Now it is my wont, come bedtime, to retire to Chertsey's back cabin, where, having previously lit the fire and set a kettle of water on the stove, I enjoy the ritual of washing in the handbowl, the cabin by now being marvellously warm. Last night though this proved a little too successful; the ambient temperature was so mild, and my fire so successful, that it was far too hot to go to sleep until well after midnight, and only then after lying with the doors open for a while. (Not that I am complaining about the mildness mind; far from it. And today was beautiful, and we finally got Chertsey's hold pumped out and the willow leaves swept off both boats).
Tonight I am trying a different tack. A mild night is forecast again, so I haven't lit the stove - instead I shall rely solely on Lionel the hot water bottle (in the form of a lion; rescued from a jumble sale floor for 10p and as loyal a bedmate as anyone could wish for). Of course the proof will come in the chill of the morning, but I will try and toughen up (I was once described by an old lady with whom I worked as a 'hot house flower' and I don't think it was meant as a compliment).
The whole of Bakewell is tidy now, and there are still some empty cupboards! Hooray! And as tonight's impromptu plant based dinner was such a success I couldn't resist photographing it, and here it is.
Spinach and chick pea curry:
Fry two sliced onions until soft, add two dessertspoons of curry paste (Madras in this case) and a bag of spinach, roughly chopped. Stir in a drained tin of chickpeas. Cook gently until spinach has gone all soggy. Stir in three quarters of a tub of left over hummous (optional). Serve with brown rice and a drizzle of tamarind sauce (Smethwick impulse purchase).