Well that was …refreshing. The world is still here this morning, wholly intact. #narrowboat #england #winter

They said there would be a bit of a breeze last night. They weren’t wrong about that.

I decided yestereve to heed the warnings and to bung out an extra line, since the wind was blowing slightly askance onto the Cardinal’s bow, and it seemed unfair to ask the one rope to keep a whole planet attached to us all by itself. I’m glad that I did.


Lots of miscellaneous debris hitting the boat all night, it always sounds much worse than it is. The peak seemed to be between 3am and 5am, and this morning’s Meteorological Office report tells me that it was indeed the windiest period here. Nothing like other parts have seen, but enough at 56mph.

We rocked a bit, we rolled, we tugged at our mooring lines (well, the Cardinal did – there was no way that I was stepping foot outside) and the wind indeed howled and screamed. The canvas tonneau cover and cratch cover flapped and flailed. I left the cover on because we also had torrential rain overnight, and had I removed it the engine bay would have needed a mopping out this morning, and I am allergic to mops. For the cratch cover I rolled up and secured all three sides, so that it presented as little a sail area as possible.

From this morning’s perambulation up and down the towpath a bit everything appears to be intact locally, just lots of displaced hedgerow and tree twiglet all over the place. The starlings and sparrows are flying again. I always wonder what they do during high winds. Do they wedge themselves into crevices or do they hang onto branches for dear life and concentrate on not letting go? Where and how do they shelter? They do, somehow, clever little beasties.

All of the Cardinal’s rooftop kit is still in place, the solar panels, the lights, the gangplank and the poles and wotnots. Most splendid, most splendid indeed.

Today looks to be shaping up to be dull, dark, grey and very wet. A more typical winter’s day in Ing-er-lund in fact. Depressing, scrag-end weather.

Yonder fuel boat, Halsall, is due to pass sometime in the next couple of days, so a request has been placed via the electric interwebnettings for some more sacks of dinosaur remains in briquette form, the stuff that the stove loves to eat. By the time of their call I mun have got off my gluteus and moved a couple of sacks off the well deck and into storage inside, to make room for the fresh stock. Heave ho and up 25kgs of coal arises, heave ho twice today, down the steps and sideways into the mini coal-cellar behind the stove. Having most of my supplies inside is an absolute boon in winter, allowing me to ferret and fill the scuttle in the warm at one or two or three or four of the a of the nocturnal m, instead of having to poke my nose outdoors. More coal, kindling, lighters and all of that sort of stuff lives also indoors, under the front steps, equally accessible in comfort. We are nothing if not a sybaritic vessel at heart.

I have the last of some fresh veggies to account for, so it will come as little surprise that a vegetable curry will be bubbling on the stovetop later in the day, extra garlic, extra chilli, boiled rice and a large, runcible, spoon. Most families have very boring family crests. The Hutson family crest is crossed cutlery rampant over Spode tableware, with cruet set sinister and gravy boat dexter. The family motto is “We’ll go somewhere there’s cheese decent curry, Gromit!”.

I hope that everyone else is simply cobweb free this morning, and has not been blown sideways, or indeed away by the breezes – or even covered in the snow that has, for the moment, by-passed this little patch of Her Majesty’s turf.

For today I mun away and feed Mr Stove, stir my “Variation on a Raj-homage Madras” and get my act together finishing up the next collection of short stories, The Dog With The Bakelite Nose.

Then I might have a snooze, to make up for the zeds that I missed out on last night!

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H.


  1. I think there was a bit of a blow last night but I saw and heard nothing of it other than my neighbour’s dustbin rolling around the courtyard this morning. Stay smiley!

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    1. There’s little to match an ambulatory dustbin as a way for Nature to say “windypops abounding”. Sleeping soundly through any such overt displays of distasteful inclemency is really the only approach, and I laud you for doing so. 🙂

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  2. Hurrah for boats tied up with ‘granny knots’! Glad you made it through and are setting about thrashing the dog – with the bakelite nose! It was indeed a night for my boiler vent to harmonise with the steady banging of the kitchen door and the banshees screaming through the eaves. I often wonder what the birds do in such conditions especially this time of year when all the leaves have dropped off the trees and they are laid bare, I like to believe they have secret places to hide in like barn lofts, decrepid outhouses and such like. Well done mid shipman!

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