Category Archives: The Garden

Jam And Scrambled Eggs. 28th May

Lockdown Pickup mooring to Lockdown Mooring 3

Despite being so close to the road last night we both managed to sleep pretty well. The layby here was chocka when we arrived yesterday, but luckily emptied out over the evening making room for the Sainsburys van. This morning we watched as vehicles came and went, twitching the curtains when ever we thought it might be the veg box man.

Playing pen in the spotlight of a porthole

After baking bread there were two egg yolks in the fridge that needed using along with half a pack of bacon. Mick set too in the kitchen adding a couple of the many tomatoes we had. Two things we are certain to get in our veg box, tomatoes and carrots. He did refrain from adding jam to our toast though.

Num num num

It was then time to introduce the printer to the new laptop. How hard could it be? No need for IT support, I thought! Plugged in turned on, I waited for them to say hello. They needed prompting but then they acknowledged each other. Only thing was I had no means of scanning from the computer. Looking round for an ap or programme or whatever, I downloaded what was suggested. Time to scan my illustrations.

Oh! All the subtleties had gone and the greens now fluoresced off the pages at me. Not what I wanted. The old printer scanner had done a much better job (before it died) and to think of it the new one with the old laptop had done too with a different programme. I down loaded another programme but that was no use! IT support was required but that would have to wait until later. I uploaded the images and emailed Amy explaining. The original plan had been to send the paintings to Penny who would photograph them before compiling the play.

A touch too bright

After jumping at every sign of a dark grey people carrier, we finally spotted the right one around 1pm. There was time for a short chat with the chap as he handed over this weeks £15 veg box. Next week might be our last one before heading eastwards, we may have to order extra to keep us going!

This weeks box

Asparagus and sweetcorn were in there, that made up our minds what we’d be having tonight to make the best out of them. The rest of the week would take a bit of thinking about.

Last weeks giant red onion with this weeks mini one

Where to head now? I need good internet in a few days time and after an email from Val in Scarborough (Hello!) we’ll be taking another trip to the house as it has now had a deep clean. But more importantly we needed a good outside for Tilly. Decision made Calveley.

A touch too close

First we had to get past the fishing people who were busy setting up in front of us. The lady asked if we were moving because of them. They weren’t the reason, but they were far too close to us even in normal times! I could only just keep 2 meters away when untying us, current guidance is to treat moored boats like others who are fishing and to try to keep 15 meters away!

More boats pulling up on the side of the reservoir

A toot on the horn as we approached the flag bubble and time for a chat before we carried on. Several boats were at our ‘home’ mooring, we’re saving their for later. Under Bridge 97, the visitor moorings now empty but the off side filling up with more boats. I wonder where the chap from Hebden Bridge headed? At Barbridge we carried straight on. Here the weed is growing again, long lengths swaying as we passed, the sort that fouls props.

We pulled in on the 48 hour moorings and let Tilly out. The sun was high and maybe a touch too warm for her as she seemed to prefer the bathroom floor to the sideways trees.

That’s better!

IT support did it’s thing and found the programme I needed. Having a choice of what original I was scanning made all the difference. Even though the scans were a touch smaller in size they were far truer to the originals. I forwarded a link to Amy. I now had the nerve wracking hour or so where I wondered if she preferred the more garish version, but fortunatly she came back with ‘I see what you mean, they are even better!’ PHEW!!!

The asparagus was threaded onto skewers, sweetcorn chopped in two and a couple of turkey fillets marinaded for the barbecue. With a lack of shade by Oleanna Mick positioned everything close to the boat, hoping the sun would move over soon. The wind direction was indeterminate and we really could have done with a Lazy Susan for our chairs and the barbecue, a gentle constant spin would have worked perfectly.

As we enjoyed the evening sun, Tilly enjoyed it getting cooler. It took quite a bit of mad cat woman in the field below to entice her home, but she eventually sauntered back from where ever she’d been.

Just before sunset!

