It's October, but nice warm weather. I've been busy tinsmithing, making clothes pegs and playing my pipes in the towns. One evening a family of travellers came and sat round my fire and we enjoyed talking about the different parts of the country we'd travelled in. I played a couple of tunes on my pipes for them. It was a pleasure to have their company.
Ryalla, Verity and her lovely chavvies
Stayed with Sylvia for a few days and gave the horses a rest. Sylvia took me out in her cart to get some shopping, her cob is forward going and trots out well. I put new brakeblocks on the wagon, the others were worn out after 1600 miles. It's important to have brakes on a wagon to take the weight off the horse when going downhill. The horse can hold it back a bit, but it's better to use the brakes, easier and safer for the horse. It's mostly flat around here but the roads are smooth and slippery.
Sylvia trying to have a deal
After Newark l went to Spalding, lovely travelling country, some of it on bridleways . Near Spalding l stopped at the Gordon Boswell Romany Museum. Gordon and his family are very hospitable. Gordon has collected the very best of wagons and other interesting artefacts for his museum and it's well worth a visit. It's also possible to arrange a trip out in a wagon.
Making a lid for Gordon's water jack
I stopped a couple of days with Gordon and got busy making copper candle holders and a new lid for a water jack. The next day l went over to Wisbech in Cambridgeshire , 20 miles, walked most the way, hot sunny day, l don't know the Fens well and it's not good for stops, l was getting tired, luckily l happened on some people l know and pulled into their yard. They also needed a lid repaired for a water jack, so l got my tools out and did it straight-away . They were pleased and gave me dinner and l had a nice shower. Sold them one of my candle holders too.
Gordon leaving his yard, Spalding
Stopped and played my pipes for an hour in Wisbech, the horses are quite happy in town and enjoy resting and often fall asleep. While l play l enjoy watching the people go by, Wisbech seems to have quite a lot of poor people, many of them were Polish and Romanian , people were generous and it was a pleasure to play. There is a bit of skill getting right into a town centre with a horse and wagon and knowing where the best place to play is, I've done it hundreds of times. It would be no good with horses that haven't been trained to stand nicely. Every horse needs to know how to stand quietly, many don't.
I went by huge fields of pumpkins. In the next couple of weeks they'll go all over the country by lorry to supermarkets so that children can hollow them out for Halloween, they're not very interesting to eat. It might be better if children learned to grow their own pumpkins,easy to grow.