Monday 30 September 2013

Sunday Baking

I had a few over ripe bananas hanging around the kitchen, each time I looked at them I thought to myself that I must make some banana bread.  When others pointed out the bananas were past their best as I said "they are perfect for making banana bread". So, the thoughts and the talk blended into Sunday morning baking action:

Mash two bananas

Mix butter & sugar together, add a couple of eggs and blend, fold in sifted flour with a dash of baking power and then add bananas

Pour mixture into a 2 Ibs loaf tin, top with sliced banana and a sprinkle of sugar, then bake!
Ta-Dah! - Yummy banana bread

Sunday 8 September 2013

A Walking Challenge

The inspiration for my walking challenge is a bit of a long story, perhaps too long for a blog post.  It never ceases to amaze me the connection we make with people in the on-line world, and I feel particularly lucky to have made a friend from the Joy Up Tribe who is currently walking the Via Francigena, the name of an ancient road and pilgrim route running from France To Rome, though it is usually considered to have its starting point much further away, in Canterbury.  The route passes through England, France, Switzerland and Italy.  In mediaeval times it was an important road and pilgrimage route for those wishing to visit the  Holy See and the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul.

I got to know Kym just as she was making the final preparations to begin her pilgrimage, and there was something about her journey which really resonated with me and it was through an email conversation I had with my coach that the idea of me doing some kind of my own walking alongside Kym was born. So, the intention has been set to walk the Lancaster Canal (in stages) and last weekend was the start of my first leg of the journey.

The Lancaster Canal starts at the Preston terminus and ends in Tewitfield (Kendal), most of the canal runs through open countryside except where it runs through the City of Lancaster and is 42 miles along.

So here my walking challenge started here:

 There were many pretty gardens with decking over looking the canal:

Graffiti to be found on some of the bridges:

Reminders of the cotton years - Tulketh Mill, built at the height of Preston's cotton years but then lost its way as the old industry declined. With Carphone Warehouse taking over the mill in recent years, however, the old mill has taken on a new lease of life, having found a brand new role for the 21st century.

As the canal gently meanded it's way out of Preston, I was greeted with  pleasant countryside, with plenty of sheep and cattle grazing in the fields:

Plenty of wildlife to observe and enjoy:


Cute little white duck
I'm not sure how long I had been walking before I came across a stretch of canal which was very familiar to me at Salwick, this part of the canal is beautiful :

My walking companion Jasper waits ahead
Soaking up the beautiful energy from the trees
At this particular part of the canal, there are long-term moorings, this boat was all stocked up for winter with wood piled up on the tow-path:

Some boat owners have a sense of humour:

I planned to stop my journey at Brock and I knew I wasn't too far away when I got my first view of the Bowland Fells dark and brooding:

This particular boat name made me chuckle as I knew I would be on my own cloud wine when I got home:

Bridge 47 is where the first leg of my journey ended (approx 13 miles from the Preston Terminus)

The Green Man Bridge
I felt a sense of achievement having completed this first part of my canal journey, it's the longest I have ever walked with just myself and my dog for company, and although this journey is nothing compared to the pilgrimage that Kym is currently undertaking, I was still proud and I had a happy heart.

In her poem, Pilgrims Blessing, Macrina Widerkehr writes, "May the weather that's important be the weather of your heart."