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.
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…
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.
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. 😉
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?
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?
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…
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.
- Jack and the Soy Beanstalk
- Sleeping Beauty
- 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.