Tag Archives: canals

Another Short Post

 

When Julia had her funny turn, as I now refer to it, she left her keys with one of the other staff members when she was taken off in the ambulance. Today, we arranged a meeting with suitable social distancing, to get the keys back. I stayed in the car. Did you know that it takes forty minutes for two women to pass over a set of keys? Slightly over forty minutes in fact, but writing “forty three minutes” seems overly pedantic.

It’s amazing to think of the events in between the two things – hospital, holiday, isolation…

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Different lighting – different mood

Tomorrow we are going gardening. I’m going to make smoked mackerel pate tonight and we will have sandwiches, Scotch eggs and tea. It will be nice to get out. As a bonus, I should be able to get some decent new photographs.

Julia is currently outside taking yet another work call. She has left the back door open and I can hear the screaming of swifts outside. Inside, Timothy West and Prunella Scales are cruising through Yorkshire on a canal boat.

I’m watching Outback Opal Hunters at the moment. It’s fascinating stuff, though I’d rather be a gold prospector. You don’t have to work underground to find gold, which is a distinct advantage for someone who doesn’t like confined spaces. I don’t want to be crushed under tons of rock either, or poisoned by poor quality air.

Despite everything I say about vegetating in front of the TV, it can be an educational experience.

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Front garden – out of control

Snapshot

I decided to do three or four short posts today by way of a change. I did about 1,500 words last night, which now need editing, and I am looking for a change of pace.

It’s just after 7.00 and I have been watching a programme about canals. I like canals but I’m too rickety to start canal cruising now. I will have a short daydream tonight about how I should have started 30 years ago, then I will switch over to the lottery winner daydream.  If I win the lottery I can buy a luxury narrow boat and a crew to do all the work. Sounds like a workable system.

Julia is currently on some sort of technological miracle that allows various people to squawk at her, even though it’s several hours after the end of her working day. It’s going to be fun when she goes back to work if they all insist on ringing her in the evening too.

Time to start cooking now, but I’m not sure what to have.

We have some breaded chicken which I bought because I was fed up with high-quality healthy ingredients. It was cheap and, after eating the first half of the packet, it seems to be value for money. Didn’t cost much, tastes like eating a pan scourer.

There is also the remains of last week’s gammon joint, which has already provided two meals, and a large bag of ready cut stir-fry vegetables which have come with noodles and sauce as a special deal.

Then there are the ratatouille and baked potato options, the veggie curries and the stews…

So much food.

Decision time. Gammon wins, on the grounds that if I leave it too long it has the power to kill me. And it’s easy to throw some veg in the oven and walk away instead of fiddling about with loads of ingredients.

That’s 311 words, so it’s quite a long snapshot.

Photo is a Green Woodpecker from our farm days.

More from Stoke

After a look found the shopping village, and a disappointing look round the Portmeirion shop we stuck another postcode in the satnav and set off for Dudson. (The shopping village postcode is ST4 8JG if you want it, and Dudson ST6 2BA). Dudson is mainly hotel ware and the shop can be quite good for cheap mugs. Julia bought a teapot to replace the one she bought last year, which is now chipped.

We passed Moorcroft on the way, but didn’t have time to stop (ST6 2DQ). Then it was time for Middleport (where I took most of the photographs. It’s the pottery where they shot The Great Pottery Throw Down. That’s ST6 3PE if you’re planning a trip. I’m not particularly keen on their factory shop, but they do other things too, including a narrow boat which used to carry clay from Cornwall and take finished pots to the port of Liverpool. Canals must have been wonderful things at one time.

I had to check how the canals brought clay to the Potteries, as there is no canal from Cornwall. It seems they used to bring them in via various places – first shipping the clay up to Liverpool and Hull before bringing it closer by river, then using packhorses for the last bit. You can see how the canal must have made things much easier. With the canal you can bring clay from either port to a wharf alongside the pottery.

The tearoom is quite good (though we didn’t eat this time, still being full of breakfast). It seemed a bit over-staffed for the business if was doing (three staff to six customers) and wasn’t as clean as it could be – a problem when you have an old building and tables made of old planks. There could be a solution to both problems – get the spare staff cleaning!

After failing to find anything in the factory shop we popped a hundred yards down the road to William Edwards. No postcode needed – it’s next door to the last one. Julia was happy because she bought a square plate. It seems that we need a square plate. I suppose it’s easier for sandwiches and Battenburg cake.

That left us with just one errand to do – looking for a Christmas present from Portmeirion. There are three Portmeirion shops in Stoke, which was a good thing, as the first one had been disappointing. I stuck in one of the other postcodes and we ended up at the old Phoenix Works, which was a place we’d been before. It solved the problem and produced the necessary christmas present. ST3 1EZ, for those contemplating a visit.