Because stoats are…

A sunny Saturday spent hooked up to electricity and water in Great Haywood Marina catching up on the washing and drying, while someone visited the large Canal Side Farm shop adjacent, and someone else supervised the engine maintenance requirements (oil and filter change now it’s run in a bit). Guess who did what.

The quiet night weather-wise  saw a large hot-air balloon drifting very slowly over the marina in the evening, and another coming into land just across the railway line at 08:30 Sunday morning: there’s an outfit based at nearby Shugborough Hall, and it was pretty much perfect weather for it. Don’t see nearly so many balloons these days, I guess the foot and mouth restrictions some years back made it all too difficult for many operators.

Wandering further down the Trent & Mersey Canal on Sunday afternoon,  after passing the delights of Rugeley power station and the Armitage Shanks toilet factory (bidets are clearly in at the moment) and getting near Kings Bromley, we both saw a weasel-y animal rearing up out  of the canal-side greenery before bolting across the towpath into the woods. First time ever we’ve seen anything like that on a canal (though I guess there’s no reason why we shouldn’t). Eschewing the old joke, Google suggests the black-tip on the tail means it was a stoat. Definitely a first.

Normally reluctant to leave the boat during broad daylight, and not entirely happy in a busy marina with people traipsing through the boat fixing things, Sir expressed his approval of our quiet, remote and sunny moorings near Kings Bromley by diving off immediately into the bushes and returning two minutes later with a small rodent which he ceremoniously discombobulated on our newly cleaned floor. Good job he didn’t find a stoat…

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