Category Archives: Narrowboat Life

Yummo! 3rd May

Lockdown Mooring 4A

With some gluten free bread on board, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes etc and it being Sunday, there was only one thing for it…. a cooked breakfast!

Because of us having a potato mountain on board I decided to have a go at making some hash browns. This turned out to be a very good idea. I grated up a few small potatoes and a half onion left over from a few days ago into a t-towel, then I squeezed out as much water as I possibly could, a surprising amount. Then in a bowl I added a good amount of salt and pepper and about half an egg, enough so that I knew it would help bind everything together without becoming a potato omelette. This was then handed over to the breakfast chef for cooking. Cooked in rapeseed oil for about 3 minutes on each side until golden.

Lockdown Breakfast.

They were certainly worth the grating. As Rick Stein says, ‘Yummo!’

I decided to stretch my legs in the late morning sunshine and see how the fields up towards Stoke Manor were doing. I walked this route a while ago when the footpaths were hard to make out across recently sewn fields. Today I set out to do the route in reverse.

Walking along the towpath up to Stokehall Bridge you could see the effect of the recent rainfall. The towpath plants have shot up, cow parsley reaching for the sky. The well trodden path a curved dip between the green edge of the canal and the trees. Normally this would have been mowed by now, but C&RT are only mowing near locks and moorings, places where you need to be able to see what you are doing. I wonder what they’d look like if there wasn’t quite so much footfall?

A Speckled Wood

I crossed over the canal at the bridge and climbed over the stile. From here the green field had a very well marked footpath straight across towards the manor. The crop now sprouted by around 8 inches in little tufts above the earth.

A well marked path

Where the two paths meet I could see which was the more popular route, the other route ending with a 12 ft quagmire. But the path was marked, was the yellow colour from feet brushing through the crop, or has the farmer sprayed or rolled the line to mark the way?

Follow the yellow grass path

Approaching the manor the trees now in leaf framed the building well.

Stoke Manor

The footpath becomes a narrow channel through the friendly cover of cow parsley and grasses brought me to the farm yard and back onto the road. I was glad to see the footpath sign has been revealed again, shame the one at the top of the road still had it’s black bin bag wrapped around it!

The whole sign visible today

Returning by the reservoir the cocky cockerel had escaped again and was strutting his stuff around the garden. A couple of boxes of eggs his good ladies had laid sat waiting to be bought. I’m still holding out for some duck eggs.

Escapee

Tilly spent much of the day out in the fields, we don’t get to see much of her at the moment. She returns for a few biscuits and the occasional drink during the day. An odd restorative kip and then she is back out hunting for friends. We have turned into a B&B for her. At least with the stove out this evening she curled up on my knee for some warmth. I wonder what she’ll make of it when we get to cruise properly again?

£1 a box

The ability to draw had returned this afternoon, so I worked my way back through my sketches, removing gurning chins, improving hands. Sadly I was missing a good photograph of the movement director to add to the portraits on the last sheet. Hopefully Dark Horse will be able to provide me with a better image of him, then the pencil stage will be done, unless I get notes from Amy.

500500Bonfire night

Thank you Ann for the link to the National Trust bird song. Sadly the PPe bird doesn’t feature. Mick has down loaded an app BirdNET to see if we can identify it with that. He’s tried several times to catch it’s call , but when he does get it it is upstaged by other bird song. We’ll continue and hopefully managed to identify it.

This evening we have worked our way through a few more potatoes and enjoyed a large roast chicken and fresh veg to accompany them. We didn’t eat the whole bird, the left overs will last us most of the week. With still half of our veg box left to consume I’d better look at buying some new jeans the next size up!

Time ticking away

0 locks, 0 miles, 12 tomatoes, 4 rashers bacon, 4 hash browns, 8 mushrooms, 3 slices toast, 3 eggs scrambled, 4 slices black pudding 1 hours walk, 2 bridges, 1 field, 2 paths, 12 eggs, 1 cocky ‘un, 15 sketches complete, 9 portraits, 1 still to go, 1 cat B&B, 1 elusive bird, 2.1kg of chicken, 1 bag of potatoes completely eaten!

