Or, as the man who loved sitting down said, sofa so good…
Many thanks for all of the offers and for the advice offered in re the changes to the hosting of this blog. 🙂
I have bitten the bullet, compromised and pushed the buttons early – after learning that I could renew just the domain name without the WordPress £package£. My preference is to shout “Fire!” myself rather than wait for the chap in charge of the firing squad to do so.
I hope that the resultant mutant arrangement will be sufficient to prevent possible problems of broken links in shared posts – I have my digits crossed.
Time will tell of course, but from the look of it the WordPress “help” advice was a bit Shakespearean (Much Ado About Nothing…), and unless they are sitting on any surprises, the old links ought to continue to work, the layout “theme” doesn’t appear to have been taken away and t’only change may be wordpress doing a spot of advertising here and there.
What a palaver.
What a damp squid (sic) (I hope).
Mr WordPress will have to stick wih his current yacht instead of buying a bigger one, although the domain renewal ought at least to afford him a tin of sail polish or whatever it is that oligarchs use on their super-yacht crews these days.
So, canals and boating, eh?
Forget the interwebnettings, what’s been happening on the raging inland waters?
Well, a lot of things are “broken”.
The River Weaver is closed to navigation due to high water levels following the recent biblical rains. The service area at Anderton is operating in non-functional mode and repairs are eagerly awaited.
The Llangollen canal is broken in the middle following a minor land-slide, and will probably remain so for a couple of weeks. This is no disconvenience to me, since I am not on the Llangollen, the local hire boat company though – Venetian Hire Boats and Chandlery – are currently juggling their socks off to keep their customers happy and holidaying, since all of their long-term hire boats are stuck on the “wrong” side of the blockage… not the baby “day boat”, Barcarolle; he’s safe at home. Hirers are being picked up and transported (not in the Australian sense, but in the vehicular) and are making do very nicely thank you with just half of the Llangollen to explore – and indeed, who could really ask for more? Fingers crossed that it’s all sorted out with a surfeit of quickth.
In news from the Home Front, I woke up yesterday morning to discover, puzzlingly, that the canal water level had dropped about six inches, this in spite of the massive rains of late. My usual step-off-the-bow sumo-stance followed by a delicate leg extended, ballet-fashion, over the gunwale to the towpath required a stretching of more sinews than it had hitherto. I am lucky that I was still wearing my night-attire of flexible codpiece, extreme-support hose and half a jar of Ralgex.
Turns out that there was a chuffing great hole in the Shropshire Union main line canal about two miles back, and about six or seven miles of canal water to a depth of six inches had escaped into the countryside. I’ve done the arithmetic and I reckon that with yer average canal about twenty foot across, that’s at least seven or eight pints of water gone a.w.o.l. …
Given the flooded state of fields and roads around here I am surprised that anyone noticed at all until we were all sat sitting on the bottom of a dry canal.
All patched up now though (CaRT dumped a ruddy great industrial sack of gravel into the whirling vortex, plugging the hole for the moment).
Living on a boat there are things to think about that you just don’t get with bricksandmortarhomes. Everyone on a boat constantly checks the level of the boat, how the bow sits compared to the stern, any variation port to starboard, how any neighbouring boats are sitting… and only then do we believe that it is the level of the canal that has changed. It’s a kind of watery paranoia. Just because you’re still floating doesn’t mean that they’re not still out to get you.
Not knowing at the time why the level had dropped, and not particularly wanting to be stuck where I was, the Cardinal and I made the decision to mooch quickly on down the next lock to a stretch where the levels hadn’t changed (at least, not for the same reason). This was early in the day of course, but the usual nonsense prevailed. I’d no sooner untied the last rope and rung for “full steam ahead and damn the stokers” than a number of “hi-vis” jackets appeared around the lock up ahead (our target). Looking back a boat had appeared from nowhere. all in a hurry-on and steaming up merrily. My quiet move was being converted into some sort of crowd-experience, as usual.
Luckily – luxuriantly, in fact – the hi-vis turned out to be some early-morning lock volunteers that I’ve met afore, and the Cardinal and I rode down the lock in style while they did all of the work for us… thank you, chaps!
The boat behind while, I think, more than just a little dischuffed at being pipped to the early-morning post (the lock!) by the Cardinal didn’t actually express any opinions that would require a pugilistic response from me, and they waited their turn, so all was well there in the end, too.
It’s still raining occasionally, but the rain is no longer biblical in nature. Once or twice we’ve even see a fleeting glimpse of the sun. Today is indeed warm enough that the only reason Mr Stove is lit is to help to dry yesterday’s laundry.
It’s all go, here, I can tell you. I know how to live.
We’re moored now in a bit of a high-traffic area, but there’s not some little madness to my method (I’ll explain later). Boats are back and forth, around and about, up and down from the lock, although I have managed to moor just out of the “eek zone” for boats turning in the marina. This is towpath, Jim, but it’s not quite towpath as we know it…
I am spending a couple of days and nights here, undertaking research into how my nerves, and the Cardinal’s nerves, stand up to this proximity to the madding crowds (and, doubtless, they to me).
Sofa so good.
The Canada geese in the marina are flying circuits of take-off, around Pontoon A or Pontoon B, then landing and paddling back to the start point for another turn. The ducks are spending half of their days finding empty pontoons upon which to sleep and defecate (sometimes at one and the same time). There’s a late hatching’s worth of tiny ducklings being led back and forth by their parents, rushing frantically between “cute” and “aw – bless!” I count eight at the moment, fingers crossed that it stays that way. Mother ducks in their first year of breeding often lose their entire brood to the appetites of carp and heron and weasel and badger and water-buffalo.
My next task is to publish this post and see how the “new” “old” freebie-with-domain-name arrangement works, or doesn’t work. Then it’ll be time to think of something interesting for tiffin and/or dinner.
Duckling on toast, perhaps.
Thank you for your persistence in reading this blog, I can only hope that the fresh arrangement doesn’t all collapse the moment I take my eye off it.
[Exits stage left to fend off a manoeuvring boater (and boat) with the barge-pole, muttering in threatening tones about “too damned close for comfort” and “get away from me, Claude”. Considers lighting a flaming brand and jumping up and down on deck, beating chest and yelling ‘Ug!’ and ‘Yabba dabba doo’ at all and sundry.]
Chin-chin for the mo, and cheers, chaps.