Birthday Surprises. 20th May

Lockdown Mooring 4A to Henhull Bridge to Lockdown Mooring 4A

Birthdays mean presents in bed with our first cuppa of the morning. Lockdown was not going to stop this, even if I’d not managed to get anything for Mick’s birthday.

What is this?

So what did he get? Well Tilly chose three presents and very kindly donated a couple which she seemed to be very pleased with, a catnip sardine and one of her bouncy balls. She also gave him a brand new roll of kitchen foil, this was a standard birthday present from Houdini our old cat as she loved foil balls.


What did he get from me? I chose three also. A dishwasher tablet, which he used up all in one go! A bar of chocolate (the cooking variety being the only one that has been available from Morrisons for a few weeks) and a box of Merlot.

Lots of presents

Just as we were thinking of getting up a boat was pulling up alongside. NB AreandAre were dropping off their empty vegboxs before heading for water. They managed to line up with our kitchen window to pass them through.


This spurred us into getting up and pushing off ourselves, all before breakfast. We pootled almost three quarters of a mile down to Henhull Bridge, the pick up mooring where our mooring spikes slid into their holes with ease and we settled down for breakfast.

Todays fruit and veg

At just gone 10am the vegbox man arrived. Two boxes today, one for us and the other for Sandra. We’d both gone for mixed fruit and veg. I checked that mine contained some lemons, I’d put in a request earlier this week for them as they were a key ingredient for the birthday cake I’d be making. Also nestled in amongst the strawberries and raspberries was a bundle of asparagus. Ooohhh what a treat! Thank you Nantwich Veg Boxes.

Morrisons delivery

Then at just gone 11am a white van pulled into the layby. This was our Morrisons delivery, sadly a few things missing, Tilly food and some steak to go on the barbecue this evening.

Coming along nicely

Once everything was sorted, put into quarantine or disinfected we backed away to the winding hole, turned and headed back to Hurleston. The moorings were a touch busy, but our spot was still vacant, we slotted back in where we’d come from a couple of hours earlier.

Back home again

At first I thought they had actually succeeded in moving the outside today. This outside had freshly trimmed grass and very little cowparsley to hide in, but it turned out that the towpath monsters are back to work and they’d been and chomped everything short again. She is a bit sad about this, so am I as it gave me some really good hidy places.

Kim and Barry, Sandra was in the now sorting veg out

Whilst Tilly went off to find friends, Mick pottered and I spent time in the kitchen doing secret things, mixing, zesting and juicing. Soon afterwards NB AreandAre returned pulling up alongside again this time to pick up their full veg box. There was time for a short chat and a round of Happy Birthday before they pulled away again heading back to their spot.

Birthday bonce

Mick had asked for one thing for his birthday that was really easy to sort, a hair cut. The clippers had been on charge for the day helping to soak up some of the sunshine, so they were put to work. I soon had my boyfriend back with me, with an inch and a half less hair.

A bottle today
Asparagus on the barbecue

Mick set up the barbecue in the gap into the field whilst I threaded the asparagus onto a couple of skewers. The lack of steak wasn’t going to stop us, I’d ordered a couple of chickens, one to roast the other to be jointed and frozen. So two drum sticks were marinaded in cumin, coriander, turmeric and yoghurt. A couple of salmon steaks got wrapped in foil and some haloumi and vegetable kebabs made ready.

A feast

Tilly watched from inside whilst we cooked our meal. The asparagus went on first, I kept a close eye on it and it cooked wonderfully as a starter.

Then the drumsticks cooked for a good fifteen minutes on their own before anything else joined them.

So not fare!

The evening was sunny, filled with insects zooming around. We stayed put in our chairs with another glass of wine and watched the sun setting behind the reservoir before heading inside for cake, well it had to be dark to make the most of the candles.

The lemon and almond damp cake was accompanied by some raspberries and another glass of wine. A rather nice way to end a birthday.


0 locks, 1.5 miles, 2 winds, 2 deliveries, 2 veg boxes, 0 potatoes, 6 wine boxes, 6 things to unwrap, 2 chickens, 1 early boat, 2 Happy Birthdays, 20 spears, 2 lemons, 1 cake, 1 tired cat, 2 dribbling woofers, 1 birthday sunset.


8 thoughts on “Birthday Surprises. 20th May

    1. pipandmick Post author

      With the asparagus gently thread it onto skewers, brush on some olive oil bit of salt and pepper, then put onto a hot bbq. Keep an eye on them, only a few minutes either side. Enjoy.

  1. jennie230

    Glad to see that Mick had a good birthday. I am fairly certain that the Alan Ayckbourn interview was on The Today programme on Radio 4 on Tues or Wed this week. During lock down they have a short section just before the end at 09:00 called ‘The Play Must Go On’. Each day someone who should have been performing that day/week has a short slot. I have found this, which I think is pretty much a transcript of what he said before we heard a short extract performed by him and his wife. Jennie xx

  2. Sandra Walsh

    Hi Pip and Mick, I’m a bit behind on emails! Thanks so much for picking up our veg/fruit box once again. It was great to be able to sing Happy Birthday to Mick.
    I love that shot of Kimberley and Barry on the back of Areandare – could we have a copy, please?

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