What a beautiful day. Blue skies hardly any wind, a perfect day for cruising. So we stayed put, there was far too much present unwrapping , eating and drinking to do.
Our stockings were filled with chocolate, pens, socks, pants and a grease gun. The best thing in Mick’s was a new pair of Pond Gloves. His old ones had sprung a leak a couple of years ago so needed replaceing. They are ever so good for when you have to reach down to clear something around your prop and well deserving of a Herbie award for best gadget 2019.
Breakfast, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon accompanied by a glass of Bucks Fizz. Very nice.
Christmas presents followed. A mitten each to hold hot/or cold drinks. New jeans. Pearsons new guide to the Black Country. A guide book to Vienna. A novel. Felix The Station Cat book. Cat t-towel. A food goodie bag. An endoscope. A stripey top. All sorts.
Then we walked off the early morning fizz, a nice romantic walk along the towpath to ….. the bins! There were plenty of people about, most of whom stopped before they reached the really muddy section, but we carried on not wanting to return to the boat with our bags of rubbish.
Tilly came and went for much of the day. When she was home she unwrapped her presents. Ziggy and Finn (London Leckenby cats) had got her a small catnip mouse. Thank you!
Joa (Tilly’s number one fan), Mungo and Dog got her a box of crinkly noisy things that she spent quite a bit of time getting out of the box. Thank you, thank you! The catnip sardines from us didn’t go down so well, but the new bedoinge ball from Father Christmas was batted around for quite a while.
She saw to her own Christmas dinner, which Mick spotted and managed to close the hatch just in time before she brought it in to eat on the table cloth!!
Yesterday I’d decided to have another go at a sour dough starter. I’d come across a site explaining a bit more about them. The suggestion was to use a red cabbage leaf to help it get going, these have an abundance of natural yeast sat on their leaves (the white stuff). So as I started on the braised cabbage I popped a leaf into some sorghum flour and water. This method suggests stirring it frequently and feeding it every 8 hours. The quantities were a little bit large so I reduced them to start with, opting for a medium sized container. When I went to check it this evening,I lifted it down off the proving shelf. BLIMEY! A monster!!
After 24hrs it had doubled in size. It was fed and put in a larger container. The quantities of flour and water became what ever I fancied (due to the wine I’d consumed), so I’ve possibly blown it now. But we’ll see whether I’m making bread in a days time or back to feeding it hoping and praying I haven’t killed it.
The duck was cooked, roast veg roasted, new version of bread sauce reheated. Then we dug in. Our two plates straining under the amount of food. It was all very very tasty. There was no need for seconds and there will be plenty of left overs.
Tree presents. A Christy Moore album for Mick and a new boaty cap for me.
We’d been given a firework Santa meant to go on top of your Christmas pudding or cake. With our low ceiling we decided it was most probably safer to light it out on the towpath. It played ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ as it erupted. Very good fun, thank you Christine. Here’s a link.
After a suitable sipe it was time for birthday presents. I did very well. A day rucksack that packs away into itself. The follow up book about Felix and Bolt his assistant at Huddersfield station. A bottle of The Kings Ginger. Socks. A cast aluminium low casserole dish. A new waterproof coat from Mick. This is a sailing coat from Decathlon so hopefully it will be far more waterproof than my old coat.
Birthday cake, now iced with runny chocolate and candles. We managed to squeeze a thin slice in each and then retired to the sofa and the TV with Tilly curled up dreaming of mice.
0 locks, 0 miles, 14 pairs pants, 7 pairs socks, 0 ash can, 1 bottle booze, 5 chocolate oranges, 1 ruck sack, 1 endoscope, 3 sardines, 2 mice, 3 balls, 1 waterproof coat, 2 pairs scissors, 1 cap, 1 tasty duck, 1 birthday cake, 3 bottles consumed, 2 crackers, 0 games of Mind The Gap, 1 firework, 1 tasty vole followed by shrew, 1 moving boat, 1 very lovely birthday. Thank you