I Dig Canals. 19th May

Lockdown Mooring 4A

Today I had to make sure I got some time with Tilly on the boat, on our own. Mick headed off up the locks to check for eggs, that egg box of ours has done quite a few trips now. Tilly and I had to put our heads together and quickly, what on earth were we going to do for Mick’s birthday presents?!

Things to unwrap

Technical glitches, places being closed Mondays and Tuesdays, things costing far more than originally thought (he is worth it) and a pandemic haven’t been helping! There was nothing for him to open with his cuppa in bed! That had to be sorted. Within half an hour there were a couple of cards and six presents for him to open in the morning. Tune in tomorrow to see what he got!

Whilst I’ve been working on my illustrations for the last couple of days we’ve been listening to I Dig Canals podcasts from Alarum Theatre Company. These have come about from an aural history project about the women who helped save the inland waterways from closure and destruction after the second world war. At the moment there are eleven episodes of varying lengths. There may be more planned but as we’ve not got to the last one yet I don’t know.

They are a good listen, full of stories on the Waterway Recovery Group and people trying to get their boats over a blue mini submerged in the cut and mothers listening for the splash as their kids got on and off the boats. The waterways back then were not how they are today and the boats they cruised in had few mod cons. Well worth a listen.

Another thing to listen out for next week is a new radio play. Alan Ayckbourn should have been starting rehearsals for his latest play Truth Will Out this week, but the summer season at the SJT in Scarborough has been cancelled for obvious reasons. So instead Alan has written a radio play Anno Domino which will be premiered from noon on the 25th May for a month, found on the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s website. You can listen for free or make a donation to help the theatre to reopen in the future. This marks the return to acting for Alan, he last performed in 1964. The play has been recorded at home with Heather, his wife and himself playing all the parts. We’ll certainly be listening in.

Stokehall bridge

A birthday card needed popping in the post so I took the long route to the post box. Along the canal to Stokehall Bridge there were plenty of people on the towpath, walkers, fishermen (who all spread out just a touch too much) and a family who gathered themselves up into the hedge for anyone to pass.

Distinct paths

The fields from the bridge are tuffy green now, the crop whatever it will be getting ready to reach for the sky.

Going pink before it fades

The oak trees are now in full leaf, lush bright green. On the other hand the hawthorn blossom is passing it’s best, now turning pink and some has even started to fade into brown. Some of the cow parsley was getting on for shoulder height today.

The oak footpath

Once at the A51 I walked along towards the post box. For the last couple of months you’ve just had to glance both ways before crossing, but today I had to wait several minutes before there was a big enough gap in the traffic. Another sign of the world getting busier was the aroma around the post box. It is situated on a layby/ bus stop, plenty of lorry drivers stop here for a pit stop, most of them relieving themselves too. Blimey it stank!


This evening I made use of another aubergine from our veg box and cooked us another moussaka. This time I only had pork mince and new potatoes. It was looking very good as it went in the oven, so I made use of the days hot water for a shower. Sadly the gas bottle ran out at some point, long before the top even started to brown. So we had an extended wait for our evening meal. It was tasty, but not as good as the one I made a couple of weeks ago.

Moving uphill

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 lemon, 8 podcasts, 3 more to go, 6 improvised presents, 2 cards, 1 walk, 1 wee mail box, 1 arrived 1 to follow, 1 empty gas bottle, 1 sock to change into a hat, 1 house nearly cleared.

Lush green

5 thoughts on “I Dig Canals. 19th May

  1. jennie230

    Hi Pip and Happy Birthday to Mick. I heard Alan A talking about his play on Radio 4 – I will certainly listen and thank you also for the link to ‘I Dig Canals’ – something else to add to my list! Recently I have been working my way through some classic stories on BBC Sounds https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06w4v4x. I am currently listening to The 39 Steps. Take care and stay safe. xx

    1. pipandmick Post author

      Hi Jennie. Can you remember which radio 4 program Alan was on? A friend said she’d heard him and we wanted to listen if we still can.

  2. Kath

    How sad, I so love to be on the canal when the May blossom is out ☹️
    Hope Mick enjoyed his birthday.
    Kath (nb Herbie)

    1. pipandmick Post author

      It is sad to see all the blossom dying, but the elderflower is coming out now. Hope you get chance to visit Herbie soon

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