Wild Willoughby

It was time to leave Braunston but we wanted a few low key days in the countryside before we got to Rugby. The weather was ‘British’ eg unpredictable so we only cruised a short way out of Braunston up the North Oxford.

Past the poor boat that burnt out. I don’t know any details but hope there weren’t any people hurt. And I hope that whoever is responsible can remove the debris before too long.

A lot of the canal is overgrown making mooring tricky but we found ourselves some piling and settled down to explore.

I found the essential hedgerows delicatessen to provide me with Hedgerow Jam, crab apples, plums (or damsons) rose hips, haws, sloes and blackberries.

I’m still not 100% sure if the sloes are ready, I was advised that if you can bite into one without the taste making your lips curl they were OK. Although every bit of previous knowledge says the sloes shouldn’t be ready yet. However I managed to make a few pots of jam that have gone down very well with scones and clotted cream.

Mashing and straining the pulp etc is a bit of a palava on a boat so I think I will be sticking to straight blackberry jam in future.

On my wandering walks through Willoughby I came across a herd of alpacas. They are the cute and curious. And if I could have one on the boat this is the one I’d choose

Although when I looked down at my feet and saw that my toes had turned orange, I got a bit worried, I’m still not sure what caused my new pigmentation but ignorance is bliss. If my toes fall off or I turn into an alpaca I’ll let you know.