Muck spreading and a messy cratch

Fortunately, two quite separate issues.

Farmer G decided a couple of days ago that the portents were good for a spot of blanket fertilisation. Happily, it is a dairy farm, so the aroma is of cow, not pig. Couldn’t describe it as pleasant, but it’s a damned sight better than the acrid slops from pigs.


The weather here has been mixed (from -2°C some nights to +26°C the following daytime) and today is blue sky, sunny and far over the H.C.I.*

*Hutson Comfort Index.

As ever, because of yonder cute and cuddly The Public swanning up and down like – well, I’d best not say what – the towpath side is zipped up and windows closed. Canal – and sunshine – side is generally open, side-hatch open and fans a-sucking (out), blinds down. There’s a bit of a butterfly-flatulence breeze, which is helping.

The mornings are very civilised (in meteorological terms).

Cardinal Wolsey, soon after dawn.  © Ian Hutson 2020

The daytimes perhaps not so.

Cardinal Wolsey a little after dawn. © Ian Hutson 2020

Baked cow, anyone?


It’s so fresh it’s still moving, and should you feel constrained to sprinkle coffee grounds over the fields (instead of moo-cow poo-poo) you might obtain hot frothy milky cappuccino or latté from the udders.

Messrs Halsall, the fuel boat, called a couple of days ago. Ordinarily in peace-time I’d judge things so that the well deck was clear for summer, but this being alert-time I have left stocks out there, j.i.c.

It’s messy. I can’t be bothered at the moment to make it look prettier.


Can’t be bothered with much at all, truth be told.

There’s coal there should we slip straight from Pandemic Spring into Second Wave Autumn, logs for that occasional stove, or which is better, for the occasional butch-camp-fire, and there’s kindling and firelighters in the cellar.

Many thanks to Halsall for delivering even though twas such a small order. It all arrived in the new distance-normal, they hoving alongside and Roberta drop-kicking the necessaries over the gunwale through the open cratch cover. You haven’t seen drop-kicking until you’ve seen 20kg sacks of coal launched ballistically from the baseplate of a working boat. Payment by BACS. 🙂

This morning, what with folk now officially able to make short, essential boat trips (although not to stay overnight) it’s looking once more like a Calcutta slum in parts.


Only jesting.

Calcutta’s been cleaned up a lot since I was there in, oh, it must have been ’43 or ’44.

1843, 1844.

That does look to have been a nasty accident though with that bicycle. One can only hope that the lycra-lout got the medical attention s/he deserved.



Gosh, I’m a little ray of sunshine and love all wrapped up in a smile, aren’t I?

The towpath-dwelling anglers appear to have gone back to their Old Anglers Home or wherever it is that they live, for the moment. Doubtless back again at the weekend, once they’ve adjusted their sabre-toothed loin-cloths and re-sharpened their spears.


The Mayflies appear to have – confusingly – done their living and dying in the month of May. The Cow-Parsely is now just about free of the squelchy little things.

So, life eh?

Let the utterly farcical tragedy continue.


Ian H., and Cardinal W.


    1. Hi – my apologies for my absence – and many thanks for checking. My body remains alive but my brain has died in this vast ocean of ovine stupidity, I’ve been floundering about in the depths of “what’s the point?” and “why bother with anything?”… Not so much lost my mojo as I watched it run away from me, screaming! It’ll come back one day, I hope.

      Hope that you’re safe and well and swelligant too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always thought it a boon to farmers that cows like their salads with cow-poop dressing. Unless, of course, the menu is what the daily bellowing is about? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t mind the smell of muck spreading, myself. As my step-father, and my sister and family after him, were all dairy farmers, I probably became inured to it. (Cow poo, though, not pig.) As my mum used to say ‘It doesn’t last too long.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The …aroma… has re-awoken a little today after this early morning’s rain shower, but it’s not drastic. Pig poop, on the other hand, would be… well, on the other hand and in dire need of a good scrub. 😉


  2. Phew! I was getting a bit concerned it being….err whatever and you not posting on err, the other whatever! As I was reading about the mucking spreading along came one of those gutter cleaning machines (left hand drive I noted!) which baffles me as to their purpose really. They left a damp line around the district nurses car attending the new born across the road and continued up the close until they came back down and did (?) the gutter outside mine. I did get a hint of something smelly through the open window. Are we being disinfectanted? Haven’t seen a mobil like that in years. Grace is correct, excellent dawn shots. I’ve been thinking that somewhere in your archive posts there is one such one with a shadowy figure walking into the mist – make an excellent book cover for my new one, hint hint. (Full credit to the photographer would be given of course!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have indeed, let me root out the original image and I’ll message you about whether you need it re-sizing or anything. You are most welcome to it, once I’ve retrieved it I’ll send you an appropriately-worded email “full use, blah blah etc”. 🙂

      I haven’t seem a sludge-gulper street cleaning lorry for many a year. WHen I was knee-high to a policeman they were commonplace and did the rounds once a fortnight or something (I forget, but it was regular). Left-hand drive so that the driver can judge the kerb and obstacles more easily.

      Drove a left-hand drive Sunbeam 1250TC for many years and loved it.


      1. Yes figured out the fact that the rubbish collection vehicles are also left hand drive and it makes a lot of sense (even to me!)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. They released the unwashed masses here. They talked likevitvwas by degrees but soon as the whisper of freedom hit the breeze the great unwashed bolted. Fascinatingly, the ones expensive cars seem to have mowed over as many others as possible to sit in a restaurant. May thev keep their virus to themselves until they land in lovely casket, and not kill the poor servers.

    I’m a bit miffed at your Gov’t. Which is new, normally I focus my anmiyanceh on the idiots in DC. Announcing a vaccine available in September. All my hopes soared only to discover that said vaccine is not actually working in tests on monkeys. Was that announcement necessary? Why do we let politicians continue to exist? Ars we sure they serve a function?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that I am living in some new genre of “tragic farce”. The politicians aren’t even amusing in this era and there’s not one of them that isn’t two sandwiches short of a picnic in some way. I am a relatively conservative sort of soul (with a small “c” – I don’t believe in “party politics”, my preferences range from a bit of the right to a bit of the left and a lot of everything else; no one “party” fits my sensibilities) – but my goodness me, this lot, all of them, deserve a bloody revolution. Bloody in the technically bloody sense, not swearing. If we could put politicians, “top” (!!!) civil servants and most of the City of London, corporation and commercial, together with ropes, good knots and lamp-posts I would be willing to bet £5 that the next generation of politicians would be much better (for at least a decade, before they too decayed). Jus’ sayin’.


      Liked by 2 people

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