Mum died last week.
As a tribute, our Strelitzia decided to flower for the first time.
We bought 5 seeds when we were in Madeira - in the market at Funchal.
The stallholder explained in sign language that they flower after 9 years.
Two seeds germinated. One plant lasted about 5 years - and this is the other!
The seeds were sown in 2002 - there you go...
This is where the canal suddenly dives under Manchester city centre and we begin to descend the dreadful Rochdale Nine locks.
It's like taking your boat through an underground car park.
All the water levels were completely wrong and working the locks was a nightmare. Some of the way there was no towpath at all so that involved crew being deposited right at the lock entrance from the bow of the boat. We were very lucky to be paired up with an old working boat called Larch which helped enormously by tying ropes to the lock gates and pulling them open against the flow of water.