The last Pimm’s… #narrowboat #boating #England

Got up this morning at my usual Sparrowfart O’Clock, up and down the (inside of) the boat a few times doing the routine jobs from tending to Mr Stove to making the bed. Checked for there being no-one nearby or on the horizon, and then staggered outside for to check the outside of the Cardinal, that no birds had emptied their bowels on my solar panels, no duck had set up home on the stern button, the ropes were all looking happy – and to get some air and some early-morning low sunshine (and some Ditamin V).

Also got a sort of tragic, happy-sad laugh. The sort of laugh that a chap doesn’t really need, if truth be told. There was a slice of cucumber floating along. It seemed to my brain-gland that perhaps someone had flung the remnants of the last Pimm’s of Civilisation into the canal. The glass will have sunk to the bottom of course, but this rather sad, solo slice of cucumber was tick-tocking its way to oblivion.

As I said, it wasn’t a happy laugh.

The happy laugh came yesterday as I was preparing some food – two ducks decided that right under my nose just outside the galley window would be the best place for a protracted and enthusiastic shag.


My goodness me, but aren’t ducks vocal wee beasties when in the throes of connubial bliss.

Yesterday eve the Prime Minister ordered the entire country to stay at home. Three hours later, Mr Parry, the (in)glorious “leader” of the Canal & River Trust, had a minion issue an email finally suspending their enforcement 1995 Waterways Act’s requirement to move move move each and every fourteen days minimum, but also, oddly, very reasonably asking that boaters still out and about – oh, so now he needs we horrid liveaboards, eh? – to “maintain a minimum of navigation so that service areas remain accessible” (as in don’t silt up over the weeks).

Halle-bloody-lujah. At-flaming-last.

It only took the Prime Minister’s forceful toe up Parry’s weaselly arse to get him to see just a smidgen of sense.


There was a mad flurry of boats moving yesterday. How many, I wonder, are effectively stranded somewhere not where they would have chosen to be because they weren’t cantankerous and bull-headed enough to stick to their guns and get to and stay where they wanted before the (rightful) imposition of no leisure boating &etc?

The photograph above was taken this morning. I am walking no farther than half-way towards the boats moored fore and aft, it wouldn’t be fair on them to go closer unnecessarily. When the time comes that I need services I’ll either move the Cardinal and/or then I’ll walk past – when it’s essential to, and not before.

The lack of walkery-aboutery is going to drive me insane, but it can’t be helped, and I doubt that my insanity will really be noticed.

Hecky-heck, even the lack of cruisery-aboutery is already getting on my wick!

So far today – but it is still early – so good. Nothing like yesterday’s “Mother’s Day” slash “quick move before Martial Law pertains” shenanagins. Examples below.




Nothing, of course, like the Hell that is London and other cities and large towns, but then, well… that’s the whole bloody point, isn’t it? This isn’t London, and we could, if we gave a shitski, behave better than they.

They may be family groups and couples, but I’m not and the guy on the boat pictured is not. Nor are the folk on the boats moored behind in any way related to these people who are sharing their air with us because, canals, yeah? Deserted open space, innit. This is what the weasel Parry was actively encouraging right up until 20:29hrs yesterday evening. Screw me, it’s wellness-by-water for the public. Now though he’s anxious that we live-aboard boaters stop the service areas and cut in general from silting up!

No, I would not be that unkind to the fleas of a thousand camels.

Anyway. I (still) have (some) spuds and cabbage and onion and greens, so today’s meal-ette will be a b’gered about version of Colcannon mit der black pepper und der yummen yum. Good, solid, apocalyptic food. 😉

No Pimm’s though.

Just Corona brand beer.

Chin-chin for the moment, chaps, do please all stay safe and keep on keeping on. Indoors.

In especially so my London-living nephew and his family. Tim, seriously – run for the hills if you can.

Ian H.


  1. Gosh, i always thought only the comunists said all things will be locked down, if the will tell. Lol
    Sorry, Ian. For you narrowboaters a horrible time, too. But otherwise you are the more free living, these days. Keep cool and stay save. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keep safe and well yourself, too. We’re (“we’re” – positive thinking there, including myself) going to need people once this thing is over.

      This thing feels horridly real and totally unreal at the same time. I think I may be moored on De Nile instead of the Middlewich Canal… (sorry, someone had to pun it). 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t Mallard a chuffing great British Racing Green steam train?


      If this pandemic goes on too long then all of the ducks around here will be known by the name “Dead Meat”. I’m sure that a few of them disappear in ordinary times, in these times, well…


      1. It is, indeed, a steam locomotive, currently retired at the National Railway Museum at York. I believe. It holds the speed record in passenger service.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. We’re fine, Ian – the screaming hordes of Gengis Khan (aka Supermarket Locusts) were absent from our local Morrisons this morning, and I managed to get nearly everything on my list 👍😃

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Great! I have to go to my local Boots for my eyedrops this afternoon and will make a brief foray into the butcher and Tesco. Tesco has emailed me and told me they have put hand sanitizers and wipes around the stores. I wonder how many will be left, not stolen, by the time I ger there?

          Liked by 2 people

  2. All the authorities here seem to think we are about to be properly in for it. 446 cases in my state, 6 deaths. And when one considers how few get tested….

    It seems to me that a massive effort to manufacture surgical masks and gloves to hand them out to all and sundry who feel the need to leave their premises ought to be done. I find the fact that you can feel fine, be infected and contagious very disturbing. We need to make the mask a standard public wearable for the duration. It should feel as disturbing to go without one as not wearing pants.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We are indeed a peculiar species, to make such vast preparations for wars that we swear we do not want, while making no such preparations for “natural” disasters of this nature (and many others). It’s almost as though all of our priorities are skewed… ;-(

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Effective War Mongering and a Good Economy. Probably someone’s graduate thesis. I imagine if enough capitalists would come up with a monetize these sorts of disasters…. Wait. No. Not a good plan. Forget I said it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think perhaps it’s self-monetising… when you think about it, we’ve bought just about everything in every shop (except for parsnips, Brussels sprouts and those things that get horses out of boy scout’s hooves), and we’ve not only emptied the tax-payer’s coffers into corporate hands but gone zillions of pounds into fresh debt too. The government has no money of its own, it’s all come from the peasants… Just my cynical take on tragedy and its unavoidable money flows… ;-(

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Hope you are moored to somewhere walkable for food or that wonderful fuel boat can brings stuff along for all of you. This is the time to resume the mobile shops that have all gone now, my local green grocer used to come round twice a week – miss that! Stay safe, but keep on keeping on!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Pat. No shops walkable from here – and the local marina has (quite reasonably) announced that it is closed to the public. If this includes access to the Elsan point (the gazunders) then I’ll have to move anyway in a couple of weeks’ time. I just don’t know. The gazunder point is almost at the front fence, nowhere near the main marina, but their marina-dwellers do have to use it, they may not want to be sharing it with those of us moored nearby (just outside the marina in fact).

      To be reviewed and thought about.

      Hope that you are well an dkeepping so – and that you can at some time get a chuffing grocery delivery. You’d think that the supermarkets would interrogate their comuter systems to prioritise those (of us) who have had deliveries since Adam was a lad. 😉


Comments are closed.