Loaf Of Bread. 26th May

Lockdown Mooring 5

That maple syrup and spoon of other flour had done the trick to my starter, this morning it had doubled in size and hadn’t sunk back down the jar. It was ready to bake with. I wasn’t prepared. I’d thought it might take until this evening for it to be ready to start a loaf and if I started a loaf now then I would end up baking it tonight at bed time!

That looks very good

I scanned through my recipes and found one that suggested it would rise and be ready to bake between 5 and 7pm. The recipe did have a touch of yeast added to it, but I thought it was well worth it as I didn’t want to waste the progress my starter had made. So a loaf of Chestnut and oat bread it was. My starter was so airy, the airiest it’s ever been. I ran out of white rice flour, so had to add some brown rice flour. Once mixed the sponge was left on the proving shelf for four hours to see what it did. It rose up and showed great promise.

Domed and cracked top even without the yeast

Time to get on with the portraits of the actors who would have been in the production of The Garden. I’ve been putting this painting off for a while, but it proved to be quite pleasurable to work on.

They look a touch like they need a good wash

Skin tone shadows were painted in for everyone and highlights washed back. Then I started to work up one face at a time.

Four finished only six more

Whilst painting we listened to Anno Domino the new Alan Ayckbourn play. Alan and Heather play all the characters and it is well worth a listen. Back in the 60’s Alan had a stint of being a Radio Drama Producer for the BBC. This showed as we both laughed out loud at images that simply wouldn’t have been as funny on stage. The sound effects (an Ayckbourn hobby) and atmosphere along with the multi track recording worked very well. It must have been great fun for them to make as it is great fun to listen to. Available until the 25th June.

Starting to prove itself

Final ingredients (including some yeast) were mixed into the sponge. Then it was poured into a lined tin and left of the proving shelf for an hour and a half to rise. It gained about a third in height, time to bake it. Mick was requested not to step on and off the boat for a few minutes whilst I transferred the tin into the hot oven. Any knock right now would end with a very flat loaf. Transfer completed Mick could continue to mend one of our tyre fenders that has developed a puncture.

Up by a third

I’d spent all day sat at the dinette table working, so after dinner I headed up the towpath for a walk. I’d spotted a footpath on the offside of the canal which would bring me alongside Oleanna as the sun started to set.

You get a lot of sky round here

Quite a beautiful evening.

The bottom lock

I walked up to Hack Green Locks. The field beside them had the now rotund lambs/teenagers we’d seen back in March. They still played and demanded milk from their Mum’s teets. One old lady just stood and stared at me until I moved away.

What you lookin at?!

I crossed over the bridge between the locks and started to walk back towards Oleanna. This side of Nantwich the fields are all pasture where as to the north they are more arable. Blimey the long grass was hard to walk through and there was no obvious footpath.

Oleanna

A murder of Crows circled the nearby wood, cawing to each other. I found my way into the second field and walked round it’s perimeter trying to find the way ahead. Nettles and brambles stopped my progress. By now I felt like I’d walked through miles of deep snow, my calf and thigh muscles complaining.

I found a narrow bridge across a ditch into another field with more long grass but decided to turn back and head to the bottom lock where a pathway had been worn to the bottom gates. The bywash here was just narrow enough to hop over and I was back on shorter grass.

Cwor!

Tonights sunset was beautiful. A good Shropie sunset is hard to beat. Not having Hurleston Reservoir in the way helped to get the full effect.

0 locks, 2 walked to, 0 miles, 1 frothy starter, 1 loaf, 84th play, 4 portraits finished, 1 Sainsburys order completed, 9 hours, 2 friends consumed at least, 1 tyre mended, 1 stunning sunset.

Leaving Home. 25th May

Lockdown Mooring 4A to Lockdown Mooring 5, Hack Green Winding Hole

Blimey I’m going to have to remember how to do maps now!

Saying goodbye to Tilly’s field

Our 48hrs were up this morning as the 14 day mooring rule was brought back in on Saturday, I know that doesn’t quite make sense unless you understand the mooring rules on C&RT waters . I could look back and count the actual amount of days we’ve been at Lockdown Mooring 4 and 4A, but I’ll save that for another day.