0 locks, 4.15 miles, 2 straight ons, 16 illustrations scanned twice, 1 thumbs up twice, 6 tomatoes, 7 potatoes, 1 small red onion, 2 onions, 11 spears, 1 cob, 1 cauliflower, 1 brocolli, 1 red pepper, 1 courgette, 12 radishes, 1 lettuce, 2 parsnips, 5 carrots, 6 mushrooms, 1 weeks menu to plan, 1 sunny barbecue, 1 tyre in London!

Just Like The Old Days. 27th May

Lockdown Mooring 5 to Lockdown Pickup Mooring

Yummy chestnut and oat toast

When to move today? We had a Sainsburys delivery booked at Henhull Bridge, but not until 9pm at the earliest. This morning the ideal position by the bridge would be full as NB AreandAre would be there picking up their veg box. Should Tilly be allowed shore leave or not? I decided that it would be mean to keep her in all day so she was given a couple of hours shore leave as Emails were checked and breakfast consumed. She returned bang on time and the doors were closed.

A beautiful morning for a cruise. We winded and headed back towards Nantwich. Flag Iris dip their toes in the water, Michaelmas Daisies are taking advantage of cracks in the concrete edging and Dog Roses cling to the trees.

Nantwich Aqueduct

Boats had moved about. Some from the 48hr moorings were now just outside town where restrictions end giving them 14 days. Other boats still sat where they have been for months, well past 48 days now. We wondered whether the emails from C&RT had been clear about visitor moorings also reverting to their times when the 14 day rule was brought back in, I had checked in the FAQ section. But we don’t know what everyone’s situation is, they may be shielding and have asked to stay for longer. Just how many though are interpreting the guidance to their benefit?!

Get your coffee here

NB Islonian and NB Myrtle were on the embankment hoping for more trade whilst the second mate considered a dip to catch the passing fish.

Myrtle’s second mate

Two boats were on the water point, we’d still got a pretty full tank and didn’t feel the need to loiter to top up so we carried on past.

Passing boats

Just coming under Acton Bridge was NB AreandAre having just picked up their veg box. If we’d known our paths were going to cross we could have shared a delivery slot, but it wasn’t guaranteed so we’d both gone solo this week. One advantage was that the pickup mooring was almost certainly going to be empty for us to pull into, which it was, our spikes dropping straight into the well established holes.

The cast

This afternoon I continued with The Garden portraits and finished them off, I also added a touch more to the fireworks. I’ll look at them again tomorrow, but I think they are now finished. They’ve taken longer than I was expecting, some I’m quite pleased with, just hope Amy is too! The chap top right, is currently playing Josh (the best man) in The A word on TV.

After we’d eaten this evening we didn’t feel we could settle down to watch TV as there was still our delivery to arrive. We had one glass of wine with our meal and waited. At 9.30pm an orange coloured van pulled up into the layby, Sainsburys!!! Just like old times.

Ohh and orange van!

The chap was very friendly and informed us that the rules with regards to substitutions had changed. This morning we’d received an email from them informing us of only one item having to be substituted, some bread flour for some spelt flour, everything else was as ordered! I was happy with the flour as I can still make bread for Mick with it. But if I hadn’t wanted it we could mention this to the driver before anything came off the van and he would return it for us. It just has to stay on the van. Handy to know, shame we couldn’t return the pudding rice.

Just like old times

Mick asked him about the delivery slots that were now coming through. Sainsburys had stopped offering slots to anyone who wasn’t shielding and at risk. But Mick has been checking every so often, click and collect started and now delivery slots. The chap thought it was down to two things, an increase in drivers therefore slots and things now settling down so fewer being needed for those shielding. We can still only book one slot at a time and only a week in advance, but that is just fine.

Once everything was sorted, quarantined items were put in the bow and everything else disinfected we could settle down for what was left of the evening, oh and a second glass of wine!

0 locks, 3.88 miles, 1 wind, 2 hours, 0 friends consumed, 1 panto email, 2 many at the water point, 2 waves to AreandAre, 2 pirates, 16 illustrations finished, maybe, 1 noisy road, 1 jaunty mooring, 1 orange van, 2 boxes wine, 1 more handwash, 2nd glass of wine and relax.

