Keld Well Bend
As we finished off our cuppas in bed this morning we heard an engine start up. Were our neighbours about to head off or were they just using the microwave? We soon saw the lady walking along the towpath and then herd their prop start turning. We got dressed quickly and were out pulling Oleanna along by half a boats length to be just a touch further away from the bend yet still keeping the views. Perfect!
Breakfast was finished just shortly before the bow of NB Billy appeared around the bend. Last night they had stayed at East Marton so Clare’s daughter could join them for a few days.
We had chats before they carried on around the remainder of the curly wurlys reappearing round the last of the big bends, a final wave. Our bows may cross again this summer as their planned route is similar to ours, but we are slowing down now, who knows we may pass on the Ouse!
Mick had requested a loaf of bread and with a barbecue planned for later I decided to try out a recipe for some dinner rolls made with yeast, not sour dough, to have with some home made burgers. Both types of bread could share the top oven, but mine needed a couple of hours to rise rather than just half an hour for Mick’s.
I needed to make some seed flour, pumpkin, sunflower and a few sesame seeds got zuzzed with the hand zuzzer and then forced through a sieve. Lots of other flour was added along with psallium husk and yeast. No egg or butter as my beef burger buns would be vegan. Have to say after two hours I was glad to see the dough had risen nicely. Mick’s multiseed loaf did it’s thing too before both were put in the oven. Not a bad result, the boat smelt wonderful, although the proof would be in the eating.
The sun had come out so I decided to make the most of being outside and washed down the starboard side of the roof and cabin. Blimey it really needed it. The matting that our coal sits on leaves a pretty pattern and around each mushroom vent was really quite yucky. Have to say I’m not sure when I last washed Oleanna, just hope I can get the port side to match soon.
With the cabin washed I decided to have a go at the grab rail. The red paint has now faded and started to go white in parts and I’d wondered if some t-cut might just bring it back, sadly it didn’t work. Red is renowned for this as it is the first colour to fade in sunlight. I never did get round to finishing touching up the grab rail last summer so some patches need some more work anyway. The original plan was to repaint the grab rail after travelling through Standedge Tunnel but that trip has been put off to another year. So I need to get some more paint mixed as somehow the tin we got shortly after Oleanna was launched is not the correct red. When we were in Sheffield last the painter at Finesse gave me the dregs of a tin to keep us going.
Next I turned my attention to the scratches that a broken branch on the Bosely flight had inflicted all the way along the cabin side. Ages ago I’d bought some blue scratch cover. This seemed to do a reasonable job, although it depends on what angle you stand at, but it is far better than it was. The cabin sides just need a polish now. I suggested to Mick that that was a blue job, not a red one. He’s not so convinced though!
Mick gave our life ring some new rope. The original rope had given up a little while ago so needed replacing. Should you ever need to use a life ring the rope makes it easier to grab and keep hold of in the water. The ring had a good wash too before going back on the roof within reasonable reach from the stern.
This evening the barbecue came out despite increasing cloud cover. The big bag of charcoal we bought at Bollington Wharf was opened, Restaurant grade charcoal. I thought it would burn quickly, but it held it’s heat very well.
A while ago Mick had ordered by accident some vacuum packed sweetcorn. We quite often have sweetcorn for a starter, but we won’t be using this type again. Very watery with little flavour.
I added some red onion, whole grain mustard and tarragon to some beef mince for burgers and they were very tasty indeed and almost stayed together on the grill. The buns were very tasty, maybe next time I’ll leave them to rise a little bit more before baking them.
With glasses of wine to accompany our meal we enjoyed the view even more. A couple of horse riders hacked through the field below and Tilly was allowed to stay out until we finished. It just started to rain as we were finishing off. No sign of Tilly until I started to call for her, a good distance away her tail shot up into the air. After a whole day of exploration she was exhausted, stumbling as she trotted back to me. In the end I helped her out and gave her a lift back to the boat. A few mouthfuls of food a quick bath and then she was out for the count with in five minutes.
0 locks, 0 miles, 7 boats, 9 vegan buns, 1 loaf, 0.5 clean boat, 3 scratches covered, 2 substandard cobs, 4 veg kebabs, 4 burgers, 2 glasses of wine, 1 lovely day in our No 1 Mooring, 1 exhausted cat, 2 Mrs Tilly Stamps of Approval.