We've had some amazing storms over the past few days and these cygnets had had enough when it poured down again yesterday. They just tucked their heads under their wings and rode it out, carrying on eating weed just as soon as the storm passed.
I used the time to sort out my preserves cupboard and bottled last years cherry brandy. I've hidden these 3 bottles to mature until Christmas but I don't think the remaining half bottle will last until tomorrow let alone Christmas. It looks like we're in for a bumper crop of blackberries this year. All along the Bridgewater Canal the bushes are really well laden. Last year was a disaster and I only just found enough blackberries to make jam for ourselves. Usually I make enough for all the family and friends as well. It should also be a good year for sloes and I've got a few Blackthorn bushes mapped out ready for harvesting at the end of Autumn. Hopefully no-one will beat me to them and I'll be able to make plenty of sloe gin for next year..
The sun was back again today and we had a visit from Jimmy and his wife. We cruised to Astley and went in the Old Boat for an excellent lunch of home-made game pie followed by a leisurely cruise up to Plank Lane to top up with water. It was scorching on the return trip but luckily there was a nice breeze and it was extremely pleasant sitting in the shade in the bow.
Jimmy was our cabinet maker and worked for us for about 8 years while we were building boats. He's profoundly deaf and we haven't seen him since we closed the company. We were amazed just how much sign language we'd remembered and we had a great time catching up.