When I recently undertook a pre-retirement course (which was very interesting in that I was the only one there with what I considered enough hobbies to keep me entertained) there was a general discussion on what retirement 'meant'
For me work has defined me, probably more than I would have wanted, but that is another blog post for when I have left. So to be changed, albeit over 30 years, I need to change again. So henceforth it is not "retirement" but "reinvention".
Part of my planning, and I am trying not to do too much of that, is a couple of weeks on Percy, so it feels like a holiday I start but never end !
To this end I spent a few hours looking at 2 week cruise out and back from Fradley Junction. Click the image below to bring it up in a larger view
It was easier to compare the respective routes by putting the into a spreadsheet so there was some immediate comparisons. Apart from the four counties option all the planning was based on 5 hours a day cruising. Not exactly reinvention pace but that'll come.
What would you choose ?
Froghall is top of the list (being top of the physical list is by accident ) as I will only have Rachel on board for one week as sadly she needs to go back to something called work? This means I can walk home from the terminus, have a bath, wash some clothes then collect the car, and she can drive south while I do the return trip on my Jack Jones.
The Ashby is a beautiful canal and a lot less locks, We did it on Waterlily a few years back - all the way to the end. Plus this is where Percy was born ! I guess a taxi (or son pick up ) is not too bad from here or we could leave a car in the area....
The Macclesfield is a beautiful canal but going the wrong way for a trip south. Might be one to have for a four week cruise when we both retire. Plus I'd be doing the Bosley locks on the return trip, I hear some of my single handed friends having a little titter at this !
Stourport... not a great deal more than the top two in locks and distance. I could always wind at Kinver. I like the Staffs and Worcester and it will be a regular trip.
All of the others are a little grander or should be part of a joint summer cruising plan in a couple of years when Rachel finishes.
So Froghall or Ashby.... I think it will be the former with the Ashby being a possible trip later in the year when the canal are quieter and I have a back stove fitted.