Mud, wind, pandemics #narrowboat #boating #England

Mud, wind and pandemics.

Oh yes – and “Harry” and “Thing” and ReGretable Thunberg are all in the country.

Exactly how many horses’ arses of the Apocalypse are we playing host to?

Is that fair?

I suspect that England is currently out of favour with the inhabitants of Mount Olympus.

There’s no other explanation.

Zeus and Co have turned their backs upon us.

This is much more serious than had Legs & Co. decided to shun our company.

Gosh but my ol’ Dad used to like the songs where the pop group themselves couldn’t get to the BBC studio, so Legs & Co sort of filled in while someone played the record.

A couple of the other boats on these moorings have moved, so I have a choice of two and a half other moorings now – except that it would be pointless moving. The other spaces are all closer to trees, farther from the mobile mast, and it would just be an exercise in swapping one mud-wallow for another.


I received a very kind email from a mate of mine the other day – Chris, of TheStoryReadingApe Blog – (highly recommended) – letting me know that schools in towns nearby to me had been closed after pupils returned from half-term trips to Italy, and had tested positive for the current virus stuff. Chris is aware that I do not have – will not have – a television on the premises, and surmised quite correctly that I would not have seen that news. Thank’ee kindly sirrah.

[Some] schools are closed in Northwich, Sandbach and Nantwich. I was planning on mooching towards and through Middlewich, but I don’t think that I’ll do that now, considering… Middlewich has five locks in the middle of town, and getting through them would require a high degree of exposure to recently-pre-breathed air, too high an exposure for my liking. If the stoppage at Barbridge is cleared soon I may well scoot on through Nantwich – without stopping (no locks) and without breathing – into the wilds yonder.

That, if that it be, won’t be for a while yet though. We have another “named” storm breezing through in the next few says, 50mph gusts &etc forecast, bags of rain, that sort of thing, so here I stay. So long as the ropes hold and nothing blows off the roof (and nothing blows onto the roof) it’s all very atmospheric.

Unless, of course, Hairy and Meghan or Greta moor up here, in which case I wouldn’t bother with untying, I’d just ring down for “full steam ahead” and part the ropes.

I got groceries again yesterday. Eventually. Eee by gum, it were reet fun oiking them back to the Cardinal along that towpath. Had one especially lovely cartoon-esque moment where, had I not been forced to dance the high-speed Highland Fling as a child, I would have been apex over fundament and covered in fresh vegetables and pesto.

As it was I could hear “Th…th…that’s all, Folks!” as I regained my footing.


It is the kind of mud that sucks the boots off your feet.

If you ever let it get the boots off your feet it would then suck your feet off your ankles, and after half an hour of struggling you’d just be a head, pulling itself along using your tongue a la John Carpenter’s “The Thing”.

Three trips back and forth to carry the groceries, one to go back for my abandoned trolley. The ground is more solid at either edge, but which would be preferable, disappearing into the ditch under the hedgerow or (Little Jim voice by Spike Millligan – Goons) He’s fallen in the water…?

It was one of those tasks that you just shut down your brain for and get on with. A bit like being on the board of an NGO and/or a “not-for-profit” (what, in the olden days, would have been a Quango). The fun part is juggling around getting into the boat and once back aboard, reducing the amount of the countryside one brings in…

It’s all good, clean, fun.

With the ground everywhere soggy and the winds high there are trees down left, right and centre, and a few land-slips and unintentionally-mobile hitherto fixed-for-200-years embankments to be tickled back into shape. At least though, for the present, in these parts, there hasn’t been the flooding and mayhem that there is on parts of the system in Yorkshire and Lancashire and all other hilly/river-flood-plain/wotnot/whatever areas. Has been civilised, thanks be. Long may it remain so. It’s why I like this part of the system!

Ho hum. Storm Jorge (“Hor-hey” – for tis the Spainish who named this new storm, and they are strange about their Js and have some very odd GEs), Chinerese COVID-19 and the effectiveness or otherwise of containment tactics and methods may dictate whether there are any further blog entries here. At all. Ever.

Shan’t though, for a while, be short of pasta, coal and mud*.

*Not ingredients for a recommended recipe.

**Not yet awhile, anyway. Let’s see what happens if/when the shortages kick in.

Whomever you are, wherever you are, tape up the windows, kill the in-laws now (it’s kinder that way, they suffer less) and be safe.

Remember: coughs and sneezes spread diseases, catch them in your handkercheeses.


Well, you understand the idea.

Chin-chin for the mo,

Ian H., and Cardinal W.

So follow me follow, down to the hollow, and there we shall wallow in glo-ree-ous mud.



Glorious mud. There’s nothing quite like it for… nope, can’t think of a single practical use.



