Saturday 2 September

Noise on the towpath at 7am this morning stirred me into consciousness.  Voices, laughter and footsteps lasted for quite a while and it turned out to be walkers, runners and joggers heading out of the village to take part in the Lancaster Pure Challenge, a 45K route along the canal through Lancaster to Bolton-le-Sands and back.

The paper boy texted to see if we’d like him to pick up a paper for us and this arrived soon afterwards. Thanks Mick.

The sky was already a clear blue and the forecast suggested it was going to be a hot day so I grabbed some food bags and headed out alone to go and pick some blackberries.

Storm stayed behind to walk Max, read the papers and shop for some bread and sugar.

Bramble picking cannot be a popular past-time here as there was just so much ripe fruit waiting to be picked close to the village.  I didn’t need to walk very far – I just shuffled along the hedgerow and I returned with about 3 lb of fruit and very purple fingers.  The size of my pan governs how much jam I can make, and I reckon that the pan will hold 2 lb of fruit without boiling over.   I set about making a batch of bramble jelly.   The sieved fruit provided 3 pints of juice.  I’ve been saving glass jars for the last month and thankfully I just had enough.

I’d also picked brambles for Pip and she said she’d be making a bramble and apple crumble or two.

Our gas bottle ran out just as I’d put the fruit on the hob so Storm had to swap the bottles over before I could carry on.  A full gas bottle is too heavy for me to lift.  We always carry a spare and we’ll get a new one when we next fill up with diesel.

Once the jelly was bottled and cooling, Storm and I went out to enjoy the afternoon sunshine.   We walked round by the church and then headed to the Smoke House where we bought a selection of smoked cheese, a piece of smoked haddock, and some black pudding.

The village was busy today with sightseers, walkers, bikers, motorbikers, fishermen, sailors and this evening it is a tranquil haven again with just the occasional seagull’s screech.

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