Around And Around. 6th 7th May

Dunham Massey to Sale to Granthams Bridge

Spending time in the Boozer on a bank holiday Monday

Bank Holiday Monday was spent working for me, numerous bar stools, optics and giant mixers, it’s what every bank holiday should be filled with. Tilly roamed the fields below and Mick got round to swapping the fuel filter back to the new one. However, this new filter, bought from RCR, has a different profile to its gasket and he’s not too sure if it is sealing properly. Time with the engine running will tell.

A little bit too long to turn anywhere, he realised his mistake and carried on to the winding hole half mile further on

Many of the boats we’d seen over the last couple of days have passed us again today, all heading back to their moorings after a couple of days out over the long weekend. By the end on the day we were the only boat left on the embankment.


During the day I’ve woken my Sour Dough starter up. I can keep it in the fridge for a fortnight without it needing any attention, but to keep it alive it then needs a feed. Now that I’ve got some sweet rice flour, I wanted to have a go at making a different sour dough loaf. This time without any added yeast, this would prove to me whether it was working or not. So, during the day I woke it up by putting the container in some warm water bringing it up to room temperature. Then I fed it with more brown rice flour and water. This then had to sit for an hour or so before I could decant off an amount to make the sponge for my loaf. Various flours and more water were mixed together and then left covered overnight for the sour dough to ferment.

Tilly’s playground shortly before sunset

As I seem to have ended up with a lot of starter, I also decided to take advantage of it having just had a feed and made some pizza dough for tomorrow night. The dough was kneaded and then put in an oiled bowl and sealed tightly with clingfilm and left for 24 hours to do its thing.


Ready to rise

Before we set off I checked the pizza dough, it was sweating away in it’s own little world, hopefully a good sign. The bread sponge I added the remaining ingredients to, sprinkled my new bigger 2lb loaf tin with sunflower seeds and poured the batter in. Scattered a few more seeds on top and then placed it on the proving shelf for it to prove itself.


Now we could cruise. We pootled up to the next winding hole, turned around and headed back to Sale whilst I got on drawing up the next few settings for panto. I now know which piece of scenery will be the big heavy b**tard, last year it was a revolving door.

Around again

Just past where we wanted to moor up Mick winded and turned us around again. We gave my parcel a little bit more time to arrive and had lunch before heading into the Post Office. Here I was told that they didn’t accept personal mail and that I would be charged for it! I don’t think the chap I was talking to knew about Post Restante. Most of the time receiving mail this way is easy, in smaller villages by canals it’s a pleasure, but every now and again it is so frustrating, especially as the chap who’d checked on Saturday had been so helpful.

I managed to get the phone number so that I can call in a couple of days time to see if it might have arrived. The chap said he would check it when it arrived and make charges accordingly. We’ll see, I just want my parcel!

We’d taken a bike with us to act as a mule, which was just as well as leaving Sainsburys we had four very heavy bags.

A favourite of mine

Tomorrow the weather forecast is for rain all day and the Bridgewater clock is starting to run out of ticks, so Mick wanted to get as far as we could today. I stayed up top for a while so that I could see what was happening at the Linotype Works. This is one of my favorite buildings along here. The site around it is being redeveloped into housing. Last time we passed a couple of years ago the site was cleared and ready to go, today lots of terraced houses have risen up.

Nothing special, but they could be worse

They are okay, nothing special and could have been so much worse. It does make me smile though that they want to boast about the date they were built, not quite in the same style as the main building.

Back below my loaf had now risen by a third, it had only taken 5 hours. The sour dough starter doing its thing. The oven ready to go and a kettle of boiling water to add to a tray to create some steam, I carefully, without knocking the tin popped it in the oven.

The Dames car kept me busy for some time. I could create a wonderful vehicle, but there’s only 3 ft to get it on stage, and it needs to seat four! I may have to come up with two versions of this, but we’ll see.

Work boats round here are big

The water point at Ye Old Number 3 pulled us over, here we emptied the yellow water for disposal later and topped up the water tank. Then we pushed off just as it started to rain. Mick would continue until he’d had enough, which wasn’t that far in the end. He pulled us in about half an hour away from Lymm, a suitable place for Tilly to pounce for an hour. But sadly, the internet is appalling here. I now need to think of a suitable symbol for the internet, to go with the thumbs up/down/sideways for TV signal.

Sunflower seed sour dough
Pizza dough about to explode

The bread looked good and had to be sampled, tasty with a very crunchy crust. The pizza dough had certainly been happy. It was a touch scary the way the clingfilm had expanded as the dough had fermented. An extra five minutes in the oven before putting the toppings on worked well. It was a very tasty chicken pizza.

Yummy, better than the one ten days ago

0 locks, 14 13.73 miles (a bit of a guess today), 2 winds, 1 filter swap, 4 tables, 8 bar stools, 1 mixer, 3 pumps, 1 loaf bread, 1 explosive bowl of dough, 0 parcel, 48 hours left, 1 car, 23 bars, 1 very big hinge, 3 boxes wine, 1 big pizza, 7 pounces, 0 friends except Ben.