The Day The Earth Caught Fire (that would be yesterday)

Let us see what today brings, shall we?

More of the same, I suspect. Ugh!

How hot and humid was it in England yesterday? Well, let me give you a graphic example. I’d like to be able to say that this little critter was testing the latest S.A.G.E. theory that you don’t need a snorkel to snorkel, you only need a snorkel to snorkel twice, but I saw him scribbling a few last words in a note before he leapt into the (steaming) water and oblivion.

You don’t need a snorkel to snorkel, you only need a snorkel if you want to snorkel twice.

By my calculations he ought to be approaching the staircase locks at Bunbury about now, which is as near as damn it “oblivion” as one can find around these parts. Clever rat.

Oh, the morning began in a civilised enough fashion, with the sun barely on the horizon and dingly-dell dappled shade from the hedgerow.

Dingly dappled shade in the morning

I enjoyed coffee and a minor strollette among the bandylions and daisles and the pite and whurple clover. The portents were there for all to see though.

An immature Fennywick’s Shyte Hawk watched the moon go down (never a good sign).

An immature Fennywick’s Shyte Hawk watching the moon set

Three Speckled Fumble Tits sat like musical notes in the telephone wires and taunted a Sodbury’s White-Eared Nutflake sitting in a tree.

Three Speckled Fumble Tits sat like musical notes in the telephone wires and taunted a Sodbury’s White-Eared Nutflake sitting in a tree.

I’ve noticed that small birds often do this. Two more Fumble Tits on the wires and we’d have had the usual theme tune. Nature-lovers know that birds don’t just sing, they compose, too.

Na na ner ner, na nah nah, hey hey.

Although how they wrote down their compositions before the advent of telegraph poles and wires is beyond my ken.

I got a few minor job-ettes completed before the day spoiled itself. The new BUNG is now attached to the Cardinal’s stern, adding to the protection for the tiller and the rudder itself. It’s that big blick “D” thing bolted on above the stern button. The stern button is over the rudder. The rudder’s connected to the tiller. The leg bone is also connected to the neck bone, and the neck bone’s connected to the elbow-bone, hear the word of the Lord, &etc.


I got some pottering around with an oil-can done. Hinges now hinge the better for it, and one or several items are just oilier now than they were, with a concomitantly higher happy-quotient.

Emergency Me Procedures were initiated at about 0800hrs, with the Cardinal opened from bow doors to stern doors, blinds down, fans extracting, ventilation fans on the solar controllers &etc in the eclectic electrics bay a-blowing, and my best “oh yikes, isn’t this heat just miserable, woe is me, moan, moan, moan” face on stand-by.

There was a breeze, of sorts, but it was hotter by far than the ambient of the day. To be Frank, who I am not, and Candid, who I am also not, this sort of weather actually frightens me. It’s at the limit of my copefulnessnous, and the Sun is just far too close for my liking. I may have the body and soul of an ancient Viking (experimental bio-archaeology was involved) – but I also have the heart of a Pierson’s Puppeteer… and what Larry Niven fandom and even Wiki-chuffing-pedia describes as “cowardice” I prefer to describe as pragmatic good sense.

Day passed into evening, as it often does hereabouts, and I did get an hour on the stern deck enjoying relative cool (weather cool, not social-cool – never that), reading a book that – from the one chapter so far digested – seems alright; The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity. Time, and more chapters will tell.

The evening clouds in Africa can be amazing. These are in England.
Mr Sun has a last blast before retiring. I often wonder if clouds remember to put sun-block on their bottoms.

What will today bring, I wonder? Saturday – change-over day for many hire-boat companies. A “weekend” day, so will the weekend-warriors be out and about, desperate to enjoy themselves? We shall see.


If tis hotter and/or more humid than yesterday then I may follow the example of Mr Rat.

Chin-chin, chaps, keep as cool as you can. A damp knotted handkerchief on the head is this season’s new black.

Ian H., and Cardinal W.


  1. And now the heat has been extinguished by last night’s weird electrical storm. I got rained on, having melted first during the evening. Now I resemble a sample of hardened volcanic lava.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah you lucky devil! We still just dream of electeronicalistical stormings here, and we’re headed for something that the Met Office website terms “88° of the Fs”. Storms have been promised but ill-realised (unless there was one last night that didn’t wake me up – it certainly rained, from the morning’s evidence!)…

      Still, perhaps you might now rent yourself out as some sort of vulcano-meteorological curio? Are you an interesting shape, like a potato with a penis, or a tomato resembling one of the more morally moribund politicians of the day?

