Perhaps my favourite time of day

aside from all of the sleeping hours, and of those there are many, is the early morning. That part of the day when the peasantry are still largely a-bed and being eaten by their fleas. As I type this we’re just coming to the end of that brief portion – the first dog walker of the day has just passed – and the jug is almost out of coffee. I generally wake up with a trek outside, a semi-nocturnal perambulation, a cleaning of the solar panels, a checking of the Cardinal’s ropes, and then I repair inside to sit at my desk with the side-hatch open, the twirds bittering and my coffee aromatiserationing.

Mr Moon has had a friend staying over for the past few nights. Filthy beast. Not the best photograph of a lunar conjunction with – what? Venus? But then what do you expect with a pocket-rocket camera, in the dark? My middle name’s not Hubble. Never was, despite what it says on my prescription at SpecSavers.

Yesterday was ridiculously hot – in the eighties. Today will be less so, they do say, but also mostly grey and cloudy and more indicative of the general mood of the country.

Being of pragmatic soul and practical nature I took the ottorpunity and spent an industrious one hundred and fifty minutes at the twin-tub, washing my smalls. Also my mediums and my larges. Almost all of the laundry is dry after just one day under the attentions of our local star.

Mr Sun made quite an artistic appearance, shy at first, but then growing in confidence as the audience warmed to him.

Boats, many and varied, cruised up and down, with people, many and horridly varied, at the tiller.

Many a town and village must be spending its entire summer sans idiot this year.

Upright and hairless ape is not a pretty configuration, generally, is it? We hoomans are akin to orang-utans with all of the charm and prettiness removed. We would have done better to choose “furry and quadruped” as our evolutionary basis. When will the kaftan come back into general fashion? Kaftans with hoods.

In the full heat of the day Mr Hitchcock began his re-make of The Boyds with a cast of thousands. Yes, when not sat sitting still, menacingly, they did splatter the solar panels with… comment.

Farmer G has just cropped his field. I notice that this (silage?) crop was given only one “overnight” to dry, and none of the usual multiple turnings with that enormous tractor rake-attachment. Farmers, like gods, work in mysterious ways – often with one huge combine harvester affair of German manufacture and no fewer than three tractor-trailer combinations attending. Perhaps the haste is to attempt to allow one more crop before the season turns completely?

The zombie-body of the remains of what used to be the English media tell us that our recent reddish tints are due to the effects of fires in the colonies. America smokes; England coughs.

Who knows? I wouldn’t believe the mass mainstream media if they poked me in the eye and told me it was for my own good.

What will today bring, I wonder? A chance – and the personal oomph sufficient – to tick a couple of jobs off from my “before the wild, screaming, wolf & bear-laden depths of a blasting English winter” list?

We shall see.

Mr Heron has just stalked, very slowly, very deliberately, past the Cardinal on the towpath. He’s fishing now off the bow. No photograph; I am loathe to disturb him – he can see right through the one-way glass.


Ian H., &Co.


    1. May I offer what solace I can by posting about mine – live vicariously. I don’t know where I’d be without my boat. Standing on the towpath looking at an empty stretch of canal, probably. I am a bit absent-minded about quarter to three, I think. What was the question?


  1. We rise early and enjoy the best part of the day before any bugger can bother us with their nonsense, though the birds do their best stripping whatever fruit is in season in the trees roundabout us.Parrots being particularly noisy…the big toucans content themselves with what sounds like an after Guinness belch-come-croak….the laughing falcon – laughs. Incessantly, until it finds a snake to its likeing at which point it shuts up and eats – well brought up, not speaking with its mouth full.
    Super photographs.

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    1. I agree. Early mornings are the time to enjoy the world after the midnight “re-set”, after the cleaners have been in but before the office staff arrive to spoil things!

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  2. Nice photos and insight to life on the dirty, brown or green extended ponds. For information I do believe birds defecate immediately prior to landing or asap after taking off, the first case was passed on to present day airline pilots. To save any deposits on your property may I suggest some form of warning off thingummy jiggery, just a thought.

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    1. Some sort of semi-automated bird-scarer arrangement? A chap in tweeds with a penchant for imitating English bird sounds and for blasting off with a double-barrelled pump-action Purdey? Ruddy good idea. I shall have to interview for the position immediately. 🙂

      From what I have witnessed you are quite correct – damned seagull bomb-bay doors are open the moment they’re in the air.

      I confess to joining in with the pilots once in the ritual you mention during a landing in Minneapolis of all places – just coming in to land, wheels about to touch tarmac and was then treated to a four-engine, red-line, screaming abort abort abort during which we swerved off to one side and damned near flew into the airport buildings. I think that there must have been more than a single seagull on the runway, or something. I think that a lot of us needed laundry after that aborted landing. I have no doubt that some folk in the airport terminus were… surprised… too. Never did find out why, to this day I suspect that a baggage-train or (more likely) fuel tanker or something such was crossing the runway that we were also trying to land on.


  3. I, too, am a morning person. Strange, really, when I was , for many years, a night-owl.
    About that smokey effect…yes, you will be//are affected by smokiness from afar. Here, in the southern colonies, we probably don’t have enough forests left to affect you…
    But cheer up! Boffins have discovered that Venus may once have supported life similar to Earth’s so instead of Mars, your descendants may be hurtling Venus-ward. i knew a few young lads who were hopeful of such bliss in an earlier age…..

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    1. I too used to be a thorough night-owl – sometimes not bothering with sleep at all. Long gone are the days when I could fit three overtime shifts and two night-club nights out into one weekend… I have no desire to see midnight these days. The great thing about being a Grumpy Old Hector is that I eat when I am hungry, and I sleep whenever I damned well feel like sleeping! If I have an energetic day I am quite prepared and happy to go to bed early and wake up late if needs be. My faithful nineteen-seventies CASIO watch lurks at the bottom of my equally-faithful man-bag, and is retrieved occasionally to provide some temporal – or calendar-related – landmark. It saves me from asking strangers what month of the year it is… 😉


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