One fine day in the middle of the night #narrowboat #boating #England

It is a Bank Holiday weekend here in Ing-er-lund. Perversely, the The Weather is remarkably good. It isn’t usually so on the The Bank Holidays. More ordinarily we enjoy gales and snow and hail storms and lightning on Bank Holidays. Her Majesty’s rozzers have been anxious that the The Herd should abide by house arrest rules even though le soleil brille – and I have to say that, a few idiot boaters aside (taking over the towpath with deckchairs and refusing all passers by any room), Friday and Saturday were amazingly near-free of numpties.

Preparatory steps were taken of course, my not being so green as I am cabbage-looking. The Cardinal’s cratch cover was ceremonially raised to the lowered position, with bow and towpath side zipped firmly up. The canal side flap is open, the better to enccourage a flow of at least some of The Air.

All zipped up with nowhere to go (and with no desire to find anywhere to go).

This, I hope, will mean that the aerosols (coincidentally a very similar word to “arseholes”) expelled by the wheezing, coughing, spitting cyclists and joggerists – and by some of my fellow boaters who give no room or respect whatsoever to other people’s boats – these arseholes’ aerosols will need to nip around over the bow or over the roof before they can pop in to my airspace. If nothing else, it makes me feel better. Claustrophobic, but better.

We shall see what a sunny Sunday and a sunny Bank Holiday Monday bring in the way of foot and cycle traffic. I wonder if that lovely woman will walk her dogs past again, the woman who was tottering along so close to the edge of the canal that she used my hand-rails to steady herself as she went. Incroyable, ne c’est pas? Never, never, never underestimate the echoing emptiness of the average human cranium cranium cranium…

I have always loved the Cardinal’s cratch cover – makes him look rather rakish, don’t you think?

The Three Stool Pigeons, Messrs Swan, Swan, Swan & Co., have been hanging around Windy Alley since yestereve. They were out and about this morning, with their dignified “feed me feed me feed me” routine. We hissed at one another, and they understood.

I have a theory, as yet untested, that these swans are in fact remote control models and carrying cameras, controlled by the CaRT exec working from home and desperate to keep a piggy eye on we horrid live-aboard boaters.

Good day, Sunshine.

I didn’t go so far for my walkies this morning, there being an increased number of boats moored up ahead (somehow), and my hind-brain having – cue the hallelujah chorus on electric guitar and bongos – let me sleep in until about six of the thirty of the a of the m. I have no desire to interfere with the morning routines of other boaters by getting in the way of their “stagger off the boat, pee into the hedgerow and cough up their guts over the first fag of the day” routines. 😉

Reflections of my life on millpond-calm canal water.

Instead I performed my now-well-rehearsed palace guard routine between, up to, but not impinging upon the space of the boats ahead and to stern. I took steps to avoid stepping in the overnight hedgehog and fox and duck poop. Mostly yoinks, gadzooks and sideways steps, although I did throw in the occasional ballotté or grand jeté just to keep my hand in.

Did the daily usuals of checking the Cardinal over, squeegeeing down his solar panels to remove the overnight dew (laden with particulates and reducing panel efficiency by on the order of 5% if not removed), that sort of thing. Narrowboats are a bit on the large side to hug, but I would if I could, although perhaps not in this current era; surfaces.

Remember the days when “fomites” was nought but knee-high to contagion and still a word that was in short trousers?

Cardinal Wolsey’s bum.

It occurs to me that the only things holding the planet Earth (Sol 3) to the Cardinal are the rope-chains to the armco. If I were to let those loose, do you think that perhaps the world would be kind enough to, well – sort of drift away and to consider its recent behaviour vis-a-vis being just a touch more pleasant? Perhaps drift away to stand in a corner and come back only when it is prepared to apologise and to comport itself in a rather more cordial manner than of late? Fewer pandemical outbursts in class, that sort of thing?

The second-most civilised form of mooring, the first-most being mooring rings, the least-most being pins in soggy mud.

Haven’t seen the Chinook hekilopters for a few days. There are very few aircraft trails spoiling the sky these days, those that are about seem somehow to be almost furtive, trying to cross the sky sneakily at the horizon rather than via the more usual routes overhead.


Oh and as I type here comes the first silly cow of the day, lycra-clad, red-faced and wrestler-sweaty, carrying the ever-present water-bottle, ear-buds in, jogging along, wheezing wheezing wheezing for what? Her health? It’s certainly not for mine, with aerosolised particles of her snot at best (at least-worst) hanging around out there for hours, eventually settling all over my boat.

