Sunday, 22 February 2015

Foul day – fine dinner!

Just what you need at the end of a horrible day
Tonight's dinner was by far the best thing about today: venison hot-pot served in Yorkshire pudding boats. And wide-beam ones at that! This is what you get when you're lucky enough to be married to Canal Boat mag's cookery correspondent.
The weather forecast for today proved to be spot on. After a very sharp overnight frost, we got up to a cloudy day with a sharp, sharp wind and rain forecast from midday on. So we pulled the pins early and headed the couple of miles to the former mining town of Brownhills where there's a CRT service station and both Aldi and Tesco close to the canalside moorings.
No sooner had we rounded our first bend than we came upon ice across the canal – just a thin sheet and easy to crack through. It's more of the same Curley Wurley mixing semi-rural and urban with the odd bit of industry, in this case a canalside waste site, thrown in. And, today, patches of ice too.
Semi-sunk like an abandoned ship - a sofa drifts in the drink
As we neared the edge of Brownhills we spotted our most extreme example of rubbish dumping yet: in the woodland on the off-side were a three piece suite and an armchair. How did they get there? It would have been easier to take them to a tip than haul them there surely. And then shortly after, drifting mid-canal like an abandoned ship, was yet another sofa. Again, carrying it there down the towpath; throwing it in – why not just take it to the council tip?
And so, with the icy wind blowing ever harder, we came into Brownhills to find an ultra-modern services building shared with the local canoe club followed by a quarter mile of mooring bollards with three other boats already on them.
Only snag was that we couldn't get closer than two feet from the edge so it was plank down time again.
By the time we moored the rain was pouring and the wind even harsher. We called time on the day. Tomorrow would surely be better.
Filling with water before mooring at a surprisingly busy Brownhills wharf


  1. Presumably it's much more fun seeing how big a splash you can make by heaving it over the bridge.

  2. I thought that you were looking for some armchairs for Harry! Then when you find them, you satisfying some folk(-: