A Handful Of Pots And An Apology. 11th April

Lockdown Mooring 4

Firstly an Apology to the BBC. She and I would like to apologise to the BBC (and Gordon Buchanan, he’s my favourite) for suggesting that they hadn’t checked their facts the other day in relation to cats not being allowed out at the moment due to Covid-19. In fact the BBC had been given unclear information from the BVA. The BVA said they “had given information that related to both general guidance as well as specific advice for cats from self-isolating or infected households, but not made the distinction clear.

“The article suggested that veterinary advice was to keep all cats indoors, but BVA has since explained that this advice is only in relation to cats in infected households or where people are self-isolating.”

We on Oleanna apologise for suggesting that the BBC hadn’t checked their facts. Sorry to Gordon, my favourite is the Polar Bear Family and Me, it’s dead good, luckily Gordon didn’t become their dingding!  

So sorry to Adam, Gordon and their colleagues, we like the BBC.

I wish She and Tom would make my dingding wizz round like this. Gordon is great!

Another day of nine hours of shore leave in one place! She says I need to get good at spending time in one outside and it not moving so much, so I spent quite a bit of time snoozing today on the bed instead, well it was a warm day. I did say hello to everyone on the Geraghty Zoom before putting my head down. Tom listened to the cricket and guess what? England actually won!! Again!!!


I decided to see if I could get a better look at those wonderful chimneys back up the canal. With the OS ap now downloaded onto my phone I set off on a three mile walk.

Muddy towpath by the bottom lock

My route took me up by the locks. We’ve been a touch concerned about the amount of water leaking onto the towpath by the bottom lock at Hurleston. Mick this morning saw a CRT chap and asked him about it. The works at the lock haven’t as yet been signed off by the contractor, but apparently there is an artesian well by the lock and that is where the water is coming from. It does seem to be getting wetter each time we walk up there.

The quiet A51

I walked along the back of the reservoir and then looped round onto a footpath that runs alongside the A51. This led to a gate onto what must have been the original road still with cats eye down the centre.

Dead end road

A short distance on I got to view the front of Stoke Manor, a wonderful redbrick front with bay windows. It is apparently now owned by the County Council and has been split into flats.

Stoke Manor

Flat five does however have 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, so I doubt they are pokey places. The only interesting thing I could find out about the Manor was that during World War 2 it was used to house landgirls.

A handful

The chimneys are so tall and from one angle they resembled a hand. Very fine indeed and worth the stroll to see them.

Just how many pots?

I then followed the footpath through Stoke Manor Farm out onto freshly sewn fields. A sign asked me to keep to the footpath which wasn’t so obvious. But I soon could make out where others had walked before me, from one tree to the next.


The earth was soft and warm beneath my feet, the small sprigs of green starting to rise towards the sun. Just a scattering of green across the landscape. Maybe I’ll have to return in a few weeks time to see how it’s doing.

Keeping to the path

I could have crossed over at the next canal bridge but decided to continue to the far end of the fields where Barbridge sits. My map suggested that the path should continue between two houses, but my way was blocked.

Green shoots

A couple were busy in their garden, so I asked them which way the path went, it turned out to be on the other side of their house. I thanked them and then very quickly discovered the path had become a bog!

The Boggy Firs

One of those hop skip and jump moments, hoping that speed would mean I could levitate across the top, my weight not breaking the surface. But gravity knew better and my trainers sank into the mud!

Muddy feet!

I soon rejoined the road then the towpath and headed back southwards, making a note of a stretch where there might be tree cover should the weather get very hot before lockdown is lifted. Who knows if we’d get into the side here, but it might be worth a try should we seek shade.

Posts all over the place

The white posts on the reservoir had been photographed by the C&RT chap Mick had spoken to this morning. However he hadn’t asked about them. There are quite a few sets of posts, possibly three lines of them down the embankment each heading off on a different bearing.

Not all in straight lines

This evening we’ve had the nearest meal we can have to an Indian Take Away as every place we’ve seen in Nantwich is now closed. Two dishes from Morrisons, along with my first sag aloo ( I made enough to last a second meal) and an attempt at gluten free chapatis.

Potatoes at the ready and chickpea flour weighed out
Rolled out

The chapatis I made with gram flour (chickpea flour) some oil, cumin and fennel seeds and some water. This makes a dough/paste that you then roll out and fry in a dry pan. They ended up looking a touch drier than normal chapatis, less stretch which is to be expected with a lack of gluten. They were tasty and softened up a touch under the t-towel that kept them warm. I may try a different recipe next time which has arrowroot in it, or maybe one with yoghurt, we’ll see.


0 locks, 0 miles, 3 miles walked, 10 on zoom, 2 handheld cameras, 314 Boothferry Road in Dhaka, 1 boat moving, 1 cat out past curfew! 21 pots at least!, 2 soft fields, 2 muddy feet, 24 posts at least, 4 chapatis, 2 mains, 1 side, 1 rice, 1 test match victory, 1 phone call, 2 boaters sleeping on things.

Just which way will the future have us going?