Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A pants day...

I knew the weather was going to be rubbish today, all the forecasts said so. I wasn't really in the mood for a day on the boat. I wanted t get a bit more painting and varnishing done before heading up through some of the flight. We both had a few jobs we wanted to do though.

Deb started by writing a letter to our tenant. She text us a couple of days ago saying the boiler wasn't working when she turned it back on. She had previously said that as the shower was electric she didn't use the boiler much because she always washed up in cold water. So putting two and two together, when she needed hot water she turned the boiler on, ran it up to temperature then turned it off, leaving its internal tank full of hot water and not going through the proper cool down process. After attending the plumber let us know that there would be no charge as the boiler was turned off at the spur and all he had to do was flick a switch. Can't complain, without the rent and the low mortgage interest rates we wouldn't be here.

I rewired some 12v sockets so we can watch the opening ceremony tonight, TV's been off over a week - I don't miss it. I remember when my sister in law chose not to have a TV (hi Lyn) she was probably only in her late twenty and kept getting hassled by the licence people 'but you must have a telly, if we catch you there will be a fine!'

Next, cook up yesterday's blackberries (no pectin or crab apples so its more compote than jam). Finally something for lunch. The cupboard is practically bare. We haven't done a shop for over a fortnight, just a couple of bits at tesco express that is now several miles away. It has been raining non stop and I want something hot. The last of the cheese in the last of the bread just won't cut the mustard I'm afraid. I'm not going to resort to porridge though :-). I've got some yellow split peas that make a nice soup, but they take a while to cook. Red lentils, that'll do, but it doesn't look promising as all I have to fortify it is a stock cube and some slightly mouldy tomato puree.

I've got plenty of spices, if in doubt get the chilly out. I remember the little foraging book my sisters other half bought me when we met recently, not the weather for mushroom hunting. I turn to the nettles right outside the galley window.

'Crew.....need a favour...!!' To make sure the pukka product was being harvested I hid her gloves, I couldn't think of a better way of telling what was what (Only kidding :-) )

I must say the result for only about 10p for the pan full was blooming good.

Tomato and lentil soup with buttered nettle puree

Very shortly afterwards (it was a late lunch) the rain looked like it was abating! XC weather reported a good chance of a dry evening but I wasn't expecting sun. We grabbed our boots and coats and headed off into the water park. The closest entrance being no more than about half a boat length away.

It was pleasant but I think we were the only ones here! If you're visiting make it on a Sunday, especially if you've got kids and it's out of school holidays as the little train only operates then.  We walked the road way back to the canal in the beating sun. Deb suggested a quick break in the dog and doublet canal side pub.... well it would be rude to refuse.

Swan lake

From the hyde

Bit boggy


Back garden of the workers cottages

Strange place, nearly very good but not quite. It was built before the canal as a residential home but changed to a pub only a couple of years later. A magnificent facade fronts onto the carpark, with kitchen and b&b rooms facing the westerly sunshine and neat canal side patio area. There is a beer garden and a play area to the side but no other access except for the main entrance. Without the views or canal there is no different to the atmosphere than any other pub. Very nice pint of mild though. The landlord was stuck in the eighties! He must have been an octogenarian himself. Working in the trade for so long I can spot the characters straight away -his way or no way! He gave an older barmaid a right telling off for serving a pint of lager with insufficient head. Fair enough, but not in the bar or earshot of the customers. He also had his massive 4x4 right outside the front door, how did I know? It was clearly marked in white road type writing all in its own box - 'LANDLORD ONLY'

Definitely not a place to avoid, but as we only get to a pub every month or so I am a bit pickier these days.

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