Archive for May 2012

Boats, Birthday and Jam

Myself and the Munchkin have had a busy few days. First off there was the Village Festival at the weekend, although we only went along for Saturday as we had friends visiting Sunday.
Monday was a special day for me – at least it would’ve been if I was younger – it was my birthday and for a special treat I took the Munchkin for a walk and a spot of geocaching. We’d not been out walking for a while so it was only going to be a short stroll, just 4 or so miles, along the Grand Union Canal south from Whilton.
We both enjoy walking along the canal; Me as it gives me a chance to look at boats and enjoy the peacefulness of everything: The Munchkin because it gives her a chance to shout ‘dggg’ at everything that moves – except ducks which she rightly shouts ‘du’ at.
The peacefulness that I enjoy so much isn’t always easy to find along the canal. This stretch just so happens to have the M1 on one side and a mainline railway the other side. Still it was a lovely walk.

There is another reason I choose this area to walk. We are making plans to move onto a boat to live and at Whilton there is a good boat brokerage and two chandleries that I could poke around. More about the change of lifestyle in a future post.

Yesterday was shopping day. This meant me and the Munchkin went off to the local Mothercare to get some supplies and then the supermarket to get the weeks shopping.
I truly despise shopping at the supermarket. Some of you may remember my parking rant and this is one of the reasons I hate shopping. This weeks episode saw no less than 3 cars parking in ‘parent and child spaces’ who clearly did not have children. Just had a thought, I’m going to email the supermarket and see what they have to say about it.

Last week whilst shopping I came out of the supermarket and watched a guy get out of his car, lock it, stand next to my car and then drop some litter. I helpfully pointed out that he had dropped something but he just sneered at me and walked off. He was parked in a parent and child space too!
Anyway, I digressed. Today we’ve been making jam. I say we but I actually mean me. I’ve been to the allotment a few times in the last week (update on that blog coming soon!) and we’ve had lots of rhubarb. Last week we had lots of rhubarb crumble at home and I thought I’d try my hand at making jam.
It turned out lovely, so lovely in fact that I had to collect some more rhubarb from the allotment last night and make some more jam today.
I must say, I’m looking forward to sampling this batch Smile

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The village is having its annual festival this weekend so this means the air is filled with the sound of folk music and morris bells.



The Munchkin hadn’t been born last year when the festival was on so it was only fair that I took her for a wander around the village and introduce her to the festival.

The festival itself is a strange affair. The village has a park at its heart, which would be a natural place to hold most events. The problem is the park is one side of the small valley the village is built around and so is very steep.

So in order to get around this the village have the start of the festival, things like crowning the May Queen, in the park. After this there is a procession around the village.

You’d think the procession would take in all of the village in one go but it doesn’t. What actually happens is they make it as far as the first pub and everyone gathers around to watch some morris dancing.


After this the May Queen and her attendants get back into the Maycart and the procession starts again – Until it reaches the village center (and another pub) where everyone gathers round again for more morris dancing.


It was at this stage in the proceedings that I wandered off to look around the ‘pop-up’ art gallery in the car repair garage, had a quick chat with some people I knew and then wandered around the small park and it’s really really bad stalls.

As you enter the small park there is a candy floss stand, not a bad start I guess. This is then followed by a hook a duck stall and one of those ‘kick-the-ball-through-the-hole-that-it-only-just-fits-through’ stalls. For a small village festival it’s not looking too bad. I’ll not bother describing the sweet stalls or the WI stall selling cake. Instead I want to skip to the stall that was selling fitted kitchens and solar panels. I thought that a bit odd.

Having had my daily fix of looking at fitted kitchen brochures me and the Munchkin wandered back to the morris dancing and arrived in time for the announcement that the Maycart would be moving on again. The next stop would be the pub at the far end of the village!


Off we went to yet another pub to watch more morris dancing.


All the time the Munchkin was loving watching the men jumping around with bells on them whilst waving sticks or hankies, among other things!



This is where we left the fun. The morris dancing carried on at the pub then about 4pm they all wandered to the local park where there was more morris dancing followed by much drinking and even more morris dancing.

Of course the festival went on until the early hours, I know this because the festival marquee is just two fields away from our back door. This doesn’t bother us at all though.

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