An administrative change of scenery (a short cruise of some 82,500 miles) #narrowboat #boating #boatsthattweet

The weather forecast from Her Majesty’s Meteorological Office is laden with rain and breezes tomorrow, and yet I do rather like these here moorings, they are as rural as a warm cow-pat and as comfortable as any stretch of damp armco with a MiFi signal can be.

The Cardinal and I have therefore enpootled from one end of these moorings (restricted by they who &etc to “48 hours” max[imum]) to about two yards past a significant bit of wood at the other end.

Bureaucracy may well record us as being in the same area but one side of that wee post in the hedgerow is only two days of stay allowed while where we are now is up to the more proper 1995 Waterways Act fourteen days should the mood take me. It won’t take me, but I do think that the weekend here might be good for my #wellbeing #lifesbetterbywater and so forth.


The move took ten minutes (from rope untying to re-tying) during which time – allowing as best I can for the rotation of the planet, the planet orbiting the Sun and the rotation of our galaxy about its core – but ignoring the rest and not compensating for the expansion of space-time – the Cardinal and I actually moved in space through approximately 82,500 miles.

The true velocity of my narrowboat was therefore on the order of between 494,998mph to 495,002mph (since I have no idea whether our apparent 2mph motion was retrograde or not, and if so then to what degree). This is something like 123,570 times the canal speed limit. Not bad for a 42HP 1.7 litre Isuzu diesel and a 17″ three-blade prop.

I think that this may be why the cows in the field on the offside all gawped at me in not some little awe and wonder on our arrival. The Cardinal must have appeared in a flash, probably trailing a rainbow-streak of ionised particles to the stern.

Captain Kirk eat your heart out.

Unless, of course, those cows were themselves also travelling at near half a million muppets per squilliquode, and our relative velocipedes were just a couple of miles per hour different from one another (they relatively* stationary in a field, drooling, versus me, relatively* stationary on the rear deck, also drooling), in which case they were probably just being curious, as most Earth cows are. Preternaturally curious.

*Term ‘relatively’ used to hint at an entirely more complicated can of worms.

Or perhaps they are CaRT narks, logging my progress?

Anyway, short of searching the herd for a cow with an earpiece, a direct line to the canal rozzers, and more money in the bank than it can explain away I have no way of knowing.

‘Suspect Everyone, Trust No-One’ is (one of) our family motto(es).

‘Kill them all and let their various “gods” sort them out’ is another one, and one of my personal favourites. I remember it hanging over my cot in the nursery, hand-embroidered in a Gothic font and then elegantly framed. It covered up a nasty stain on the wall marking the location of the demise of one of my earlier nannies, fatally discomnobulated during a nappy-change gone horridly wrong. I was a disgusting child. How I used to laugh, imagining her arriving at the Pearly Gates wearing the same facial expression she bore as she left this mortal coil!

Motteaux aside, the view from my side-hatch has changed from this


to this


and I do now need a sit-down. If only I could find a seat that wasn’t rotating with an axial tilt of 23.439281° while also in a slightly eccentric orbit around the Sun, wobbling a little because of the influence of the Moon, in a Solar System that is itself in orbit in a Galaxy that is accelerating away from a “Big Bang” through space-time that is constantly changing.

Perhaps a First Class seat on a train leaving Station A and heading towards a train leaving Station B, or something…


A move of 82,500 miles (plus some factor to adjust for the motion of the galaxies away from the alleged site of the alleged Big Bang which I don’t have the necessary piece of string to account for) gives me the option under CaRT of mayhap moving on Monday, when Friday’s inclemencies and the weekend weekenderings will be over and done with, should I feel like doing so. Perhaps earlier. Perhaps later. Nano-second precision and timing is everything on the canals.

It must be said that the sky does suggest that a little something is in the offing, once Weather HQ has made up its mind quite what.


Moreover, notwithstanding and so forth by Jove and Jiminy Cricket, the cows are all now lying down…


…and we all know what that means, don’t we.

It’s Quiz Time!

Your starter for ten; what is wrong with the bucolic scene in the photograph below?

Nota bene, the photograph has not been manipulated. The presence of sunshine-sparkles on the water in England during late October is not the answer. Nor is it that one of the narrowboats appears to be one of the new-fangled “hover-boats”.

Answers in the comments please.


Chin-chin, bottoms up and tootle-pip etcetera.

Ian H., & Cardinal W.


  1. Ah … being a landlubber I did not know about this ‘passing’ thingy, but it seems a little, well, bugger-ass stupid, to be setting off into a fisty mog, side-by-side. 🙂


  2. There are indeed international rules of the sea, to whit – International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGs). Among other things the rules cover ‘Lateral Marks’
    They mark the navigable part of the channel and are divided into Port and Starboard marks. Port marks are red in colour and shaped like a cylinder, while starboard marks are green and conical in shape.

    When entering harbour a ship simply has to keep the Port marks to Port and the Starboard marks to Starboard – could anything be more simple and logical? The entire maritime world agreed and every country promptly signed up – except for one.

    I’ll give you three guesses but you will probably get it in one. The US of A decided it made more sense to keep the Starboard marks to Port and vice-versa. No doubt they had good reason but they have so far kept it close to their chest.

    Makes for a difficult life if you sail in the USA/Canada border region. If it is foggy and you are not sure where you are (and there are lots of foggy days in those parts) you somehow need to be certain if the sanctuary you are trying to enter is American or Canadian – get it wrong and the bouys will lead you to certain doom.

    Its a funny old world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would feign surprise, but I’m not surprised in the least. It’s probably something to do with tying up their horses as they enter harbour.

      Mind you, I do suspect that once completed their wall at the Mexican border will prevent most if not all shipping right up to the Articulated Circle – wouldn’t want anyone just popping around the ends of the wall, would we?


  3. itsathought2 – it was indeed strange for me learning to pass on the “other” side. I suppose that boats do it that way in order to keep their cutlass arm free for battle as they pass…

    No idea when the rule was first laid down. Driving a car on the wrong side, however, is just uncomfortable and against all instincts. I ask you – anti-clockwise around roundabouts? What’s that all about then? 😉

    In multi-dimensional boating the rule is to simply glide right through one another. It’s about time that all of that empty space in atoms was actually used for something.


    1. Actually, I hadn’t spotted those problems, but they are indeed problems. Not the principle one that ought to have boaters jumping out of their seats and throwing their hats to the deck in horror though… so extremely well done, but not quite the “do have a cigar” answer! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Have a Havana, sir! Boats should always, where possible and unless agreed between one another, pass on the wrong side. This lot wobbled about a bit, all three zig-zagged, and then they just sort of silently agreed to ignore each other. I blame the Russians. 😉

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          1. Ha. I thought this and then thought – nah. That’s just my American bias assuming the world works like America does. We drive on the right and I know you guys drive on the left. So I figured the boats would follow suit. But perhaps boating follows a more universal principle?

            Although I must say that if they want people to follow rules they ought to make them locally consistent with a boater’s experience. But I guess since boats have historically been quite international travelers it makes sense to have a universal rule. I wonder how that works in space where one has a 3 dimensional option for passing…

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