New Toy. 18th June

P1340734smStill with the car today we drove into Solihull to the big Tescos and did a top up shop, which was maybe a little bit more than just a top up!
On returning to the boat Tilly was allowed out for the rest of the day, whilst I got on with collating lists for Panto and Mick headed off in the car to Springwood Haven Marina to spend some of his birthday money.
P1340752smFor sometime he’s been wanting to add another little blue box to our electrics cupboard, a Venus GX. This is a communication-centre for our electrical installation. It allows us to talk to all components in our system and ensure they are working in harmony.
Venus GXWe can monitor live data and changing settings via a phone or computer. Now Mick can see, from bottom left working clockwise, what the state of our battery charge is, what is coming in on a shore line (nothing as we’re not hooked up), the inverter is one,  how much is being used in the boat (dishwasher heating) and what is coming in from the solar (not much today as it’s turned very grey). I’m sure it does other things too, Mick is very excited about it!
Boats have been coming past us all day, just a slight lull between 1 and 3pm, which seems to be the norm here. It surprises me how few boats send crew on ahead to help save water. The amount that must have gone down the bywash today, no wonder there is a continuous feed into this pound from elsewhere.
Once my lists were complete I gave the primer a quick sand and gave a second coat to those bits that needed it.
P1340740smThen with a boat hook, a pair of scissors, a bag and Tilly in tow I went to harvest some Elderflower. At last the early afternoon was right for a change, sunny. You should pick the flower heads when they are dry and at their most fragrant, so not too late in the day either. A lady asked me if I was making Elderflower champagne, despite it being very lovely it is highly volatile and I really wouldn’t want corks popping at will inside a boat.
P1340744smP1340748smI made my syrup, zested my lemons and juiced them adding them to the mix. Each flower head was shaken over the sink and then had the stalks trimmed off. The whole mix was given a good stir and covered with a t-towel, it’ll now be left to soak for a couple of days before I strain and bottle it.
Chefchaouen10 locks, 0 miles, 2 boxes wine, 1 bag soya mince, 2 pots fat free favourite yoghurt, 2 lists complete, 12 sheets of reference photos, 7 hours, 0.5 helping pick flowers, 20 flower heads, 1kg sugar, 1 litre water, 3 small lemons, 1 vat soaking away, 1 birthday money toy for the boy, 1 grey day, 8 W solar.

Thank you to Christine and Duncan for your messages. Duncan, your commission percentage will surely reflect the amount of work you’ve done on my behalf!