My early morning stroll-ette #narrowboat #boating #boatsthattweet

There was a decent frost this morning, although – this being England – the actual daytime today is blue sky sunshine and relatively warm. 🙂 In spite of the warmth I am keeping Mr Stove “in” today; he was an absolute bar-steward to re-light last night.

The towpaths, which are, for the most part, not public rights of way, have finally been posted as not for the world and its grandma to jog, cycle, ramble and wheeze upon, but to be left to those who live very locally or who live on them effectively in das boaten. The posters warn to please avoid areas where boats are moored. That’s going to be as much deterrent as expected. Foot traffic has though fallen since Sunday’s moronic levels, which is what are good at least.

I am the dot isolated a boat length behind the visible dot…

I’ve always perambulated and always avoided crowds. During the current Interestingness I have moved my (one permitted a day) perambulation to Sparrowfart O’Clock, or earlier. The air has had a nice chance to refresh overnight (I hope) and there are very few people about.

As you can see from the lead photograph, the Fuel Boat Halsall are doing Trojan service continuing deliveries while they may – distancing manoeuvres apply strictly, customers staying in their boats or well away on the towpath, payment being taken on-line where possible &etc.

They are pictured here on an overnight stop at Venetian Chandlery, also providing Trojan service, staying open and observing strict distancing procedures. For those wondering, a canal chandlery is a mixture of essential shops, supplying hardware and gas, coal, etceteras. Boats are not hooked into “mains” services.

Halsall moored overnight outside Venetian Chandlery

Yesterday morning I (changed my rules to allow me to) scoot past the one boat moored ahead, this giving me about three hundred yards of canal where I would be be-bothering no-one else. I think I may have given anyone in the farmhouse over the field some cause for titteration – for best part of an hour (while Mr Kettle slowly came to temperature on Mr Stove) – I marched up and down like some lost and demented palace guard.

Left – right – left – right – ABAAAAAHHHHT TURN! Left – right – left – right – ABAAAAAAAHHHT TURN! You there, you ‘orrible hairy little man… INCREEEEEASE PACE! Eft -igh – eft -ight – ABBAAAAAAHHHT TURN…

Silly-looking or not, it blew away the cobwebs, got my joints (all Borg implants) moving without squeak and gave me fresh air and a spot of low sunshine – without my being a road-block for anyone else.

Jack Frost

This morning I took a more adventurous stroll still, since no-one was about, and oiked briefly up to above the lock. Such variety in one’s perambulations. I made sure that I was back by the time the kettle was thinking about whistling. Whistle and I’ll come to you, I had told Mr Kettle as I left. I was as good as my word.

Supermarkets in this area (may be everywhere, I don’t know) continue to refuse to even show their “home delivery” pages to me, all I get shown is a page telling me that they have not identified me as vulnerable or essential or whatever. Doubtless the poor buggers driving the deliveries are, like everyone else in one of those jobs, looking up the postcode for Witz End Terrace

Someone please remind me to keep feeding Mr Stove during the day, I don’t want a repeat of last night’s pantomime with lighters and kindling and cajolatory inflammatory exhortations in re exothermic stovish enthusiasm.

Can’t complain, lunch has already been cooked on Mr Stove, j.i.c., &etc., a delicious mish-mash of spuds, cabbage, green beans, mange tout, turnip and garlic and pepper. That’s the last of the veggies then.

Saves gaseous gas if I cook on the stove while I can.

Jack Frost is introduced to Mr Sun

Had a distinct shock yesterday…

Policemen came a-walking, in search of a someone (not me, for the moment).


Never, ever, ever seen policemen on the towpath hereabouts (or in my case, anywhereabouts).

Haven’t seen a policeman “on the beat” in decades.

Two such constitutes a rocking-horse droppings occurrence!

However, how the ever, my reliable sources tell me that they were in search of a someone. Not a romantic search, but a police business search.


For a moment there I thought that we had slipped into a parallel dimension.

Keep happy, keep safe, and do, please, keep keeping on.

Ian H.


  1. Interesting image of the two policemen to conjure up a scenette for the book, thank’ee; searching for someone you say, hmm? I think Hugo Bott would keep very quiet and despite being an ex-policeman wouldn’t go out for a friendly chat. Fits nicely into the plot! Don’t forget to keep Mr Stove alight! I wish I could send you over food parcels! I’ve been exploring all sorts of avenues, like local farm shops (they seem to be doing deliveries now) and saw a local veggie merchant delivering next door – on line he does all kinds of other stuff like bread etc. Goggle search and area you’re in reveals them all (just a thought) and even got a brochure for Farm Foods (reasonable prices and they do vegetarian, and a selection of ‘without’ i.e. gluten, dairy etc.)

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  2. Those People of the Police Persuasion are not keeping appropriate distance from each other. Abuse of Privilege. 🤣

    I nearly got my Aunt Sara on last night. I went to the grocery and there were two clerks with their arms around each other. I may not be a touchy feely person, but I normally don’t judge others for expressing affection by invading each other’s personal space. (unless it’s my personal space) But this is not the time! Keep your hands and bodies to yourself! I kept my Aunt Sara thoughts to myself though. I’m still not sure it was the best choice.

    I’m beginning to wonder if there are people who are deliberately ignoring the social distancing guidelines just to be “cool”. Or possibly to celebrate their own stupidity. it’s hard to tell.

    When this nightmare is over I’m buying a box of masks and a box of gloves. I continue to think that it would be better if we could ramp up the manufacture of those items and distribute them widely. So when one must go into a public place like a grocery there is less exposure.


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