Clickety click!

66Clickety click? You play bingo, don’t you? It’s the 66 ball.

And yesterday was my 66th birthday. Another milestone. It has been a busy year, what with the 4th International Rice Congress in Bangkok three weeks ago (and the months of planning that went into that event).

But yesterday, I could indulge myself for a while. Our weather has been appalling recently – windy and wet, and getting colder. But yesterday dawned bright and sunny, so I took myself out for a 5 mile walk along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. There were a couple of boats coming down the Tardebigge Flight (that’s 30 locks), and I got chatting with one of the boat owners. Seems they were traveling in tandem – two sisters and their husbands – since June! All over the country, and were now heading for winter quarters at Droitwich, just a few miles down the canal, for the next four months. They are live-aboard boat owners.

Then a little further up the towpath I stopped to chat with a surveyor from the Canal & River Trust who was checking out the brick and stonework in some of the locks. I discovered that this canal will celebrate its bicentenary next year. And thinking about that is really quite remarkable. Here was this canal being dug – by hand – over a period of 20 or more years, at the height of the Napoleonic Wars!

Anyway, it was a wonderful walk along the towpath, as usual.

And then in the evening, Steph cooked my favorite meal: steak and kidney pie, with a puff pastry crust (accompanied by potatoes, carrots and sprouts). Delicious! And, of course, the ‘mandatory’ bottle of wine, in this case a Rosemount Diamond Collection 2013 Shiraz – the perfect accompaniment to this delicious meal.

What a perfect – and peaceful – day.

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