PPE Bird. 2nd May

Lockdown Mooring 4A

The alarm was set early. Mick got up and set off on a bike to do the paper round. We’d got a Click and Collect at Sainsburys this morning between 7 and 8am. Some substitutions were going to happen on our order, a larger bottle of vanilla extract, Shiraz instead of Merlot. The best one though was instead of Rice flour (have to admit I didn’t think they would have any and I’d ticked the substitutes box) I got a bag of pudding rice! Maybe I should grind my own flour.

A disappointing gluten free chocolate swirl, too much potato flour

At 10 am we settled down to see all the Geraghty faces across the globe. Today we had giant potatoes, various reviews of Twelfth Night, some cinnamon buns being made and discussions as to when people would feel safe about returning to work or school. How many families are having similar discussions?

Boats come and go around us

After lunch it seemed that everyone from this stretch was heading for eggs. Barry and Sandra stopped and had a chat through the hatch before they headed up the locks and we soon followed hoping for some duck eggs for a treat tomorrow morning. We’d hunted around to find all the loose change we had so that we could pay.

Will coins be something we reminisce about in times to come?

In a world where contactless payments and bank transfers are far preferred to handing over coins and notes, will actual money become stuff of the past? Or will we still need coins in our pockets to pay local small businesses? Sadly there were no duck eggs, so we decided to make do with what we have on board and come back early next week to see what is on offer when we need fresh supplies.

Back down the locks

As we walked back down the locks a boat was descending. A touch more reverse was needed so as not to hit the bottom gates. Mick helped with a gate, then we decided to leave them to it, to-ing and fro-ing to get through the bridge at the bottom.

Today I was hoping to get the improvements to my drawings finished, but it turned out to be one of those days when my drawing skills had packed up and left the boat. I persevered but may have to revisit them again tomorrow!

A touch embarrassed

Mick spotted a rather flush faced chap in the hedge. He managed to get a good photo of him too. It sounded like he was singing his heart out straight into our side hatch. It looks like this Goldfinch and his mate may have a nest in our stretch of the hedge, here’s hoping Tilly doesn’t find it!

Our new neighbour

There is another bird here that we haven’t as yet spotted. The call is as if it is shouting out ‘PPe PPe PPe, PPe Ppe Ppe’. We both stood at the hatch trying to get a recording of it, but we ran out of patience just before it sang again, it’s obviously watching us from somewhere! The bird song this evening filled our world as the sun started to set above the reservoir.

The end of another day in lockdown

The other boats around us have moved off today. We considered moving back to Lockdown Mooring 4, but have decided to stay where we are. The view from the galley is better with the gap in the hedge now that everything is getting fat and green. The view up to the reservoir is better too. This stretch of towpath also has fewer stones, so less likelyhood of bicycles pinging stones at Oleanna’s cabin side. The other day we had one perfectly aimed at our hatch which came in and landed at Mick’s feet!

Still here

0 locks, 0 miles, 0 duck eggs, 9 cinnamon buns, 9 Geraghty households, 1 each! 1 bumping boat, 1 pooh boat gone, 1 Pooh boat arrived, 2 Goldfinches, 1 mystery PPe bird, 2 big plates of salmon and spinach pasta, Yum.

Rustling In The Hedges. 1st May

Almost Lockdown Mooring 4

Since we’ve been mooring here we have occasionally seen a couple walking along the field alongside us. The first time was at dusk, they walked along the towpath and then bobbed through the large gap into the field. The lady had a face covering/scarf wrapped round and the chap had a wheelie shopper. They entered the field and walked back along the hedge, never to be seen again that evening.

Hawthorn blossom

Maybe the ladies face covering was due to the virus, or was it a disguise so nobody would recognise them? Just what were they doing with their wheelie shopper in the field? Certain possibilities came to mind, but in the morning there was no evidence in the field of a freshly dug hole.

