Going nowhere and going even there slowly (tried to cruise early and failed, in a puddle of perspiration) #narrowboat #boating

Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!

[No idea who penned this, hopefully tis in the public domain by now. “Anon”? The poet probably also lived in Wetherby, where the weather really is atrocious.]

It’s horrible. Let’s have none of your “oh but by my standards living as I do in the Atacama or the Gobi or uptown-downtown Californication under a small cactus tree that’s nothing”. This is England. This is England far too hot and far too humid for the English. That’s me.

We had a night of rain and thunderstorms, in fact most of the country had rain and thunderstorms. Happily – because sheet was safer than fork with these trees around – but also sadly, since it was less spectacular – the lightning was all sheet-lightning, no fork at all that I spotted. The towpaths are soggy again and there’s already that “sauna” haze in the trees.


I tried to be clever, really I did. At 06:00hrs of the morning clock I loosed the Cardinal’s ropes and scooted off for a spot of a cruise to pastures “yeah whatever”. Six o’sparrowcough was already too late in the day today. I gave up, and instead of cruising on by I put us right back almost exactly where we’d started from (just facing in das opposite direction). Looks from the forecast as though tomorrow will be a similar wash-out.

If there is any way to avoid it I just don’t do hot and perspiring, and I especially don’t do those in the relatively early morning. I am going nowhere until the Met Office sorts itself out and comes up with something more sensible than this.

Two boats have pootled past since I (re)tied-up and both were populated by folk, shall we say, of a certain sell-by date. Like me, they weren’t born yesterday. From chatting out of the side-hatch as they passed, both were thinking to bung in a few miles before the tarmac of the canals melts again. Good luck to them.

On these moorings I have a sort of unhappy compromise. Is that tautology? Aren’t all compromises by their very nature at least slightly unhappy for all parties involved? I have some shade, for me, and some exposure for the solar panels. At least, having about-faced, in this orientation I can open the side-hatch onto the canal, and not onto the soggy, pedestrian and lycra-clad velocipede-nut infested towpath. With due regard to the sunlight that the solar panels are harvesting from the roof (that would otherwise be belting on in), keeping the bow and stern doors open, some blinds drawn, and with judicious use of the electrickery fans we ought to stay in reasonably human form.

As close to human form as I ever get, anyway. An un-melted Hector is the aim.

I have no idea how some people actually enjoy this sort of weather – and I don’t want to know, so please don’t tell me! Seriously, no, I don’t care if you wear Factor Eight-Million sunblock and do naked yoga on hot rocks before working a twelve-hour shift in a steel-smelting industry based on the slopes of a live volcano. Not interested!


In other news, those nice chaps from CaRT have been and carved up the tree that tried to tickle the Cardinal’s stern end last Friday, around about the same time as a wee tornado hit parts of Manchester… (yes, you read that correctly).

Have a butchers at some of the replies to the Met Office’s tweet, it’s all a bit o.t.t. to be properly English weather. I blame abroad and those dastardly foreigners.

The towpath’s a little clearer now. Fortunately the wee beastie fell on t’other side of a fence (which it is still resting on, and straining just a little), and only the very topmost leaves of the topmost branches actually tickled the Cardinal’s mooring rope (we’ve moved since, turned, and are back almost, but not quite, where we were). When the five minutes of incredibly silly winds flew through here I had no idea that they’d brought anything down, let alone that they’d terror-attacked Manchester. I went out after the squall had passed to poke idly at a dead squirrel with a pointy stick and that was the first I knew of it. Lucky is I, fortunate are we. May we please continue to be so.


Anyway, it had been mine intention this morning to turn (as I in fact did) and to then pootle back up through the services at Anderton (in the way we are now pointing) and to then toss a (low-denomination) coin to decide whether to carry on through a couple of tunnels and see what’s what up there, or hoof it back in the direction of Middlewich (surely a couple of hops, minimum, at my glacial pace). I’ll put the cruising plan, such as it is, into action again from where we left off mayhap in a couple of days. When sparrows aren’t falling from the sky with heat-stroke.

The top of the tree that t.n.c. at C.a.R.T. carved up is in a neat pile to one side of the pathway. It won’t be long before some boater or boaters clear it away to live for years and years on top of their boats. Why they do that I don’t know, since it can’t easily be burned without being seasoned for a year or two. Perhaps they just like having piles of wood on their boats? Whatever keeps them happy and, um – “floats their boat” – is fine by me.

So. We’ve enjoyed (truly) monsoon-style rains, thunderstorms, winds, temperatures in the ye-gods Fahrenheit, and even minor tornados so far in this, the height of our “summer” season. All we need now is some freezing temperatures and some deep snow and we’ll be able to sign the English summer off as a success.

