Water-sports, washing-machines, wet-rooms, well really, wavelets and winds #narrowboat #boating #England

All manner of modes of transport are used on the canals. This chap looked very chipper heading south, down-wind, but not quite so fresh when coming back northward, against the considerable breeze – two or more hours later. He was rewarded though with a stray football, which he captured alongside the Cardinal and stuffed up his stretchy t-shirt outfit thingy, thereafter looking as though

  1. pregnant, or
  2. desperate for a fart, or
  3. in dire need of some sort of hernia operation, or
  4. all three.

No, I haven’t pixellated his head, that’s his rather dapper hat.


I very much doubt that his tailor will be pleased with him, whatever the explanation or value of the find.

He was having some damned splendid fun though, whatever he was doing, although considering the amount of canal-water that he was coming into intimate contact with I do hope that he’s up to date with his innoculations.

It’s been a day of observations, really. The wind is blowing a right proverbial still, although the constant over-night rain stopped at about nine, or ish, o’morning.

Someone in the local CaRT rubbish/recycling point was living in hopes and stretching a point somewhat. A gutted washing machine next to the “Glass” bin.

Notable Benny: “ASH” is the name of the company supplying the bin, confusingly… It do say “Glass Only” on the lid. There isn’t a bin that has “Old Washing Machines” written on the top, not anywhere that I could see.


No idea why a washing machine might be so comprehensively gutted, or why someone would imagine that it will be whisked away without argument from the domestic rubbish/recycling compound. Oh to be so optimistic!

Talking of times gone by, in the CaRT yard – anyone else remember when these were called ‘Workmen’s huts’ or, latterly, ‘Portaloos’?


Well, nowadays they’re called ‘Eco7 Welfare Pods’ and rather than having your own and re-using it, you lease them from third-party companies. Toilets, showers, drying rooms and, for all I know, a “safe space, with puppies”.


Seriously, it’s genuinely great that times have moved on and facilities are improved, but I can’t help but wonder if somewhere out there is a company called

“Welfare Pod Solutions; ISO9002 Accredited”.

Ugh. “Solutions”. How terribly nineties.

Talking of the exact opposite of solutions, there’s a certain company just up the canal that seems to delight in almost totally blocking the canal for a third or half of the year. I think that maybe I know why now; it’s not that they’ve breasted up without thought for anyone but themselves, it’s just that all of their hire-boats are actually catamarans…

Must be, since they can’t even proceed proceedingly, officer, along the canal without taking up twice the space of anyone else.


These are the boats of the previous post, immune from any and all standards and code of behaviour, courtesy of their great £friends£”, the Canal & River Trust.

They cruise and they cruise (they moor and they moor)
and if they should chance to collide/be collided with with (by) some poor cad
you’ll never get them to pay for the damage
no matter how bad.

…if you’ll pardon the parapoemphraseology.

I had to love the way that the gentleman at the helm took a long look at the Cardinal and then flicked his cigarette butt distinctly in our direction.

Perhaps he’s a fan of the blog?


Don’t worry, matey – one of the local moorhens disposed of your tab.

Really, t’ain’t what you do, tis the way that you do it.

And a jolly good day to you too.

Anyway. Whatever.

The weather continues to amuse. I walked along the towpath to the nearby garage/shop today, in search of bread (can’t be [word redacted] with making my own today). Success of sorts with finding the industrially-produced sliced loaf, but the bar-stewards have removed half – the better half – of their grocery offerings. Oh well, no further needs to make muddy expeditions down the tow-path in their direction any more. Sniffle, weep.


The wind has raised the occasional tiny white horse on the canal, gusting in from exactly the opposite direction to the one specified on the Met Office website.

We’ve also had a spot of blue sky and a little something with which to feed Messrs Solar & Panels, but I think that’s probably it for the day now.


Ye gods (Zeus et al), it’s not even five of the afternoon and my duvet is calling.

‘Woo-hoo, hello gorgeous’ I can hear it saying. ‘Do come to bed.’

How long will I resist?

I don’t know. I could compromise, take a good book and get up later to put the kettle back on the stove…

It’s tempting, damned tempting.

I can resist anything except temptation.

Here endeth today’s Hector.

Ian H., & Cardinal W.


    1. My duvet did indeed come with a siren fitted, but I disconnected the wires and took the tin-snips to it. Much more peaceful now. There were far too many alarm calls during the night.

