Not going around in circles but going sort of back and forth instead

Like primary-school age children when the bell rings for playtime, Her Majesty’s Public is rushing hither and thither, not devoting one scrap of grey matter to whether or not they ought. Meanwhile, the “information” and available “data” in re Kung Flu grows ever more diametrically opposed, unreliable and even risible in quality. Get out there and play my little ones says the “government” with one face, while simultaneously changing the law with the other to implement local “lockdowns” (loathe that Americanism, it’s very un-English!). The first of these is in place (the city of Leicester), and the canal rozzers have already swiftly issued notices closing the Grand Union canal which is wot do runneth through Leicester to all but essential movement and to live-aboard boaters (who must move about as much as possible, and die as quickly as may be, and preferably die quietly).

All of the loops of canal around here are far too big to comtemplate when at any moment they may be summarily closed again, and the Welsh canal is still half-closed (a smidgen of it actually being in Wales, with the devolved Welshist DisAssembly making up their own rules at English tax-payer’s expense, ditto Scotland under Knickerless Bludgeon or whatever she’s called).

Manned locks, tunnels and such Victorian delights as the Anderton Boat lift are running reduced services – jaw-droppingly hypocritically – because of the “difficulties” in arranging safe social distancing and other COVID-19 procedures for volunteers (but it’s still fine and dandy and encouraged to run on down, cycle on down or even just have your nurse wheel you on down in your bathchair to “exercise” alongside boats with folk living aboard)…

#neverforget #neverforgive [I’m weird like that.]

So, soooooo… until the Black Shirts – sorry, until the Brown Shirts – sorry, until the New Local Government stops movement around here (again), the Cardinal and I will be doing what we told the canal rozzers we’d be doing for the duration – mooching around this neighbourhood, keeping out of everyone’s way.

Hind-Brain woke me late this morning – 04:30hrs – and the madness was upon me, so by 05:00 our ropes were undone and Mr Engine was making the neighbours swear (serves you both a-right for mooring unnecessarily arse to elbow with me). See top photo.



I had a half a mind (just about, if you count the fluff) to moor at Calveley for a while, but the place was full, with fifteen or more boats in a row.

So many live-aboard boaters all in one place, or might it be that leisure boaters have, as they have these past weeks, ignored en masse the restrictions that don’t actually lift until this coming Saturday for them?

Silly me. Silly C&RT. Silly “Government”.


So instead, having availed us of the services, I volte-faced and came back to Barbridge. There’s armco here, wifi signal and little to confuse our holiday hire-boat friends, who are all let loose from Saturday, the 4th of Julie.


Heee-elp! Heee-elp! as Penelope Pitstoppen was oft wont to cry.

The first wave of hirers will likely be the most demented, it’ll be a tad safer in a week or two for those of us who boat like old biddies, and/or who moor up on long straight stretches with malice aforethought. 😉

I mightily ungruntled a heron on the way. Why heron, when disturbed thus, always fly ahead fifty yards instead of either flying away or to the rear of the boat or even just waiting for boats to pass is beyond me. There must be some evolutionary merit to the habit.


Got moored up and secured nicely before the rains began, which is always good.


Slightly dull in terms of Das Weather, but a splendidly enjoyable mini cruise-ette for all that. Some six miles from fart to stinish, a brief re-watering, a rubbish dumping, a gazunder-shaking, and a winding at Bunbury included.

I think that perhaps the winding hole at Bunbury is shrinking.

Perhaps space and time are warping there.

Or it might just be reeds growing wholly un-checked.

The back cover is on again and the cratch zipped up against the rain, so very few passing boats bother to slow down as they pass, assuming incorrectly that there’s no-one aboard to note their ill-manners.


So that’s been my exercise for the day today, and plenty it was too. I might do an aerobic sit-down later, and perhaps some Biro-push-ups while writing a fresh list of things that I ought to get done but haven’t yet. There’s a nap to be fitted in there somewhere, too.

Perhaps another coffee, first, in my rinky-dinky very heavy could use it as a blunt instrument weapon double-skinned stainless steel with walnut handle coffee press… thanks be to they who took delivery for me, it being classed as “Critical Medical Supplies”.

Simple things please simple minds, and the mere possession of a new coffee pot is a pleasure indeed – for me, at least. Boing boing wibble moo fribble de what was I saying?



Yes indeed. Coffee, I think, and a long contemplation and enjoyment of that rare and brief feeling of all tanks that ought to be full being full, and all that ought to be empty being empty, post service-area visit.

Then a snooze-ette, one eye at a time.

Then I might search the interwebnettings.

You know those websites that show you real-time flashes and details on a map for lightning strikes? There must surely be one of those by now for “local lockdowns” as they pop up and then disappear again.

Even if there’s no-one in England who can write an “app” to track & trace scabby peasants with COVID-19 Scrofula, there will surely be someone who will be coining in the advertising revenue from a site showing which roads, footpaths and bridleways (if not perhaps canals) are open, closed or blocked by emergency funeral pyre smoke.

Chin-chin &etc.

Ian H., moved again, just a little bit, so yah boo sucks to you (and you know who you is).


  1. I’ve found it necessary to zip my cratch against the wind recently. This is what happens when I haven’t had four mugs of coffee in the morning and I put my trousers on back to front.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I often put my trousers on back to front. A wise old gentleman on the bench, while giving me three months for “exposure during affray on consecrated ground while in charge of a semi-domesticated even-toed ungulate”, advised that it was the best passive legal defence ever against repeat charges. There must be something to it because I haven’t been done by the rozzers since last year.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Just built my first few pages on WordPress as we are buying our first NB. So I thought I ought to look at a few other sites before I publish as I am not at all sure I know what I am doing yet!

