There’s something special about being on your boat, in your cabin, under the blankets, with a hefty mug of cocoa (substitute) alongside steaming on the shelf-for-that-purpose, and with a good book in hand (a medieval time-travel romp, written from a medieval perspective: The Outcasts of Time, by Ian Mortimer). I confess to there being a packet of Ginger Nuts involved too. That is where and how I spent the latter portion of yesterday evening, while the wind howled, torrential rain fell from the boat like waterfalls and all of my soulless neighbours ran their engines instead of enjoying the storm…
I enjoyed the storm nonetheless, possibly all the more.
Wheaton Aston is a mooring of engine-runners. The un-numbered, un-named narrowboat across the way, on the long-term moorings, runs hers religiously between 17:00 and 20:00, day in, day out. Beau Brummel, moored a couple of boats behind Ms Religious, runs his on no particular schedule, but has the most peculiar sounding arrangement of an engine that I hope is raw-water cooled. Either that or the boat has an enormous bilge pump and a bit of a nasty cough. The long-term-visiting boat that was behind the Cardinal but is now separated by another, tucked into our “git gap”, waits until Ms Religious stops her engine at 20:00 and then starts theirs for a couple of hours, or waits until 22:00 and then begins.
After last evening I was sore tempted to run the Cardinal’s engine at the earliest possible, “legal”, consideration observing “recommended” moment of 08:00, when doubtless the other boats, not being morning people, would still be pushing up the zeds… but I am nicer than that. Mr Peculiar began his pump-pump cough-thumping on the parade ground at near 09:00. so under cover of his intriguing aural assault, that is when the Cardinal sprang into life.
The past week or mayhap two have been the most dismally dull, grey and overcast nonsense, and the solar panels, while working miracles, need some help. This is not an area in which I would run my generator, there are too many neighbours, too many potential spivs of an acquiring nature, and so engine it is. The sun finally finally finally forecast for this morning can then take over and hopefully, if I’ve gauged things a-right, the batteries will be ticketty-happy. Fingers, if not negative and positive, crossed.
These are not the most scenic moorings in the known universe, but as mentioned in previous posts, they do have more, much more, of a horizon than Gnosall. Her Majesty’s Meteorological Officers forecast a drop in the gustoid breezes tomorrow, so maybe we shall mooch on again then, if truth be told, and truth is not always told by H.M.’s Met Office wallahs. We shall see. The problem with gusty winds, for me (and other single-handers) is not the cruising along so much as it is the getting of the boat back in to the towpath for moorings, and the holding of it there while chains are hooked up or pins bashed in or mooring rings found. In high winds it can be a little akin to flying an eighteen-ton kite. I don’t do it. I did it once or twice, and didn’t like it, which is why I don’t do it now.
My mobile interwebnettings went a.w.o.l. yesterday for some hours. After careful consideration, I am convinced that it was the work of my “anti-virus” software; AVG. After the scan that I ran a few days ago AVG wanted to fiddle and furtle about with my system files and my registry, and I declined to let it. From that moment on my laptop become increasingly… grumpy. The interwebnet connections became increasingly… grumpy. Yesterday, after a few hours of work checking everything else out and being on the verge of restoring my laptop (losing files, installed software and all settings) I decided that I had nought to lose by first asking AVG what it wanted to fiddle with. Click click – shazam, the internet could suddenly be seen again.
It may be impolite of me, inconsiderate even, but it is my fervent wish that Mr William Gates, the Corporate Person of Microsoft, those at AVG and all others of their ilk do suffer immediately and henceforth from septic testicles and a superfluity of fatal fatality. I am convinced, from the evidence, this and the evidence of aeons past, that the likes of Microsoft and Apple and the “anti-virus” chappies all write creeping errors into their software to “encourage” us to buy new laptops and new operating systems, and write viruses and other delights that they then bravely “defend” us from, so long as we keep £paying£ through the nostrils.
As you can see, if you can see this post, the interwebnettings is back with me, possibly for the moment. I needs must improve my “Plan B”. Being cut off from the cyber-world is, in these times, a disconvenience.
The boat moored across the canal from the Cardinal gives me a chuckle whenever I see it but only, for some reason, by moonlight.
Seen at night through my cabin porthole, when the water is as it looks here in this photograph, the boat assumes the nature of nothing so much as a Thunderbirds model, ready to skim at speed to or fro Tracy Island or to chase the baddies. I think that it’s the semi-luminescent (off-)white of the fibreglass, the broads-cruiser shape and that odd cut-off to the stern. Well, it gives me a giggle, anyway.
We’re d… d… d… doing two hundred knots now, Mr Tracy, I wouldn’t want to push my design any f… f… faster than that… No! No, Mr T… T… Tracy, don’t cut my strings…
For crying out loud, I’ve lost it again, haven’t I? Well, I’ll find it again soon enough.
Today will be spent doing some of the jobs that didn’t get done yesterday, courtesy of AVG and Mr Billious Gates et al, and with some domestics in preparation just in case tomorrow is a day of mere gentle breezes, and I we do indeed mooch on, mooch on, with hope in your heart, and you’ll ne-e-e-ver moor a-gain…
If I get through today’s list of jobs then tomorrow I need only pause at one of the water-points, refill the main tank and then tackle the (7′ deep) lock just ahead. The plan is to motor on then as far as the fancy takes me (or until my tiller-arm goes numb).
Fingers crossed, chin-chin &etc.