Whoo et le Hoo! We have new anodes! …and I’m in love with half of a Land-Rover Defender #narrowboat #boating #England #canal

Mr Stove remains on 24/7 duty, since Storm Gareth also remains on 24/7 duty. The winds and rain are due to fade into memory with the passing of this weekend. We shall see. If nextus week looks to be reasonably reliably dry I may see if the Cardinal and I can remain a day or several, while I touch up the gunwales, a job that the weather has so far prevented me from enjoying doing. It will be a while yet before Mr Stove gets his spring clean and is put away to hibernate for the summer (yes yes, I watched Blue Peter too, I will remember to put lots of air-holes and fresh straw into the box).

Don’t worry, I am not becoming institutionalised by the bright lights of boatyard life, it’s just a darned sight easier to take a wire brush to the gunwales and bungeth on several coats of treatment and topcoat while over dry land…

The yard found a(nother) (brief) gap in Gareth’s precipitations the other day, and the Cardinal is now the proud bearer of eight new anodes. Two at the bow, two at the blunt end, and two along each side. The remains of the older anodes have been left in place, they can still function too so no sense in removing them. Technically I suppose that this means we currently have some twelve anodes affixed, four of which are part-worn…

The new anodes alongside the old. There was so little of the previous generation remaining that they were removed.

The anodes to the Cardinal’s sides are of a more slimline aspect than those to pointy and blunt end, the better to not get knocked off in any of the unavoidable skirmishes with the infrastructure, such as when moored.

Slimline anodes to the sides…

These beasties are made of something that alchemists call “magnesium”, and the idea is that magnesium reacts more easily with (fresh) water than does (blacking-covered) steel, so the anodes take the brunt of the chemical reactions rather than the hull. From the look of the old ones and the hull, they’re working. 🙂

On a more domestic note, there are limited opportunities at this marina for serious perambulations, since the only access to the towpath side of the canal for pedestrians is gained by braving a rural rat-run road frequented by automotive numpties, and in particular over a narrow bridge with no pavement. The walk isn’t worth the risk. Besides, last time I checked, the towpath – indeed, any grassed area – is too soggy after the rains even for my size eleven plates of meat.

Thick, grey, dull clouds over Aqueduct Marina

Of the two large fields opposite the marina one appears to be being used to farm sheep, the other seems to be growing a good crop of seagulls. Every once in a while these shite-hawks fabulous examples of avian life take off en masse, and do poopy things all over the boats. Thus far the swarm flock hasn’t ventured over the hardstanding, where the Cardinal rests. Fingers crossed. I am reminded of the film (“movie”, if you’re from The Abroad) Pitch Black

Lomo Photo Effect Tool: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/lomo
A Flock of Seagulls (from the days when music was really music, not just lyric-free tune-free screeching and wailing, as it is today).

So far the sheep haven’t taken to the air, although Gareth has certainly made them consider doing so on occasion. Sheepies aren’t known for being highly aerodynamic.

My walks, instead of a few miles up along, down along and back via the towpath, are limited to twice around the marina and once up the wall. The available path runs in a sort of horse-shoe shape, and anyone watching me from behind the net curtains of their boat probably thinks that I am hoofing it to one end to stare along the canal, then hoofing it to the other to stare that way along the canal – twice or some days, thrice. It is the human equivalent of a caged aminal pacing up and down the bars.

Had I a tin mug I should rattle it up and down the same bars.

Heck! I do have a tin mug – my shaving mug!

This being Sæternes dæġe (Saturday) the boatyard is quieter than usual, and the slipway and tractor remain silent.

The slipway at rest. Aqueduct Marina.
A large device for removing narrowboats from water and for placing them on the trailers of lorries. No idea what they do about Boy Scouts and horses’ hooves. Aqueduct Marina.

To paraphrase Mr. Philip K. Dick, do diesel tractors, when sleeping at the weekends, dream of android boats?

Even the marina’s service pontoon remains deserted today, there being few souls silly enough to venture about in Gareth’s (hopefully final, last-blast) winds. I’ve slipped the Cardinal alongside here on many occasions, for water, diesel, Elsan point, rubbish disposal and a mooch around the chandlery.

The service pontoon, Aqueduct Marina.