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  2. My perfect summer weather is 22 degrees and a nice bit of a breeze. Anything more than that is unconscionable! … sorry to hear about the prepubescently driven ding. His Eminence deserves better.

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    1. We have a mixed bag in the forecast for today – in the eighties again, and humid, but cool at the moment (low sixties) and with the promise of thunderstorms this afternoon… I have my fingers crossed, but usually the promises of thunder and lightning prove to be empty. Sniffle. We shall see. His Eminence is unflustered again, but with (with but?) a two-yard long scratch and scrape to show for the encounter. It might have been worse, given their velocity, and I am grateful to the Greek and Roman gods that it was not.

      My main problem with such weather as this (and my ability to gerronwivit, not) is that I just can’t do anything other than sit and be too warm. All activity (other than grumbling) ceases…

      That’s my excuse anyway, and I am sticking to it. 🙂

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    1. I rather suspect that one or two of the dinosaurs – perhaps the Thinkosaurii and the Noticethingsadactyls – were commenting similarly before the huge heamorrhoid that killed them all landed with a thump somewhere near Chicxulub in Meh-hee-co.


    1. It does indeed, and I already had so very little energy to spare. The Met Office forecast for this area for the next three days has some lovely warnings about thunder-storms… I suppose that having encouraged such Christmas is coming-esque antici………….pation the forecast will come to nought.

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  3. I find that I hibernate more in the Summer than I do in Winter these days. We’ve just had nearly 3 weeks of over 30C but feeling more like 40C with the humidity. It has only been up to about 26C in the afternoon fr the past few days so it feels lovely and cool! I just have no energy when it’s insane hot and I hate feeling that way.
    Like you, I get up early if I want to walk and if I am going to the office it’s on the air-conditioned subway, walking through the air-conditioned underground shopping area to my air-conditioned office! I only have A/C in the bedroom at home – otherwise I’d never be able to sleep.
    I hope it cools down for you soon and that the weekend idiots stay well clear!

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    1. Today was a large tad more civilised – in weather terms – than was yesterday. Fingers crossed that the trend maintains itself and we don’t see a repeat of yesterday’s frighteners! However, on the boat front it was less civilised. I was out on the rear deck during a cloudy spell, testing whether out-but-in-the-breeze was better than in-but-no-breeze-and-no-UV, reading a damned splendid book… when a hire boat rammed the Cardinal.

      I could hear them approaching at excessive revs and was aware of there being no change, no slowing down for moored boats (per etiquette and general manners) and then suddenly there was the characteristic high(er) revs in reverse and the inevitable bang thud scrape rock and roll is king. Rather suspect from the shenanagins on deck that the possibly eight or nine year-old chap of the family had been “driving” and his father was hurriedly trying to disguise that fact (and that he had not been supervising in any way).

      Not impressed. This is a long, straight stretch with plenty of width for two (other) boats to pass me as moored, and yet somehow, in all of two thousand miles of English canals, they contrived to thump the poor Cardinal. Minor – but incredibly annoying – remedial paintwork is now required. I said the minimum, albeit rather grumpily – I know what it feels like to make an monumental nonsense of something, having been there and bought the t-shirt myself.

      Still… GGRRRRRR! 😉

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  4. It’s hot, hot, hot down here in the deep south, Ian. We’ve got the blinds down and Air Con on. It’s only 10am and it’s already 27!
    I’m with you on not liking the heat much. Not that I like the cold any better. Up to 23 or 4, and soen to around 12 are the best temperatures in my book.
    Good luck with keeping cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t vouch for a large part of my childhood (in Hong Kong and thereabouts) but, as a (putative) adult, the hottest I’ve been in was on holiday in Australia (drove from Adelaide to Darwin in a camper van in the nineteen-eighties) – and that was 41°C. Not my cup of tea at all… the temperature that is, I loved Australia (except, perhaps, for some of the enormous bugs).

      When it’s cold I can make myself warm, but when it’s hot hot hot there’s not much to be done other than moan moan moan! 😉

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      1. Haha. Yes, moan away and I’ll join you.
        My son lives on a boat in Brighton. He says it’s rather hot in his cabin, too. He and some friends are taking her out this afternoon hoping they’ll get a bit of breeze on the briny.

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