Bye bye ‘Home’

We’ve enjoyed our time at this mooring. I’d been aiming to get the gunnels repainted as it’s a perfect spot for the job, but general life, lack of motivation and the matter of 16 illustrations have all been keeping me busy and stopping me from sanding and painting. I’m hoping we may return ‘home’ for a couple of days before we leave for the east. There is also the matter of the Wheelie Shoppers!

Tatties growing

Pushing off just before 11am, boats had already started coming past, with the sun out we could tell today was going to be a busy one on the cut. The flag bubble have had a move around, NB Plum has headed off to fit some solar panels and the bubble has been joined by another boat that’s been up and down the pound for a while now. We waved to Sandra, Kim and Barry, we’ll be back in a few days time.

The potato field is doing well, wonder how long before they are worth digging up?

Then round the next bend the local swan family came swimming towards us. Dad at the front, Mum bringing up the rear. But hang on! Quick, slow down!!!

One is catching a ride

Dad was giving one lucky cygnet a lift on his back. Such a wonderful sight, we’d thought the cygnets were too old for this, but obviously not. Sometimes there is space for a couple to catch a ride, but this cygnet wouldn’t leave much space for a second one.

Not much space
Riding high

One of those special moments in life.

We chatted with Heidi from the pirate boat as we passed, saying where we were aiming for. She and Jacki had tried the other side of the aqueduct but it was far too busy for their liking, so they’d returned to Henhull. We’d still go and see what we thought, we could always come back this way instead.

The pooh boat

A boat was just pulling of the services as we approached so we hung back leaving them space to get through the bridge and past the moored boats on the 24hr moorings. A washing load had been done this morning, so our tank was quite depleted. Tilly got a fresh clean pooh box, I think only her third of lockdown, she has after all been using shorebased facilities as requested.

Plenty of boats came past, some stopping to do the necessary and others waiting for water. Then once filled we pushed off leaving the tap for another boat that had just pulled in.

NB Myrtle’s second mate sat under the A frame

Nb Islonian was selling coffees and across the other side of the aqueduct was NB Plum and NB Myrtle, the later with big flags out trying to drum up trade. As we passed I spotted their second mate taking shelter underneath their A frame. They sell jams, chutneys, dog treats, but nothing for our feline friends! Tilly was not impressed, I suspect neither is their second mate!

Busy today

Boats came towards us, not many we recognised. Were they boats that have been pootling about at this end of the canal, just like us at the other end of this pound? Were they boats from marinas out for a jaunt for the day enjoying the bank holiday sunshine? Who knew, there were just plenty of them.

Keep the
tiller straight

At Marsh Lane, Mick kept a very good hold of the tiller, despite Oleanna wanting to wind to return to our ‘home’ water, we wanted to go further, we wanted to go straight on. We were now back on water we’ve not been on since the 19th March, pre-lockdown. The last time we cruised this stretch in this direction was just shortly after the Beast from the East back in 2018 when the water was icy in stretches, today no ice to navigate through, just sunshine and fishing rods.

Fresh water

Onwards we forged with a slight sense of freedom.

Fishermen out in force

Someone else was enjoying some freedom too. A Jersey cow was trotting along the towpath towards us, an occasional kick high into the air. She carried on past us thank goodness as we were wanting to moor up and didn’t really want a nosy cow peering in through the hatch or nibbling at our ropes.

Hack Green bottom lock and a cow!

Two chaps asked if we’d seen a cow, we pointed them down to where her friends had come across the field on the off side to say hello to her.

Hello
How do

I need to take back my recent criticism of the crew on board Oleanna. Today they finally have managed to break the circle the they seem to have been stuck in for months. Today they finally managed to tie up a whole new, different, exciting outside! One with extra cow for good measure. She wouldn’t let me out until the cow had gone past. But then I was free to explore and find myself some tasty friends. Would I know where to come back to? Don’t be stupid of course I knew.

Ooo a new outside!

