Oh Yes They Are! 5th May

Lockdown Mooring 4A

I was slightly alarmed this morning when Mick said that there was someone up the mobile phone mast across the way as I was due to have a Zoom meeting at 11am. With my camera zoom we could see that the person was in a cherry picker, so unless the conspiracy theorists regarding 5G have got seriously organised this was just maintenance. All the same if the mast was turned off would we have enough signal for my meeting?

A worrying sight before a zoom meeting

Luckily despite the mast being turned off for much of the morning there was sufficient signal, only a couple of blips where people froze or stuttered. This morning was a kind of meet and great for Panto at Chipping Norton. This year the current team consists of Helen (Costume Designer), Rebecca (Composer), David (Director) and myself (Set Designer) we were brought together by Will (Producer). David, Will and the writer are the only people actually working on the show at the moment. The rest of us won’t be contracted until the theatre feel they can give the green light for the production, they hope to have made that decision by August.

David has seen the last two years productions and has most definitely got the number of the Chippy Panto, a different beast from your average commercial show. Ideas are very much still in the melting pot and everyone is waiting excitedly with bated breath for the first draft of the script. All very exciting and hopefully the show will go on this year, if not it will be put on the shelf ready to go next year so any work done will not go to waste.

The wheelie shoppers were back, Mick spotted the chap first passing by the gap in the hedge. Mrs Wheelie Shopper following behind. The thickness of the hedge meant that despite them wearing bright colours they soon disappeared. Tilly refused to go and have a closer look, so I hesitantly stepped ashore and made my way to the gap.

A flash of purple in the sideways trees

They were no longer in the field! Where? Then just round the corner behind some sideways trees I could see the chap, wheelie shopper held above his head, the pathway must be narrow, then a few minutes later the lady followed. Where were they going??

Don’t look in here, go and look through the hedge!

Later in the afternoon Tilly and I went to see what we could see. At the corner of the field is a small overgrown pond, beyond this a slightly worn path through the grass to a barbed wire fence. A loop of sisal string is attached, presumably to make lifting it out of the way easier. I urged Tilly to go on ahead to see what she could see, but a rotten old tree was far more interesting to her than Mr and Mrs Wheelie Shopper.

Bottom arrow our mooring, top arrow where the gap in the sideways trees is

A look at Google maps suggests there is a grassed area behind where the house at Hurleston Junction used to be. Maybe I’ll go and venture further tomorrow.

During the afternoon I did my final adjustment to The Garden sketches and the cast portraits. Once scanned they were sent off for approval which came back very quickly. Thumbs up, I can now move away from the safe world of pencil, paper and rubber into the inking in world. Make a mistake now and you have to start all over again. Think I’ll do a practice run first to get back in the swing of things.


Yesterday I’d woken my sour dough starter up. Bringing what was left from the last loaf out from the fridge and giving it a feed. I’ve joined a group on facebook which is full of people trying different flours to bake gluten free sourdough at the moment.

My starter still had life in it, even if I’d not fed it before popping it in the fridge the last time. With one feed it rose a centimetre, the second it managed an inch. Around lunchtime today I scooped off half a cup of the fluffiest starter and mixed it with some water and more flour, a slight mix mostly of brown rice flour but also a touch of SR flour and a good glug of Maple syrup. I’ve been watching other peoples brown rice starters that seem a touch lame in the rising stakes, but several people had added a different flour too and this had perked the whole process up.

The elastic band was where it started

All mixed up it was put on the proving shelf to do it’s thing. Far too late in the day to make a loaf similar to the ones I’ve made recently, but by this evening it had more than doubled in size, so I had to make use of it. My River Cottage book came out, most of the recipes in the book require the making of a sponge and leaving it overnight. I was only one flour short, but I could substitute a different flour instead. As our evening meal cooked I mixed everything together, hopefully I didn’t warm the water too much!

Doesn’t look like much now

Fingers crossed that tomorrow I’ll be baking again.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 mast off, 1 wheelie shopper, 1 pathway through, 5 for a meet and greet, 1 dog, 2 cats too, 1 Suzie to say hello, 1 Bubbles maybe soon, 2 last drawings, 1 thumbs up, 0 identification yet, 1 starter reaching for the sky, 1 very bored cat, almost 30,000.

6 thoughts on “Oh Yes They Are! 5th May

  1. christinegeraghty

    Don’t get too distracted by sour dough and panto. Pursue the wheelie shoppers, they sound like something out of the Peep Show.


  2. dovericesaturn67846

    I wouldn’t worry too much about that mast. If they were up near the antennas it would have been fully shut down for safety. Not all masts are shared some companies do some don’t and it depends on where in the country you are as well, other providers don’t even have their own equipment and just buy capacity on another network (eg Tesco use O2) Its likely that that mast may well have been a different company hence you were unaffected.


    1. pipandmick Post author

      Hi there.
      Our internet sim card in our router is from Virgin Mobile which currently uses the EE network. Since we’ve been moored here the router has been consistantly showing 100% signal strength and we’ve been getting good download and upload speeds of over 40Meg. It’s one of the reasons we keep coming back here after filling with water etc. However yesterday morning, whilst there were people on a cherry picker up the tower our router showed 25% signal strength and download and upload speeds were round about 1Meg. So I’m pretty sure that we are normally served off that mast and that it was indeed switched off at the time and we were getting signal from a more distant mast. Pip’s Zoom meeting was however ok with those speeds. Later in the day the signal strength went back up to 100%.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. pipandmick Post author

      Waitrose in Oxford and I think Sainsbury’s there too started doing flour, pulses, pasta and rice last year. A great thing, except i don’t think our flour will be included sadly



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