You, mouth-breather madam, are the reason why I get my outdoor breathing in early, very early, before the air is filtered through your dubious gizzards. Do jogger-farts also spread viruses? Thanks and praise be to you, madam, I find myself confined aboard and sitting behind an arrangement of zipped-up covers. I do so hope that when you go back to your bricks & mortar dwelling you find that all of your neighbours have nipped over your back fence for a barbecue in your available space*. May your garden be brim-full with strangers of wholly unknown health status, now and for ever more, amen. I curse you unto the seventh generation.

*No, I don’t own the towpath, never have, never will – and nor do I treat it so even in peacetime. BUT, in these viral war-time times, it is the only space that I have access to…

Ho hum.

More today of the final stages of preparing my next book for submission – ‘

The Age of Stupid – Folk Tales Old & New’.


Classics reworked to reflect the insanity of an overweaningly “WOKE” Age.

  • Cinderella
  • Jack and the Soy Beanstalk
  • Rapunzel
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Pinocchio
  • Victoria Frankenstein’s Monster

A couple of weeks more and it’ll be around and about at all reputable and disreputable book sellers.

Meanwhile, ‘Narrowboat Winter 2020 Three Named Storms and a Pandemic’ continues to sell like cold-cakes. 😉

My very sincere thanks and appreciation to those who have bought and tried it, it’s a bit of dark humour from the days years and years and years ago (about two months since) when things like 65mph winds were considered a botheration, and when snuffing it in the triage stage of admission to a mass field-hospital thrown up in an exhibition centre was a mere threat on the far, far horizon instead of our potential tomorrow. Jebus H on a pogo stick, I miss the days when all I had to moan about were storms and Brexit. 😉

To the other seven thousand million nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight of you that haven’t yet bought my latest book, well, it never was compulsory and won’t be so until I am Lord High He-Who (Must Be Obeyed).

Keep well folks, keep happy and keep on keeping on*.

*Unless you’re a jogger or lycra-clad cyclist. See earlier curse for more info.


Ian H.


  1. Yes…joggers’ fart do carry the virus, although it’s severely weakened due to their corrosive diet of soya and alfafafafafaaah. At this point I was going to insert an amusing, tenuously linked drawing of a mouse breaking wind, but then I realised this wasn’t Facebook so I couldn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can honestly say that I have never broken wind (I always take great care with it).

      Wouldn’t mind jogginators and cyclisterists so much if only I didn’t view them all as wheezing, coughing, spitting vectors of disease trailing a bridal veil of snot droplets behind themselves…

      Mind you, I’ve always seen humans that way, so all change no change!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I also have a List of People the World would be Better Without. Somehow no one ever asks me for it. My friend and I have had a 3 week ongoing conversation about examples of Idiots and assholes who have melded into idiotic assholery during these times. And that we do feel that perhaps some of the worst of them might be well eliminated by walking/shopping/visiting themselves into contagious spittle. In a very Darwinesque way.

    Today is cold here, but I had a lovely Red Thai Curry for breakfast, will probably have it again for lunch and dinner. Seems like a good way to spend Easter Indoors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Darwin moves in mysterious ways his wonder to perform. Sometimes I do wish that he’d move a little bit more directly. 🙂

      You can’t beat a good curry. No, seriously, you ought not to beat a curry – they splash, everywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loath as I am to suggest this but have you consulted the chandler, not Chas, who for all I know may have passed on or probably should have after a rockstar lifestyle, to purchase some extremely slow-drying gunwhale paint to discourage those leafy, touchy-feely idiots, worth a try and you can sit back and snigger a la Dick Dastardly faithful friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did wonder at the time about the old trick of topping off a brick wall with broken glass! It’s just unbelievably rude and inconsiderate. Mind you, half of the people walking past bend down to try to peer in through the windows… I need one of those police robots from RoboCop – back away, you have ten seconds to comply… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooo, I’ve gone all excited and pant with expectation! I look forward to the days when I feel safe enough to purchase the paperbacks of these little gems aswell, but am limiting deliverables to a premium even if delivery persons are wearing some strange gloveware, you can’t be certain where things come from can you? I dealt with the Johnson nonsense and wore my replica of that suit above minus the sharp pointy thing, not that you understand I believed he stuffed them personally into the envelopes (well he was in hospital by the time I got mine) but do not trust him not to want us vulnerables out of the way – even my GP looked at my notes fives years back and said I had hardly been a burden on health care! Good news about another book, bring it on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I gave up on general practice doctors yonks ago. They’re pretty useless unless you are the classic archetype reporting with depression. That said, I also gave up on hospital consultant docs too, the last one that I saw (for about the first time in my life, like you I’ve not exactly over-burdened the NHS to date, praise be to Zeus et al) looked me in the eye and told me that I was lying… apparently my description of my symptoms was too good, too accurate. I kid you not.

      Book will be out soonest – and I suspect that my following/readership numbers will dwindle as a result of snowflake departure! Actually, so few people read my books anyway that this won’t really be a problem! 🙂


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