Thursday, 23 June 2016

Welsh Road (will have to move on in a few days)

Monday was so wet that I stayed in most of the day and cooked a couple of curries for the evening.  I always find that making curry pastes from first principles takes forever and that the amount of paste created seems out of proportion to the time it takes to make it.  Anyway it’s always worth it as we invariably have a couple of portions of curry left for the freezer and that’s after making biryani with the leftovers  which we had for dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday was a little brighter so Buddy and I walked to Long Itchington to get some supplies.  Just outside the village, preparations were underway for what I assume is a local show. 

There were three tractors at work whilst the marquee was going up

It seemed odd that the marquee was up but there were still tractors in the field baling up the cut grass for haylage.  It wasn’t for hay as the cut grass needs to be tedded up and allowed to dry out in the sun for a few days before baling.  When I used to work on farms (40+ years ago!) the cut grass was collected into high trailers which were taken back to the farm yard when full.  The grass was then tipped out into a huge pile and formed into a clamp (like a wedge of Wensleydale cheese).  The clamp of grass then decomposed into lovely sweet smelling brown silage to feed the cattle in the winter.  I think that when it is baled (as seems to be the case nowadays), before the grass dries out to become hay, it is called haylage which I know is often fed to horses.

Looking around the village I came across a ghost sign that I hadn’t seen before.  In a way I regret not having taken pictures of the ghost signs and adverts we have come across on our travels around the country as they can only decline in numbers as development continues apace.

I wonder if plumbing and glazing stayed in the family

On our way back from our walk I was pleased to find my first Ringlet butterfly of the year.  During July there are usually many Ringlets around but there is always the excitement of seeing the first ones as they indicate, to me, that summer is with us.

Today is polling day in the EU referendum and my sister Judith has voted for us by proxy.  I’ll be glad to see the back of the debates which appear on all forms of media including social media.  Talking of social media I have mentioned before that there are many FaceBook groups for narrowboaters and I have probably mentioned that nearly all of them have their fair share of moaners.  What I find sad is that it’s always the same old gripes:

  • ·         People going too fast
  • ·         Shiny boaters constantly polishing their brassware
  • ·         Hire boaters not being trained properly
  • ·         Boaters overstaying on moorings
  • ·         People mooring up at lock landings and water points
  • ·         Etc. etc.

I don’t mean to put a down on the boating community because boaters tend to be a really friendly and helpful bunch.  It’s just like any community there’s always someone who wants to have a moan.

The point of this verbiage about FaceBook  is that I have recently joined a new group that is aimed at cooking on narrowboats.  It is a really friendly group and I have yet to see anyone putting anyone else down or moaning about non cooking issues.  It really is amazing what some boaters manage to prepare and cook on their boats.

On Thursday our walk took us along yet another unclassified/unmade road to Snowford (one of my favourite pastimes).

Buddy in front as is his wont when going somewhere new

After Snowford we joined a normal country road that led to Long Itchington.  Again, I was reminded of how quiet Warwickshire is and why we like it so much. 

We walked two miles along this road and only one car passed us and that was a farm vehicle

The nearest field is wheat and is still very green.  The next field up is barley and is beginning to turn yellow.  The farmhouse at the top of the hill is massive for a modern house – amazing how people get to build these places nowadays.

All our daughters and one son are staying with us in a cottage on a farm in Anglesey this weekend.  My best friend's son is getting married to a lovely Welsh girl and we have all been invited.  Even Buddy is coming as the farmers will look after him whilst we are at the wedding.  

When we get back on Sunday it'll be time to move the boat as we will have been here for two weeks - how time flies!

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