Mud, mud, Gloria’s mud, there’s nothing quite like it for chewing the cud #narrowboat #boating #England

Soggy is a word wholly inadequate for describing the towpaths hereabouts at present.

Mud-wallows is a phrase more fitted to the task.

The section shown above is mild in comparison, tis farther along the canal from where I am moored. I include the photograph because it is a developing leak-ette, an increasingly effective breachling, an exciting and growing opportunity for the insertion of a suitable digit of an apex species hominid into an orifice in a lowland dyke. There is really not a lot left now to maintain the relative altitude of that paddle-gear. Oh well, perhaps that orange expandy-palliative plastic stuff is stronger and more structural than it looks.

Time, and more water will tell.

There’s not been a lot here to tell of late. It’s been windy – very windy at times. It’s been raining – biblically at times. It’s also been cold – especially so last night.

Hind Brain woke me at around 0400hrs whereupon I discovered that Mr Stove had suffocated under the unfeasibly generous reverse-Tardis-like amount of ash that is produced from this year’s crop of “coal” briquettes. The volume of ash seems to exceed by not some little margin the volume of the “coal” that I spoon onto the fire. Last night it was sufficient to utterly choke the poor thing, and the boat – this being, of course, the first really cold night for a long while – was beginning to chill.

So there I was, at a Zeus-forsaken hour, clearing out the mortal remains of the dead fire, taking the opportunity to sweep every last corner, dumping ashes and coal into the ashes bucket – and drenching the hot, though not burning or lively, remains with water, putting the aforesaid bucket outside into the night (since it could not, in all CO mono-conscience, be left indoors) and starting the stove agin from scratch. Then I had to watch it until Mr Stove had blinked back his tears, gulped and given me the “what a brave little soldier”  thumbs up.

By which time Mr Duvet had cooled thoroughly, and I had to begin that process all over agin too.

Fun fun fun, ’til Daddy took the Morris Oxford GTi Coupé away.

The towpath may look green from a distance, but step onto it and a chap become nothing more than a head poking out of deep, deep mud.

Cooler still tonight, methinks, we’ll have to keep a weather eye on the caprices of Messrs Phlogiston Ltd.

The blacksmith boat passed by, I hope that they won’t mind me bunging herein a photo of the working butty and signage details. Herewith.



From Fudge-Boat to Pizza-Boat to Blacksmith’s Boat there’s industry in them there canals.

I include for your delight – for it delighteth me – this wee boat. It is someone’s pride and joy and does receive attention and hugs. I admire the total mix and matchness add-on-ishness of the shape, the levels, the layers and even the sliding bits. The canals of England are nothing if not home to splendid variety.

I must be weird – I always admire this wee thing whenver I walk past.

The three stooges – those seriously ‘orrible swans, the couple and the adolescent who, so far, has “failed to launch”, as they say – patrol up and down this section.

They hiss at me, I hiss at them. It’s a balanced relationship.

The Three Stooges.

The adult male is the self-same one that I entered into fisticuffs with last year when he lay claim to the entire towpath and I expressed some distinct pedestrian disagreement.

Curry for tiffin this evening. Er – vegetablearyan curry that is, nothing based on the liver and onions of a swan. It’s cooking on Mr Stove as I type this. My typing has nothing to do with its cooking though, it would cook even were I not typing, if you see what I mean. The keyboard is incidental, the heat from the fire germane.

Actually, I have no idea what nationality the heat from the fire is.

I got some new trousers this week, praise be to the gods Gusset and Elastica, and was pleased to find my new “favourite pair” among them. This is fortunate, since my previously favourite pair are developing what the legal profession calls “Flasher’s fly”.

The pursuit of life is moot, happiness is relative, but the preservation of liberty is dear to me.

I should not like to have to appear in court again, in the dock explaining ‘Yes, Your Honour, the zipper had indeed failed but it was a very cold winter’s day, and thus no substantial offence could be said to have been given. I move that the jury be dismissed and the accused given £25 from the Public purse to pay for a new pair.’

The little gentleman asked for fourteen other instances of arson to be taken into account.

Oh dear – a Council “gritter lorry” has just trundled past on the road. The powers that be think it’s to be cold tonight too.

Whisky in my cocoa methinks, for medicinal purposes only of course.

I wonder why they don’t grit the canals?

I suppose that the lorries probably sink an awful lot, if they try.

Right, I mun away and stir my witches brew, perhaps add a shovel or two extra of garlic to the mix. It’ll be ready when I pull the wooden spoon out and there’s no spoon left on the handle.

Keep warm and beautiful wherever you are, if you want to be loved.

Other mis-heard song lyrics are available, but probably not in your size.


Ian H.


    1. The bestest thing about the mud-wallows of the towpath is that I am able to fetch inside the boat two ten-ton bootfuls each time I step aboard… ;-(

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m guessing you need to start to worry when it’s hard to tell the difference between the tow-path and the canal. I’m attracted to the idea of setting classic rock ‘n’ roll numbers in a British setting. “Fun fun fun, ’til Daddy took the Morris Oxford GTi Coupé away” (I suggest removing ‘GTi coupe’ would help it scan more betterer). “Get your kicks, on the A66.” “I’m a rhinestone teddy boy”. “Dartmoor Prison Blues.” “Positively Regent Street”. Your entries on a pinhead – this is so much FUN!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agreed!

      I just can’t get over the notion of what the English car industry might have been like had there actually been beasts such as the Morris Oxford GTi Coupé! I can even imagine the styling…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. What fun. What about ‘Way down yonder in Brixton Town’, or ‘Old York, old York’, and ‘Only 24 hours from Manchester.’
      This could be a fun game.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The strange looking boat is a type of Frobisher. They usually have a Cutlass hull, and can go past at a fair old rate of knots, without disturbing your curry on the stove. They swim beautifully in the canal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! They are indeed horrid and violent things – folk who think that they’re wonderful must not have had much close-contact with them! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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