  1. Corvid-19 is a tad worrisome, not necessarily if one gets it, but for all the breathtakingly ignorant people who go into high panic, their herd-mentality rears its despicable head, and any civility they may have had left goes out the window, bathwater and baby and all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do wonder if this virus is the cat that will get entirely out of the bag. It does seem to be rather energetic and determined. As worrying as the sickness itself are the manifold draconian adjustments to the laws of the land, swept in on a tide of excuses about containing the thing but doubtless all to remain, usefully, on the statute books.

      After half a century of hard work by politiicans we now, in England, no longer have the right to silence and often no right to trial by jury (bugger Magna Carta!), have no financial support with which to afford the outrageous fees of lawyers, may be detained (if someone whispers either “the terror” or “the contagion”) indefinitely and held in what amounts to a cheerfully-named concentration camp, have no home-owned industries (no heavy “real” industries at all), buy our electricity in from the French, our coal from Eastern Europe, our food from gawds know where, the average house prices are 5.5 – 13 times the National average wage where once they were but 3…. and on and on. Done a great job, haven’t they? We’re all so warm and safe in our beds now, not!

      Aside from that, it’s all rosy. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that my parents were taught a sort of “wartime” mentality by their parents, and they taught it – incidentally, I think – to me. I do like to have my supplies lined up in a row. Sacks, tins, jars, packets, Purdeys and a variety of food for the Purdeys. 😉


  2. Thank you for the great information, Ian! Dont worry, here i have to wear rubber boots too. With a weather forcast about rainy days i am feeling like a UK resident. Lol Do not try to drive faster as the water flows.;-) Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The weather has just this moment turned very very very windy indeed and it is raining cats and dogs… I wonder why they’re always so accurate about the least-pleasant aspects of the forecast?


      Liked by 3 people

    1. This much is true. I ought to throw a pot or two, while the clay is available… 😉

      There have been one or two walkers passing by today, and not one of them performed the Highland Ye-Gods with as fleet a foot as did I.


  3. i enjoyed that. Ive often thought i will end up on a narrow boat someday but this post reminded me of Glastonbury 2007 where it rained for 7 straight days and i lost the will to live by noon sat, as the mud was knee deep and constantly pulling my wellies off thanks for posting ,Sherry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This year is far muddier than most years – a combination of the extra rain, the lack of freezing (so far!) and my choice (“choice”) of moorings. I have been limited much more this winter by canal repair works and closures, and by timings of school holidays (when I avoid towns) and – lately – by bugs released, somehow, some why, upon the world, than previously.

      Just wait – in summer I’ll be whining about it being too hot… 😉

      Yours sincerely, Mr Never-Satisfied, Tsk-Tsk, Witter-Witter, 230v AC-only & (usually in the) Bar.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. You are quite correct, it is The Law. 😉

          Can’t complain about today so far though – still windy but we have a bit of blue sky and some sunshine, the solar panels are feeding…

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Having just read your post and seen the awful conditions I was immediately reminded of the Battle of the Somme, so I’m not sure if the following suggestion will help or hinder. As you have no television but obviously have internet I wondered if you might like to amuse yourself with a radio play which I wrote which may help with your survival in the current conditions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank’ee muchly, that will indeed occupy an evening for me!

      The wireless – the broadcast one, not the one of your link, obviously! – is as much a disappointment these days as the television. So many channels, so little content.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t have TV either and I always switch the radio off when the news is about to start, so I am pretty much clueless about things going on in the world. Thank goodness for that!

    I hope you stay safe and uninfected!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Aside from what passes for “news” (utterly unbreliable) the only television that I miss is the rugby, and the occasional play or film. Do they still do those on television, like Play For Today, Hammer, and such? The rest of it – from what I’ve seen on brief visits to homes with the devices – is the most utter bilge!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I mate of mine – Jenny, you know who you are – made an observation a while ago that resonated with me. In centuries gone by we only heard, by word of mouth, about things that went on locally and things that were rumoured to be happening more widely. Now we hear about everything, everywhere, all of the time – and not a word of it is reliable. We’re worse off as far as knowing what is really going on than ever we were – because word of mouth has left the scene now too!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Glad to hear you’re okay and stocking up for the next onslaught. You are wise not to have a TV although the post coming through on Fb and Twitter are a mixed bag of mashing to say the least. Sometimes I feel like we in a survival documentary and it’s much like the film Contagion! Stay safe, warm and drunk if possible!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The main image for me is the nineteen-seventies (I think it was the seventies) television series – when I used to have a television, and it was occasionally owrht watching – ‘Survivors’. Exactly this scenario, I keep hearing the music, the dialogue, everything. These “accidental releases” or whatever they are (I don’t actually believe that anyone has sex with monkeys in marketplaces, or whatever it’s supposed to have been) get worse by the decade.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.