Miles: About 12
Weather: Cloudy and damp feeling at times, but no actual rain.
After our slightly cheaty night at Mum and Dad’s house, Dad, bless his cotton socks, drove us back to Sawley in the morning. Obviously we had to then stop immediately for a cup of tea at Sawley Marina. The cafe wasn’t open, but the woman told us that they had a fantastic tea-making machine in the shop.
The shop tea-making machine was absurdly high tech. But I have to say, it did not make a good cup of tea. And it was UHT milk again. If I had my way that stuff would be banned… It did have the benefit of cheapness though. At 65p a cup it was the second cheapest tea we’ve encountered.
We walked on to Trent Lock, where we had a much better (but more expensive) cup of tea. Then on towards Nottingham. We walked through Attenborough Nature Reserve, which was lovely. Had lunch at the brilliant Boathouse Cafe in Beeston Marina. They’ve got loads of old photos of the local area all over the walls. And the fish and chips were only £4. There’s a short audio thingy of that part of the day below.
Just after Beeston Marina, a dog-walking couple spotted Ross’s ukelele and said, ‘Are you those people who are walking the River Trent? We read about you in the paper.’ That was bizarre. We felt mildly famous.
Then Ross’s foot started really hurting. He sprained his ankle earlier in the year, and that seemed to flare up again. It got the the point where he could only walk really slowly, and the last mile took us an hour, with Ross hobbling and leaning on my shoulder. We should have got to Nottingham by 4ish, but in fact, we limped into the Trent Bridge Inn at gone 6pm.
We were very glad to see the pub. Even gladder to find they had wifi, ample plug sockets, and a range of excellent ciders on tap. And to cap it all, two pints came to £3.98. What more could one ask for in a pub?
After a bit of admin and a pint, we headed to the City Gallery, for Story Club. There was a small turn out, but as Dad said, ‘You don’t need a big audience, but an appreciative audience is nice.’ Story club were a very attentive audience, and after we’d done our show, we got them telling us their stories to do with rivers.
My favourite was from an interesting guy called Lee. He told us the little snippet that when Gutenberg was showing people his first printing press (made from an adapted wine press), they mocked him. They asked how he planned to change the world with a wine press. Gutenberg replied, ‘Yes, it is a press, certainly, but a press from which shall flow in inexhaustible streams, the most abundant and most marvelous liquor that has ever flowed to relieve the thirst of men!’ I love that metaphor of knowledge as a flow of water.
The day had one extra treat in store – Matt, who runs Story Club, was our host for the night, and when we got back to his house he produced a foot spa. Just what we needed!