My sour dough starter was still looking a touch flat. I’d pepped it up with a touch of maple syrup this morning and later on I added a touch of bog standard gluten free flour in with the brown rice flour, this worked the last time, fingers crossed it does the trick by morning.

Not a bad vista

Plenty more boats came past us, few familiar. We soon noticed that the majority were actually just coming to wind and return back towards Nantwich. A few came from the locks and a few continued on up them, but I think the majority of boats out today were out for a day trip to check things over before returning to their home mooring. Currently Leisure boaters can visit their boats and go for a short a cruise, but as yet no overnight stays are allowed.

This will do

By the end of the afternoon I had just about finished my illustrations, painting in blossom and fireworks. Sideways trees now with more detail, although when I looked back at them they were starting to upstage my actors, so a bit of water and some kitchen towel tamed them down a touch, fading them into the background.

The final light tonight

0 locks, 4.49 miles, 1.78 miles of fresh water, 1 home mooring left behind, 1 piggy back, 2 pirates, 1 full water tank, 0 rubbish left on board, 1 clean pooh box, 1 straight on for a change, 1 sky filled mooring, 1 jolly Jersey, 1 happy cat, 1 friend from the friendly cover, 15 illustrations complete? 1 eye test required, 1 punctured tyre fender, 1 shelf again.

So much for a map! Google won’t let me drop a pin!

Lazy Starter. 24th May

Lockdown Mooring 4A

Yesterday I got my sourdough starter out of the fridge, it’s been a little while since I used it so it needed a feed. It had been fed twice yesterday and shown some growth, but this morning it still wasn’t rising as high as needed for a loaf of bread. Only one thing for it, we had to have pancakes for breakfast! What a shame. I’ll give the starter a couple more feeds before I use it to bake with.

Not quite enough gluten free oats, so I had to steal a few from Mick’s 3kg bag we bought from the garage to make up the correct quantity to zuzz into flour. Once mixed up and frothing away happily in a bowl (no need for whipping egg whites in this recipe) I started to cook the pancakes. In our last Morrisons delivery we’d bought frozen blueberries instead of fresh. These are not the same with cereal so I decided to add some to the pancakes. But because they were frozen as I added them to each pancake they of course melted producing water which affected the batter a touch. Still tasty though.

Blueberry pancakes

Tilly had a full day of outdoors as the wind had calmed down considerably from yesterday. As the day progressed the sun came out to warm the world again and Tilly had to be encouraged to return home, her eyes heavy and ready for several cat naps.

Mick found a delivery slot with Sainsburys this week that we can combine with our veg box delivery. It’ll be the first delivery from Sainsburys since we were at Wheaton Aston back in March. This got us both quite excited as we tend to prefer Sainsburys to Morrisons. It looks like they are now allowing people who are not shielding to have slots late in the evening.

Is that Tilly?

A day of painting illustrations again for me. I can only manage a few hours before I need to give my right hand a rest. It must be that my fingers don’t like the thin handles of my brushes, so I did two stints of painting in some long grass, adding detail to trees, adjusting shadows and highlights to faces and deepening shadows on clothes. By the end of the day there was just the sideways trees to finish off and add colours to fireworks and they will be finished. Then I’ll need to turn my attention to the portraits of the actors.

Of course it is

Mick finished setting up the new laptop and handed it over. He will now spend the next few days waiting to cringe as I find things that are different or missing. The programme to add copyright to photos has been missed and for some reason I managed to reduce all the writing and icons in size as soon as I started it up.

A touch bigger than the last one

There have been more boats passing today. Those who have been moored on visitor moorings like us have to move on after the stated time, this means we’ll be moving in the morning. NB Coddiwomble headed off late afternoon to the junction and most probably headed on up the locks onto the Llangollen.

Everyone still there but the scrabble boat

I bobbed up to the bridge before dinner to see who had moved off from below the reservoir. Andy and Helen from NB Skydance (the Scrabble boat) had moved off, most probably up the flight. It will be the first time they’ve moved their boat since lockdown began, they preferred to collect water in containers from the top of the flight than move their boat. I suspect it will have been nice for them to use their hose pipe again.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 full day of shoreleave, 12 pancakes, 1 new laptop bigger than the last one, 125% required, 15 illustrations almost finished, 1 Sainsburys order, 1 farcical, 1 last night at 4A, 1 big Happy Birthday to Jac.

