Perhaps it wasn’t very good planning to travel North at Easter but I never imagined it would take 6 hours to do my normal 165 miles from Newbury to Middlewich, although I did make a bit of a diversion.
Travelling up the motorway is boring enough at the best of times, but at 4mph it was dreadful so to break the journey I was suddenly inspired to return to my favourite chip shop in Swindon near Dudley. It must have been the Dudley signs on the M5 which triggered a memory of last summer, when Zulu was one of the last boats to come down the Stourbridge Canal onto the Staffie the week before the breach. The highlight of the Staffs and Worcester, apart from Bratch locks and perhaps a day trip to Stourport was definitely the chippie in Swindon.
I had never realised that in the West Midlands the chip shops deep fry their chips in a light batter, which is a whole new taste sensation. So if you haven’t tried this delicacy yet don’t miss the chance if you are on the Stourbridge Ring. My particular favourite from Smiths in Swindon, just up the street from Swindon Bridge, is battered chips with mixed kebab meat, chilli sauce and salad all for about 3 quid but don’t order a large unless you know you can handle it, and get there early as they sell out every night! I sat by the lock oblivious to the light rain and ate the lot in kebab heaven!
So now finally back on Zulu, the stove’s on, the wine’s open, the neighbours have shouted their greetings and all is ready for an Easter Weekend cruise to…. well we will find out tomorrow.