One Out, One In And One On The Moors. 16th 17th 18th August

Thrupp Canal Cruising Club

I knew what was going on! Tom heading off early before he’d even brought tea to us in bed. She then started packing a bag. Would I be going too? Or would I be staying? The magic food bowl came out from the cupboard where cats are not allowed and I was also allowed to select several items from my toy box. This meant I was staying to be in charge of Oleanna. I’m not too keen on being by myself, but it was far better than having to be ill whilst they move the outside at great great speed!

Mick soon returned from Oxford with a hire car, we were heading to Scarborough as our latest lodger moved out yesterday and we needed to check the house over before new lodgers arrive later in the week.

HS2 works

This time we used Hertz, a first for us. The cost of a three day hire was about £30 less than the same with Enterprise, so it was a no brainer, there wasn’t any problem regarding forms of ID either. Mick however was glad he still has excess insurance cover which costs us £40 a year, Hertz’s version is £30 a day! They also charge to pick you up, so he’d caught a bus into town.

We loaded up a trolley with all our stuff and the line of black buckets off the roof, their contents would be added to the compost bin back at the house to continue composting down.

Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station

Just as we were about to lock the front door there was a beep from a boat horn. NB Alchemy. We thought they’d be passing us today, ten minutes later and we’d not have seen Mike and Christine as we’d have been loading the car. We had chance for a ten minute chat across the boats before the wind was taking too much advantage. Mike and I have managed a brief chat a few years ago at the top of Foxton Locks maybe next time we’ll manage to be moored in the same place and have a proper sit down with a cuppa. No photos as my camera was tucked away in a bag.

No boats on the Ouse today

The journey up to Scarborough was a touch wet at times. We paused in a service station for a bite to eat and a wee break which I have to say was one of the most horrendous experiences I’ve had since the pandemic began. If I thought I could have held on for a couple more hours I would have.

By the time we arrived in Scarborough the sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky. All was in order with the house, apart from few things which Vicky (our last lodger) had brought to our attention last week.

He was a touch happier than the photo suggests

The kettle was put on just in time to make a cuppa for Frank. First thing we noticed was that our bubble carpenter had at last had a hair cut, thank goodness as I was beginning to be tempted to plat it for him! He brought freshly picked beans, tomatoes and apples from his garden and we had a good catch up over a cuppa. Time was getting on so I ordered our fish and chips a third portion was added and Mick was sent off to collect them with money from Frank for some wine just as England were loosing the test match.

Had to be done

Half way through tucking into our three of each, Frank remembered he was due at the football, there was a season ticket to be collected! He was soon on his way, only to discover that he was a day ahead of himself.

Tuesday was jobs day. First thing was to get the sash window open properly in the shed so that we could see what was going on with gutters at that bit of the house. These have been a bit of a problem for while, but we thought we’d solved it, clearing them out at least twice in the last year. But the roof line is just that bit too high to reach properly from the bottom part of the window and despite our windows being easy to remove, they had been painted in by the last couple of decorators doing the exterior. We also don’t have a ladder long enough, plus there isn’t enough space to lean a ladder safely.

After removing beading and drought proofing Mick jiggled and jiggled the top window until it relented. Now he could reach the roof garden that had grown. The garden rake came in handy, but unfortunately a few bigger plants seem to have sent down roots between roof slates which were out of reach, plus there are a few slates that need replacing. We did as best we could but it really needs a builders attention. Hopefully the waterfall will be less for a while allowing the walls to dry out.

That doesn’t look good

Mick also replaced a socket in the kitchen on the damp wall. The sockets have been tripping, so hopefully with a drier wall and new socket this will help. Other things were stuck back together, bedding washed and ironed. A chap came to give us a new gas meter. The showers got a good clean. If you could give our lodgers marks out of ten for cleanliness, Vicky would get a 9 and Bill and Alex a 12!


Then late afternoon we hopped in the car to take a trip out to the North Yorkshire Moors. Sadly all the way there was drizzle, no sun to make the heather glow purple, but we did get the good view out towards Whitby as we came down the road to Ruswarp.