It Can Stop Now!!! 23rd May

Lockdown Mooring 4A

Well it seemed to be less windy this morning, so Tilly was allowed some shore leave (an hour) whilst we had breakfast and got ourselves ready for the Saturday morning Geraghty Zoom.

Hello everyone!

Gradually everyone turned up on our screen, eight from around the UK and one from Bangladesh. It was so lovely to see everyone, but especially Marion who has just spent a short spell in hospital. So good to see her back home. Todays topics covered, whipping up egg whites in pancakes, physio sessions and walking sticks, the National Theatre and how windy it is across the country.

Sandra (NB AreandAre) and Duncan (NB Coddiwomple) stopped as they passed for a chat and catch up. NB AreandAre will be loitering around Nantwich like us for the next couple of weeks, but NB Coddiwomple aim to head up onto the Llangollen for a while before heading northwards hoping that their trip across the Ribble Link will still go ahead.

New neighbours blown in

A couple of passing boats did the crab manoeuvre along the cut, their sterns being pushed towards us as they passed. The first one pulled in at the end of the moorings, not sure if they’d intended to do so. Another could be seen being blown into the side a touch further along. Not really a suitable day to be going for a cruise.

It can stop now!!

I ventured out to encourage Tilly home. She was a touch disgruntled as she’d just started to venture along the path the Wheelie Shoppers use when I called her home. She wasn’t impressed in having to stay in the rest of the day, she far prefers shore based facilities now. But we are very aware that on days like this she is more likely to go missing, her scent being diminished by the wind.

Mick however braved the elements and set off on his bike into town. Our laptop of six years is showing it’s age, one hinge is held together with a cable tie and this is the hinge that the lead goes through to the screen, so it is only a matter of time before something more serious happens.

Earlier in the week Mick had found a suitable laptop at John Lewis so with various vouchers we’d collected he ordered one to be delivered to the Co-op south of Nantwich. He was away for quite sometime and I was just starting to get a touch concerned when he returned with a full Brompton bag.

A big shallow pork pie

Computer, bread, milk, potatoes (we didn’t get any in our veg box this week). He’d also ventured into town noticing that Clewlow’s was now open to more than pre-orders. A pork pie somehow managed to make it’s way into his bag. He also stopped at Holland and Barrett and got me some buckwheat flour, so a good trip.

Gas delivery

The new laptop will take a bit of setting up and the helpful lady who immediately started to try to help Mick was very quickly silenced. This kept Mick occupied for much of the rest of the day whilst I continued with my work. Mid afternoon NB Mountbatten pulled up to deliver a bottle of gas before turning up onto the Llangollen.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 windswept cat, 1 bike ride, 2 inches more of laptop, 1 bottle gas, 1 yellowed broccoli, 1 improvised meal of sausage slop.

This weeks Thursday photo taken on a Saturday

Face Rhino Business. 22nd May

Lockdown Mooring 4A

The forecast for today was for wind, quite a lot of it, but we hadn’t expected it to wake us at 3.15am! Blimey it was loud!! We did however manage to get back to sleep eventually, but this meant we were slower in getting up than usual.

New signs from C&RT

As we sat with our cuppas in bed we talked about which way we’ll be heading when the time comes. We plan on loitering in this pound for a couple more weeks until we feel more comfortable about moving away from the safety of what we know, veg boxes and deliveries meaning we rarely now have to go to the supermarkets or town.

2 meters where possible

But where to go? The titles in my puzzle book gave us a plan. Our destination maybe a touch further east than we’d originally thought we’d go and we doubted canalplan would help us with much of the route planning. However we could make an educated stab at directions.

Our destination

Up to Barbridge Junction, turn onto the Middlewich Branch.

Wardle Lock Cottage

Right onto the Trent and Mersey, keeping a straight course when we reach Fradley Junction.