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    1. Well I’m not the Official Welcome Wagon but I’ll say it anyway; welcome to the canals. 🙂

      If you ever realise that you do know what you’re doing then stop and retrace your steps – you’ve gone seriously wrong somewhere.


  3. We’ve reached the full-on idiocy stage of this plague … not that we were far from it before … it just feels like the idiot-meter has reached a new high.

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    1. Absolutely. The real crisis we face at the moment is, strangely, not the COVID-19 pandemic but the outbreak of Clinical Wilful Stupidity that has affected most of the world’s population and ALL of its institutions.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It needs work before entering the mainstream, for surely it is not a “superlative” at all, the intention being to describe behaviour at quite the less pleasant and successful end of the spectrum – some sort of horribleative perhaps, mediocrity taken to amazing extremes (if such be possible). 😉

      Things have reached a pretty pass when the English language can no longer keep up with the pressures of describing “human” “behaviour”! Rather like an Etch-A-Sketch, someone needs to give planet Earth a damned good shake, so that we may begin afresh with a blank canvas…

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  4. Let us hope that the world supply of coffee beans don’t dry up and confess to stockpiling one extra jar which I have buried in the garden with a block of parmesan cheese – I’m working on the assumption that if I can’t remember where I buried the coffee the awful stink of the cheese might draw me to it!

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    1. It is indeed a workmanlike beast, so far seemingly as solid as steel – and long may it be so! The double-wall insulation does seem to keep the java warm enough longer than its glass predecessor… Come the [genuine] apocalypse I shall miss coffee perhaps the most – alonngside vanilla, ginger, mango, bananas, coconut and all of the other many and varied foreign tastes that I have been spoilt with to date! ;-(

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  5. A huge number of my acquaintance have gone to the beach to get vacation covid. I’ve been invited to two 4th of July parties. One of them a block party. I like to hope that I am not the only one who refuses to attend. Hope is a foolish emotion.

    The human brain has an extraordinary ability to Pretend. (See all religion) And this city, at least, is pretending covid is dead. Because its more comfortable to pretend than to be inconvenienced or bored.

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    1. You are quite correct, and there is so much desperate energy being put into the business of not seeing the elephant in the room that I begin to wonder if CORVID-19 is in fact elephant-sized, and likes to sit in the corners of rooms.

      I can’t help but wonder why evolution went to so much trouble to put a brain (albeit chosen from a much-varied selection) atop each human spinal column, only for us to utterly refuse to use it. The human brain appears to be much akin to the human appendix. We’ve all got one, but no-one can remember why or what it is supposed to do.

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    2. I oscillate between anger and sadness at the idiots. So many of the. Who are they? No one I know, either in life or on the net, agrees it’s a good idea to hold parties or crowd onto beaches or other such things. And refuse to wear masks because it makes it ‘hard to breathe’. It’s a lot harder with Covid-19, people! And those who wear said masks, but beneath their noses. Of course, everyone knows that Covid can only enter (and exit) through the mouth!

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      1. Having watched the human animal of late operating largely without intellectual thought of the tiniest variety and instead rushing around like children looting a sweet shop I have lost all sympathy for any but the individuals known to me, The species can jump over the cliff for all I care, it is not only beyond saving but it is no longer worth saving.

        I’d quite like to see orang-utans give it all a go, with domestic dogs remaining as companions. That would surely make for a much prettier, nicer, kinder society and for a longer time, than we hoomans have made of it.

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        1. I agree, Ian. Orangutans would make a much better job of it than we have. We have a beautiful planet, and what do we do? Pollute it, dig up mountains, fight each other, ignore those who are worse off than us etc etc. Then we pretend it’s not happening, or it’s not our fault, and anyway there’s nothing we can do about it.
          Sometimes I think the Earth is trying to get rid of us, like parasites on the back of a dog. There have been ‘natural disasters’ like the mud-slide in Japan, floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions and now a pandemic.

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      2. I watched a couple of young people, just this afternoon at a customer service kiosk wearing masks that they pulled down every time they talked to a customer(albeit through a sheet of perspex) and put the damn things back on their faces when they were focused on their computers … the mind boggles! … thankfully the person who served us wore their mask properly and wore gloves, as did we.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. At such times as these I am reminded of Lieutenant Ripley’s prescient comment in one of the “Aliens” films – ‘Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?’

          It seems from the ample evidence that yes, they did. Through the floor.

          Liked by 3 people

  6. I believe the world is going round in circles at the moment and may disappear in the blackness of the bowel, meanwhile I might try your aerobic sit down after I finish my yoga stance, self-developed, called the handrail two-handed lean. Happy boatingumajig.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The two-handed handrail lean sounds to be an interesting development in human gymnastic exercise – I shall try it. I believe that I got close the other morning, when I perfected the double-elbow lean on a closed gate, while waiting for my groceries to arrive. I love exercise – even weightlifting (I’ve bought heavier cutlery and can now work up quite a healthy and self-righteous sweat while eating). 🙂

      I have no idea where the world is going. I used to visualise myself as a tiny bug clinging to a ball of hot iron spinning through the infinity of space and relying upon the weakest known “natural” force (gravity) to keep me alive, but that seems to inadequate now. I can’t see where evolution will place the face-mask in our development. Perhaps in a few generations humans will be featureless from the eyes down, and we’ll all breath through our…. yes, well. Let’s just see how this all works out shall we? 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I am searching for a super-hyper-mega-superlative alternative for “confusion”… What we’re experiencing now is beyond mere confusion, beyond rabbit holes, beyond even chaos – it’s … it’s … superhypermegafusion! The only things left in the world that are sane are the things that I can actually see and touch – and to be honest, I’m not convinced about them, I may be hallucinating. 🙂

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