View across the reservoir

We’ve been keeping an eye out for a boat with that wheelie shopper. But we now know most of the boaters around us and none of them fitted the bill. As we stood one day waiting to cross the main road into Nantwich, the same couple appeared from under the aqueduct and walked northwards with that wheelie shopper, no disguise that day.

Then this morning the lady crept past the gap in the hedge again, we’re right along side it now, maybe the chap had already passed by with the shopper and I just hadn’t noticed him. Just what do they do in there? Our four legged spy refused to go and keep an eye on them, she went out eventually but didn’t give us any information when she returned.

Sunbathing spy

Mick headed off on the bike to pick up a parcel for me. A very helpful local lady had offered to help with post should we need and I’d been running low on paper for my illustrations. I’d hunted round on the internet for ages trying to find one place that stocked the same paper I’d been using along with a new sketch book for panto. This had proved impossible. So I hunted round the Fred Aldous website to see if they had the equivalent weight paper as I’d been using. An A4 pad and two sketch books were ordered, one for panto and the other for #unit21. No excuses now I had to do some work, well …. after a walk.

Lots of paper to fill with drawings and ideas

On my way up to the reservoir I had a quick check in the field, no obvious signs of any activity again. Maybe it’s a short cut !?! Up at the reservoir the hawthorn was bloomin. No eggs for sale today and the raft that we think divers had been using to inspect the dam has now gone, leaving the water for the ducks.

Mountbatten on her way

As I reached the boat house with it’s slipway I could see the familiar shape of NB Mountbatten heading from Barbridge to Nantwich. That would explain why some of the locks had been empty when I’d walked up the flight, Mountbatten comes down the flight and heads up to Calverley before returning southwards. I gave Mick a call so he’d be aware of Richard delivering coal to us. This will be the last time we see them for a while as Mountbatten is heading to the Erewash canal for some work on her base plate.

Topping up our coal reserves

The towpath alongside the moorings has had a hair cut whilst we were away yesterday. A fresh cut edge visible towards the hedge. An expletive was heard from the boat just behind us ‘SH*T’. The lady was most probably correct in her observation, and I suspect there will be a patch of grass that will grow greener than it’s surrounding due to the substance she had been stirring.

Our garden has had an hair cut

The rest of the day was spent improving some of my drawings. My original plan had been to do new drawings rather than amendments to those already existing, so I could choose which was best. But sadly the new pad of paper I’d bought, despite being of the same weight isn’t as white as the original pad. So when they are photographed the background would be different.

Improved? Not sure

So as I’ve only three sheets left of the original paper I’m saving those for the drawings that need the most work and just rubbing out where needed on the originals. I now need a really fine pointed rubber to help edit faces that with just a slight line in the wring place end up gurning out from the page at me!

Lots of ingredients
Chicken bubbling away

Half of the spinach from yesterdays veg box was wilted into a chicken curry that I’ve adapted from my Hemsley and Hemsley cook book. Peas instead of green beans, a chunk of ginger added and served with basmati brown rice. Very tasty it was too.

Ready to eat

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 bike ride, 1 reservoir walk, 3 buckets constantly stirred, 3 sketch books, 1 hail storm, 6 improved drawings, 1 pair glasses, 1 lady, 1 chap, 1 hedge, 1 field, 1 wheelie shopper, 1 mystery, 1 silent spy.

Vegging Out. 30th April

Almost Lockdown Mooring 4 to Marsh Lane Winding Hole to Almost Lockdown Mooring 4

Yesterday I’d checked with the greengrocer about what time they start delivering their veg boxes, luckily for us it wasn’t too early so we didn’t need to set an alarm clock. We had our usual cuppa in bed and then set off back to bridge 95 not quite a mile away.

Here we hunted for the holes in the concrete edge we’d made yesterday. Mick found the one for the stern, but try as I might at the bow it hid from me, only showing itself when we pushed off later! Once our spikes were in we made better note of where they were for next week.

