Right To Vote. 2nd May

Westbridge Pipe Bridge

We may now be on exploration mode, but there are other things more important that will dictate what we do for the next week or so. Hopefully we’ll get to spend a bit more time on the River Nene on our return. Today however Tilly and I would be staying put whilst Mick had a day away at the seaside.

Last night he spent time purchasing five day returns, finding the cheapest route via split tickets to Scarborough, totalling £54. Mick gets to do such journeys as he has an old gits rail card. To get a couple of hours in Scarborough it meant him getting on a train at 06:59 from Northampton. He changed at Rugby, Tamworth, Derby, York and arrived in Scarborough at 12:08. His tickets were even more complicated!

A Thank you

The house needed checking over for a change of lodgers, the boiler we’d had problems with needed checking too, but most importantly Mick had gone to pick up our postal votes. Getting them sent on by our lodgers wouldn’t guarantee them arriving in the right place at the right time, but going to collect them from the house a few days before the council election should.

Final mosaic near the lock

When we first moved onboard fulltime Mick had a long conversation with a lady at Scarborough Council about how we could vote from our boat. The lady was very helpful. Every year we had to declare ourselves homeless and register an interest in Scarborough. We then appointed a proxy voter, our friends Dawn and Duncan obliged for us and visited our Polling Station, European Referendum, General Elections, Council Elections. This all worked, we were on the list of special people at the back of the list and our names got crossed off each time. On one occasion Mick headed back to Scarborough from Manchester to vote in person, my vote sadly lost that time.

Today when Mick arrived back at the house however there were NO postal votes waiting for him! It worked for the Police Commissioner last year, why not now! We’d received our Postal Poll Cards weeks ago. All that way and no means of voting. He tried calling the Council, but it being a Bank Holiday Monday the phone remained unanswered.

The bluebells are out

House chores were quickly done, things checked over and he was back on a train at 15:34 to change at the same stations on his return journey arriving back in Northampton at 20:21, empty handed.

The River Nene

Meanwhile Tilly and I had done a bit of cleaning. Meowed at the back door! I’d been out to do some shopping. Eight years ago we’d visited Morrisons, today I first headed to Aldi which is nearer, but very quickly realised the things I wanted they wouldn’t have, so I aborted and headed to Morrisons instead.

There had been a possibility that Mick wouldn’t get back until 9 or 10pm, depending on how the house had been left. So I’d taken the opportunity to purchase some King Prawns, Mick doesn’t like things that eat poo, so they are a solitary treat for me once in a blue moon.

Stirring risotto and prawns

On the offside of the final Northampton Arm lock a family was enjoying a barbeque. Thank goodness there was the lock in between us as their dog seemed to not want passers-by, it came and made that very obvious.

Please move the outside!

Tilly tried persuading me to move the outside to a better one. But all She said was that we couldn’t do that while Tom was in the outside, he wouldn’t like it! I suppose She was right I get all hurumphy when they move the outside a little bit whilst I’m in it and by the looks of things the outside would have had to move a long way to make it any better!

MOVE IT! Tom won’t mind

To while away the afternoon I used up a couple of wonky lemons that I had left over and had a go at a Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil recipe for Lemon Drizzle Traybake. It needed amending to be gluten free and the fact that the suitable tray I have seems to be in Scarborough! The recipe uses rapeseed oil instead of butter so was very easy to make, but the quantity of oil seemed to be a lot and our supplies are a bit short right now. I cut down on the oil, popped it in a cake tin and hoped for the best. After 35 minutes it was cooked, drizzled over with sugar and lemon juice. I just had to wait for Mick to return to sample it.

Lemon Drizzle, click photo for recipe

Tomorrow we’ll ring the Council to see if there is any way we can get a proxy vote at such a late date. We don’t hold out much hope, but it’s worth a try.

0 locks, 0 miles, 5 return tickets, 10 trains, 1 pump still running, 1 dying dishwasher, 1 mini bottle of bubbles, 0 postal votes, 0 boxes wine, 150grams king prawns all for ME, 1 unimpressed cat, 1 slightly cleaner boat.