Loaf Of Bread. 26th May

Lockdown Mooring 5

That maple syrup and spoon of other flour had done the trick to my starter, this morning it had doubled in size and hadn’t sunk back down the jar. It was ready to bake with. I wasn’t prepared. I’d thought it might take until this evening for it to be ready to start a loaf and if I started a loaf now then I would end up baking it tonight at bed time!

That looks very good

I scanned through my recipes and found one that suggested it would rise and be ready to bake between 5 and 7pm. The recipe did have a touch of yeast added to it, but I thought it was well worth it as I didn’t want to waste the progress my starter had made. So a loaf of Chestnut and oat bread it was. My starter was so airy, the airiest it’s ever been. I ran out of white rice flour, so had to add some brown rice flour. Once mixed the sponge was left on the proving shelf for four hours to see what it did. It rose up and showed great promise.

Domed and cracked top even without the yeast

Time to get on with the portraits of the actors who would have been in the production of The Garden. I’ve been putting this painting off for a while, but it proved to be quite pleasurable to work on.

They look a touch like they need a good wash

Skin tone shadows were painted in for everyone and highlights washed back. Then I started to work up one face at a time.

Four finished only six more

Whilst painting we listened to Anno Domino the new Alan Ayckbourn play. Alan and Heather play all the characters and it is well worth a listen. Back in the 60’s Alan had a stint of being a Radio Drama Producer for the BBC. This showed as we both laughed out loud at images that simply wouldn’t have been as funny on stage. The sound effects (an Ayckbourn hobby) and atmosphere along with the multi track recording worked very well. It must have been great fun for them to make as it is great fun to listen to. Available until the 25th June.

Starting to prove itself

Final ingredients (including some yeast) were mixed into the sponge. Then it was poured into a lined tin and left of the proving shelf for an hour and a half to rise. It gained about a third in height, time to bake it. Mick was requested not to step on and off the boat for a few minutes whilst I transferred the tin into the hot oven. Any knock right now would end with a very flat loaf. Transfer completed Mick could continue to mend one of our tyre fenders that has developed a puncture.

Up by a third

I’d spent all day sat at the dinette table working, so after dinner I headed up the towpath for a walk. I’d spotted a footpath on the offside of the canal which would bring me alongside Oleanna as the sun started to set.

You get a lot of sky round here

Quite a beautiful evening.

The bottom lock

I walked up to Hack Green Locks. The field beside them had the now rotund lambs/teenagers we’d seen back in March. They still played and demanded milk from their Mum’s teets. One old lady just stood and stared at me until I moved away.

What you lookin at?!

I crossed over the bridge between the locks and started to walk back towards Oleanna. This side of Nantwich the fields are all pasture where as to the north they are more arable. Blimey the long grass was hard to walk through and there was no obvious footpath.

Oleanna

A murder of Crows circled the nearby wood, cawing to each other. I found my way into the second field and walked round it’s perimeter trying to find the way ahead. Nettles and brambles stopped my progress. By now I felt like I’d walked through miles of deep snow, my calf and thigh muscles complaining.

I found a narrow bridge across a ditch into another field with more long grass but decided to turn back and head to the bottom lock where a pathway had been worn to the bottom gates. The bywash here was just narrow enough to hop over and I was back on shorter grass.

Cwor!

Tonights sunset was beautiful. A good Shropie sunset is hard to beat. Not having Hurleston Reservoir in the way helped to get the full effect.

0 locks, 2 walked to, 0 miles, 1 frothy starter, 1 loaf, 84th play, 4 portraits finished, 1 Sainsburys order completed, 9 hours, 2 friends consumed at least, 1 tyre mended, 1 stunning sunset.

Leaving Home. 25th May

Lockdown Mooring 4A to Lockdown Mooring 5, Hack Green Winding Hole

Blimey I’m going to have to remember how to do maps now!