The Swan at Fradley Junction

At Trent Lock head down stream on the River Trent, passing through Nottingham and Newark.

Newark Castle

A pause at Cromwell Lock before heading out onto the tidal Trent. Tides dependant we’ll have over night stops at Torksey and Keadby.

As it says Keadby Lock

Then back out onto the Trent (new water for us), at Trent Falls, if the tide is right we will continue to head east onto the Humber. We’ll need a pilot for this next stretch, under the Humber Bridge. An overnight stop at either Hull Marina or Corporation Pier (now known as Victoria Pier).

Corporation Pier, Hull

The following day, we’ll join the ferries to Rotterdam following their route out to past Spurn Point where our course will then head northwards up along the North coast. We might stop off at Scarborough for a night to wave at our friends before continuing on wards.

Scarbados in the sunshine

One port of call heading northwards would be Edinburgh. We might have a night or two there. Then back out into the North Sea hugging the coast up to Fraserburgh.

Fraserburgh

A major restock whilst here, including making sure that the wine cellar was filled. Then after checking the forecast for the next few days we’ll choose our moment and with a bearing of east north east we’ll set forth across the 285 miles of North Sea to Stavanger. We’re really hoping that our diesel tank has sufficient capacity for this leg of the journey, if not maybe NB Halsall or NB Alton will be able to give us a top up.

Stavanger

From here Mick has previous knowledge from a holiday he once took up the coast of Norway, so we’ll hug the Norwegian coast maybe bobbing into the odd fjord to restock and for a touch of rest. At Tansoy we’ll pass to the north of the island and head out from the sea passing Brandsoy on our port side.

Brandsoy

Keeping the 5 road within sight we’ll continue eastwards round Sandvikbotn. One last restock at the Spar shop in Eikefjord before pushing back west and mooring up after a cruise of around 921 miles from Hull.

No idea who this chap is, but the Spar looks good

What looks like a gorge could be our easiest route inland through a forest to reach our final destination, only half a mile away at face.rhino.buisness What3words

Restock and mooring up

The first section of our journey, to Hull Marina entrance, has been calculated using canalplan. It would be 200 miles and 2 furlongs, include 89 locks, take 79 hours and 41 minutes, so just over 11 days.

Route from Hull

Then with an average speed on the Humber and sea of 5mph we reckon cruising time will be 184 hours. Crossing the North Sea (284miles) we’d not be able to stop, so that would be a 57 hour continuous cruise, taking turns being tied to the helm, Tilly would be exempt from these duties. The rest of the journey at 7 hours a day (a long days cruise for us nowadays) would amount to 18 days.

Not far really

So in total we’d cover 1121miles, 89 locks. Taking us a total of 31.5 days, so lets call that 32.

If my puzzle book had said faces.rhino.buisness we’d have been heading to Alaska.

Alaska

If face.rhinos.buisness, New Mexico.

New Mexico

If faces.rhinos.buisness, then Queensland.

Queensland

We’re quite glad our destination is only Norway!

In other news, today has continued to be very windy. Tomasz Schafernaker on the weather forecast said it would be a touch breezy this afternoon. He lied!

Bored!

It was so windy that Tilly’s shore leave had to be curtailed as it was too windy for cats. We managed a walk up to the bins, but decided to go no further. The rest of the day was spent painting illustrations.

Towpath work continues

Following on from Tom’s post regarding Costco toilet rolls. We have compared the toilet roll tubes from our last two lots of paper. The wide one was from a pack of nine rolls we purchased when it was all we could buy in Nantwich about 9 weeks ago. The other a more established brand. This more established brand has the smaller diameter, yet the roll before being used had the same outside dimension.

Side by side
One inside the other

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 very very windy day, 1 boat pinned to the side, 2 mad cruising boats, 1 ivy clad tree a touch too close for comfort, 1 cruise planned.

One’s Better Than None. 21st May

Lockdown Mooring 4A to Cholmondeston Lock to Lockdown Mooring 4A

Time to fill up with water, we’ve not been so careful this last few days so the tank hadn’t lasted so long. But which water point to choose? I knew as there was something that needed to be picked up.