Ought “summer” to begin with a capital letter? I never remember. Probably so.

Oh well, chin-chin for the moment from “He Who Sits In The Shade, Muttering”.

I was about to end with “The sun – it burns! It burns!” but of course this is England, so in the time that it has taken me to type this into the interwebnets we have developed damned near eight-eighths cloud cover, thick and heavy and grey…

…and you foreign chaps wonder why Ingerlunders are so apparently obsessed with the weather! It’s because we have not a bloody clue what it is going to be from moment to moment. Will this new cloud stay around? Will it be cooling cloud cover or will it be oppressive and muggy cloud cover? Will it be both?

I have no idea.

About anything.

I give up.

Someone please advise the referee that I am leaving the game, and then point me in the direction of the changing rooms.

Ian H.


  1. I thing Herself is getting rather pissed off with us humans and is building up to a major getting-rid-of-the-infestation move.


  2. i think the log camouflage sported by many of the canal fraternity is very fetching. They must have spent hours fetching it. I blame the EU for this carcinogenic excuse for good old British weather and am looking forward to old habits like moaning about the dry rain i.e. drizzle.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Weather as we used to have it, as viewed through my rose-tinted monocle! It does seem to be a lot more wild in its fluctuations these days, and the extremes are more extreme. We had events such as the summer of ’76 in my lifetime, and storms that flattened everything in eighty-something, but these events seem to be more frequent now. Nothing in the way of conspiracy or engineering, methinks, but mayhap a natural cycle of a constantly cycling climate. We are far overdue for a pole shift and a major change in sun and sunspot activity – perhaps they are a-beginning?

      I quite like drizzle, it’s sort of akin to awfully polite rain. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I didn’t think Great Britain had tornadoes. I’m sorry for your sweaty weather. I do live somewhere that gets much hotter but it has taught me that humans adapt to their environment if it stays the same long enough. If you normally live 10 degrees below the current temperature, you will naturally feel the same distress I feel in 100 degree weather. I think that’s the biggest disservice air conditioning does. It makes being out in normal summer heat feel unbearable. But I’m not giving it up

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oddly, we have more (in terms of tornados for land area) than any other country on the planet! Thankfully though most of them are very wee beasties. This is similar news, I think, to our being able to lay claim to the most poisonous spiders in the world – the catch being that they have jaws that aren’t large enough to break human skin… so they don’t really count!

      The even oddererist thing about me though is that my early childhood was spent in Hong Kong – you would have thought that living there ought ot have given me some sort of ability to handle hot and humid weather, but I have none, I just don’t seem to have a cooling system of any sort! It is all most confusticating indeed. 🙂

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      1. I grew up in Puerto Rico. Because they always had a breeze, there was no AC. I don’t ever recall being hot as a child. But we moved to the States and then I understood Hot. Also cold.

        But I think the acclimation is a short term thing in any case. The first week or two of winter is horrible even though it’s usually not that cold. But then you just develop a skin for it or something.


  4. Help! And we’re expecting 39 degrees on Thursday? You must be having a laugh! Take care and I hope the Cardinals paint doesn’t blister!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is indeed silly weather. and I for one do not enjoy it – although there have been plenty who have expressed great delight in the hotnessnous and humidityness. I name this weather ‘Ugh!’ – may the Greek and Roman gods bless all who fail in it. 😉


  5. The UK has the highest density of tornadoes on the planet. Ours are just not so damaging as elsewhere. We have on average 1 a week!!

    If heading northbound, be aware of the limitations of cruising the foreign waters of the Bridgewater

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We do indeed. There is no wonder, no wonder at all why the Inuit (or are they “Eskimo” again? I can’t keep up with what’s right-think not-wrong-speak these days!) have several hundred words to describe English snow… 😉

      I am going to give the Bridgewater a miss – at my cruising speed seven days with no return in twenty-eight would leave me well and truly dis-geographicated. May well have a look at the tunnels and then do a turn-around and head back for a while to terra cognita, where I might at least get some of my jobs done!

      Hope all is swelligant with you chaps, wherever you are and whatever you may be trying to not be caught doing… 🙂


      1. Well-well-well some very nice prose from you ‘boaties’ indeed commenting on canal ‘cruising’ you are so lucky you lot it has always been an unsuccessful ambition of mine to own a NB but cowardice and being very poor financially (not that bad off really) curtailed my ambition.Happy boating you lot maybe I’ll see you from the tow-path someday.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There are many less-preferable ways to live than on a narrowboat – in a flour sack dangled over a pig pen, for example. I have tried both, and narrowboating is definitely the more preferable of the two. I did once enjoy several months living in a large shop window, although the disadvantage there was having to “freeze” whenever a member of H.M. Public strolled by…

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