Orchids! They’re Two A Penny! 3rd June

Dunham School Bridge to George Gleaves Bridge.

With the drawing board still out I continued doing sketch drawings for panto as Mick stood at the helm moving us along the Bridgewater Canal. Archways that need to do so many things took up much of my morning.

It’s exhausting being a boat cat!

Our arrival at Lymm was well timed, tucking into a mooring near to Sooty’s house. I headed off to be papergirl today and to stretch my legs. Sooty’s house is still quite a picture, just not as well tended. The hanging baskets used to be brimming with colour when Matthew Corbett owned the house.

Lymm was busy, by the Cross was a fishmonger, another stall was the food bank filled with supplies. By the time I’d picked up a newspaper and a few bits everything had been taken at the food bank and the fishmonger was packing up, no point in stopping to see if I fancied anything for a barbecue this evening.

Drawings drawings drawings

Early lunch and then we were on our way again. Back to my drawings, rostra, more archways, the coach, canopies. Then the Town Square. My sketches had suggested I had more room on stage than I actually have, Chipping Norton Theatre is very compact. Sadly one request from John may not be possible, but I’ve not ruled it out yet.

All pink

The occasional look up from the drawing board to see where we were. Rhododendrons in full bloom, how wonderful. I know they are in invasive species but I grew up with a bank of them in our garden, with happy memories of hiding between them and piling leaf mould around their bases. The deep red and dark purple ones my favourites.

Mick kept slowing Oleanna, were we coming in to moor? Out of the hatch I could see the tower of Daresbury Laboratory. A hire boat were pulling over to moor up, ropes at the ready to hop off on the off side. One chap asked if they could moor there, Mick replied that he thought they wouldn’t like it. Through the very next bridge you most certainly can’t moor on the off side, numerous large signs inform you of this. Their pulling over however gave us the advantage of going on ahead to hopefully find a good spot for a barbecue.

So many boats moored up, some of the better places already taken. Then a stretch where the road stayed away, the railway was across the far side of a field and maybe just maybe the towpath was wide enough for us to cook outside today.

My sketch drawings finished enough for me to start making a white card model the drawing board was stowed away. Time to marinade some steaks.

At Christmas, Kath, Mick’s sister had given me a selection of barbecue spices which you can make into marinades or just rub on fish, meat or veggies. Time to give one of them a try. With some sizzle steaks (wish I’d spent more on the meat) in some of the Montreal spices and some veg kebabs we sat outside enjoying the evening sunshine.

Our mooring was filled with buttercups and so many Marsh Orchids, they’re really common round here!

The steaks themselves were a little tough, better quality meat required next time, but the spices were very nice. Plenty of that mix left, and there’s another three flavours to try too.

Some more knitting of socks. My current pair are for a friend who’s feet do not match each other and need to be that bit longer than I normally knit. I’ve been happily knitting away over the last few evenings, but realised that I’ve too many stitches on my needles to turn a heel over an inch, so the main foot is most probably an inch too long. This means pulling out quite a lot of rows, a recalculation is required before I do though.

A sunset for two

0 locks, 13.3 miles, 1 stop for a paper, 3 in the queue for water, 0.5 tank will do us, 6 sheets of drawings, 1 drawing board put away, 4 hours shore leave, 0 secret handshakes, 0 secret milkshakes, 2 chairs on the towpath, 4 steaks, 4 kebabs, 68 sts rather than the usual 48 or 52, 1 lovely evening.