Friday, 1 June 2012

A nice nurse put a smile on my face this morning…

OK you at the back of the class, enough of your smutty thoughts! She had actually taken my blood pressure so I could get this month’s prescription and, good news, my blood pressure has gone down by about 10 years and that was after the bike ride to get to the surgery!

The only day they could fit me in at the docs was today (Friday). Measham is a small town/large village so I thought that the medical centre would be a one doc kinda place. It turns out that it also services most of the outlying area as well. The busy waiting-room had one of those red LED signs to show your doc (about twelve to choose from) was ready to see you, and along with other info it stated that on an average morning between 8.30 and 9.30 they received 168 calls (so please call later). It was also a hive of Jubilee activity with raffle tables and a coffee and cake stall, even one of the doctor’s was mounting framed black and white photos of ER in a display area all very cheery and patriotic (a great little community)

Measham would have been a bustling canal side village back in the day with one of the biggest pottery manufacturers supplying the boats (a style of pottery that is still popular today). But sadly, since the canal here has closed (and probably with several decades of other reasons) it has declined a little and is a bit tatty round the edges. The canal is due to be restored soon and I think anyone buying a place to live or business close to where the canal will be going may be on to a winner. About 250m from the proposed route there is a pub for sale, it looks a good size, has a pretty decent beer garden and a small car park. Ok so it would need a refurb to get it back into this decade but the asking price is £195k, about the same as a good nick ex-council house from where I come from!

We were back from the docs by 10.20, about two hours door to door with the bike rides so not bad at all. We set about getting the boat ship shape and headed back off down the Ashby aiming for Hinckley by Saturday as there looks to be quite a lot going on in the way of jubilee celebrations. I also want to be back close to the marina after the bank holiday weekend so I can try and arrange the engineer to come and have a look at the generator. If he needs to take anything away for testing at least we will have the mains hook up available. We have coped well without the generator though and haven’t had to resort to jam sarnies three times a day. On the contrary I think the more you have to think about how you are going to cook the more organised and prepared you become, the result being spaghetti bolognaise, orange and cardamom rice pudding and another batch of Welsh cakes cooked on top of wood burner last night with pots of coffee to wash it all down with. As long as you don’t need anything too quick its ok (I think I may fancy a cuppa tea in about three hours – kind of thing). Even the cob BBQ is working ok now that I have realised a bucket load of burnt sticks wont cook anything and have bought a sack of proper lumpwood charcoal and as well as the usual bangers has produced biryani with home-made chapattis, and a rather nice three cheese pizza, all from a few leftovers.  

Very fresh pizza

That's a first...BBQ'd Tea!

Back to the Ashby (or Ashby de la zouch) canal; the northern reaches are the most rural we have seen so far, even the ducks seem to be wary of the boats. In fact during our four and a half hour plod today we only passed two boats coming the other way. I guess it’s a bit like going for a walk; do you really want to go from A to B and back to A along the same path when there are loads of circular walks available? Still, I am glad we made it to the top and by the end of next week we should have completed our first whole canal. To give you a flavour we have set the video up on a time laps so we could condense a couple of hours into a couple of minutes, unfortunately it was a bit experimental and the couple of hours lasts nineteen seconds!! It is a bit like a canal roller coaster, still I will have a play around with it over the next couple of days and try and post it in the blog.

Back to Hinckley tomorrow and another ten mile round trip to get some shopping. We will however cycle this time as last time Jess was with us and I don’t think she will ever forgive us for our ten mile hike with armfuls of shopping bags.

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