Market Harborough, 0 miles, 0 locks
As predicted the rain started thundering on the roof at about 2am, waking me up and stopping me from getting back to sleep properly. So disturbed was my sleep that I snoozed through to pill time, which I've reset back to a more usual 11am. I mooched around the boat a bit then edited my previous post about the Foxton lift, having decided that if I included a picture of it, it'd all be a lot clearer. I was quite shocked at how much I wrote yesterday—it seemed to be quite an epic for a day where not much happened—and I was dismayed at how sloppy some of the language, imagery and spelling was, so I fiddled until I'd tightened it up.
Went to see Debbie about staying for a few more days, only to find that the office closed at 12:30 and I'd missed her. Oh well, I'll still be here on Thursday when it re-opens. I'd taken my loo with me to empty it at the services that are so prominently advertised around the basin and was interrupted by Paul, who was at work and on the 'high visibility' help desk, and who needed to talk to someone other than irate customers. As we were talking, Dave, of Dave and Pam, waved at me from their boat, which they'd brought into the basin and parked by one of the diagonal 'drive in' pontoons. I emptied the loo and was on the way back to Oothoon, when we passed—me at water level and him at ground level. A quick hello turned into quite a long chat about the state of the rivers, how they were doing, how he'd popped home on the train and come back by car in a mere two hours (probably a six day round trip by boat), about the breach on the Stourbridge canal and the two boaters who'd been killed on their boat by someone they'd met in the pub. After a while Pam appeared—presumably to find out where Dave had gone because he'd been missing for so long. They'd decided that there was only going to be one dry day between now and the weekend, and they had stuff to do at the weekend, so they'd booked the boat in and were off home until Monday. Seemed sensible to me, although I'll miss them. They've said that they'll read the blog, so if you are reading, hello! [fx: waves]
Speaking of reading blogs, two unexpected things have happened: when I logged into Facebook to join the we bastard love cookie and ida group that Paul told me about on the phone, I'd had a message from the captain of nb Debdale, who said that he was enjoying reading my blog and how it was a shame that I hadn't enjoyed the Leicester summit level because it was lovely. That was surprising enough, since I don't know him and had no idea how he'd found me, but later, when I was catching up with my blog backlog (Apple launched new iPods today and I was agog to hear about them) I discovered that this blog has been mentioned in a very complimentary way on Granny Buttons! How did that happen?! Ahh the internet—everything really is deeply intertwingled! Anyway, I've created a little 'See Also' thingamajig so you can go have a look for yourselves.
The rest of the day was mainly spent asleep. The rain had been on and off all day, and it was too late to go to Leicester, so I figured that a nap would do me good. As I haven't been shopping and had a sprouting potato, a wilting courgette and a down-at-heel leek to use up, dinner was Scumbalina Fish Pie Deluxe! Classier sounding than it is, it's based on a recipe that Suggs from Madness was giving on the radio when I was travelling up to Hull in the car a few weeks ago. In his recipe, you chuck some frozen fish fingers in the bottom of a dish, cover with a tin of baked beans and top with mash. Pop in a hot oven for 30 minutes until bean "magma" is erupting though the potato crust. Like I say: fish fingers, beans and potato—typical Scumbalina fare—but with a layer of lightly sautéd courgettes between the beans and the potato, and with the mash topped with leeks and a little bit of grated Red Leicester, it suddenly becomes something you could serve to anyone as a tasty supper dish. (Delia Cheat fans can substitute ready-sliced courgette, Aunt Bessie "Home Style" frozen mashed potato, ready-chopped leeks and pre-grated mature cheddar to make it in a trice!)