There are two sides to being moored up in a town centre. On one hand it can be an expensive do; there’s a Screwfix and a Wickes within walking distance, which has resulted in one or two improvements – the beading in the bathroom is finished and there’s a nice new shelf with a light under it in the kitchen.
getting stuck at Smethwick almost a year ago, but we sometimes come across a paddle that we can’t open due to it spinning round without doing anything. We had a feeling that as we didn’t get it from BW, the hole in the end might not be quite the same size as the genuine article. We’ve now got a new one and it’s a much better fit, so either the old one has worn (doubtful) or we were right and it was sloppier to start with.
The frozen ground means that we can at last walk somewhere other than the towpath without finding ourselves up to our knees in mud. To the south-east of Wigan alongside the Leigh Branch there are a number of flashes where mining subsidence has resulted in lakes and ponds so we had a pleasant afternoon wandering around a couple of them.