Bank Holiday over & the canal returns to the purpose for which it was intended #narrowboat #england #canal

That purpose being, of course, my enjoyment.

According to the “government dot com” website I have thirty-six years of National Insurance contributions already agreed as stacked up, and Her Majesty’s “Government” tell me that I needs must accrue another four in order to qualify for my full State Retirement Pension. There is one year, they tell me, when they appear to have recorded £nothing£ but think that they ought to have (and indeed they so ought), and two other years when £nothing£ has been recorded but about which they are oddly content (but about which I am not content, naturally, having forked over my required dosh).

With the benefit of hindsight (and I won’t even begin to tell you where I had the extra eyes fitted) it’s a Government record of years largely wasted. A record of years when mornings such as this rather splendid one were a misery of trudging back into some office or sealed-up computer-centre cave lit only by fluorescent strips. What an idiot I have been.

One of the (many) things that I enjoy about being a (bastard rotten drop-out) water-rat boater-without-a-home-mooring live-aboard (usually spat out disparagingly, as though it were some sort of heinous, culpable lack and failing on my part), is that mornings such as this have flipped one-hundred and eighty degrees.

From being a “back to some meaningless job” misery these mornings are now a delight of noticing that lots of other people have disppeared (presumably back to their generally meaningless jobs). It’s not schadenfreude, it’s just reality. I did my time, did quite enough porridge, banged up in corporate stir, and now by the grace of being-a-thicko-but-getting-there-in-the-end and by cutting my outgoings to the level of a church-mouse, I get to wake up still on the canal while others have (of their necessity) gone back to their marinas and moorings and to that four-letter word beginning with “w” and ending in “ork”.

We are all orked in the end. I just decided to end my orking before it ended me.

The sky looks very different today, not at all the roasting blue nonsense of the weekend, but much more humane. Not so good for the solar panels though…

The weekend was, in my un-humble opinion, ridiculously hot. Idiotically hot. Inhumanely hot. In the high seventies of the Fahrengezundheitings, and at times the eighties. Seriously, ugh! Today the skies are more human, and the temperatures set to be more suited to English civilisation.

If the temperatures stay as they are at the moment then I may actually be able to think today, my brain-gland may actually function.

[Pause in typing while a couple of uber-geriatric Tim-&-Prunella-clone ton-up merchants speed past on nb Pegasus, obviously I assume on their way to the maternity hospital or something, madam must be up the proverbial duff and in labour. Or is it just that Mr & Mrs Pegasus assumed there was no-one aboard the Cardinal, and that etiquette and manners could thus go out of the porthole?]

Earlier this morning I walked a bag of rubbish (apologies – a bag of carefully sorted recycling) to the CaRT facility nearby. A gentle stroll in cool morning air. If anyone was about they must have wondered what I was laughing about. I’ll tell you. I was laughing about seeing a brick-rescue centre in the car park.

A brick re-homing centre, run by volunteers.

Stray bricks, rounded up and looked after by volunteers until re-homed to some kid whose previous best pet was a bit of two-by-four or a wild rock.

None of the bricks came up the wire to greet me though, so I went home without.

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless, longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what’s right
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti

I think that I may have a touch of sun-stroke.


Well, today I hope to continue my recovery from the silly weather and the silly people (nb Pegasus notwithstanding), and mayhap get some work done. I did my laundry yesterday, perchance ’twill all dry nicely today and I shall have fresh sack-cloth and ashes to wear as I drag myself up and down the towpath, moaning and groaning.

I may even answer the question that arose as I leaned out of the Cardinal’s side-hatch, drinking my coffee and watching the moorhens about their business on the bank opposite. Moorhens have outrageously large feet, well, chicken-claws really, I suppose, but they’re not webbed like ducks even though moorhens spend much of their life in the water. Perhaps this is why they swim with that peculiar head-bobbing motion?

Perhaps they strike out with their legs, expecting more traction than is actually available, fall forward and compensate with a head-bob, and then repeat the motion?

Answers on a postcard please.

Now, peace, quiet and civilisation, where did I put you down? Oh yes, there you are. Among the non-poop-scooping dog walkers who think that because they can’t see me, I am not here to see them. 😉

There are giraffe out there, but in this photograph they are behind that rather large bush, so you can’t see them.
Ah, the bulrushes. A scene that I remember from my basket on the Nile.

Chin-chin &etc.,

Ian H.

Books by Ian Hutson… available on Amazon and all good, bad or ugly book shops.


NGLND XPX – purple verbosity – at Amazon
The Cat Wore Electric Goggles – speculative nonsense – at Amazon
The Dog With The Bakelite Nose – more speculative nonsense – at Amazon

Cheerio, And Thanks For The Apocalypse – COMING SOON!



  1. Ahh yes, it’s so nice when they all go home. 😀

    We get them throughout the summer. A lot of the cottages on our little island are vacationers. In the silly season there’s a steady stream of inflated flotation devices, large and small, being carried by swimming-costumed vacationeers, large and small, heading down to the lake in the am, and then they reverse in the pm. This to say nothing of the continuous roar of speedboats dragging the flotation devices up and down the lake and occasionally dumping their contents into the drink.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My (minor) mistake on this occasion was allowing the Bank Holiday to creep up upon me – I ought to have been moored somewhere more out of the ebb and flow of mankind! I must remember that there is another Bank Holiday at the end of this month…

      I love people, really I do, it’s just that, well, I do have to be in a very particular mood in order to put up with them without feeling the need to fling empty Hendrick’s bottles and rotten figs at them as they pass… 🙂 I am considering finding, purchasing and affecting the use of a walking stick or staff, then I shall be able to give them a loving poke in the ribs or a sharp prod up the arse while still maintaining a hygienic separation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You make me jealous. I manage, by limiting my outgo, to live inside the paltry portion given to me for the drudgery I perform under fluorescent lights.
    But I am jealous foolishly. I would, almost certainly, fall into a dismal and deep hole of depression if I didn’t have the routine required by work. So I will likely never retire and will die under the lights. sigh. Your nb life does look and read like heaven though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re not wrong there, the “point” of life is, perhaps, purpose, and within reason it doesn’t seem to matter what the purpose. I could just never find even a smidgen of purpose (or reason) in my non-writing work! 🙂 Drastic problems require drastic solutions, and everyone’s solution is different… Have you considered being the nun who gets breakfast for all of the other monks, or maybe buying a postage-stamp of land and growing Cumberland Sausages? There’s no guarantee that any of us can make ourselves happy, but we can confuse the hell out of our fellow human (and embugger the Establishment and its established ways in the process)… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Desperately needed an injection of sanity (despite your protestations to the contrary) today am right royally sick of the utter venom coming through on Fb (unfriend, unfriend, unfriend…..oh, look there’s someone I want to see on there) and a tranquil dose of the canal life interspersed with the Serengeti and the humane rescue of the faithful and battered house brick, was just what the doctor ordered. I do envy you drinking your coffee with the view of nature, so peaceful, unlike my battered old electrickery fan that I had to resort to yesterday in the heat – keep it coming!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve spent some time on The FaceBook of late – leaving groups, unliking pages… the interwebnets appear to be suffering from some malaise. My trusty 12v fan can work wonders when I am over-heated and, ironically, the very thing that produces my discomfort – the sun – is what powers the fan that cools me! In winter the fan is called upon to move warmth from the stove around the boat, so as with everything else aboard, it is required to multi-task!

      Just four boats past this morning so far, a much more civilised level of traffic than hitherto.



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