Delivery to the gate

Time for breakfast, we could have been there for half an hour or right into the afternoon, but fortunately it was the former. Around 10:20 I got a phone call to say our box had arrived. Mick got out and waved, our box was laid on the towpath for Mick to pick up so that distances could be maintained. The chap said he does a big delivery to a boater at Venetian Marina which then gets passed on along the Middlewich Branch. This is where I’d got the idea from, the local Covid-19 Boaters group on facebook.

What had we got? I was excited!

Ooo goodies

I’d requested no cauliflower, but some garlic and a sweet potato. The rest was a mystery, a £15 mystery.

1 lettuce, 1 very long cucumber, a bag of new potatoes, 2 huge parsnips, a bag of carrots, 1 sweet potato, 2 bulbs garlic, 1 aubergine, 1 small butternut squash, a bag of tomatoes, 3 bunches of spinach, 2 onions, 1 red onion and some broccoli. That would certainly keep us going until next week.

What to cook?

Clem’s (or Nantwich Veg Boxes) does different sized boxes, some just veg, some just fruit, some a mixture. I’d gone for £15 veg as that is roughly what I’d spent on their market stall a few weeks ago. Next week I suspect we might still have a few bits left so I’ll try a mixed box of a similar size and see what lies within one of those.

If we could put together a big enough butchers delivery then we’d only have to use the supermarkets for pasta, rice, flour, milk etc. oh and wine boxes! Mick managed to get another Sainsbury’s click and collect at the weekend so any gaps we have will be filled with a bike trip along with getting our Saturday newspaper. Plain gluten free flour however is proving to be impossible to get unless ordered direct from Doves Farm in a 16kg bag!

They’re moving the outside again!

As we’d be needing to top up with water in a day or two we decided to headed on into Nantwich today, cutting down on our movements. I walked to give me calf muscle a stretch.

Hawthorn and cow parsley

All the Blackthorn blossom has gone, but is now being replaced by Hawthorn, weighing down the branches so they almost meet the Cow Parsley reaching up from the towpath. I suspect in a few days time the blossom will be fantastic, Narnia in May. We’ve often been up near Crick and Houdini’s Field at this time of year and some of the stretches are glorious.

Heading back out of town

Rubbish and water dealt with we pootled on to the winding hole, turned and headed back out of town to Hurleston. We could see a very big black cloud heading our way, would we make it in time without getting wet. Sadly no.

On their holidays from Lymm

The boat that had been in the spot we’ve started to call home had moved on this morning before we left, but this afternoon had been replaced by another. We knew we’d fit in the gap, so resumed sharing rings.

That’s the same outside! Just different

Time to plan our menu for the next week. Eating up the more perishable veggies first. We don’t tend to eat that much salad, but we may do over the coming weeks. Chicken Curry new style, salmon and spinach pasta will use the spinach up. Just how to shoe horn the glut of potatoes into everything. Well tonight we had fish pie with a mash topping (I normally do a crumble top) with a nice side salad.

Next time move the outside properly!

During the evening I started sewing the button band onto my treat cardigan. This took quite a few goes to get right to start with, but it just about worked out before bed. I just need to finish the end with a few rows of blue, then just a few finishing touches, find those buttons I bought in Devizes, block it and it will be ready to wear. I seem to have enough yarn left over to possibly make a matching hat too, bonus!

Jay

0 locks, 5.5 miles, 2 winds, 2 straights, 1 cruise before breakfast, 1 box of fresh yummyness (see above for item numbers), 1 ray of hope, 1 full water tank, 0 rubbish, 1 big bag of recycling, 1 weeks menus just about planned, 1 cardi nearly done, 3 hours shore leave, 1 new neighbour, 3 pooh buckets on the towpath.

Thursday 30th April

Delivery!!! 29th April

Lockdown Mooring 4 to Bridge 95 (pick up point) to not quite Lockdown Mooring 4

Sorry Tilly! We’ve a rendez vous.

