Mallard Day Seven - To Stone (the end of the trip)
Friday - July 12th.

We seemed to have quite a short day in boating terms today - and it was raining - however there were four locks to keep me entertained as well as some really lovely scenery. At the locks Bob and Sally joined Mallard whcih meant that I had some time with Terry and Jane, which I enjoyed very much - both of them are really warm and friendly as well as being interesting to talk with. They have four grandchildren. Jane says the youngest of these calls her Nanna Boat.

We saw another heron today, they are so elegant and graceful - more so than swans really I think. Swans are lovely on the water but rather greedy and clumsy on land.

The canals are so remote and peaceful it is hard to realise how close civilisation is most of the time.

Jane spoke a little about the boat they hope to buy. They have just sold their house after trying for three years and want to buy a boat to live in. Their job with Swan and Mallard finishes on August 3rd as the boats have no bookings for August.

We got to Stone at about 11.00 am - a bit early really I think - however it gave me time to find the laundrette (well Terry took Sally and me there really) and get my clothes washed and dried before lunch.

After lunch it was raining again, but there was no point in hanging around so off I trotted into Stone. I had a few errands to do fortunately as there was not much to see - first the Post Office to send off four postcards. Then I wandered around to find a phone box and telephone about my train(s) to Coniston, after which I found an outdoor shop and bought some rain proof trousers for the Lake District.

The rain then stopped so I went back to the boats and spent a pleasant hour trying to draw Swan, and then some time talking to Jane and Terry.

After dinner we all went to the Pub - Banks's is Jane's favourite "the best beer in the world" she says. I was allowed to buy her a half of mild and Terry a half of lager and lime.

We didn't stay long and I spent what was left of the evening packing and composing a rhyme for the visitors' book.

Day Eight