Saying goodbye to Tilly’s field

Our 48hrs were up this morning as the 14 day mooring rule was brought back in on Saturday, I know that doesn’t quite make sense unless you understand the mooring rules on C&RT waters . I could look back and count the actual amount of days we’ve been at Lockdown Mooring 4 and 4A, but I’ll save that for another day.

Bye bye ‘Home’

We’ve enjoyed our time at this mooring. I’d been aiming to get the gunnels repainted as it’s a perfect spot for the job, but general life, lack of motivation and the matter of 16 illustrations have all been keeping me busy and stopping me from sanding and painting. I’m hoping we may return ‘home’ for a couple of days before we leave for the east. There is also the matter of the Wheelie Shoppers!

Tatties growing

Pushing off just before 11am, boats had already started coming past, with the sun out we could tell today was going to be a busy one on the cut. The flag bubble have had a move around, NB Plum has headed off to fit some solar panels and the bubble has been joined by another boat that’s been up and down the pound for a while now. We waved to Sandra, Kim and Barry, we’ll be back in a few days time.

The potato field is doing well, wonder how long before they are worth digging up?

Then round the next bend the local swan family came swimming towards us. Dad at the front, Mum bringing up the rear. But hang on! Quick, slow down!!!

One is catching a ride

Dad was giving one lucky cygnet a lift on his back. Such a wonderful sight, we’d thought the cygnets were too old for this, but obviously not. Sometimes there is space for a couple to catch a ride, but this cygnet wouldn’t leave much space for a second one.

Not much space
Riding high

One of those special moments in life.

We chatted with Heidi from the pirate boat as we passed, saying where we were aiming for. She and Jacki had tried the other side of the aqueduct but it was far too busy for their liking, so they’d returned to Henhull. We’d still go and see what we thought, we could always come back this way instead.

The pooh boat

A boat was just pulling of the services as we approached so we hung back leaving them space to get through the bridge and past the moored boats on the 24hr moorings. A washing load had been done this morning, so our tank was quite depleted. Tilly got a fresh clean pooh box, I think only her third of lockdown, she has after all been using shorebased facilities as requested.

Plenty of boats came past, some stopping to do the necessary and others waiting for water. Then once filled we pushed off leaving the tap for another boat that had just pulled in.

NB Myrtle’s second mate sat under the A frame

Nb Islonian was selling coffees and across the other side of the aqueduct was NB Plum and NB Myrtle, the later with big flags out trying to drum up trade. As we passed I spotted their second mate taking shelter underneath their A frame. They sell jams, chutneys, dog treats, but nothing for our feline friends! Tilly was not impressed, I suspect neither is their second mate!

Busy today

Boats came towards us, not many we recognised. Were they boats that have been pootling about at this end of the canal, just like us at the other end of this pound? Were they boats from marinas out for a jaunt for the day enjoying the bank holiday sunshine? Who knew, there were just plenty of them.

Keep the
tiller straight

At Marsh Lane, Mick kept a very good hold of the tiller, despite Oleanna wanting to wind to return to our ‘home’ water, we wanted to go further, we wanted to go straight on. We were now back on water we’ve not been on since the 19th March, pre-lockdown. The last time we cruised this stretch in this direction was just shortly after the Beast from the East back in 2018 when the water was icy in stretches, today no ice to navigate through, just sunshine and fishing rods.

Fresh water

Onwards we forged with a slight sense of freedom.

Fishermen out in force

Someone else was enjoying some freedom too. A Jersey cow was trotting along the towpath towards us, an occasional kick high into the air. She carried on past us thank goodness as we were wanting to moor up and didn’t really want a nosy cow peering in through the hatch or nibbling at our ropes.

Hack Green bottom lock and a cow!

Two chaps asked if we’d seen a cow, we pointed them down to where her friends had come across the field on the off side to say hello to her.

Hello
How do

I need to take back my recent criticism of the crew on board Oleanna. Today they finally have managed to break the circle the they seem to have been stuck in for months. Today they finally managed to tie up a whole new, different, exciting outside! One with extra cow for good measure. She wouldn’t let me out until the cow had gone past. But then I was free to explore and find myself some tasty friends. Would I know where to come back to? Don’t be stupid of course I knew.

