Sunday 8 September 2019


Thursday night's dinner was scrumptious - roast beef, yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, carrots and peas were followed by ginger cake with custard. Well, Tim and David had pudding, but I knew my stomach would not cope, so refrained and went to bed, leaving them to do dishes and chat - so I didn't have to listen, I listened to podcasts. Actually, I dozed off while the podcasts were underway. And I cannot do that if there is a conversation going on - I have to participate. Ssshhh - no comments required on that, thanks!
See, Julia? Evidence that the peas have been finished.

And so has the crystallised ginger
It went into this cake - it's a BBC Good Food recipe that I add the crystallised ginger too.

And then at about 3.05am and again at 3.30am Tim's phone beeped loudly - impossible for me to go back to sleep after that, dammit, so I was awake enough to get up at 5.15 and sort his lunch and a cup of tea for David and me. And what were the offending texts? Notification from NZ Rugby about team selection for North Harbour - gggrrr!!!

Tim left before 6am (for the last of his overnight stays with the parents), and travelled with roast beef sandwiches, a piece of ginger cake and fruit for his lunch, plus a chocolate brownie for the boys who are with him this weekend, and the meat scraps for Kai (OUR boat dog) from the braised steak I made for dinner with the Grangers earlier in the week at Burton upon Trent.

Back to bed and to sleep for us, but we did get up earlier than David wanted, as the forecast said rain later. And off we went to Shardlow accompanied down the locks by Alan and Sue on nb Augustus. We had locked with them the previous day too. It is always good to work the locks with efficient companions! At Aston Lock a boat was coming out as we approached, but the guy closed the gate. He said to me as he passed that he hadn't seen us. Mmm, it was a Canal Ministries boat - so he can see his imaginary friend, but not a 16 tonne boat?

We left Alan and Sue at Shardlow and came on to Sawley - the visitor moorings weren't anywhere near full, the state in which I always like to see them. Too nerve-wracking wondering if a space will be available.

We had arranged to meet Mike and Julia in Sawley. (We had met Mike way back in 2014 on our first visit to Mercia Marina when we had the electrical blowout. He had come over and introduced himself and he was a most welcome and welcoming person at a time we were feeling a bit fragile about the boat.)

As David hadn't had breakfast, we went to the cafe at the marina and Mike arrived, followed not long after by Julia who had been at work. We repaired to the boat where I fed them beef sandwiches on home-made bread, followed by cheese scones that I made while they were eating their sandwiches.
I am not sure why David thought Mike needed a penis extension - maybe he is getting him ready for the catheter for surgery day?
I was far more respectful

Mike is due for a knee replacement on 24 September - it had to be postponed last year after he had a heart attack while on volunteer lock duty at Stenson - good thing he wasn't crossing the lock gates at that time ...

His knee replacement will be done under local anaesthetic so he'll hear all the cracking and sawing and hammering ... Lucky chap! It'll do his heart good, I reckon 😚😏

A nana nap was required after the disturbed night's sleep, so we didn't go to the Lockkeeper's Rest on Friday. I did get up at one point and take a sunset photo back towards the flood lock.

Now doesn't that look lovely? You'd never believe that the M1 is a few hundred metres beyond that ...
However last night, after getting the oil change done, we showered to get ready to go to the Lockies. David had hot water, I had lukewarm water - I was brave and didn't moan, but water that feels fine on the face and hands is a bit of a shock on the body ...

David decanting used oil into a spare container. Note that he is sensibly wearing goggles.
Nigel and Liz collected us on their way, and Lyndon and Karen arrived not long after. It was lovely to see David the publican again and he had got some chardonnay in for me - special man!

I did not need to be brought back to the boat in a wheelbarrow (David's plan - but not sure where he would have sourced one though) and was almost fully compos mentis on arrival - to the extent that I was able to coherently text Mick and Julia (not to be confused with Mike and Julia, OK?)

This morning I made scones to take to the Lockies this afternoon, after we go to brekkie at the marina cafe with some of the residents. First batch is out of the oven, second batch is receiving the heat treatment now.
All done - these ones rose higher and the bottoms cooked better. I think it's because I did them in two batches and there was plenty of space for air to move around them.
We had intended to head off down the Soar at least a little way today, but will leave tomorrow instead. I need to make sure the rain jacket and hi-viz trousers are close by as it is meant to rain all day. But we will have done our 48 hours here by this lunchtime, so staying another two full days over that would be taking the piss. So we will be brave and move on.

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