Romani ite domum

Things are serious when you not only have wild duck pets but you name them too.

I have named these two Woderwick and Wodger.

What these two over-here, over-paid and over-sexed chaps don’t know is the whereabouts of the local female, the object of their current hormonal evolutionary imperative madness.

I know that she’s in the long grass and weeds of the towpath, just opposite my study window… She crept alongside early this morning, we locked eyes through the glass, and then she stepped, ever so lightly, into the foliage. 😉

Daphne, your secret is safe with me.


There are, it must be said, far worse places in which to hide while trying to escape the clutches of a pandemic. Any town or city, for one such worse.

It is though about to become a tad busier here. The Brains Trust that is the Canal & River Rozzers Ltd have just sent out notification of some six weeks of work to be done by Messrs Railtrack, to the bridge just behind the Cardinal in this photograph.

The work, they say, will involve floating pontoonery and scaffolding and ritual sacrifices of random live-aboard boaters, along with delays to both pedestrian and boat traffic.

The marina and the services are on the other side of that bridge.

Thank you kindly, CaRT.

Most of the moorings are on this side of the bridge. The visitor moorings above the marina are, currently, unto boats as fleas are unto a camel’s crotch. With CaRT you can really feel the love, eh?

I have been moved, moved indeed to amend my Last Will & Testicle to remember you all, to remember you very generously indeed. Should I die during this pandemic I have left funds sufficient to cover the cost of having the entire Canal & River Trust Board of “Directors” buried with me. Buried alive.


Since my perambulations and boat movements are already limited by daytime tow-path joggers, walkers and cyclists to the pre-dawn and soon-after-dawn hours, the default position for these disconveniencing works had ruddy well better be “open for navigation”.



The local geese are coming to terms with my walking past. No longer do they honk and bray and flap and shriek. This is good.

I am become He Who is Without Feathers. Speaker to avian life-forms.

It’s not a job that I would have chosen, but one takes what one can get in these times of tribulation.


The amount of foot and cycle traffic along the towpath is – would be, in different times – quite hilarious. Folk who haven’t previously in their lives walked farther than from sofa to refrigerator to car and back to sofa via the refrigerator are tottering up and down, wheezing gently and sometimes not so gently. Perhaps two dozen in the few minutes that it has taken me to type this.

There are bicycles being pedalled that so, so obviously haven’t seen the light of day since WWII, jogging outfits that most certainly came from the back of the bottom of the wardrobe, twenty-four payments to the catalogue still owing. Some of the walkers are having extreme difficulty with that overly-complicated left-right-left-right rhythm.

They are, for the most part, avoiding physical contact (most, but by no means all), but what none of them are doing is minimising contact with that long, long bridal-train of breathed air that everyone’s towing along, the air with the bouncy-bouncy snottites in it. Those gasping, apoplectic joggers and once-in-a-century cyclists aren’t somehow magically “safe” once their body has departed – needs must the air that they have breathed and wheezed and gasped and farted out to be changed, too.

Jus’ sayin’.

Right. I’d best get back to final checking and formatting of ‘The Age of Stupid’ before I pass it over to the enpublishicators. Then I promised to wake Daphne at dusk.


Meanwhile, I’ve had a second e-book copy of Narrowboat Winter 2020, Three Named Storms & a Pandemic printed up just in case anyone else wants a copy. 😉

Read it and weep.

No, but seriously.

Chin chin for the moment, chaps.

Keep well, keep on feeding the cat.

Ian H.


    1. Isn’t it just. I may have to take the Cardinal back and forth a few times at disconvenient working hours, just to make the point.

      I tell you, the Canal & River Trust – from the evidence available – loathe boaters! Joggers, walkers, cyclists, anglers, canoists – they love those, but boaters and especially live-aboard boaters? Well put it this way, i can really feel the love (not)!

      Some sort of plan will come upon me. I hope. I’ll think of something. Blurrrghh!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You aren’t wrong about the virus in the wake of people puffing and panting. No one has thought about that! It must go more than 2 metres if they’re breathing so heavily. and I saw an article about how long the virus (and its droplets) stay airborne. It seems it’s longer than was thought. Long enough to travel over the shelves in a supermarket to the adjacent aisle. That’s worrying. They thought it was about 5 mins, but now decided it’s nearer 7 or 8.
    And what about talking? People breathe out (with droplets) when speaking. Just think about in the depth of winter when you can actually see your breath.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On windy days it’s less of a problem (except for surfaces, like the outside of my boat) but there have been many days of late when the air has been totally still – and yet folk are slipping past one another, breathing second (and third, and fourth, and fifth…)-hand air with abandon.

      Some seem to be trying to distance but none appear to have wondered why they are being asked to do what they have been asked to do. There’s no thought involved, just a lot of (useless, invalidated) dodging around!

      For as long as may be – as long as I can – until I can find a way to help out somehow, elsewhere – I’ll hide inside!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Can you keep your legs cross for six weeks until you can guzunder the bridge again? I know there’s essential work and all that, but these folk can’t half pick their timing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Their timing is indeed… interesting. The Canal & River Trust have proven themselves to be one of those large organisations with an executive (and board of trustees) comprised entirely of very small, spine-free characters. Other organisations large and small have stepped up to the plate, or at least explained why they’ve stepped away from it, but the Chief Executive, the executive board and the entire collection of trustees have been conspicuous by their total absence. Not a squeak from them in the months so far of this virus thing. They not only ought to be fired and have to pay back any and all salary and perks (the company car bill alone runs into millions – for a supposed charity!) but be publicly pilloried. They have held their positions prior to this on entirely false pretences. Aside from that, I have the greatest of respect for them all! 🙂


  3. It’s nice to make friends. Particularly friends that cannot carry covid19. Or at least no one has accused them of it yet. I think you need to buy one of those water cannons and fill it with antiseptic – preferably laced with a bit of mace. And start shooting it at the pedestrians. It will help pass the time and solve the virus issue AND make a last impression on those who might consider that walking route in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A rooftop mounted Raytheon Phalanx loaded with Dettol pellets would be fun – fully automated. We are, it seems, down to a small hardcore (would that they were six feet under harcore) of cyclist, joggers and walkers, and a smattering of folk looking for novelty in their novel exercising.

      There’s a bloke who walks both dog and toddler daughter here these days, and he carefullty bags up the dog’s poop in very bright green (easily distinguished) doggy-poop bags and drops it where he stands, never to take it away. The logic entirely escapes me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh. My. God. The presence of his daughter would be the only thing that would deter me from having an encounter with that asswipe that would probably make him cringe even unto his final moments of life. Because stupid people are one thing. Stupid Assholes are another.


  4. You’d think they could find something better to do during a pandemic, but I suppose the alternative is a sudden, unannounced, train-like blockage to the canal, if the work isn’t done while traffic is sparse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does seem to be a very high-maintenance stretch of railway track, they’re always doing something on it. I do wonder if the embankment is made of meringue or some such. I’ll set my mind to other things until they begin, and then I’ll gauge the level of difficulty in the arrangement and react accordingly. So long as the default position out of workmen’s hours is “open” for both canal and towpath I’ll be able to work around it and make my usual sparrowfart o’clock expeditions… Fingers crossed. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I know of one other who appeared to talk to previously mentioned specimens of the wild variety and one would hope that contrary to all your passing traffic you are Dooinglittle in an attempt to curb the spread of this,” old-styled lemonade pox, “ or whatever you choose to call it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Orders came down from HQ to hide – and I am giving this thing the hiding of its life. 🙂

      They seek me here, they seek me there, they won’t, if I have any say in the matter, find me anywhere…

      Liked by 1 person

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