Ooo a new outside!

My sour dough starter was still looking a touch flat. I’d pepped it up with a touch of maple syrup this morning and later on I added a touch of bog standard gluten free flour in with the brown rice flour, this worked the last time, fingers crossed it does the trick by morning.

Not a bad vista

Plenty more boats came past us, few familiar. We soon noticed that the majority were actually just coming to wind and return back towards Nantwich. A few came from the locks and a few continued on up them, but I think the majority of boats out today were out for a day trip to check things over before returning to their home mooring. Currently Leisure boaters can visit their boats and go for a short a cruise, but as yet no overnight stays are allowed.

This will do

By the end of the afternoon I had just about finished my illustrations, painting in blossom and fireworks. Sideways trees now with more detail, although when I looked back at them they were starting to upstage my actors, so a bit of water and some kitchen towel tamed them down a touch, fading them into the background.

The final light tonight

0 locks, 4.49 miles, 1.78 miles of fresh water, 1 home mooring left behind, 1 piggy back, 2 pirates, 1 full water tank, 0 rubbish left on board, 1 clean pooh box, 1 straight on for a change, 1 sky filled mooring, 1 jolly Jersey, 1 happy cat, 1 friend from the friendly cover, 15 illustrations complete? 1 eye test required, 1 punctured tyre fender, 1 shelf again.

So much for a map! Google won’t let me drop a pin!

Lazy Starter. 24th May

Lockdown Mooring 4A

Yesterday I got my sourdough starter out of the fridge, it’s been a little while since I used it so it needed a feed. It had been fed twice yesterday and shown some growth, but this morning it still wasn’t rising as high as needed for a loaf of bread. Only one thing for it, we had to have pancakes for breakfast! What a shame. I’ll give the starter a couple more feeds before I use it to bake with.

Not quite enough gluten free oats, so I had to steal a few from Mick’s 3kg bag we bought from the garage to make up the correct quantity to zuzz into flour. Once mixed up and frothing away happily in a bowl (no need for whipping egg whites in this recipe) I started to cook the pancakes. In our last Morrisons delivery we’d bought frozen blueberries instead of fresh. These are not the same with cereal so I decided to add some to the pancakes. But because they were frozen as I added them to each pancake they of course melted producing water which affected the batter a touch. Still tasty though.

Blueberry pancakes

Tilly had a full day of outdoors as the wind had calmed down considerably from yesterday. As the day progressed the sun came out to warm the world again and Tilly had to be encouraged to return home, her eyes heavy and ready for several cat naps.

Mick found a delivery slot with Sainsburys this week that we can combine with our veg box delivery. It’ll be the first delivery from Sainsburys since we were at Wheaton Aston back in March. This got us both quite excited as we tend to prefer Sainsburys to Morrisons. It looks like they are now allowing people who are not shielding to have slots late in the evening.

Is that Tilly?

A day of painting illustrations again for me. I can only manage a few hours before I need to give my right hand a rest. It must be that my fingers don’t like the thin handles of my brushes, so I did two stints of painting in some long grass, adding detail to trees, adjusting shadows and highlights to faces and deepening shadows on clothes. By the end of the day there was just the sideways trees to finish off and add colours to fireworks and they will be finished. Then I’ll need to turn my attention to the portraits of the actors.

Of course it is

Mick finished setting up the new laptop and handed it over. He will now spend the next few days waiting to cringe as I find things that are different or missing. The programme to add copyright to photos has been missed and for some reason I managed to reduce all the writing and icons in size as soon as I started it up.

A touch bigger than the last one

There have been more boats passing today. Those who have been moored on visitor moorings like us have to move on after the stated time, this means we’ll be moving in the morning. NB Coddiwomble headed off late afternoon to the junction and most probably headed on up the locks onto the Llangollen.