Making our move

Today we had our first food delivery coming to the boat from Morrisons. We’ve not used them before so waited to see what happened with substitutes etc. Mick received an email listing things that weren’t available and what we would be getting instead.

After the last few weeks of sunny sunny weather I’d included a few things for a barbecue. Our mooring means we can hug the hedge and still have at least 7 meters between us and the boat for people to pass. But on the substitutes list they had swapped salmon steaks for some that are already cooked and some Halloumi was coming with added chilli (it might be nice on a barbecue!). As the weather has changed it won’t matter anyway. My choice of white wine was swapped for another, but so long as it’s not Riesling or Liebfraumilch it will be fine.

Down to one flag at the bubble mooring

So after breakfast we pushed off to cruise not quite a mile to the pick up point. We pulled in as close to the gate by the bridge as possible. Here is an ideal spot for a delivery, a layby and gate to reach the towpath, except the towpath is mostly concrete so it took quite a bit of effort to get spikes in. Now we could settle.

Our first delivery since lockdown

The delivery arrived seven minutes into our allotted slot. The chap was relieved to spot us so easily and quickly, he’d thought it would be tricky. He chatted away as he unloaded the crates at his van and then brought our shopping to us in plastic bags. Having the hatch to the towpath meant it was easy to see what was in each bag. So I verbally sorted things, those items that can sit in the cratch for a few days and those that would need to come in and be dealt with before being stowed.

Towpath sorting

The wine cellar has moved for a few days, but is now restocked and we now can all go to the toilet as we have a fresh supply of cat litter for both bucket and box. I hasten to add we had only been running low on stocks, and had not had to reuse it!

Fridge
How did they get ordered!?

With it just starting to rain we decided to make a move and return to our mooring before it got worse. No winding hole until Nantwich ahead of us and a big sign on the wide stretch just behind us saying no winding we decided to reverse the third of a mile to Poole Hill Winding Hole to turn. Back to Hurleston to wind again in the heavier rain.

Lockdown Mooring 4 had been taken by someone, a familiar boat from a week or so ago. The 48hr mooring now had three boats on it, all nicely socially distanced, leaving enough room for us between them. We pulled into the first gap, gaining slightly different views from the windows.

Neighbours

In our old boating life we would automatically pull up and share a ring leaving no ‘git gaps’. But in this new world it’s better not to share rings if you can possibly help it, leaving a ‘good gap’ instead. However we had no choice today, both ends of Oleanna had to share rings with long outies.

WHAT!!!

Tilly was warned that should she think we were still the end boat she’d be getting on someone elses boat and they have a woofer! The rain put her off somewhat anyway. No amount of head nudges would make it dry up.

As the afternoon went on the sun made an appearance. The skies turned from dark grey to bright blue and Tilly ventured back out, returning damp at the edges.

I’ll stay here if it’s raining thank you

During the day I received a friend request on facebook along with a message. I’m glad the message came as the penny wouldn’t have dropped otherwise. Thirty seven years ago I occasionally trod the boards with a local amateur dramatic group, Rowntree Players. I appeared in three pantos, Puss in Boots, Babes in the Wood and Humpty Dumpty. The request had come from the chap who played Humpty Dumpty, I have to say he wasn’t very round. By the end of the day I’d managed to find a publicity photo with both Gary and myself. Lovely to hear from him.

Humpty Dumpty in 1983

We seem to have ended up with a lot of potatoes. We already had an almost new bag under the steps, we now have a very new bag in the cratch and tomorrow we are likely to get even more as we have a veg box delivery. So instead of sweet potato wedges tonight with our chilli we had normal potato wedges. These were a hit, not quite chips, but the next best thing for a while.

This evening we watched the first episode of the new Van Der Valk. We like crime dramas and he does have a really rather lovely boat, so it ticks lots of boxes. Wonder when we’ll be able to go to Amsterdam next?

