her 10,000 steps in for the day, and Fraser following in hot pursuit (as you can only but do in a canal boat). She managed to walk 3.5 miles before rain put an end to her endeavour.
Our first planned stop was at Walton Hall Gardens. Once we were in the gardens, Di had this de ja vu feeling. In fact, it was so strong she felt like she was in the surreal state the whole time she was there. Thing is – she and Fraser plus our good friends Patti and Pete had visited it in 2016 on a previous canal trip. Patti and Pete, it was raining just like it was the time we were there before. We had missed the best of the rhododendrons and the tulips, but it was still a nice place to wander around with the lush lawns.
Next it was back onto the canal heading for Lymm which was three hours up the cut – in the rain yet again.
We had stayed at Lymm before but this time we went and spent time investigating the town. Our first adventure was to walk through the pretty village up to a reservoir which was set in a very lush copse that was a trifle wet and muddy under foot. By now, Di’s fitbit was well into double digits.
Back to the village to do some further exploration which turned up something new around every corner.
There were some very gifted people who could crochet in Lymm. They also did bollards up as guards like the ones you see wearing the bearskin hats during the Trooping of the Colours. The town had not held back when it came to the jubilee celebrations with many of the decorations including the bunting still up.
We heard from one of the locals that the large street party for Sunday had to be cancelled due to the rain which was a pity as if the effort had gone into it that had gone into the village decorations, it would have been quite the event to attend.
The shop that won the award for window display was one of the local real estate agents. They must have had a talented computer graphics person as they had got pictures of Balmoral, Sandringham, Windsor, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House and put them up for sale with some very witty repartee. The for-sale signs were done very professionally. Buck House ad started with, “Arguably the most desirable location in the world, this freehold period property is the ultimate WFH residence”. Windsor Castle was advertised, “This is the largest occupied Castle in the world and is a dual-purpose home and fortress. Maintenance considerations would include the cleaning for 700 windows.” Asking price on all residences was TBC. They deserved to win.
It was such a picture-perfect little spot.
On our way back to the boat we decided off the cuff, to pop into this cute little pub. What was to be a quick lager and shandy ended up with a two-hour chin wag with the local undertaker and his wife.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, but he did tell us that prior to COVID, he would normally do 10-12 funerals a week. During the height of COVID, it was 60 funerals a week and sadly many of them involved no family being present. He also said that only now have the funerals per week returned to pre-covid levels. Our conversation otherwise centered around several other topics with lots of laughter. The UK really does have a wonderful network of pubs which are meeting houses for the community. They are welcoming and warm to sit in and enjoy. We can’t think of any other country that has emulated the model so well.