Sun’s out again

We reversed back through bridge 97 to Hurleston Junction, winded and headed up to Barbridge. Our Lockdown Buddies were all busy, some already with plans as to which way to head when cruising restrictions are lifted this weekend. Most of us will need to move off the 48hr moorings on Monday. At the moment we plan on staying around the area for another week or two with the hope that the Covid-19 statistics improve.

A boat!!!

For the last two months we’ve hardly met another boat on the move, but now numbers are picking up. Those visiting their boats for the first time in a couple of months, maybe even this year, are out for a there and back day cruise. Others who can’t wait for the weekend and who have started to move already. So of course today we met a boat at a bridge hole, we were the closest, ‘Just like old times’.

Building site back up and running today

I stood as look out at Barbridge Junction and signalled the way ahead was clear as we turned into the Middlewich Branch. The building site opposite is back up and running again.

Not what you normally see on the Four Counties

A cruiser with a huge engine sat on a trailer by the slipway at Barbridge Marina, bit of overkill for the canal system.

Elderflower on it’s way

Now most of the Hawthorn blossom has gone, but getting going is the Elderflower. A few more days before the flower heads are out fully.

The plant pot lady on her swing now just about overgrown.

The length of boats we’d left a couple of months ago are still moored above Cholmondeston Lock. Each with their little patch and all very friendly now. A group stood round the water point as we pulled up, a boat just having finished filling. They wound their hose up and gave us room.

With the tank filling I took a large shopping bag with me and headed off on my own. There was a delivery I needed to pick up, sadly a second one hadn’t arrived. I returned to Oleanna where one half of Mick’s birthday present was presented wonderfully wrapped in a Sainsburys bag.

A while ago Paul, from Waterway Routes, had pointed us in the direction of Tannus tyres. These are solid tyres so therefore cannot get a puncture. As our faithful Brompton has had a couple of punctures lately I decided to fork out for a pair.

Present

Delays had happened. The company only dispatches orders the following week as they were working with reduced staff. They sent no confirmation of my order and it was only when it arrived that I was informed that there was only one tyre, not a pair! I ordered a second one, luckily getting some discount from the company. Then I wasn’t able to pick it up until Wednesday. Hence all the delay. So either Mick will get his Christmas present early or Tilly has used up all her pocket money for the next five years in buying the second tyre.

Look at that de-lamination, that used to be plywood.

Lunch was eaten as the water tank filled, we then backed past the line of boats and headed back home.

They’ve lost the ability to change the outside!

Videos of how to fit a Tannus tyre were watched, they are renowned to be quite tricky as they are a solid tyre. Time to give it a go.

The Brompton had it’s front tyre removed, easier than the rear one, it also had a slow puncture. Then the choice of which pins too use, red, blue or black. The blue ones were the correct size for the wheel. These were fed into the holes and then Mick started to fit the tyre. He’d had the foresight to leave the tyre on the rear hatch sitting in the sun for a while. This made the tyre more malleable and considerably easier to fit than expected.

Tyreless wheel
Blue pins slotted in

The wheel back on the bike it was taken for a test drive a short distance up the towpath. Just the second tyre to arrive now and he’ll be puncture proof.

Fitted

I started on some details and shadows on my illustrations. This became quite satisfying, the characters now taking shape and form on the page. There is still more to do and the slight disappointment when I realised that the main character, Emma not only has a stripy cardigan but her coat is multicoloured also! I saved that as a job for tomorrow.

Just that red coat to finish

0 locks, 5.55 miles, 0.2 in reverse, 2 winds, 1 right, 1 left, 1 full water tank, 0.5 present, 1 solid tyre, 1 birthday boy kept busy, 1 endless coat, 2 neighbours gone, 1 new neighbour.

One puncture proof tyre

Birthday Surprises. 20th May

Lockdown Mooring 4A to Henhull Bridge to Lockdown Mooring 4A

Birthdays mean presents in bed with our first cuppa of the morning. Lockdown was not going to stop this, even if I’d not managed to get anything for Mick’s birthday.

