A slight design-flaw in the wheel, and the new Monsanto genetically-modifried cows #narrowboat #England

Who would have thunk it, eh? After all of these years, a design-flaw is discovered in the wheel…

To wit: some of the gusts of wind yesterday bounced the Cardinal around enough to flip one of the “distancing” wheels upright and out of the water. The first that I knew of it was the bang-clonk-thud as the poor Cardinal hit the concrete of the towpath edge and then dropped down onto the notorious (idiotic, indefensible) “Shroppie Shelf“…


Getting it back into place involved loosening off the bow mooring ropes (not summat I like to do in high winds) for some slack, and then dodging the wheel back into proper orientation with a foot before leaping, gazelle-like, onto the well deck to re-tighten the ropes. Had to do that twice in the late afternoon, but the beastie stayed in place overnight, thankfully.

Not quite so windy today – yet – although tis predicted to be, still 50mph+ gusts. Fingers crossed that we’re not de-railed again, I feel pain whenever I hear the Cardinal’s baseplate getting clonked! 😉

Wandered in to Hellmouth, oops – I mean Audlem – for some light comestibles early this day, before the wind got back into its stride. Fresh veggies… hmm. Fresh olive-bread… hmm. Ginger Nuts! Well-stocked.

On the way there was a field of the new, squared-off Monsanto cows. I assume that they are on little wheels or something themselves, and roll around eating the grass before reporting for robotic milking twice daily. [See top photo]. I wonder if they are satellite-controlled, and whether the farmer can call them in individually via some new-fangled “app” on his new-fangled “smart telephone”?

It was v.nice getting back to the boat. Nicer still to see him still moored in the same place!


It’s warm out there – too warm for jackets or coats, but blowing a gale and occasionally lashing with rain. Far, far too warm for Mr Stove, too.

One boat past so far this morning (one too many), and since I took that photograph another private boat has moored up just around the bend. I spend most of my life just around the bend, but they have moored there instead.

The weekend “exercise for life” walkers are out in force, strolling around. The wind is playing havoc with their hairstyles and interfering with their vital mobile telephone calls and browsing. Haven’ts seen one of them actually look up from their phones yet!

Yonder blusteriness is forecast to abate from tomorrow onwards, at least for a few delicious days. Almost forgotten what life is like without ridiculous winds.

“Ridiculous” for England, that is. Other places, silly places, have much more serious weather than do we here.

Only got rammed once yesterday.

Note to the universe: once was enough, thanks, please give today’s portion to the poor and needy, somewhere else.

Ooh – a gap in the clouds, some brief sunshine. Feels as though the stronger wind and gusts are arriving as predicted though. Bugger.


Ian H.


  1. Are you really sure those are cows? They look like legless sheep wearing plastic raincoats to me. I’m not sure about the movement on board the Cardinal in a high wind, does it make you feel slightly nauseous? I always thought a water bed a strange invention it must have the same effect living on water, or rock you off to sleep quicker. Looking pretty deserted today though, a life without strange people is a blessing from Thor the thunder god.

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    1. I quite like the movement of the boat, the only time it worries me is as here when I am moored on pins hammered into a soggy towpath and I worry about them being worked loose. When there is to be wind like this I usually try to get moored on rings (set in concrete) or on armco with chains, but didn’t have that choice here. It hasn’t stopped me sleeping yet!


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