Everyone still there but the scrabble boat

I bobbed up to the bridge before dinner to see who had moved off from below the reservoir. Andy and Helen from NB Skydance (the Scrabble boat) had moved off, most probably up the flight. It will be the first time they’ve moved their boat since lockdown began, they preferred to collect water in containers from the top of the flight than move their boat. I suspect it will have been nice for them to use their hose pipe again.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 full day of shoreleave, 12 pancakes, 1 new laptop bigger than the last one, 125% required, 15 illustrations almost finished, 1 Sainsburys order, 1 farcical, 1 last night at 4A, 1 big Happy Birthday to Jac.

One’s Better Than None. 21st May

Lockdown Mooring 4A to Cholmondeston Lock to Lockdown Mooring 4A

Time to fill up with water, we’ve not been so careful this last few days so the tank hadn’t lasted so long. But which water point to choose? I knew as there was something that needed to be picked up.

Sun’s out again

We reversed back through bridge 97 to Hurleston Junction, winded and headed up to Barbridge. Our Lockdown Buddies were all busy, some already with plans as to which way to head when cruising restrictions are lifted this weekend. Most of us will need to move off the 48hr moorings on Monday. At the moment we plan on staying around the area for another week or two with the hope that the Covid-19 statistics improve.

A boat!!!

For the last two months we’ve hardly met another boat on the move, but now numbers are picking up. Those visiting their boats for the first time in a couple of months, maybe even this year, are out for a there and back day cruise. Others who can’t wait for the weekend and who have started to move already. So of course today we met a boat at a bridge hole, we were the closest, ‘Just like old times’.

Building site back up and running today

I stood as look out at Barbridge Junction and signalled the way ahead was clear as we turned into the Middlewich Branch. The building site opposite is back up and running again.

Not what you normally see on the Four Counties

A cruiser with a huge engine sat on a trailer by the slipway at Barbridge Marina, bit of overkill for the canal system.

Elderflower on it’s way

Now most of the Hawthorn blossom has gone, but getting going is the Elderflower. A few more days before the flower heads are out fully.

The plant pot lady on her swing now just about overgrown.

The length of boats we’d left a couple of months ago are still moored above Cholmondeston Lock. Each with their little patch and all very friendly now. A group stood round the water point as we pulled up, a boat just having finished filling. They wound their hose up and gave us room.

With the tank filling I took a large shopping bag with me and headed off on my own. There was a delivery I needed to pick up, sadly a second one hadn’t arrived. I returned to Oleanna where one half of Mick’s birthday present was presented wonderfully wrapped in a Sainsburys bag.

A while ago Paul, from Waterway Routes, had pointed us in the direction of Tannus tyres. These are solid tyres so therefore cannot get a puncture. As our faithful Brompton has had a couple of punctures lately I decided to fork out for a pair.

Present

Delays had happened. The company only dispatches orders the following week as they were working with reduced staff. They sent no confirmation of my order and it was only when it arrived that I was informed that there was only one tyre, not a pair! I ordered a second one, luckily getting some discount from the company. Then I wasn’t able to pick it up until Wednesday. Hence all the delay. So either Mick will get his Christmas present early or Tilly has used up all her pocket money for the next five years in buying the second tyre.

Look at that de-lamination, that used to be plywood.

Lunch was eaten as the water tank filled, we then backed past the line of boats and headed back home.

They’ve lost the ability to change the outside!

Videos of how to fit a Tannus tyre were watched, they are renowned to be quite tricky as they are a solid tyre. Time to give it a go.

The Brompton had it’s front tyre removed, easier than the rear one, it also had a slow puncture. Then the choice of which pins too use, red, blue or black. The blue ones were the correct size for the wheel. These were fed into the holes and then Mick started to fit the tyre. He’d had the foresight to leave the tyre on the rear hatch sitting in the sun for a while. This made the tyre more malleable and considerably easier to fit than expected.

Tyreless wheel
Blue pins slotted in

The wheel back on the bike it was taken for a test drive a short distance up the towpath. Just the second tyre to arrive now and he’ll be puncture proof.