It’s a long time since either have been this way and Mick needed directions, thankfully I could remember the way to Glaisdale and the Robinson Institute (the village hall). Over the last sixteen years friends Mark Stratton and Sheila Carter have been bringing professional theatre to the village during August. I was involved with the shows for eight years, designing sets that would fit onto the compact stage, sourcing costumes, helping to lift trussing for the lights, build a steel deck seating block and erect the legendary gazebos and lights in front of the Institute. I could say that Esk Valley Theatre are my third theatre family after the Stephen Joseph Theatre and Hull Truck.

The Robinson Institute

Tonight we were going to see this years production of Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell. Ashley Hope Allan talks to her wall and rock as she tells us of her life, hopes and dreams, one of which she makes come true. Directed by Mark Stratton, set designed by Graham Kirk who also lights the show and is production manager, costumes by Christine Wall, stage managed by Sue Volans and produced by Sheila Carter. A lovely production which played to an 80% audience, which was a little bit of a shock after the past 18 months!

Looking lovely when it’s dark

A few things have changed in the last eight years, new curtains in the hall. The bench where I used to have my lunch has been replaced so you are no longer almost lying down at one end of it. But the hole feel of Esk Valley Theatre was still very much there as we had expected. There was chance before the show to chat to Sheila, then Mark came down in the interval to say hello and on leaving we made sure we were the last out of the auditorium to be able to say hello to Sue who appeared from her little cubbyhole on stage. What a lovely evening.

Wednesday. Veg box day, I’d pre-ordered a veg box from Tree Top Press knowing that we’d be in Scarborough with a car. We took the scenic route out to the top of the hill at Suffield passing many places Mick used to frequent in his spare time, before I came into his life.

Organic veg

We’ve only been up to the farm once before and that was for our Christmas order which was brought to us, so I’ve never been in the shop. Having already paid for the veg and a big bottle of washing liquid I wasn’t going to browse, which worked well, although if I was a gluten eater I’d have treated us to a loaf of Ruby’s lovely looking bread.

How I’ve missed having a veg box and planning our meals around it. The grey cells had to get to work placing an online order for when we got back to Oleanna. A cauliflower, chard, leeks, beetroot, peppers, fresh onions, potatoes, garlic. I decided on making szechuan pork and chard for our evening meal, a new recipe which I’ll be doing again.

All tidy

Back to the house for a final tidy up, cut the grass and a run around with the vacuum cleaner before meeting Alex who is back in Scarborough for a couple of jobs. We are considering naming a room after her as soon she’ll have stayed in the house more than us this year. We left having enjoyed a couple of days back in Scarborough and knowing the house would be in good hands again.

Flower bed decorations

Well I’d just about run out of food by the time they got back! I only had four biscuits left so it was a relief that they came back when they did.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 blogging boat, 4 buckets, 1 home alone cat, 1 actress left, 8 tomatoes, 67 beans, 4 apples, 1 Frank, 3 of each, 2 mushy peas, 1 meter, 1 window, 1 rooftop garden, 1 damp corner, 1 tube sikaflex, 1 rake, 1 hosepipe, 2 clean showers, 1 drive over the moors, 1 actress, 80% audience, 2 chilled medications, 1 medium veg box, 1 clean house, 4 empty buckets, 1 actress arrives, 4 biscuits left.

4 thoughts on “One Out, One In And One On The Moors. 16th 17th 18th August

  1. Karen

    Whitby! Heartbeat! (We’re still watching the re-runs.) Szechuan pork sounds good!

    1. Pip Post author

      Next time we’re out that way we’ll have to try to drive through Grosmont (Aidensfield) so I can take some photos for you.
      The szechuan pork is really nice warmed up a few days later on toast too! Think I’ll be buy9ing some more chard and pork mince just to make it.

      1. Karen

        Photos from “Aidensfield” would be great to see sometime. Is the pork recipe your own or from a cookbook? We planted some chard this year but it did not do well…actually not much of what we planted did well except the green beans, but then deer got into our garden and chomped all the bean plants!

        1. Pip Post author

          Karen, your beans must have been very tasty, even if you didn’t get to try any yourself.
          The pork recipe was from on line I’ll put a link to it on a post.

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