A mooch and a pootle

…and a very enjoyable cruise-ette it was too (if you discount the Elsan emptying).

Launched down the emergency R.N.L.I.-style slipway at 05:45hrs, done and moored up with the planet tied safely on again by 09:30hrs. Six miles, one volte face and all of the flavours of service. My average open-waters cruising pace is, methinks from past measurements, on the order of 2.75mph. Given that the speed limit is 4mph that’s not wildly fast nor wildly slow. Past long lines of moored boats it is significantly less of course.

I got screamed at by one moorhen, that’s all. Presumably aforesaid moorhen got a slap of bow-wavelet cold water up the fundament while shaving or cleaning their teeth in the reeds.


I didn’t exactly rush myself – and why would I? If you’re in a rush on the canals then you’re in quite the wrong place. This being COVID-19 Season I attended to my needs serially rather than multi-tasking. Main tank and potable water first, then wipe down with alcohol pads and wash, then rubbish and ditto, then finally Elsan emptying, dispose of gloves and wipes and then SCRUB UNTIL VAGUELY HUMAN AGAIN.

In peacetime I would ordinarily bung the hosepipe in and get the other jobs done before the main tank has finished re-filling. These days I work with more…. deliberation.

The bins at Calveley – as well as it being collection day and my arriving before the bin-men – are, methinks, a direct consequence of the closure (“temporary” closure) of Barbridge bins.


Most narrowboat folk are already far, far ahead of the curve in the minimalist and minimum-resources stakes, but what remains has to go somewhere. The CaRT Executive just don’t comprehend that if you close one facility then demand on those in the neighbourhood will increase. Duh. Doh!

As ever, the sign-making industry is booming. Do this, don’t do that. You there! Yes, you behind the bike sheds. Stand still, laddie. How can ye have any pudding if ye don’t eat yer meat? Etcetera.


From these services it was up to the winding hole, back the way I’d come from and then onwards – to where I’d been some time before.


The rain and the thunder and lightning saved itself for the afternoon (as per my cunning plan). While moving the weather was curiously cool but hazy and uber-humid. In the afternoon of course it was on the eek side of warm, while even more hazy and even more humid. Lots of thunder, but I saw no lightning.


The photographic plate above does little justice to the sky or to the quality of the light. Stormy it was, little one. The setting sun though was in a foul mood and in floods of tears.


It certainly rained overnight, too.


So much so that I believe the village cricket pitch to be beyond salvation for this season.


Much the same may be said of England.


Were it not for the passing loons we’d have almost no loon at all.

Where then, Britannia, if sans loons?

If anyone wants me I’ll be in my laboratory.

I have to get the body stitched back together so that if we do get more electricalish storms this afternoon I can raise the lightning rods and try again for re-animation.

Speak to me once more of Faraday cages and steel boats on the water, if you will please.



  1. Looks as though somebody’s chucked away an inflatable dinghy there. It probably went the same way that mine did last year; expanded in the heat until it resembled Eric Pickles in the bath, then exploded.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear, if only you knew just how very little I needed the image of Eric Pickles in a bath in my head…

      The Canal Rozzers will have to come up with some sort of strategy for exploding swan-shaped inflatables, since that seems to be the only sort of thing they want on the canals. Air-raid sirens perhaps, to be sounded when an inflatable is spotted in the act of self-disintegument. Tin helmets on, fingers in your lug-holes, take cover, that sort of thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. In theory it ought to be fine (as much as anything being struck by lightning could be) – the electrickery ought to divert around the hull and then into the water, via two very surprised carp and to ground. Ought to. That said, my house (of the time, not now, obvs) was once struck by lightning many years ago – incredibly loud, very burn-ey, very smelly, fried the house electrics and blew the telephone and internet router off the wall and across the kitchen right past me (they both ended up in the kitchen sink all by themselves, about fifteen feet distance)… I’d not want to repeat the experience!


    1. I have to trick myself into washing dishes – I tell myself that I’ll just run some water in to keep them from drying out and evolving into a new form of life, and then when I’m stood at the sink I tell myself that I might as well do the job properly since I’m already there. It’s all very silly indeed.

      I need staff. Not many, just housekeeper, domestics, footmen, chauffeur, cook, gardeners (I don’t have a garden for obvious reasons, but what the heck) and a chap with a screwdriver and an oil can to just bumble about keeping things happy.

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  2. Me thinks the gods are angry and trying to cleanse us down here with abundance of toxic vapours, I wonder if anybody has thought of building an ark yet. It’ll be only thee and thine fellow boats that survive the next full flood, which makes me wonder about Noah, was he the only vessel in existence at that time? The things you think about to take your mind off pie.

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    1. More of the old wet stuff forecast for today – and then monsoon torrents for tomorrow. In my day they had to come round and give everyone a government umbrella before they were allowed to make it rain. Damned cheap foreign weather.

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