Sending smoke signals to the Moon (as in “might as well be”) #narrowboat #boating #England

Don’t panic and don’t nobody get ReGretaBle Thumperborg on the eco-phone neiver. Mr Stove only smokes like this briefly, when I have re-loaded him with combustibles.

If anyone wants a punch-up in re the energy/pollution footprint of a narrowboat versus that of a brick dwelling and a driveway full of family-mobiles, please do let me know and I’ll show you the simple arithmetic. Actually, don’t let me know – I really can’t be bothered! 🙂


I had a mad flurry of activity yesterday. Performed a dawn raid for (potable, potted) water and wotnots, stripped the bed, did a huge amount of laundry, checked under the bed where the hot water tank et al live, re-clothed the bed, had a cleaning blitz, even cut my hair… (a No.2 on the clippers; tedious but simple).

The laundry is now on the clothes horse on the well deck, protected as best may be from passing lycra-clad snotites by the cratch cover.

I had decided to grow my hair for the duration, but the ill-lit out-of-focus sight of myself in the mirror during the night, causing me to expostulate and stagger back into the shower making the sign of the cross, changed my mind.

It’s all been happening around here of late.

We had Farmer G doing something complicated with water to his field on the offside.


We had a locomotive that looked for all the world as though it had eaten its own brakes (twas but a reflection of the early-morning sunshine though).


We’ve had confusingly uber-warm days and sub-zero nights.


We’ve had aliens beaming up their comrades in arms. Or perhaps abducting some of those on their little list of folk who won’t be missed.


The rectal probe, always with the rectal probe already.

One or two boats have added themselves to the stretch.



…and here you have a selfie of yours truly in reflective mode.


In a hair-raising, mind-bending turn of events the Canal & River Trust Ltd are now issuing veiled threats because they have “seen” boats moving too far.

One minute they’re banging their tambourines and preaching chastity for all and the evils of drink, the next they’re behind a wheelie-bin, sobbing into an empty Meths bottle.

Balance, right, never get in a million years.

[Unlike house-dwellers, we boat-dwellers need to move occasionally for water, toilet emptying, rubbish disposal and diesel and suchlike. Suchlike is a product used only by boaters. For example, the nearest rubbish disposal to the Cardinal and I is some three+ miles distant through one lock and a junction alongside a main road, a round-trip of three hours Mimi Numb.]

The Amateur Jobsworths and the NIMBYs are out in force, loving every moment of their binoculars-enabled surveillance. I had a very, very angry NIMBY screeching at me this morning.


[Yes, I am well aware that I have some sanding and re-varnishing to do, soonest, but not right now, eh?]

This rather dapper fellow stalked the length of my boat, screeching, took a minute to peer at the (closed) cratch cover – then turned to look directly at me through my one-way windows (polarised vision? why? it’s a pheasant, not a water-hunter), screeched some more and then stalked back down to the stern where he stood for a good two minutes looking at the Cardinal’s name panel.

I imagine that he was trying to memorise our name and number. NIMBYing must be difficult when you can’t write anything down and you have a brain the size of a walnut. [Damn, I promised that I wouldn’t mention Corporate Canal & River Trust Ltd again in this post!]


I shall expect a(nother) ill-targetted passive-aggressive complaint in the e-post.

Dear Ian, have you forgotten to cruise? We often forget to cruise too, and we’re the Canal and River Trust Ltd.! Blah blah blah.

[Bugger! I mentioned them again. It’s just transference. When other people annoy me and I am trying to remain civil against the odds Hind-Brain often reaches for the lowest-hanging fruit instead of those who ought more properly to be the target du jour.]

No idea what I’d done to upset this chap so and that’s such a shame, because if I did know how I upset him I could do it again. And again. And again.

Since we’re heavy on the images front this morning I’ll leave you with another one, this time of the Cardinal joining in and smoking along with the smoke rising from the water.


Chin-chin, chaps.

Here’s another of my books that’s selling like apocalyptic cold-cakes. 🙂

Ranges rather amusingly from the English attitude towards nuclear annihilation, saunters through the State’s real attitiude towards the elderly (proven preternaturally relevant since publication, eh? Herd immunity for the low, low cost of “only” the deaths of the unproductive and/or expensive in re healthcare and state pensions…) and ends on a Lancashire genie granting two professors and a [very real] dog three wishes each.


Ian H.


  1. Have you considered the three wish thing with any depth? I have. Such is the life of the bored. And despite devoting a good 10 minutes to the idea, I realize I have not got a good solution. Even the obvious More Wishes seems fraught. Particularly considering the reputation of the genies. I’m left wondering if I just don’t have sufficiently greedy or philanthropic tendencies.


  2. You’re letting off a bit of smoke yourself there I reckon those new fangled surveillence Pheasants they’ve got out there are pretty convincing, those feathers can hide a lot of recording technology and you think that’s a beak, but it’s once of those long range listening devices, I blame the SAS, my force used to work with them a lot…..oops, I didn’t say that…it’s all fiction, I write fiction just like you and any resemblance to actual reality is all in my mind, twit t’woo says the pleasant pheasant!

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