Fitted

I started on some details and shadows on my illustrations. This became quite satisfying, the characters now taking shape and form on the page. There is still more to do and the slight disappointment when I realised that the main character, Emma not only has a stripy cardigan but her coat is multicoloured also! I saved that as a job for tomorrow.

Just that red coat to finish

0 locks, 5.55 miles, 0.2 in reverse, 2 winds, 1 right, 1 left, 1 full water tank, 0.5 present, 1 solid tyre, 1 birthday boy kept busy, 1 endless coat, 2 neighbours gone, 1 new neighbour.

One puncture proof tyre

I Dig Canals. 19th May

Lockdown Mooring 4A

Today I had to make sure I got some time with Tilly on the boat, on our own. Mick headed off up the locks to check for eggs, that egg box of ours has done quite a few trips now. Tilly and I had to put our heads together and quickly, what on earth were we going to do for Mick’s birthday presents?!

Things to unwrap

Technical glitches, places being closed Mondays and Tuesdays, things costing far more than originally thought (he is worth it) and a pandemic haven’t been helping! There was nothing for him to open with his cuppa in bed! That had to be sorted. Within half an hour there were a couple of cards and six presents for him to open in the morning. Tune in tomorrow to see what he got!

Whilst I’ve been working on my illustrations for the last couple of days we’ve been listening to I Dig Canals podcasts from Alarum Theatre Company. These have come about from an aural history project about the women who helped save the inland waterways from closure and destruction after the second world war. At the moment there are eleven episodes of varying lengths. There may be more planned but as we’ve not got to the last one yet I don’t know.

They are a good listen, full of stories on the Waterway Recovery Group and people trying to get their boats over a blue mini submerged in the cut and mothers listening for the splash as their kids got on and off the boats. The waterways back then were not how they are today and the boats they cruised in had few mod cons. Well worth a listen.

Another thing to listen out for next week is a new radio play. Alan Ayckbourn should have been starting rehearsals for his latest play Truth Will Out this week, but the summer season at the SJT in Scarborough has been cancelled for obvious reasons. So instead Alan has written a radio play Anno Domino which will be premiered from noon on the 25th May for a month, found on the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s website. You can listen for free or make a donation to help the theatre to reopen in the future. This marks the return to acting for Alan, he last performed in 1964. The play has been recorded at home with Heather, his wife and himself playing all the parts. We’ll certainly be listening in.

Stokehall bridge

A birthday card needed popping in the post so I took the long route to the post box. Along the canal to Stokehall Bridge there were plenty of people on the towpath, walkers, fishermen (who all spread out just a touch too much) and a family who gathered themselves up into the hedge for anyone to pass.

Distinct paths

The fields from the bridge are tuffy green now, the crop whatever it will be getting ready to reach for the sky.

Going pink before it fades

The oak trees are now in full leaf, lush bright green. On the other hand the hawthorn blossom is passing it’s best, now turning pink and some has even started to fade into brown. Some of the cow parsley was getting on for shoulder height today.

The oak footpath

Once at the A51 I walked along towards the post box. For the last couple of months you’ve just had to glance both ways before crossing, but today I had to wait several minutes before there was a big enough gap in the traffic. Another sign of the world getting busier was the aroma around the post box. It is situated on a layby/ bus stop, plenty of lorry drivers stop here for a pit stop, most of them relieving themselves too. Blimey it stank!

Shady

This evening I made use of another aubergine from our veg box and cooked us another moussaka. This time I only had pork mince and new potatoes. It was looking very good as it went in the oven, so I made use of the days hot water for a shower. Sadly the gas bottle ran out at some point, long before the top even started to brown. So we had an extended wait for our evening meal. It was tasty, but not as good as the one I made a couple of weeks ago.

Moving uphill

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 lemon, 8 podcasts, 3 more to go, 6 improvised presents, 2 cards, 1 walk, 1 wee mail box, 1 arrived 1 to follow, 1 empty gas bottle, 1 sock to change into a hat, 1 house nearly cleared.

Lush green