Today is autumn. It’s (relatively) warm, but dark and with belting winds and lashing rain. It’s delicious.
Yesterday was summer. Hot, a bit humid, windless.
There I was, silly-walking along the towpath, minding my own business, and I came upon the lock landings and the queue to go up through Cholmondeston Lock, my only thought being how to distance myself and avoid breathing in the fetid used air and bottom-burps of the (putatively, potentially, diseased-) beasts.
That was the moment when a wasp decided to dive, wholly uninvited, down my shirt collar, sting me on the back of my neck and then, after I’d danced the St Vitus’ Waltz and the Sydenham’s Chorea Foxtrot, reappear out of my left sleeve cuff, whereupon I settled diplomatic matters with a size 11 boot.
First time they’ve got me since nineteen sixty-five, and that one I sat upon. The location of the repeat offensive could have been improved. Someone else’s neck, perhaps. Not alongside an eager and mixed audience would have been good; somewhere that I might have whipped off the old Savile Row-tailored cheesecloth and fought the beast on more equal terms.
No idea what I’d done to offend. Mind you, I seem to offend universally, and it must be noted that I can begin an argument alone in a telephone box with no loose change.
Shan’t be going out today. Not because of the Indigenous/Native Wasp Nation, but because Storm St Francis of Asoaky prevails, and there’s a gale blowing, and rain does so get in one’s ear-‘oles.
There’s little so socially demeaning as a rain-drop whizzing into one’s left ear-‘ole, only to appear totally unimpeded from the right.
No, I shall sit inside, wearing a dab of vinegar on my wound and bearing a grudge, producing Molotov Cocktails and searching the horizon with my powerful official-issue field glasses, looking for the heart of the Wasp Nation, so that I can raze it to the ground. This ends when I say it ends.
The Duck Nation is banging on the side of the Cardinal’s hull. Supposedly they are eating the weed that grows at the waterline, but in fact they’re just banging, demanding food. It’s not going to work, chaps. I suggest that they swim on and look for a boat named ‘Duck-Soup Kitchen’.
Hmm. Perhaps not. Hyphens are so important, aren’t they? So little-used too, these enlightened, snowflake days. nb Duck Soup-Kitchen perhaps.
Oh I don’t know though.
We’ve got an extra line out (the winds were forecast to be off the towpath), extra bungees on the rear cover (only just removed those from the previous blow) and everything loose is removed or tied down. The solar panels won’t get much of a chance to feed today, methinks.
I did manage to get fully into the engine bay yesterday (weather and Morlock-infested towpaths have precluded such for a couple of weeks prior). Domestic batteries all (both – I “only” have two, 2 x 135Ah) and Starter dipped, all happy and no topping-up required.
Stern-gland greaser refilled with stern gland-grease. Refilling time two minutes. Time to presuade the screw-top and the feeder-tube bolt back into place; twenty-five minutes and all of my best expletives. More grease wasted in the process, as usual, than went into the greaser reservoir. Climb out of the engine bay (no mean feat) and walk through to the boat with hands raised like some wandering surgeon, trying to not leave a trail. Sink cleaning after washing grease off hands, forearms and elbows; three minutes.
It’s a sign of the times when, while straddling one’s boat’s engine like Colossus over the Isuzu, and fertling in pockets to find something to wipe the oil dip-stick the best (the only) that can be found is damnable cotton face-mask…
Why, dearest Meteorlogical Office, is the wind currently blowing in exactly the opposite direction to that forecast?
If only I could make it to an empty telephone box, to start an argument.
Chin-chin, chaps. I do hope that wherever you are the weather is a tad more clement.
Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’, oh my DARLIN’ CLEMENT-INE…
Ye gods, I’ve lost it again. Must be the lingering effects of the wasp sting. I’m not used to them, you know. Once every fifty-five years is more than enough, thank you.
Curry for tiffin, I think.