Remote Control. 23rd April

Lockdown Mooring 4

An alteration to my routine was called for. I tend to get into work in the afternoons and because of that and wanting to listen to what is being said at the daily press conference from London I keep missing out on a walk. So I decided to rearrange my day a touch, heading out for a walk returning for lunch, then I could get on with work.

Thursday Photo

Today I plotted a route to walk, around three miles with the aim of seeing a house I’ve not noticed from the canal before, Wardle Old Hall which sits at Bridge 101 of the Shropshire Union Canal. Most of the route I’d be covering I’ve done a few times now but that can’t be helped, so I chose to cross over the canal and return across the fields to Stoke Manor.

Recently people have been saying how clear the water has been looking with the lack of boat movements. Sadly that is not the case here. Boats still move for shopping, water etc, but there is far far less movement than there normally would be on the Four Counties Ring. Instead of the canal clearing so we can see the fish and what lies below our hulls the canal is growing murkier and thicker. Last night we’d noticed a layer of scum which was starting to collect trapped by the bridge hole behind us. Today the start of weed was very evident along my route up towards Barbridge.

Weedy scummy

There was lots of activity on the side of the reservoir. At least eight Fountains employees were cutting the grass and trimming the nettles working their way round the two boats now moored there. I did a double take as one lawnmower was moving around by remote control. I’ve seen the little robot mowers before in peoples gardens, but this was a fully grown up big cutting machine a chap walking alongside directing it with a joy stick. At least he was getting his excersise without having to man handle the big mower along the slopes. I was then surprised to see another chap walking his way round the steeper sections of the bank with a mower, maybe the big one is too heavy to get to the top.

Onwards towards Barbridge I walked, the earlier time of day meaning there were fewer people about. I got just past Stokehall Bridge when a muscle in my left calf went ping! Damn!! This has happened before, several times, normally during the colder months. I took a few steps further, not as bad as it’s been before, but I shouldn’t antagonise it more than I had to. I’d managed a mile and was turning round before I’d reached my goal, a hobble back to Oleanna.

Wild Garlic. I’d like to find a patch of it away from the towpath and make some pesto

Another four sketches were achieved, some closer images which require better faces. Some looked good, others not so. The play works it’s way through all four seasons and I was a little bit unsure as to when we went into Autumn, a quick text to Amy and that was sorted.

Coming along

My sourdough starter was fed and returned to the proving shelf whilst the excess was mixed with several different flours, milk, cocoa and chocolate.

Baked in the oven for 25 minutes, then left a short while to cool just enough. The result was good, but could have been a touch better. I’d had to substitute the main flour for rice flour which tends to be a touch thirstier, so this may have dried the mixture out a touch too much. Next time, if I’m allowed to use so much chocolate again, I’ll reduce the amount of arrowroot and add a touch more milk to see if that improves things.


Listening to the press conference we both commented on how badly Matt Hancock was delivering his spiel today, he had no idea of what he was saying, he can’t have read it before hand. We listen to what is being said at these conferences and find ourselves commenting at the TV, our comments are getting louder and LOUDER each day!

We’d not seen Tilly for most of the day, she’d returned home for a drink and a short snooze mid afternoon, but now cat curfew time was getting close. A quick call along the towpath didn’t work, so I hobbled down through the gap into the field. More calls. She wasn’t along the left perimeter where she’s popped out from the last few times. I called and called.

Maybe she had gone to climb the trees in the centre of the field?

Is that her?

Was that a Crow over there? On the other side of the field? It was too big for a crow. It moved so it wasn’t an inanimate object.

Yep that’s Tilly

I got Mick to pass me the camera and zoomed in on the black shape walking away. That black shape had four white paws and holey tights!


All the

NO acknowledgement what so ever, just a swifter walk away from me. At least we knew where she was. Should we leave her to come home on her own? No, we knew she would now be tiered, tired like a little kid who won’t go to bed giving you all the excuses that you can see straight through. Oh for a remote control cat! We could turn her round and bring her back straight across the field!


Instead Mick put his shoes on, decided that going to the right would be the shortest route around the boundary to get to Tilly. Off he set. Ten or so minutes later I phoned him. Tilly was on the other side of a hedge from him doing the toddler thing and meowing about being busy! No point in trying to pick her up because she’d find enough energy to wriggle herself free and then be far FAR too busy to come home. Words of encouragement were the only way forward.


A while later I hobbled back to the gap to see what progress had been made. They were on the opposite side of the field now, Tilly was leading the way home following her scent, the longer way round the field. I tried shouting, but neither Tilly or Mick could hear me. Back to chopping veg up for a stir fry.


Then half an hour after Mick had set off I could hear his no quite so encouraging words just on the other side of the hedge. Time for me to take over.

As she popped her head out from the sideways trees I could see just how exhausted she was. Luckily she knew the best thing to do was come inside and have some food and a drink. Then she took herself away into the bedroom where she curled up for the night only to be disturbed once by us making the bed up.

Arrow points to Oleanna, pin to Tilly!

I wonder where she’ll get to tomorrow!

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 remote control lawnmower, 1 miles there, 1 ping, 1 hobbling mile back, 1tsp maple syrup, 4 sketches, ? more figures just to impress, 12 brownies, 2 shouting boaters, 1 shouting cat lady, 1 cat just visible, 0.75 miles walk for Mick, 1 totally exhausted cat, 0 lap sitting tonight.

2 thoughts on “Remote Control. 23rd April

  1. Dave (Scouts)

    Hi Pip

    You need to put a tracker on Tilly, that way you can keep an eye on where she has been or is going.

    We had one on Smudge, only a simple one that you download the track afterwards rather than a “connected” one but it still showed that she roamed quite far from home


    1. pipandmick Post author

      We tried one some time ago when we were on the River Lee, but it was one you connected to your phone which wasn’t reliable, as by the time contact had been made, Tilly had moved on.
      Every now and then we consider it again. They are just so big! Maybe now is the time though.

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