Lined up like sardines waiting to be put into the tin #narrowboat #boating #England

From horizon to horizon, Bank Holiday boats nose to tail around the Cardinal.

The animals came in one by one…

A week is a long time in showbusiness, and a few days is even longer still on t’canals.

The Cardinal and I moored, of course, in splendid isolation – and then the “supermarket effect” kicked in a couple of days ago, and two boats ignored the other mile of open moorings and settled in right in front. Then the “Easter Weekend” happened and now the world and his hamster is moored here. The old Hector Magic still works though; I notice that the gaps fore and aft of the Cardinal are the largest (large is a relative term) of the whole line of boats – I must be exuding those “ugh, get away from me, Claud” vibes through the aerials on the roof, and everyone’s done their best to answer the call!

It is 08:30hrs as I begin to write this post, and there’s not a soul about, not a sound, not a cough, not a fart. I saw, briefly, a single dog-emptier in the distance just before 06:00hrs while I was outside doing outside things and squeegeeing the overnight dew (and muck therein) off the solar panels. Bank Holiday folk are generally not what you might call “early risers”. They’ll be out soon enough (when the day has lost its early-morning magic and become just overly-warm and bright) and they’ll be poking one another with sticks and holding competitions to see who can disrobe the most unsuitable body to the most stomach-churning degree.

I say this with full and frank awareness that I look like Frankenstein’s early efforts to cross a gorilla suffering from alopecia with a bulldog determined to live on a diet of lemons dipped in vinegar, but it must still be said. It’s never the “beautiful people”, is it?

The virtually unavoidable Bank Holiday weekend view from my desk, through the bow doors.

Self-knowledge and a certain reluctance to encourage reverse-peristalsis in others is why I keep my clothes on whatever the weather. Some folk are born “gym bunnies”, I am and always will be more of a “cake-shop rat”.

Still, as Queen Victoria was oft heard to mutter while scratching the rump-end of her empire and smoking her first spliff of the day on the balcony of Buckingham Palatial; mustn’t grumble.

If Baywatch ever did transplant itself from the beaches of Kalifornia to the canals of Ingerlund it would probably be a fatal shock to the National psyche and system, so we must be grateful for small Murphys. I do wish though that schools would teach that a knotted handkerchief on the head is only the beginning of being dressed for the occasion in summer, and that shorts are what is worn underneath, at the very least, t-shirt and jeans.

The solar array is loving this unseasonably fine Bank Holiday weather.

The side-views of my [current] garden are still there, with a couple of my favourite tree-friends. Hello lamp post Mr Tree, whatcha knowing? I’ve come to watch your flowers growing… feeling groovy*

[*Other dwarves are available, one ought not to forget to feel Dumpy, Gropey, Grotty, Sniffy and Sid, too. Mention of Groovy does not imply endorsement.]

One of my favourite trees, and the current view from the side-hatch. Mr Farmer was out yesterday in his mechanical tractor mowing the grass for silage.

In moments of insanity I have ventured outdoors.

The staircase locks a short wander up ahead have provided an hour or two of mid-perambulation entertainment, busy as they have been with a lumpy procession of boat traffic, all arriving in the manner of the proverbial “London buses”.

Bunbury Staircase Locks playing host to holiday boats from two rival companies.

The Bro came to visit yesterday and brought with him some post and a parcel – thanks be to the Sis for forwarding the mail (it was indeed useful stuff, relating to the stupendously-generous rise in my pension from H.M. Government). We gongoozled a while, and then the Bro expressed a visceral yearning for fish-&-chips, so we took advantage of his Bugatti and fought our way through the traffic and crowds (no, seriously) into the local village. I abused the privilege by calling as briefly as possible into the local Co-operative Emporium for cash, comestibles and saladings. Then we went back to gongoozling but this time while consuming the open-air food-of-the-gods (I settled happily for chips with mushy peas – ideal for a hot day).

It may very well be that ‘…there is nothing—absolute nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats…’ but I am of the opinion that there is also a lot to be said for sitting in the shade and snorting down a tray of properly-cooked chips &etc while watching other people mess about in boats. It was all most pleasant.

A very big THANK YOU to the volunteer lock keep, whose name I forgot to learn, for the provision of a couple of chairs for our use for the occasion – they were very much appreciated.

My walkings hereabouts sometimes take me past the next lock along from the staircase locks, and this one appears to be a fine example of a self-emptying lock. These photographs were taken not more than four or five minutes after a boat went up through the lock, leaving it full.

