Facebook is far from perfect, as we all know, but I love it when it kick-starts an adventure.
As the proud owner of a new motorbike (my first) I am always looking for new places to go within reasonable distance. So you can imagine my delight when I saw a post on Facebook advertising the current location of a floating coffee shop:
‘We are moored just above Hyde Lock, near the pretty village of Kinver. The Beeches is a beautiful spot with a big curve of canal, fields and woodland edges with loads of wildlife to see. I’ve been listening to buzzards wheeling in the sky all day. I’ve been baking… We have bread pudding, apple turnovers and tiffin alongside frothy coffee, tea and in the last days of summer, our lovely homemade cloudy lemonade.’
How could I possibly resist this? Within the hour, I was dressed in my biking gear and on the road.
I was not disappointed. The narrowboat was indeed moored at a gorgeous spot along the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal towpath. The owner, Kit, served me from a small hatchway: tea, a piece of bread pudding and a slice of chocolate tiffin. Then we sat on a nearby bench in the sunshine and chatted for an hour about how she came to be there, living a free life on the waterways.
I won’t share her story here. It is is her tale to tell, and she has written a book that she hopes will be published. I hope so too.
Kit posts the boat’s location on Facebook whenever they move on. Find them under The Coffee Makery. They usually sell vintage crockery too, as part of their Wild Geese Emporium. You cannot go on the boat: it is where they live. But they always moor next to a bench so there’s somewhere to sit. And I whole-heartedly recommend the cake!