Today's task was a hospital run, 50 miles each way, but usually a painlessly straightforward operation, compared to similar tasks around Stafford. The recent weather gave us some sense of concern, though, but it seemed likely that we would succeed. The first part of the task is to pick up my charge about six miles away, in the absolute back of beyond. The roads on the way there were passable with care and I arrived at the allotted rendezvous bang on time. But, I could only see his stick when I got there, leaning on the hedge on its own. This gave me cause for two main possibilities, he was subjected to an alien abduction or, being a slave to a high micturition frequency, he was resetting the timer to zero at the latest possible point in time. The latter turned out to be true and he emerged through a gateway - we set out on the riskiest part of the journey, the next few miles are up, down and around some very hilly ground, but we achieved that uneventfully and moved onto steadily better roads from then on.
We arrived at the very pleasant hospital and parted our ways. I knew I had a couple of hours before he would escape, so I set out to explore the town and the canal.
I went a good way out of town along the canal to this impressive lock arrangement - a ten-foot drop and a rather imposing lock-house.
I crossed over via the gates and returned.
The grass was very green, but mostly of one shade.
Having set out in mid-winter, the day had rapidly improved and the sunshine made it feel way above the 6C that it was. The journey home could have been in May. We stopped halfway back, as is our habit, and had a huge meal, which almost finished me. Then we got a call to go and jump-start a car that was almost en-route.
From being a day which had looked like it could end in an early failure, it turned into a very successful outcome.