Cheshire, Shropshire, whatever county it is that I was in. Lush, green, intensively farmed, and virtually devoid of mobile interwebnet signal! Can you believe it? There I was, sitting on a Victorian canal system, in my boat, and I could barely access the world of electronic make-believe…
Oh, there were ruddy marvellous vistas and utterly bucolic views, and even an absence of the damnable “Shroppie Shelf”, don’t misunderstand me. 😉 I mooched through the last two locks of Audlem’s fifteen and along a spot of canal to get there, but how can a chap be expected to feel plugged in to the human global buzz if he can barely see his emails and can’t upload so much as a trilogigabyte-sized photograph?
We picked our way through abominable countryside.
What was our reward? A cow-infested mooring, that was our reward.
Don’t worry, I told myself, they’re only on the offside. They can’t get at me to give me Chinese burns or anything. We are safe.
There were werecows on the towpath side too, and they began bellowing to one another across the water.
‘You distract him’ bellowed Gertrude, ‘and I’ll hoof him to death.’
‘We shall fling cow-pats, and other dairy items’ came the cheery reply, and they did.
I tried a walk in the countryside, away from t’canal, but even that hitherto unfailing panacea didn’t work in cow-land. Everywhere I went I could see the Cardinal, beset by even-toed ungulates. How can a chap and his narrowboat be expected to relax with all of that lactation going on? The middle of a cow is bad enough, with udders and stuff, but the ends aren’t exactly non-threatening – it’s all either meaningful eye-contact from the pointy-end or Niagara-esque urination from the blunt end with cows, oftentimes both (and still they lactate in the middle).
I suppose that it must be said, and it may as well be me who says it.
Moooooooooving on again was a necessity, not a choice.
No, archetypally England in extremis though it might have been, the Cardinal and I stuck it out for one night, and that was the best that could reasonably be expected from a chap.
Mind you, we didn’t do a lot better in our moochings today. More of that anon. We are… urbanised. I am beginning to think that life with the cows may not have been so bad after all. Humans! Urban humans… ugh!