Lots of chatty walkers passed our mooring at 7am, waking us so we had a cuppa in bed earlier than normal. They were taking part in a 45km walk from the basin here through Lancaster, beyond and back. The car park next to the moorings which so far has managed to have around twenty cars in it was full. Mick was paper boy today, although the village shop didn’t have our usual paper, so we are coping with a substitute, it won’t last us as long as normal though.
Oleanna’s next service was due so Mick donned his overalls and climbed down into the engine bay. It was a 250 hour service which involves changing the oil and oil filters. But because we’ll be crossing the Ribble next week Mick wanted to check the fuel filters too, just in case. This isn’t due until the next service, but there would be nothing worse than to get a blockage on the high seas. First he checked the fuel filter, which was clean so everything was fine and dandy and no other action was required. He tightened the stern gland and broke for some lunch.
Whilst he was getting close and dirty with Oleanna I spent the morning ripping, twisting and winding the first lot of fabric I bought in Preston the other day. I intend on crocheting a bag with this homemade chunky yarn and if my friend Julia thinks it is sellable I suspect I’ll be making some more. The fabric I got though did create a lot of dust as I was ripping it up into 3cm strips. Next time I’ll do this outside to avoid fluff. With two full reels of yarn ready I can make a start.
Once lunch was over Mick ran the engine for a while to help warm up the oil so that it is easier to deal with. He then set to changing the oil.
Meanwhile I busied myself with a very important trip. A walk along Ten Row brought me to The Smoke House. There was a steady stream of people into the shop, never busy, but just constant. What to buy? I was here on my own, this could have been quite costly, but I was good and managed to select several things that were on offer. My bag took on weight as the credit card got a little lighter. A pair of kippers, smoked salmon, white and black pudding, Cumberland sausages, smoked garlic, Lancashire cheese and some smoked mackerel for a kedgeree tonight.
Bridget had spent the morning picking Blackberries and had a surplus so a large bag came our way. These have taken up what space was left in the freezer, a pot of compote has been made to spoon over cereal and a blackberry cobbler is ready to go in the oven for pudding tonight. I’ve had a go at making it with gluten free flour, here’s hoping it works.
Once all the oil was changed Mick turned the engine over, except it wouldn’t start! It had worked earlier after he’d looked at the fuel filter, so why not now! Oleanna’s engine is different to Lillian’s, things are in different places. Lillian had an electric pump, so the fuel system didn’t need bleeding. Oleanna doesn’t. He thought he’d bled the system, but he hadn’t undone the bleeding screw. Once this was done she started up first time. Phew, we won’t be stuck in Glasson, nice as it is.
I went for a visit to Christ Church a short distance back up the towpath. There had been a Teddy Bears picnic today and large chalky paw prints covered the footpath. But now the church grounds were quiet. I pushed the door and entered the friendly church. Quite simple with oak pews, a few stained glass windows and a very simple organ sitting on a balcony. There were lots of flowers everywhere. A couple of plaques commemorate members of the Nicholson family who built boats in the basin from the 1830’s.
Today the towpath has been busy, plenty of curious gongoozlers. As soon as you show your head outside comments and questions would start, Tilly gets them too. A couple of chaps were even pacing out the length of Blackbird this afternoon. Sat inside you can hear everything that is being said, we can’t hep but comment back. A group of very enthusiastic children have just come past, they were astounded ‘Look how Tiny the doors are!’ That’s because I don’t need big doors.
0 locks, 0 miles, 1.5m x 2.2m ripped twisted and wound, 2 reels of yarn, 1 clean fuel filter, 9 litres oil, 1 oil filter, 1 engine 2 quiet, 1 bleeding screw, 1 engine purr, 2 kippers, 6 sausages, 1 bulb garlic, 2 puddings, 1 small church, 18 paw prints, 50p a book, 3 potential puddings, 1 pot of red, 6 tiny doors.