Friday, 22 September 2017

Small but beautiful

Looking down at Church Minshull in the valley below
It might be just ten miles long and a mere 'branch' but the Middlewich Branch is pretty as a picture. Several pictures in fact.
This little canal forms a vital connection between the Shroppie and the Trent & Mersey so it's always busy with canal ring traffic. But don't hurry if you come this way for the views down across the Weaver valley and into the distance are superb and there are some fine moorings to admire them from. We moored looking down onto the pretty village of Church Minshull and an hour later we were walking through it, admiring its fine church, after a steep footpath walk down through the woods.
Sickdog Brian rejects all the menu choices
Unfortunately we had more on our mind than walks for Seadog Brian was becoming Sickdog Brian, refusing a whole line of different tempting food morsels and looking sorry for himself. He managed the downhill, gravity assisted section of our walk but then it was into the backpack for the return.
By Middlewich we were fearing the worst for the old boy – he is 16 now after all – but, instead of finding a vet, we found a Lidl and bought another assortment of treats: sausages, bacon, gravy, chicken. I was licking my own lips.
We headed north out of the town on the T&M and moored for the night at Bramble Cuttings, an old clay pit on the offside that had been turned into a delightful mooring spot with its own 'beach'.

The next morning Sickdog hopped out of bed and ran up and down the boat like a puppy. "Me? Ill? No, I'm fine: where's my breakfast?" His relieved parents fed him bacon and egg to celebrate.
From the Cuttings we headed up to the Anderton Lift and down onto the River Weaver where we are now.

What, me? Ill? No, it was all a trick to get sausages for breakfast

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