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We’ve had another quiet(ish) day here at Bigland Towers but that’s mainly because today was chance to relax before a busy week beginning on Monday when the pair of us are off to Nottingham for the Community Rail Network Conference which spans two days.

As the clocks had gone forward, depriving us of an hours sleep we enjoyed a leisurely morning drinking coffee and catching up with friends via social media before brunch, after which we got our acts together to potter around the house doing nothing too ambitious until it was time to get out for a stroll. Today’s weather was dry but cold thanks to the wind-chill. Even the cocoon of cloud over the valley couldn’t keep the heat in. We wandered downhill to the valley floor and Sowerby Bridge in time to pick up some shopping before everywhere closed, then decided to adjourn for a quick drink (and chance to warm up) before heading home. We’d normally have a pitstop at the Hogshead brew house but the place was packed due to them having a band playing. As the pair of us wanted to sit and chat rather than boogie we flagged it and moved on to a pub we rarely visit, the Navigation, which sits above the canal basin. It’s an old pub that had 5 real ales on (I chose the Oakham Citra) but seems as popular for its food as its beer. Many of the other customers were eating and several tables were reserved for later arrivals. The portions look huge and the prices are reasonable. It’s also a dog-friendly pub which makes it ideal for canalside walkers.

The canalside was the route we chose to walk home along as neither have traversed the path since last year. Seeing spring very much in the air added to the pleasure. Now we’re back at home. Dawn’s had the night off as I’ve been on cooking duty. As much as I’ve loved trying all the exotic food I had in SE-Asia, I missed cooking. Like gardening, it’s another of my pleasures/therapies. Tonight we went vegetarian as a rustled up a Chana Masala served with chapattis, the ingredients for which provide the picture of the day…

Preparation is part of the fun of cooking and I love using our selection of bowls which were (mostly) purchased on our travels. The top kne’s from Thailand whilst the blue ones came from Hoi An in Vietnam. The big one full of chickpeas? That’s from somewhere far less exotic. M&S!

Expect a mix of blogs next week as I’ll be traversing a lot of the UK and visiting a variety of locations…

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