The trick, such as there be, with this one is to always come in bows first and, when done, to reverse far, far out into the water you see to the top of the frame, and only then to try to make the turn and exit stage left, grinning insanely under a blood-stained yellow sou’wester. I learned this by watching others approach and depart every other which way, Clyde, in which instances the manoeuvre always ended in disaster.

So, the love affair of this blog entry’s title?

Well, on this morning’s “blow the cobwebs away” stroll this wee beauty was parked in the main car park…

All you need is love (and a Land-Rover Defender).

Magnificent, isn’t he?

In my (mis-spent) youth I used to be a complete car-freak, what some term “a petrol-head”. I once totalled up the miles that I had put on the many cars that I have owned, and it came to roughly one point one million miles – and that doesn’t include hire cars or company cars. Most of my enthusiastic driving was done in the days before cameras and number-plate recognition systems and other such nightmarish dystopian instrusions; in my day, if Messrs Policeman wanted to nick a chap for speeding then Messrs Policeman had to physically catch aforesaid chap first. These days though cars tend to leave me cold.

There are maybe a handful of exceptions to this automotive chill, and one of these is the Land-Rover Defender. Even the colour is right with this one. Delicious!

Why am I in love with only half of this Defender, the passenger side? Well, there’s a certain after-market decal that has been applied to the driver’s door…

No comment, other than “no comment”.

I’ll give you a moment to work it out.

Briefly funny it may be, but to my mind it is a very, very disrespectful thing to do to what is probably one of the entire planet’s all-time best ever vee-hickles.

Don’t take my word for it though, ask the vultures waiting in the trees outside the marina’s (canal-) entrance.

Lomo Photo Effect Tool: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/lomo
The Lesser-Spotted English Vulture.

Actually, I’m no ornithopterologist, but those are cormorants, aren’t they? Even with my eyesight I can tell that they’re not hens.

Oh well.

I suppose that I had better away now and gather unto myself the necessaries for tarting up the gunwales, should the weather give me a civilised opportunity. Drill, wire brush attachments, paintbrushes, tins of magic treatment and tins of top-coat paint.

Seeing the thick, dull, grey overcast sky in the images above you won’t be surprised when I tell you that lunch today (and probably thus for the next couple of days too) is a “nucular curry” – the last of the fresh veg, extra garlic, the carcass of a dead rat for flavour and body. Alright, no rat, but I will – as usual – have to use my titanium cutlery (everything else just dissolves). White rice, too, and I don’t give a World Health Recommendation damn.

If anyone out there has any influence with Storm Gareth ask him to sod off go away, will you please, and to take the last of his breezes and rains with him? It is becoming disconvenient, dreary and decidedly dull. I have things to be, people to do.

Keep on keeping on, folks – there’s nothing more annoying to the Establishment than a population that keeps on keeping on.


Ian H. & Cardinal W. (now with blacking and anodes).



  1. The Cardinal looks very dashing in his new coat and jewelry.

    That horrific decal is several layers over the top, past the moon and heading straight to it’s heat death in the sun. I just don’t see humor there. I see an evolutionary selection mishap in the owner.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I am all for the introduction of requirements for “Mating Licences”… 😉 Everyone always says “eugenics” as though it’s a bad thing…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve always thought there should be very stringent tests to be passed to be considered an adult, before one even gets any where near applying to even study for a degree in breeding.


    1. From the island of Cormor. Grebes are the birds that fascinate me, diving and swimming under water for so long. Mind you, you can’t beat the eerie wail of a good lapwing…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Last May, we were coming south from Scotland and stopped near a reservoir – there were more Lapwings than I have ever seen before – tumbling and calling – magical. Lots of other water birds too, of course, but they were the stars.

        What IS and anode, by the way?


  2. Yes, one does NOT turn a Landie into a permapotty.
    I will start a petition for Gareth to push off and leave you in peace. That seems to be the way to do it, these days.
    Alternatively, I will ask the butterfly from The Butterfly Effect, that caused Gareth, to avoid flapping in that particular way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sunday, and there I was thinking that Gareth was gone, disappeared along with the caribou, but no. Just had a hailstorm from a bright blue sky. Most peculiar. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Looking good Mr Marina and Mr Stove looks mighty inviting. It’s a bit like being on holiday isn’t it waiting to go home and doubtless will coincide with this awaful weather departing these shores. Enjoy the curry!

    Liked by 1 person

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