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  • clivenmel

Jan 25th

Normal 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} We kept our rendezvous with Peter and Pat around 11.00am but both boats needed water so we dealt with that first.  Well at least Clive did, I was busy in the galley preparing our dinner!  I have had a vacuum packed half leg of lamb in the freezer for a very long time, so long in fact that it was actually in my freezer at home for a while before we set off!  I had said to Clive that the next time we had a reasonably full-bodied wine we must save a glass and I would cook the lamb � we had such a bottle on Friday night!  So out came the lamb to defrost overnight and in the morning I prepared it, stuck it in the oven on Gas Mark 3 and left it ALL day!  More later!   Well once that was sorted out I donned my leather trousers (courtesy of Thelma!) - they are warm and reasonably waterproof!  Then I rushed off to join Pat who was setting the first lock.  All in all it was a very pleasant morning, the sun was shining, we had good company and no real problems with the locks.  I did think at one point though that Peter had decided to leave Pat as he appeared to be turning his boat round in the pound and heading back the other way!  In actual fact the force of the water leaving the next lock as we were emptying it was pushing his boat sideways and actually turning it.  I managed to give him a push off from the bank over on the left side � by which time he was completely at right angles to the lock!  It just goes to show that even seasoned veterans can get caught out sometimes by the mighty force of water!   Peter and Pat live on their 62� long Molly May II � they sold their house in Cornwall and moved on board ostensibly for two years - that was ten years ago!  Peter gave Clive lots of hints and tips for travelling up the East Anglian waters � they have done it several times. Pat gave me lots of great cooking tips!  She uses her stove for cooking a lot of the time.  She has an old pressure cooker which she uses for cooking casseroles on the top of their stove and they have a chain which goes around the chimney to ensure it doesn�t come a cropper when they are cruising!  She also wraps potatoes in tinfoil and sticks them in the stove to cook and says they are delicious � definitely going to try that.  I remember doing it when we were kids on bonfire night � throwing the spuds on the bonfire and onions wrapped in tinfoil too � yummy!  She also told me that she does a sort of Lyonnaise potato thingy in a shallow dish, well wrapped in tinfoil placed under the coals in the bottom of the stove where the ash tray goes � good idea!  Cooking for free � brilliant!  I also realised whilst we were discussing potatoes that I didn�t have enough for our tea!  Pat very kindly said she could let me have a few to augment the ones I had � thank you Pat, very much appreciated.   Anyway, before we knew it we were up through the five locks and it was time for us to say goodbye to Pat and Peter.  We are staying put in Stoke Bruerne till Tuesday and they were carrying on to Blisworth.  We swapped emails so that we could keep in touch � isn�t technology wonderful.   We went up to the pub for a drink or two then back to the boat for our luscious slow cooked lamb in red wine with rosemary � ooh it was lovely!   Now Stoke Bruerne is a very pretty place, there are a couple of pubs � one The Boat Inn is olde worldy and The Navigation, which definitely isn�t!  There is a rather posh restaurant but,  other than the Canal Museum Shop and a Canal shop, which just sells gifts there is nowhere to buy food!   We now have no butter left, very little milk, a little brown loaf which has been in the freezer since we set off and is freezer burnt and not much else!  Fortunately I did have a tub of Bolognese sauce in the freezer and also had some spaghetti, thank goodness, so we did have something for dinner tonight.  I also reheated the bolognese sauce in a casserole on top of our little stove - it worked a treat!  But we can�t last out any longer, so we are going to get the bus into Towcester tomorrow morning and do some shopping � great excitement � an expedition! In the evening we are being picked up at 7.30pm by Malcolm Hysom, the son of our good friends Jim and Jean from our village.  Malcolm lives in nearby Pattishall and he and his wife Fiona are taking us to a folk club in Towcester � we are really looking forward to that.    So until the next time�����������      

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