Thursday, 30 September 2010

Boats, Gin and Oatcakes

We are just back from our week on Jemima D. The boat feels so much nicer to use with her snug dry new top, and she performed flawlessly throughout the week, despite her elderly little engine being scheduled for a thorough overhaul and rebuild. Life on a narrowboat, watching the world go by at three miles per hour, with pauses to work through locks, is a great stress-buster.. We found a handy canal-side damson tree. We put Jemima's bow into the bank and filled a bucket with ripe fruits to take home for damson gin making.

As nearly all of our boating was on the glorious Caldon Canal, we were in North Staffordshire for the week - homeland of the scandously over-looked Staffordshire Oatcake. These divinely-inspired creations, rolled up with fillings such as bacon, cheese, eggs or balck pudding are the ideal boater's breakfast. Recipe here.

Staffordshire is a lovely county, and I would urge UK "staycationers" to go and check out its waterways and scenery. There's lot more to the place than Alton Towers and The Potteries.


  1. Your boat trip sounds wonderful, Richard. My mom and her husband have a sailboat, and when we go along for a weekend, I find it so relaxing to be on the water. Glad you could get away!


  2. My other half has been trying to sell Staffordshire to me for some time. He regularly goes up there for his work. I'm starting to believe it. We've been talking about a canal holiday too as it's something I think I could manage.

  3. Jo, a canal holiday is a good PWME activity as you set your own pace. The Caldon is a good first canal holiday choice - nothing too strenuous and plenty to see/do.

    Don't take on a circular trip at first - you might find yourself pressed for time to complete it. Go on an out and back trip - if you turn the boat round and head back half way through, you'll be back to hire base on time with no worries. Try Black Prince at Etruria.