0 locks, 1.75 miles, 0.33 in reverse, 2 winds, 3 flags to 1, 6 boxes wine, 10 litres litter, 1 disturbance, 4 occupied, 1 slightly confused cat, 7 amended poses, 1 big jump, 37 years, 1 humpty dumpty, 1 button band nearly knitted.

Rainy Days And Tuesdays. 28th April

Lockdown Mooring 4

Tuesday, yes it’s Tuesday.

Living up to the forecast it rained today. Not huge torrential downpours, the sort you get just as you have started a flight of locks without your waterproofs handy, but just constant rainfall. Tilly wasn’t too bothered to start with, but soon found the stove more attractive than being outdoors.

Rainy

Time to try out the new loaf of bread. As much as it was tempting to slice it open last night, it is best to let the loaf cool down fully. Gluten free bread doesn’t have the large air pockets you get in ordinary sourdough, it has a moist crumb to it too. I’d have liked a little bit more rise in the loaf, but once sliced into it looked okay. The bottom didn’t look quite as dense as the sorghum loaf I tried before.

Sliced

Toasting a couple of slices takes far more time than ordinary bread, Mick always gets concerned with the amount of gas being used. Someone has suggested toasting it in a dry frying pan. Might give that a go sometime. Having taken an age to toast it also retains it’s heat very well, I like my butter to melt into toast so there always used to be a rush, now I can take my time so as not to burn my fingers.

Toast!

Verdict. Very tasty. I prefer it to the sorghum loaf. Worth waiting for, well I wish I hadn’t had to keep the starter going so long, hoping for more bubbles. We’ll now see what happens with my starter the next time I want to bake, I’ve gone for the scrapings method!

In the afternoon we had a walk up the locks together, across the back of the reservoir to the post box. Then we walked a touch further along the road to reach the layby where the egg farm lives.

Post

Approaching from the road we got to see more signs. I especially loved this one.

Still stocked up with eggs we didn’t need any, but if there is going to be a cooked breakfast on the cards soon I quite fancy a poached ducks egg.

In the back field were lambs with their mums and today we spotted by a pond some Mandarin Spring Roll Ducks along with others that were something other than Mallards or Muscovy ducks.

Mandarin Spring Roll ducks

The day wasn’t conducive to working. Instead we went to the theatre. The National Theatre, to watch Twelfth Night with Tamsin Grieg. A modern version with a pyramidal revolving set which almost had pages that could be opened in different ways to provide different locations. Tamsin as Malvolia was brilliant as was the rest of the cast, some really rather lovely suits on stage too, I wonder how much detail the audience sat in their seats could see.

Designer Soutra Gilmour. Lighting Design James Farncombe

We watched the first half in the afternoon, followed by the news conference from Downing Street, our evening meal and then we watched the second half. I much prefer Shakespeare’s Comedies, if it had been a history play I don’t think we’d have bothered. A great production, costumes, acting, set, music. Well worth watching before it’s gone.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 damp walk, 1 scraggy woofer, 1 amendment posted, 2 slices, 1 nice loaf, 2hrs 40 minutes of Shakespeare, 2 twins (they tend to come in twos), 1 revolving set, 1 good show.

Closing Down. 27th April

Lockdown Mooring 4

Today notices from C&RT have been coming into our inbox regarding the closure of lock flights due to low water levels in reservoirs. Levels have been kept low at reservoirs on the Leeds and Liverpool and the Macclesfield due to essential maintenance works. Now with the lack of rainfall, the levels will remain low, so not enough water at the beginning of the boating season to sustain normal boat movements.

As we’re not meant to be moving anywhere anyway it seems sensible for measures to be taken to conserve as much water as possible. So all the locks between Wigan and Bingley, and either end of the Macc are being padlocked and ashed up tomorrow lunchtime and measures are being taken so that vandalism won’t be possible.

So when the lockdown ends (which I don’t think will be anytime soon) we won’t be able to cross the Pennines by any route, the need to do so no longer exists for us, but it would still have been nice to be up on the Leeds Liverpool again. Another thought had been to spend some time on the Macc, but the poor old Macc hasn’t had any luck in the last few years.

