The Cardinal’s first smoke of the day #narrowboat #boating #boatsthattweet

Walkies was a tad later than is usual today, even with the clocks having gone sideways at the weekend for British Simmer Time or Daylight Slaving Hours or whatever it is. Still, we (brain, body and I), managed to get a bit of exercise in before most of the world was awake.

The canal is clear twixt the boat ahead and the railway bridge, and quiet beyond that until the visitor moorings above the lock, so there I walked. There are five boats moored on the VMs, a bit huddled together for my taste, but each to their own.

I keep trying to think of ways to be of help in all of this, but mostly at the moment it boils down to keeping out of the world’s way and actively not adding to the problem. It depends how bad this gets and how long it goes on for, I may have skills that will come into demand. Right now though I am incredibly grateful to local businesses, the fuel boat, and boating neighbours – thank you.


It’s all hurry up and wait, don’t get in the way, don’t add to the woes, and look out for any way to be useful. Pandemics don’t half put things into perspective.

The local farm is uber-busy in a cycle of mooing cows and moving lorries. There are trains still running but they are occasional and far fewer than is usual. Other than that the world is very quiet, having been handed back to Father Nature. Honking geese, quacking ducks (and their echoes), splashing cormorants and small birds tweeting far beyond their boxing weight.

The weather is a tad more dull than of late (boo et le serious hoo, seasonal affective dysfunction here I come) and Mr Stove is confused because it’s very cold in the dead of night but almost too warm during the day. He is being kept in because that’s easier than some evening ritual of re-lighting. Yesterday I gave the flue and chimney a spot of a raddle, just to try to help keep the fuming peace.


I gave anyone watching me this morning myย extended Palace Guard routine – up and down the gap between boats (I don’t want to keep marching past other folk’s homes at this time). Perhaps three hundred yards, back and forth, back and forth, like a hamster in need of a wheel.

The canal was flat calm then, and the sky just beginning to wake up and get dressed.


I wish that in the midst of all of this unreality there was one, just one, wholly reliable, utterly dependable source of proper news on what is really going on. The not having a clue is almost as bad as is the problem.

Wouldn’t it be great if we got 99% less “news” but the 1% remaining was the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me Vicar?

My German provider of emails and a couple of domain names has just invoiced me for the coming twelve months – I hope that they know something that I don’t, and that their optimism is not ill-founded.

Because Mr Stove is lit still lunch is cooking itself today. You’ll never guess what it is so I’ll tell you – rice and a vegetable curry.


Mr Stove and I have done this once or twice before during this winter.


Chin-chin for the mo, Muskies.

Ian H.


  1. As I was taking my walk yesterday, It occurred to me that the pandemic has caused an increase people who exercise. Maybe its just that the gyms are closed and so those who prefer exercising in rooms to the outdoors have joined us in the fresh air, but i suspect it is boredom. And couch potatoes are using their limbs a bit more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just pootling out of the “gates” of the local marina at 0530hrs – and met a full-blown lumpy lycra-clad cyclist going for his world record time. I just had time to step back. He probably thought that I was grumpy because Grumpy, or because of the present times, when in fact I have never liked anyone who wears lycra in public!

      I am a sartorial fascist!


  2. It’s really quiet everywhere, I live on a close but even so moving traffic is rare and people passing even rarer. When your excitement for the week is the expected Morrison’s delivery tomorrow, it just about it sums up as it could be the last one now with everyone doing home deliveries. Not even being on the flight path for East Midlands can account for any sound, it’s just plain eerie. Where h ave all the birds gone?


    1. Good point about the birds. My husband mentioned it this morning, when we woke up, that they were quieter than usual. Only a collared dove oo-OO-ooing.


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