A bit of a bottom-gates gusher…

The leakage from the bottom gates is impressive, and water flows out at – I estimated – two or perhaps three times the leakage in through the top gates, shown below.

…and the top gates are not really any more watertight.

You can see that the lock chamber is already half-empty. These unwittingly semi-automated locks are what is known by folk such as me as “a bit of a bugger”, since you can’t take things properly slowly because if you do then either the leakage in or out will get you before anything you might gently do with the paddles.

Sometimes this effect is caused by a twig or branch being jammed in the gates but here, with both sets of gates leaking, it’s more likely to be a “wear and tear design feature”.

I did spot a most delicious-looking vintage coach on my perambles. I named him “Stumpy”. He is in superb condition, and I covet him.

Stumpy. I covet him.

Other than this what have I been doing? Well, the more eagle-eyed of you may have spotted a new link in the menu towards the top of the page – ‘Cards/Prints/&etc‘. I have been setting up an online emporium to offer exactly that, cards, prints and etceteras using the photographs from this blog.

Roll up, roll up, for all of your needs in re greetings cards, photographic prints, canvas prints, acrylic block prints and suchlike.

Please do form an orderly queue.

In fact, should you have a herd mind and a need for some canal & countryside & stuff artwork in your lives – and I hope that you do – you might line up like sardines waiting to be put into the tin.


Global delivery, all cards accepted, and I will expand the selection available as quickly as I can.



    1. I must admit, seeing holiday boats pass by during really grotty weather (and knowing what they cost to hire) I do, sometimes, feel the slightest tinge of sympathy – while I get all of the good days as well as the bad! It’s a lousy rotten job, but someone’s got to do it… 😉


  1. Very olde worlde effect with the photos. 🙂 … the savages are gathering here too, as the slightly warmer weather is encouraging them to emerge from their bunkers and open up their ‘summer houses’ here on the island. Soon there’ll be the daily flotilla of inflatable flotation devices going one way in the morning toward the lake, and back the other in the evening, slightly the worse for wear, both the floatees and the floaters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oi Keep me out of it!! I was no where near!! I only made it to Anderton on Saturday. It was a bit packed there also – not helped by 30 of our clubs boats gathering.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I did indeed, including the variation where none of those involved wanted to be the first pawn to be moved in the shuffle… Also saw the Bunbury Un-Shuffle, where boaters refused to share the locks (and the water therein). Where I am currently moored I can tell if those passing (who will have come up the locks) had a pleasant transition or not – one or two of them have still been arguing amongst themselves, with faces that look as though they have set in for at least the day… 😉


  2. We suffer from the same ailment of being in or near holiday magnets, so that at these times of the year movement is severely curtailed. Oh well, it doesn’t last, and after the long weekend we go back to uninhibited (and uninhabited) enjoyment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We do indeed. The transition from “winter – no boats moving” to “full summer madness” was very sudden this year, here, which probably accounts for forty-seven point three percent of the shock! 🙂


    1. G’Day sir – and thank’ee most kindly for the re-blog, it is as ever much much much appreciated. 🙂 May the leaves of your tree-top bed always be dry in the morning, and may you always remember the route back down to the ground…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the pictures and it looks like you have successfully failed to keep away from the Easter jams and non-mass-migration so beloved of us all at this happy festival time. Good to see that man retains the herd instinct after all these millenia and likes to stick together for safety overnight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have indeed failed to escape – with the twenty-twenty vision of hindsight I ought to have swapped around this mooring and the previous one (went past it yesterday – deserted)! C’est la guerre. 😉

      The second boat that moored right in front brought a wry, cynical grin to my lips – with a mile of moorings available they chose the one space where they had to reverse their boat carefully in and only just manage to fit it… and they’re closer still to the boat in front than they are to me! Weird creatures, humans… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve noticed that with picnics too. There you are settled in nice and comfy with cold chicken leftovers and potato salad, wine-glasses elegantly filled and a family that should’ve stopped breeding at two sets themselves up not fifteen inches away from you when there 500 bloody acres of empty space … in every direction.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I wonder if, as the human species regresses back into the trees, some sort of herd survival instinct is coming more to the fore – safety (from the nebulous threats of “they”) in numbers? Folk seem increasingly to have no sense, perception or even conception of “personal space”!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent! Love these pictures and olde effect, very creative and a move into entrepreneurialism! The lighthouse on the hill beckons!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With luck I shall become the Gerald Ratner of the card and print industry! Um – no, Ratner’s not the correct name, I can’t remember it – the bloke who made billions, that’s the one I want… that printer fellow who works for the Bank of England…


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