We were not meant to stop here. I cannot remember why now. It is usually very busy but last night we ran out of day light and so far this morning I have not stuck my head out of the hatch to see how many neighbours we have.
That said, I do like Tixall Wide. I like the way it has pretensions. It is astonishing to think that when it was built the landowners insisted that it was ‘improved’ to make the view from the house more pleasing. They did not want an industrial eye sore spoiling their breakfast. Consequently, it looks more like a lake than a canal. But the navvies that had their workload more than doubled and sweated to build this by hand, had the last laugh. Nothing remains of the house but the gatehouse. The working man’s toil has outlasted the aristocrat’s place of ease. Some justice in that, I think.
Thanks to the will-I-won’t-I-be-going-into-hospital dilemma, this week away has been very badly planned with the decision to go only being taken on Wednesday. In some ways, it is easier to be less than 100% here than at home. I remain on ‘light duties’ when it comes to locking with the Captain gallantly single handing several yesterday. He has even taken on the foraging which really is above and beyond the call! As we were waiting to go through the very pretty lock at Gailey, he brought me a handful of damsons and asked for a bag.
I then stood at the foot of the heavily laden tree while he scrambled up and shook its branches. The very ripe fruit positively leapt off with squeals of delight at being discovered. We ended up with 1.35kg in less than ten minutes. The tree is just by the BW rubbish point at the lock landings. I am not sure what I will be doing with them so for now, they are in the freezer compartment of the fridge. I did not bring my preserving pan with me. Shocking, I know, but I do not have the energy for jamming. I am tempted to make more damson gin but I do not want to use up all my gin supplies as I am hoping for an abundance of sloes on this trip. Perhaps a damson pie is in order?
It breaks my heart to see so much fruit just going to waste. There are schemes popping up to try to rectify that. In Birmingham, there is Urban Harvest and Fruitshare is a nationwide scheme. I am sure there are others. I find it difficult to leave fruit when I can see it is just going to rot, but there is only so much one person can do!
No recipes in this post, at least not directly. But I will tell you about the delicious Mary Berry Lemon Drizzle Cake I made. It is a special cake. It is a cake that can change the world.
The recipe is here and you can read how my lovely friend Joy used its delicious lemony power. I, on the other hand, just ate it 🙂