We got through Filance Lock on Sunday as it was due to close yesterday for winter maintenance, it's still open, although no boats have come through.
I spent yesterday getting the inside of the boat tidied up and clean after being out for blacking. Today I sorted out the front, we had been moored fairly close to an Ash tree and over night it had shed a lot of leaves which ended up on the front deck. James sorted out the back and got his workshop organised. I also put all the tools (scrapers, rollers, brushes, etc) that we had been using back in the roof box. So we are all back to being ship-shape.
I forgot to mention when we went through the lock near Midland Chandlers at Penkridge a kind person had left a few carrier bags of apples by the lockside for us boaters to take. What a really lovely thing to do, I guess it's the house opposite the chandlers as I spotted an apple tree in the garden. So today I've been busy in the kitchen (oops sorry galley) and we're going to be appled out - we have apple crumble, apple turnovers and apple and sultana cake - yum yum.
James has got back to pen making, we're heading for the Christmas Floating Market in Birmingham next month. We will slowly make our way to Autherley Junction to meet up with Halsall the fuel boat, we were still out on the slipway when Martin passed through Stafford but will be back around the junction next weekend. We need to stock up on coal before heading back into Birmingham.