      As I type this this morning – litstening to the sound of the moorhens, akin to nothing so much as stepped-on squeaky doggie-toys – the light has the same quality as yesterday; a sort of white/grey about it. The “it” of it is trying its hardest to snow. It wants to. It’s straining to. But it can’t, as yet. Time will tell.

      This winter seems to have been going on for years. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I read in a scientific nature journal that ASH bins start out life as waste paper baskets. After six months fattening themselves on a diet of empty crisp packets and old bills, they enter the pupa stage, emerging four weeks later as a fully formed wheelie bin after shedding their skin (which, not coincidentally, resembles an empty washing machine). Often these discarded skins can be found round the back of Wetherspoons and on the lawns of council estates in Bingham.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There’s some sort of moth stage in-between; the moon-lit night sky in these parts can look as though wheelie bins from hell are streaming out, as indeed they are.

      If evolution teaches us anyfink, and it do, the species Wheelie Binius is set to continue its reduction in size until back once more at waste-paper basket proportions. The dustbin lorry to empty it will then call once every two years, and be a converted golf cart. Such is progress.

      Did we ever find out what killled off the old tin dustbin? Was it another meteorite?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh sleep I remember it well……insomnia is my bed fellow and the book is one I am currently writing after many weeks of inactivity in that direction, my pen doth flow! Talking of bread, your nobbly loaf of some posts ago spurred me on and now I am loafing regularly and thus avoiding that lactose powder the commercial folk insist on using, which is probably why you should never feed ducks with bread! Mmmm bread!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not only lactose powder. But stuff is in the flour, too. Have you read the ingredients on a packet of flour recently? I did. Apart from the inevitable vitamins, they add (because we are all too stupid to eat enough fruit and veg), they also add calcium carbonate. Now, if I remember rightly (and I should, since I used to teach science, and my memory hasn’t quite gone yet) calcium carbonate is otherwise known as chalk.
      I saw a programme about the Victorian era once, where they said something like ‘they used to add chalk to the flour for poor people,’ and this was portrayed as BAD. Now it’s added as a matter of course. For our health, of course, as we are again, too stupid to get enough calcium from cheese, milk, butter , green veg etc.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think that even the rogue Victorians would be proud of the amazing array of “what the heck is that?” things that the “they” bung in “our” food in this era. Not even the water from the tap escapes, it being insufficient to simply ensure that it is potable, now it must also serve some social “purpose” too. I have largely given up reading the detail on labels, it’s far too depressing.

        Mind you, knowing that most folk think that food comes in cardboard boxes, tis little wonder that stuff is slipped in on the fly. I prefer my food to come shaped as a recognisable basic something – a spud ior a carrot or a chickpea or whatever.

        Having lived on arable farms for many years (decades) even that is no guarantee… I’ve seen what happens to vegetables before the big HGVs arrive to cart them away, and it’s not pretty. ;-(


        1. I used to be a teacher in the dim dark ages. I was teaching Agricultural Science in a school in Croydon, Greater London. (The National Curriculum put paid to that subject, sadly.) I had a girl in my GCSE class who told me I was wrong about milk coming from cows. When I told her, yes it does, she said, ‘I know it doesn’t because my uncle works in a factory where they make milk.’
          So much for knowing where our food comes from! You are not far wrong when you say ‘most folk think that food comes in cardboard boxes.’
          And don’t get me started on drinks! Since the Government, in its wisdom, has imposed a susgar tax on them, it’s hard work and much research to find any without being stuffed with artificial chemicals in lieu of sugar. (A natural product.) What about sugar in just about everything else, even things not supposed to be sweet?


    2. Insomnia – I get that once in a blue moon, when my brain insists on a melt-down over the “what ifs” of my future and can’t come up with solutions (solutions – how nineties of my brain!) but usually I don’t remember my head hitting the pillow and barely have time enough to pull the duvet over my shoulder before Morpheus and I are in deep conversation. I used to lie slug-a-bad for hours, even days, as a youth and a youthling, but in these years it’s more “up and at ’em”.

      The powers that (try to) be on the canals issued edicts in past (recent) years about not feeding bread to wildfoul – oops, “wildfowl” – and a lot of it promptly starved to death. Truly, we humans know naff all and we interfere with the Status Quo (and any other rock band of the era) at our peril.

      NB,m At Our Peril is not an old rock band.

      Ruddy well done on baking the bread – tis much nicer, t’ain’t it? 🙂


  3. In any situation, if going to bed is an option, it’s the best option. I’m delighted that science has recently come down heavily on my side. I need more sleep is now the best and valid excuse. 😉

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