What a difference a day makes – Arctic blue to Snowmageddon sepia #narrowboat #England #canals

We have moved on a tad. Just a couple of miles and four locks. It was supposed to have been a couple of miles+ and six locks, but there is, it transpires, nowhere to moor where I had planned to moor, so I stopped short.

The ropes were white but just frozen stiff rather than frozen solid, and I took this as an encouraging sign. A signe d’encouragemente, as they say. Well, no sooner had we set off than we had to do a little bit of light ice-breaking, there being a thin slushy skim of ice over the water. Tis fortunate that the Cardinal is going to have his hull re-blacked early this year, as early as I can arrange it.

Notable Benny: no other boats were harmed during this process, and it is not yet the season of the polarbeest migration, so no wildlife got miffed other than a few disgruntled ducks who got poked with ice where ducks do not like to be poked with ice.

It was indeed a pleasant, if somewhat chilly cruise, and there was not a soul chasing me at the locks, so I could absolutely take all of the time that I wanted. Locking is so much more pleasant when there’s no-one breathing up your stern tubes, passively-aggressively “assisting” whether you’ve said ‘yes please’ or ‘thank you, but no, thank you’.

We are back in the wild Cheshire countryside again. How much more pleasant is this than the graffiti-laden unspoken threatz of the town infrastructure?

Cardinal Wolsey waiting relatively patiently while I filled one of the locks for him, a scene of bucolic non-industry stretching behind him right back to the ruins on the hill.

Still, the constant attack on the countryside cannot be entirely ignored. When will you humans stop breeding indescriminately? This constant “new build” “green-field” expansion is going to cover the planet afore long, and then we’ll all be “urban”.

This, in the opposite direction to the photo above…

I was hoping that perhaps some farmer had installed the crane in order to move overweight horses from one field to another but no, it’s ticky-tacky housing being built.

It’s not clever, it’s not pretty, just stop it!

There are plenty of humans, until you can leave here and grow like mould on other planets we don’t need more. Carry on breeding as you are and the whole planet will end up as one big Borg-esque connurbation.

End of rant! [For the moment.]

We had an unexpectedly early visitation from the brilliant folk on Halsall, the Fuel Boat. Coal, diesel, chemical for the gazunder and a new rope to replace the one that I had to cut (when I forgot to allow for/underestimated the rise in a lock pound and couldn’t get the Cardinal free in a hurry any other way).

Coal coal coal sufficient unto the season. Splendid.

So, while cruising my plans unexpectedly changed (from six locks to four, because there be no suitable moorings where I wanted – or anywhere nearby) some dippy Snodgrass also changed the weather forecast while I was under way. From a few days of “quite alright really, for the season” the forecast morphed into “snow, sleet, rain and extra freeze, with more breeze than hitherto advertised”.

The Cardinal and I are here for a day or so then.

The “new” weather did indeed materialise, although t’were more rain than snow if truth be told.

Here’s some expertly-shot and edited video, with a suitably aocalyptic and serious soundtrack… (I believe that the music is by “Tongue in Cheek”, a popular beat combo working in acoustic irony)…

I’m not planning on planning for tomorrow. I’ll just see what weather arrives instead. Unless there are hidden moorings our next hop is likely to be something on the order of ten locks and several miles now (since our shortfall in this previous move), and that will require me to sit down for fifteen, if not twenty minutes afterwards.

Still, ce sera sera and other idiotic sayings.

These aren’t bad moorings, considering. Amusingly, it’s taking me some time to get used to rural pitch-black nights again after so much urban horridity of late. There’s a motorway nearby giving off a constant drone, but the dead-of-night sounds are mostly animal and, hopefully, natural. Wolves and suchlike.

That’s the Cardinal on the second of the two-or-thereabouts moorings, the only such – was I lucky or what?

I hope that you’re all keeping warm, and keeping on keeping on.

I am going to keep right on and get my chops around some pasta this evening. Good, chunky, heavy winter food…

Chin-chin for the moment.

Ian H and Cardinal W.


    1. Thank’ee – have been wondering about how to shoot a “the day after the day before” video but nothing is moving here, because today I am well and truly iced-in… The ducks are all disgruntled.

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  1. The video doesn’t play for me just now, I shall try again tomorrow. Just be glad that you are not in the middle of the Polar Vortex that they have in Michigan or Indianapolis or somewhere in America, even Lake Michigan has frozen over…

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    1. I must say that it does look rather chilly in the colonies! The planet has been due (over-due) an ice-age – mayhap this is it (in which case, I’m totally stuffed)!


  2. Your travelller’s tales are as a breath of fresh morning air, something which will be in short supply if the dire predictions for population growth are anywhere near accurate.

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    1. It is slightly worrying that since I was born the world population has almost tripled (I didn’t do it). Half or more of the problems we face today are just down to that elephant in the room that we must none of us be allowed to mention – too many people! I say this with full and frank disclosure that I was an unplanned child, third in a planned output of two… 😉

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    1. Thank’ee muchly sir! Tis appreciated. 🙂 Now, if I could just remember the difference between “naturalist” and “naturist” I’d probably be arrested less often…

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    1. The countryside is indeed refreshing. I am working on the videos, thinking up better mounts and mounting spots, but I don’t think that I’ll ever get to the “voice-over” and pan around stage. Video is an alien technology to me!

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    1. I think that he’s preparing it – slowly – for a few coats of paint. The boat had just been moored there and left when I arrived, but he came back to his boat yesterday evening, carrying all manner of things from bedding to bottles of Propane. Then, brave soul, he moved on – in the dark and rain and sleet. If you don’t have – don’t want or can’t afford – or all three – a marina mooring then you have to keep moving a boat on around the system at frequent intervals, I suspect that this chap has limited windows in which to get to his boat!

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    1. I would have settled for a pink one. The crane is busily working away this morning, piling bricks and mortar on top of anything green – under a nice layer of fresh snow. I wonder what the driver’s eye view is like, from the top? Hmm… nope, too far to climb and ask.

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        1. … and, if this Arctic spell lasts a week or ten days, a mooring closer to the services point up ahead! Mind you, this is England, if the weather is inconvenient in any way then a wait of ten or fifteen minutes usually changes things… 😉

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  3. Beautiful moorings there even if it is very cold. Wonder what it’ll look like if this snow really does come. ‘Tis looking quite bleak now though – soon be spring.

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      1. Eh’up Duck was floating down the canal, all lost and alone, so I rescued him and he now lives on the well deck. I thought that I’d found him a companion a couple of weeks ago but as I got closer it turned out to be a yellow pepper… 🙂

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