Where we go, and when, will stay on the back burner for now, there are other things we need to do whilst the canal network closes down around us.

Sour dough Into the bowl to rise

This morning I decided I’d be making some bread today whether my starter was ready or not. I’ve been watching it closely and it definitely runs to a timetable. Nothing happens for a couple of hours, then it gradually rises over the next hour and a half. At some point in the next half hour it gives up bubbling and sinks again. It hasn’t been as bubbly as I’d liked, maybe my expectations were greater than its own. Maybe what it has been doing is all it will ever achieve and I’ve just been wasting flour. So this morning I fed it and returned the jar to the proving shelf. A timer was set for three hours time.

Town square

I re-read the synopsis for panto and took notes. The writer for Rapunzel is the same chap who wrote Aladdin and there are similarities. Along with a tower with one window and no door, I will need to create a Town Square (obligatory), a pub, a galleon and a medieval jousting match.

Cannons and rigging

My calf muscle has been rested for a few days so I decided to see how it would fare walking up the locks whilst the hours ticked by for my starter.

As I approached bridge 97 I could see there was some sort of kerfuffle going on, flapping of wings etc. I carefully walked up the bank to see what I could see. Two male Pheasants sparring with each other. No females standing on the sidelines, just a head bobbing stand off.

Boys will be boys

One chap looked pristine whilst the others feathers around it’s neck were bedraggled, he certainly wouldn’t have been my choice in such a state. Heads bobbed up and down and only occasionally did claws make contact. Stunning looking birds.

Once they’d made enough room for me to pass I carried on over the bridge and up the flight. Sandra from NB AreandAre had told us about an egg farm at the top of the flight. We already knew of the lady with her few hens, but on the other side of the Llangollen just a bit further along was a whole farm.

Egg shop

A red van was parked with it’s back doors open, a honesty box and prices on the eggs. Medium and Extra Large hens eggs along with some duck eggs. We currently have quite a few eggs on board so it was just as well I didn’t have any money on me. But we’ll be back when we need some. Apparently he normally has around 30 dozen to sell a day. His ladies looked quite happy out the back too.

Eggs anyone

My calf had survived the journey, so I’ll be taking more short walks for a while.

Happy ladies

The timer was just about to go off when I returned. Time to make necessary flour for a loaf. Oats and sunflower seeds needed grinding up and adding to various other starches and flours. I hoped that Maple syrup instead of coconut palm sugar would work. My starter had reached it’s normal maximum, so I poured off enough for the loaf, mixed everything together then put it into a t-towel lined bowl, wrapped it in plastic bag and left it to rise back on the shelf.

The recipe said two hours maximum, but hardly anything had happened. I decided to leave it the three and a half hours my starter normally takes to rise and this proved to be a good idea.

Risen a bit

Whilst it did it’s thing Mick worked his way though tax returns all of which mean he owes the tax man nothing again. I dealt with emails about my sketches and ideas for Dark Horses next production #unit21. So a day pretty much like the old days, three projects in one day.

The timer went off the oven and cast iron pot were hot, time to see what baking my loaf would turn out like. The previous recipe had been using sorghum flour and had been a lot firmer, this was with buckwheat and had been like a thick cake batter. I carefully turned it out of it’s bowl onto grease proof paper and scored the top. It started to relax, so I quickly popped it in the pot and into the oven, fingers crossed.

A loaf with potentail

The end product looked not quite as risen as I’d hoped for, but it still showed much more potential than the last loaf I’d made. We’ll have to wait for the morning to see how it has turned out. The remains of my starter have been put into the fridge with the hope that it will pop back into life for the next loaf.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 flight walked up, 10 flights closed, dozens of eggs, 1 last feed, 1 sketch to redo, 5 amendments, 2 uv or not, 9 scenes, 2 boats again, 1 set breakdown, 3.5 hours, 1 loaf with potential, 1 very large friend!