What is this?

So what did he get? Well Tilly chose three presents and very kindly donated a couple which she seemed to be very pleased with, a catnip sardine and one of her bouncy balls. She also gave him a brand new roll of kitchen foil, this was a standard birthday present from Houdini our old cat as she loved foil balls.

Good
presents

What did he get from me? I chose three also. A dishwasher tablet, which he used up all in one go! A bar of chocolate (the cooking variety being the only one that has been available from Morrisons for a few weeks) and a box of Merlot.

Lots of presents

Just as we were thinking of getting up a boat was pulling up alongside. NB AreandAre were dropping off their empty vegboxs before heading for water. They managed to line up with our kitchen window to pass them through.

AreandAre

This spurred us into getting up and pushing off ourselves, all before breakfast. We pootled almost three quarters of a mile down to Henhull Bridge, the pick up mooring where our mooring spikes slid into their holes with ease and we settled down for breakfast.

Todays fruit and veg

At just gone 10am the vegbox man arrived. Two boxes today, one for us and the other for Sandra. We’d both gone for mixed fruit and veg. I checked that mine contained some lemons, I’d put in a request earlier this week for them as they were a key ingredient for the birthday cake I’d be making. Also nestled in amongst the strawberries and raspberries was a bundle of asparagus. Ooohhh what a treat! Thank you Nantwich Veg Boxes.

Morrisons delivery

Then at just gone 11am a white van pulled into the layby. This was our Morrisons delivery, sadly a few things missing, Tilly food and some steak to go on the barbecue this evening.

Coming along nicely

Once everything was sorted, put into quarantine or disinfected we backed away to the winding hole, turned and headed back to Hurleston. The moorings were a touch busy, but our spot was still vacant, we slotted back in where we’d come from a couple of hours earlier.

Back home again

At first I thought they had actually succeeded in moving the outside today. This outside had freshly trimmed grass and very little cowparsley to hide in, but it turned out that the towpath monsters are back to work and they’d been and chomped everything short again. She is a bit sad about this, so am I as it gave me some really good hidy places.

Kim and Barry, Sandra was in the now sorting veg out

Whilst Tilly went off to find friends, Mick pottered and I spent time in the kitchen doing secret things, mixing, zesting and juicing. Soon afterwards NB AreandAre returned pulling up alongside again this time to pick up their full veg box. There was time for a short chat and a round of Happy Birthday before they pulled away again heading back to their spot.

Birthday bonce

Mick had asked for one thing for his birthday that was really easy to sort, a hair cut. The clippers had been on charge for the day helping to soak up some of the sunshine, so they were put to work. I soon had my boyfriend back with me, with an inch and a half less hair.

A bottle today
Asparagus on the barbecue

Mick set up the barbecue in the gap into the field whilst I threaded the asparagus onto a couple of skewers. The lack of steak wasn’t going to stop us, I’d ordered a couple of chickens, one to roast the other to be jointed and frozen. So two drum sticks were marinaded in cumin, coriander, turmeric and yoghurt. A couple of salmon steaks got wrapped in foil and some haloumi and vegetable kebabs made ready.

A feast

Tilly watched from inside whilst we cooked our meal. The asparagus went on first, I kept a close eye on it and it cooked wonderfully as a starter.

Then the drumsticks cooked for a good fifteen minutes on their own before anything else joined them.

So not fare!

The evening was sunny, filled with insects zooming around. We stayed put in our chairs with another glass of wine and watched the sun setting behind the reservoir before heading inside for cake, well it had to be dark to make the most of the candles.

The lemon and almond damp cake was accompanied by some raspberries and another glass of wine. A rather nice way to end a birthday.

Blow!

0 locks, 1.5 miles, 2 winds, 2 deliveries, 2 veg boxes, 0 potatoes, 6 wine boxes, 6 things to unwrap, 2 chickens, 1 early boat, 2 Happy Birthdays, 20 spears, 2 lemons, 1 cake, 1 tired cat, 2 dribbling woofers, 1 birthday sunset.

Yumm