Goose gaps Git gaps Grandma gaps #narrowboat #boating #boatsthattweet

These Canada geese are a pain in the fundament. When I venture off the boat – as I did this morning, for coffee/cooking water – the little buggers honk and honk and honk as soon as they see me, and they don’t stop. There’s me trying to be quiet and giving moored boats all the room available and the geese are waking up the neighbourhood.

That said, if it comes to it they won’t be difficult to catch… catch them on a cold morning when they’ve already been disturbed once and they just can’t be bothered to move far or fast. One throw of a net and I’d be up to my nipples in goose-burgers before they knew what had happened to them.

What’s a “git gap” I hear you cry. Well, in the ordinary course of things boats – polite and well-mannered boats – give one another all of the room that they can. However, in towns and busy areas, it is not the done thing to leave too large a gap or, sometimes, even any gap between boats, so that more folk may moor there. That though, has been reversed by the current Interestingness of Times. Nobody, myself included – and, being crabby, cantankerous and Hectoratious, myself especially – wants other boats bow to stern. We’re all reasonably spaced out (no, sadly not that way, not until later this evening) down here, but are we making use of all of the room? Are we buggery.

The view to our stern…


The view forward, past the one boat in front of us…


I’m sayin’ nuthin, except that I moored here first! I attract other boats like flies around a turd. 😉

Grandma gaps?

Similar to Git gaps, except that this family didn’t bother with one. Daddy with baby in sling on back, mummy with stick and bobble-hat, Grandma holding toddler’s hand. They wandered past which I thought was odd enough – drive to a marina, park, walk over the road, over and around a lock and a mile or two along past moored boats. But no, oh no, they weren’t just walking. Reliable sources advise me that they had a chuffing picnic, sitting on the nearby public picnic benches…

Perhaps Grandma is worth a bob or two, and this is the best way that Tarquin and Belinda can think of to collect early on the in-herry-tunce.


The schools & wotnots have only been closed for a week, so we can be fairly sure that little toddlerykins hasn’t been isolated for even the minimum fourteen days.

Shut up, Hector.

Fine, I’ll say no more.

I ought to have added Decimated Daffodils to the title of this post. The poor things have not enjoyed the recent attentions of Jack Frost. They’re usually more hardy than this, but perhaps these ones have been suffering from depression too.


It is cloudy now but for the past few days the skies have been clear and blue – and, as never seen before in recent decades – generally clear of aeroplane condensation trails. There have been just one or two flights a day passing overhead.


There are trains running, even at the quarter of Sparrowfart o’clock when I am out and about.


The marina is beyond that railway bridge, before the lock and bridge you can just see as white(ish) concrete.

The Cardinal’s chimney flue doesn’t usually smoke visibly, only when I’ve just stoked him up from cold with fresh fuel. Gretal Thunderburg can kiss my stern.


As regular long-term readers will know from the many, many only-slightly-varied photographs of the Cardinal moored in this spot, it’s one of my favourite moorings! Usually much quieter than it is (fewer boats, less towpath foot and cycle and doomed grandma traffic), and it’s in one of the propagation waves of the local mobile mast, so while I can’t get telephone, my rinky dinky MiFi aerial on the roof can and does get me decent interwebnettings.

Talking of which, an email has just arrived – the proper cover artwork for Narrowboat Winter 2020 – Three Named Storms and a Pandemic. 🙂

Narrowboat Winter 2020 900

Looks rather splendid, eh?

Kindle buy and also Kindle Unlimited.

USA Amazon here.

Buy buy buy.

Bye bye bye.

Ian H., and Cardinal Wolsey.


    1. Tis a goodly cover indeed, the bloke who comes up with them works wonders.

      How are you doing the do during all of this? Well and safe and as happy as may be expected, I hope? Neighbours not gone feral yet?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Some of our neighbours are indeed feral, animals that is, raccoons, squirrels, etc. 😀 … we are doing OK … we have a spat every now and then, but thankfully are both too grown-up to take things any further than that.
        Mrs Widds works in an ‘essential service’ and she’s really the only one in the office, so her contact with the plague-raddled is minimal.
        Thanks to my (life-saving) cancer treatments back in 2013 my immune system is on the ‘compromised’ side of things, so my day-to-day life hasn’t changed much … just an extra layer of care-taking-of-self.
        We knew this tsunami was coming in early February and had been planning appropriately from then, so no sudden surprises, re toilet paper, etc. 🙂 …
        So, yes, well and safe and happy as can be expected. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank’ee sir. I thought that I would have even moe time to write during these times, but I spend half of my days worrying instead!

      Keep well, keep safe and – if you can – keep happy. 😉


  1. The cover is great, Ian. I think I’m spending too much on books! I keep seeing ones I think would be a good read (like yours) and going over to Amazon ( a long way to S. America, though) and spending money on them. soon I might have to eat them in lieu of the food I should have bought instead. How do you cook an ebook?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With e-book cooking it is important to heat them through until the electrons all spin anti-clockwise, this makes them easier to digest… 😉

      Keep yourself healthy and safe – and do plan how you are going to get those essentials! As is my usual wont I find that I am neither one thing nor t’other. Can no longer get deliveries, don’t have a car and there’s no public transport (in this area at least, even if anyone in their right mind wanted to use it)! I shall eventually have to move the boat – and doubtless be shot at by Police snipers and/or busybody boaters & snitches – and then take some long walks to visit one of those centrres of disease… a – dun dun der… supermarket. Well, I plan on a small village shop first… Ugh!

      Has to be done.


  2. I don’t know why people find it so difficult to follow the social-distancing rule. If they’d just imagine they were using the urinals in a gents’ toilet, we’d all be fine. (Apart from Jacob Rees Mogg, of course, who I suspect has his own personal ‘shaker and wiper’, but he’d be no sad loss to the world.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose that given the preponderance of folk who cannot understand reaction & braking times and distances when driving this lack of spatial awareness is no great surprise. Were my parents still alive we should have nailed them into their quarters long since and they would be enjoying being fed via long-handled spoon through a small hatch in the door. Well, perhaps not enjoying it, but…


    1. Thank’ee kindly sir! I think it’s likely to become increasingly difficult to find things to report on from inside a 57′ steel tube where I am obliged to stay – and very happy to hide – for twenty-three and more hours a day! I’ll keep on trying. Perhaps I can score an interview with the local cormorant?


      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hmm – three-bird roast with seagull, duck, cormorant, goose and swan.

          Then I go back to my arithmetic lessons. All I’ve seen of my cormorant(s) today has been the plop and splash – I think he/she/they are toying with me.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Like the cover it’s a very ‘sign of the times’ image and no mistake. Wonderful photography as usual, there must be all kinds of skill involved in catching the moving train going over the bridge like that, as the American’s would say – awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank’ee! I used to be able to catch 90mph motorbikes passing my camera, so a 50mph train is a breeze. Actually, there’s no breeze when they pass, just that strange electric whine as they accelerate. 😉

      I am limited now to photographing only what I can see on my exercise/combined essential trips (water/wotnots) now. I’ll have to start dipping intoo the archives… 😉


  4. I should think the aforementioned geese may be a bit lacking in substance or they would have been honoured guests at the annual beheading festival of three months ago but never mind , worth a try if the going gets tough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tis certain sure that if they don’t learn to distance themselves more effectively they will very soon be finding themselves at Regulo 5 for 45 minutes per pound plus 30 minutes for luck!

      I couldn’t believe how close they let me get this morning on my return journey – within three feet of them. I don’t suppose the other boats were terribly chuffed with either of ut at 05:30hrs. ;-(

      Liked by 1 person

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