Pass the Dutchie

Yesterday I had lots of photos and only as I was finishing did I realise that Shane had taken photos for my benefit and not included them in his blog. Today more tourism was planned, and more historical monuments expected. Would the castle be older than the churches seen yesterday?


St Helen’s church, Overton, dating from 12th century
St Peter’s church Heysham, dating from 10th century.

We were exploring Lancaster on foot, rather than a cycle ride. I washed out the cycling wear and hung it to dry in the promised sunshine. The castle wasn’t far away and has an attractive front. Neither of us had done research into the castle, though Shane had looked at the route. I was surprised to see signs outside suggesting it was a prison. Certainly it was a place where prisoners were kept and a map had various prison wings labelled on it. We didn’t go on a tour so it was only after returning that my minimal research told me it was not in fact still a prison despite the sign at the front telling you it was an offence to help a prisoner escape.

Lancaster castle front – the castle is possibly 11th century it seems

An exhibition about the trial of witches was a sad reminder of how society scapegoats the poor and are suspicious of those who don’t fit in. A more uplifting sight was the view into a sculpture workshop (through iron bars).

sculpture workshop
Walls have ears, so they say – part of the sculpture workshop

The building is impressive and there is clearly lots to see. No time for it so today so strolled on past other historic monuments and headed into town to a cafe for a coffee. We could hear music, reminding us of the Peruvian band that regularly busked at Edinburgh fringe. I went to look and it was a lone piper with a backing track, and an impressive costume.


Panpipes in the pedestrian zone

At the café I noticed a sign for a market held on Wednesdays and it was indeed Wednesday. We located it but it wasn’t very large. I was a bit hungry and there were several food stalls – quite fancied the African stall, heading its menu with curried goat.

We had however just discussed that morning that we should be finishing up what’s in the fridge before heading to Edinburgh in a few days time, so we headed back to the boat leaving the stalls, cafes and bakeries behind. Bread and cheeses was tasty enough and later I would regret it if I had to throw food out. 

I was pleased my memory of a cycle shop near the boat was accurate, and we popped in, but nothing was quite fitting. Never mind Edinburgh has plenty cycle shops.

We headed off to a new mooring.  Both of us had a little bit of a feeling of having a things to do list in our heads. What will we bring from Edinburgh? What space do we have for storing everything? Where will we moor the boat in our absence? Will the sofa we’ve ordered fit into the lounge? Where will we go in the next few weeks?  Would the water level rise enough to allow our Ribble return? We passed the Glasson branch, now with a large red CANAL CLOSED sign. 

The day was hot. Shane saw a kingfisher and who couldn’t be cheered by a field of alpaca?

After a Pimms and a discussion about storage and the discovery of a good space for the clothes dryer, that neither of us had previously considered, I felt that problems were beginning to resolve.

Yesterday I had followed our day exploring Morecambe by cooking a meal that incorporated Morecambe bay shrimps. Today I was thinking of the curried goat in the market. It reminded me of Trinidad, where I’d eaten it, so I was inspired to put together a dinner with flavours from West Indian cookery – an unexpected Lancaster influence!