Friday, 12 October 2012

Work on Wednesday, and the largest vessel I have piloted into the lock at Tilbury in quite a time.

At 227 metres long and 32 wide, it only just fitted in the lock with its two tugs, (the lock size in metres is 305 x 33) fortunately the wind was only light and it was just about slack water, it made the manoeuvre a bit easier, but as ever I couldn’t have done it without the tugs assistance.
Despite the fact that it was a clear dry morning when I left Gravesend, it very soon started to rain. I hate driving home in the rain, (and it was torrential for most of the journey) after a day at work, but worse was to come. Whilst passing through the Blackdown Hills, which is a lovely place in good weather, but not when it's pouring with rain, you’ve been up all night and the person in front is braking hard every time they hit a puddle, causing me to do the same, (I was taught NOT to brake in any sort of standing water but perhaps that’s just me being an old git!)  a stone chip hit my windscreen, which promptly cracked right across. So I had to spend Friday waiting for the replacement to be fitted. So as I was captive, I used the time to catch up on a few jobs.
Starting with my home made wine, I had several things happening, my Parsnip has overflowed due to a strong ferment and I now have a lot less than I started with,

I also racked my third batch of Rose Petal and started brewing the fourth.
I had Rose Petal (batch 2) and Blackberry wines which had been racked for a month or so, and were ready to bottle,

 I put these in all the old sauce bottles that I managed to get corks for.

 Of course I had to have a little taste, to check the sweetness, and was surprised to find a big difference between the different batches of Rose Petal. It's really is quite amazing, I suppose it depends on the proportions of petals from different plants, but there is a change in the flavour with every batch.
I am very excited, because my advance order of the new William Horwood book has arrived.

 So you can expect a silence for a few days whilst I read it, probably in one sitting. I’ve got a big pile of books to read, but this one will go to the top.
 I also made two loaves, a Wholemeal a la Paul Hollywood, and a Honey and Seed from a Wessex Mills mixture, to which I added some mixed dried fruit.

Naturally, the Windscreen fitter appeared at the same time as my loaves were just about ready to come out of the oven, but I managed to juggle it all.
The weather has certainly changed over the last few days, although Friday was very nice, our house seems to have gone from Fly Towers to Condensation Cottage in a short space of time (Yvonne’s description)
I brought two Pyrex loaf pans for 50p each, even if I don’t use them for bread, I’m sure they will be handy, I can’t help buying things that “May be useful”.

Talking of which, I found half a bottle of Vodka, that I had left over from the Seville Orange liqueur, and some Lemons, so I made Limoncello, which certainly tastes fairly authentic.

 It will go nicely with the Yule feast, maybe in the mince pies or helping to glaze Gammon.

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