Ducks on the rear cover #narrowboat #boating #England

Eh-Up Duck on his longboard takes advantage of the toadally rad barrels, dude caused as I step on and off the stern end. If you’ve never heard a rescued plastic duck squeal with delight then you’ve missed one of Life’s free treats.

I think it may have rained a little during the night.

At least I know that Mr Fenwick’s Patent Canvas Re-Proofer works. The patches seem to be holding nicely, too, so I’ve ordered another kit of those.

Ing-ger-lund’s weather has been classic stuff this past week. Warm, cool, dry, wet, windy, calm – but enough of the first ten minutes, you get the picture.


Just in case you misunderstood the first picture, here’s one from ten minutes later.


We do clouds, in England, it’s one of our few remaining industries. Eee by ‘eck, there’s nowt like workin’ a full shift down t’cloud mines. There’s a rich seam of cumulonimbus capillatus that runs all the way from Yorkshire right down to South Wales. Mother sub-contracted me to work on it for a few formative years, just until I was old enough to go into school the Army (her old regiment).

We were poor, but we were happy, and never short of a sack of altocumulus lenticularis.

My Winter-Bone is twitching something rotten this autumn, probably because – quite seriously – I can’t decide whether England will be embroiled in some bloody “civil war” sometime (very) soon, so you won’t be surprised to hear that I am forted up here with plenty of fire-power.


D’yah see what I did there? Huh? Huh? Geddit? Fire-power…

Oh forget it, I’m not going to explain.

Mr Stove was recently gently woken, offered a breakfast tray and asked to join me at his leisure for a short test-burn in the main cabin. Things went well. Kindling, a handful of pellets from the rear end of a Coalosaurus, I rattled the box of matches in a provocative manner and a nicely controlled conflagration ensued.

All is in order.


As in, my ducks are in a row, or at least they would be, were they not all on the rear tonneau, surfing, and singing Beach Boys’ numbers. And were there not just the one of them. Is it possible to have a row of just the one, slightly deranged duck?

The weather did play nicely yestereve though, which is what was much appreciated since it was “pizza night” at Venetian Chandlery & Hire Boats. Praise be unto them for organising aforesaid event, twas very enjoyable and much appreciated. I curtailed my ambitions at just the one (double) gin-&-tonic on this occasion, since the two that I accidentally imbibed at the previous pizza night had me walking like a PG Tips chimp.




Baked on Board on The Facebook .

I discovered while making my well-fed, well-watered way back to the Cardinal that my “the smart mobile telephone” has some sort of torch function, dog-poop avoidery in the twilightish dark for the use of. Amazing stuff. That’s two of the “apps” things that I use now; the gizmo that lets my batteries talk to me, and this torch device. One more of the “the apps” and I shall soon be walking phone in hand, head down, utterly ignoring life and other hoomans, just like almost everyone else. Perhaps it’s time that I forgot the PIN to unlock the phone? That would be something easily achieved. I miss my old Yuppie-Brick, a mobile telephone that only made and received telephone calls, and – revolutionary notion – had a green button to accept a call and a red button to reject or hang up on a call.

I have a couple of outdoor jobs remaining (am I allowed to say “remaining”, given the current political nincomnuttery abounding?) but given the look of today’s sky I think I’ll content myself with an indoor one, and perhaps another spot of the narrowboaty book that has been in the pipeline for so very long. T’trouble is, I keep re-working and re-writing it. If I don’t get it done and out into the wild soon no-one will be around who even remembers narrowboats…

No idea what the passing boat traffic will be like today. It’s been like Wacky Races afloat at times during the past few days. My tartings up of the Cardinal’s gunwales, the ones necessarily now exposed to the canal, have already been scraped and side-swiped. To the gentleman who did so wholly unnecessarily and in what appeared, to the cynical mind, to be in a state of not some little casual disregard, and who then suggested that I do something quite improbable to myself, may I say ‘I’ve got your boat name and your boat number, and I never forgive, never forget. Not ever.’

As Vera Lynn once put it so eloquently to me while the Berkeley Square nightingales were being bombed by the Luftwaffe (an organisation known to dislike the more mainstream songbirds) ‘We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet some sunneeeeee day – when you least suspect it, and when I have made full and complete preparations for our meeting.’

Jus’ sayin’.


Mother taught me well. I don’t hold a grudge. I have bespoke, glass-fronted racks to store them in until required.

Talking of remote and lonely abandoned coal mines already half-full of the bodies of folk who p*ssed Mother off in some way, my fingernails are disgusting at the moment – I think I’ll bake some bread today, that’ll get the gunk out from under them quite nicely. Making bread is also the most effective way known to man of removing traces of blood and/or the recent use of fire-arms from human hands – the longer you knead, the more effective the cleaning.

Also jus’ sayin’.


[There here follows, I should think, an ugly and unpleasant experiment with “onion damper” that goes terribly wrong, leading to a narrowboating chap having to live the rest of his life with one hand permanently baked into a small crusty flat-bread of antipodean origin.]

It’s all go on the canals, you know, never a dull moment.

Chin-chin for the mo, Muskies, gossip as soon as I have any.

If you have any gossip then please do leave details in the comments below.

Ian H.


    1. A life on the ocean g’day is good for a duck. Sinnce Ey-Up Duck came aboard I have noticed a boat passing that was covered in variations on the rubber duck theme, and wondered if he was one of theirs gone astray. Eh-Up made no move to rejoin their party though, and the opportunity passed.

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    1. That covers most politicians in the world at the moment! In the western world were revolutions, uprisings and “sod you lots” always so difficult to get started, or have we become as docile as sheep? I am so close to the mirror that I can’t see enough to decide whether I am wearing fur, or wool… 😉

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  1. Yers, it has been somewhat wet hasn’t it? Frankly, I am bored with it now, I need to see the sky without black clouds.

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    1. I do wonder sometimes whether rain actually does come from clouds – perhaps it it raining in outer space, all of it, and our clouds are just in the way? Raining throughout the universe…

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  2. Ah, wonderfully funny and tittersome aloudous, just what you need of an afternoon when you can’t see the keywboard because it’s so dark and thankful for the touchtyping lessons! The rain it be lashing at the mainbrace as I type this. Ten four rubber duck over and out!

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    1. Aye, I have the terrible feeling that daylight will not make an appearance around here too. There are dog-emptiers on the towpath, lighting their way by guttering candle…


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