Blackberries, Elderberries and Plums.

Our galley slave Amy has been hard at work but to stop her going hungry during the week she needed to get out on the towpath and forage for her supper. Thankfully it’s berry season and it didn’t take long before Amy was starting to look like a blackberry she’d eaten so many.

Our most prolific haul came when an oncoming boater called out that he’d just passed a bush laden with ripe berries at the next bridge. As this was off towpath side they could only be reached by Eric hovering the boat and us leaning out of the bow.

Between us we made Blackberry and apple pie,

 coconut and blackberry traybake and  Blackberry jam for the croissants.

Then we started on the elderberries and and made Elderberry cordial.

When we researched our recipes online we discovered that elderberries their leaves and stems are toxic when raw and can cause sickness. So we simmered and stirred

then strained and cooled and diluted with sparkling water.  It frothed up into a real potion, but tasted delicious.

The tow path was scattered with squashed black stuff where we moored and as we looked up into the tree we realised it was a plum tree but they were just out of reach to pick. Amy had the bright idea of using the pole and hook to shake the branches whilst I grovelled around picking up any that looked like they’d survived gravity.

The mild concussion I suffered from the raining plums didn’t last long and We were all enjoying a ‘plum bakewell tart’

Eric thinks we should keep a galley slave permenantly cause he certainly doesn’t get cakes like this when I’m in charge….

Visitors on board

Oh ho, so I’ve come to realise that visitors and blogging don’t make good partners, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything.

Over the last week we have been joined by Amy.  Her mum and I used to be work colleagues and to ease my conscience for swanning it around when the rest of my friends are still slogging it out doing silly nurses shifts, we offered to have 11 year old Amy for the week. Of course it wasn’t simply an act of generosity,  we wanted someone younger and fitter to work the locks for us .


Amy, who’s never been on a narrow boat before proved her worth and became a full member of our crew. It puts me to shame how quickly and well she steered the boat.

Our cruising plan for the week was to pick up Amy at Norton junction, cruise back to Warwick, visit the castle and return as far as we could back towards Braunston.