Wild and wet in Windy Alley

Also warm and sunny and frosty and cold and dull and grey and still and foggy.

What I may only presume was some off-shoot of ‘Storm Alex’ ran through here yesterday and last night. Some very impressive rain has left flooded patches in the fields to either side of these moorings, and the wind spent the day and night trying to blast us onto the offside. The Cardinal provided me with a most acceptable shelter indeed, and Mr Stove sat in the corner, munching Excel briquettes and thinking warm thoughts.

For my part I made sure certain that my favourite armchair didn’t blow away, introduced my size elevens to my new “old man” (faux-sheepskin lined, memory-foam, tartan) slippers, sipped an inordinately good sherry and read books. I ought to have been writing them really, but this year has been playing merry havoc with my muse.

This past week has been insanely busy. I have slept, eaten, walked, helped the occasional stranger through the lock, taken delivery of “apocalypse comestibles” from the Uber-“WOKE” Grocers From Hell (I loathe giving them any business, but needs must when Boris drives), purchased coal and wotnots from the Fuel Boats, and had a splendid visit from the Bro wherein we were sufficiently valetudinem amiseram for a brief trip to the local chippy. Chips, mushy peas and curry sauce please, said the simple devotee of Epicurus, not forgetting ample salt and lashings of vinegar.

A surprise (to me) visit from Halsall (which is wot will henceforth be patrolling a different route to that of old) and, later, from BARGUS, which is wot with Jason aboard will be the new deliverer of ergs and therms this winter.

Of late we’ve had autumnal fogs – as shown in the lead image, to the top of this page.

We’ve had crisp mornings, during which the stove flue took to blowing languid smoke rings like an old meerschaum.

We’ve had mass visitations from nocturnal armies of spiders…

…and we’ve had horses displaying, I would guess, about the same levels of “mojo” and “oomph” as my own.

Mr Nature’s sky – one of the reasons why I love these moorings; the (relatively, for England) distant horizons – has on occasion betrayed a return to near-“old-normal” levels of aircraft activity…

…damn it.

On other days we’ve seen that Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain…

..or, as here, Vain In Battle Gave York Of Richard.

Today, Sunday, I suspect that we’ll just see more of the hyper-dull and mega-grey.

Here’s a question for you – the local marina, Venetian, has quite the best and most civilised pontoons in the country, and yet I cannot walk them unless there are boats moored along at least one side (and prefeably both). Venturing out onto this briefly boat-free pontoon would have me on all fours, crawling as though on the summit of the Eiger.

Would you walk it without a thought?

Or, like me, would you need some sort of Balance Dog for the Vertigoid Soul?


  1. You’ve got watch those nocturnal spiders. They steal your cheese and false teeth when you’re asleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never sleep. Nanny wouldn’t countenance such behaviour in the nursery, and had us thrashed all night, every night. We were happy though.

      Cheese, Gromit – cheeeeeeeese.


    1. I’ve never been to Egypt and so can’t comment on the sphincters, but the pyramids look quite nice.

      My problem is probably mostly that wherever I am, I walk in the manner of an orang-utan with rickets and an urgent need for the lavatory. I’ve been complimented on it, several times.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Regret to advise that the “grocers from Hell” (IMHO) be they Messrs Sainsbury’s…

      They are the only “delivery” supermarket I am registered with (and the others haven’t been accepting new customers). I’ve shopped with Arsebury’s in delivery mode since Adam was knee-high to the local prophet’s camel; some few decades. Immediately upon commencement of hostilities in 2020 they effectively abandoned me, their website declined to offer me any delivery slots (I do not have a car, and have never really “done” towns). All that they would tell me is how they were (somehow) “Feeding the Nation”, blah blah, trumpet, own, blowing, blah – and it’s only in the past couple of months of this benighted annus horribilis that they have begun once again to throw an occasional peculiarly-timed delivery slot at me. From roughly April/May to roughly August I had to make – during “El Lockdown” – emergency alternative arrangements for foodski items. They may have been “feeding the nation”, but they weren’t even talking to me!

      They’ve also developed a certain corporate insanity of Frankensteinean proportions, and have sent me emails advising me of my “inherent systemic racist bias” and advice on what they are doing to combat it and to make me a nicer person… and when I (v.politely) pointed out the manifold and manifest gobshittery of their ways (please do excuse my French), they promptly blocked me on the “the social media” and do not respond to contact forms or emails – although they do, having a heart of loose silver (some thirty pieces at last count), still respond to my occasionally-allowed online grocery orders again. How long tht will last before some new virtue-signalling opportunity comes along though is moot, they can not be relied upon. I feel that I sell my soul to the Devil with each and every transaction, but until I can persuade some other festering nest of capitalist plague-rats to delivery the goods, well, needs must when Boris drives and I shall continue to use them.

      The instant that either peace breaks out or, which is more likely, an alternative source of delivered groceries is unearthed in the English corporate dung-pile, I shall drop them like the morceau de merde that they are, and I shall dance and sing the “Go WOKE, Go BROKE” song while performing lengthy and enthusiastic micturition on their nearest doorstep.

      Other than this, I have no definite plans or strong feelings.


      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well what ever you do DO NOT JUMP SHIP to Tesco! I suggest an occasional Fortnum and Mason hamper might do very nicely to calm ruffled feathers.



  2. If it weren’t a pontoon, ie moving, I would be fine with it. As it is, I would probably do it, if it was necessary, but I would not do it thoughtlessly. And not with anyone who is prone to pranks.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am glad to find out that generally it is not just me that’s prone to wobbly thoughts on these things! I’ve wheeled my trolley along them, carried gazunders and suchlike, staggered around with bags of shopping, but it’s never a fun experience. That said, you don’t get wider or more stable or with more grip than these ones. The Hooman brian-gland is a strange beast. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I would need tp be pushing a trolley to get down that pontoon without risk….on my own two feet I would be in the drink in no time.
    I put it down to east coast sailing where you would have to take a dinghy out to your boat once there was enough water over the mud….not a pontoon in sight in those days, so no practice.
    I did like your header photograph.
    I envy your slippers. I have just bought a replacement pair…made in China. The shape for left and right foot is fine…but when you wear them the instep bit is the wrong way round. I suspect them of bringing back foot binding…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or perhaps “foot turning” – trying to make right and left point in das oppositen direction? Possibly to match the clenched, dragged and out-turned knuckles we’re all supposed to have these happy, happy days? 😉 Wouldn’t you think that -someone- at the factory, Botswana, Wales or China, wherever, would have thought to – oh I don’t know – try on a pair before full mass production began? Sheesh. Whatamistakeatamaka.

      Fog is fun, and it’s a little bit safer – although still not entirely safe – moving about in it on canals rather than on roads. How I miss the heady days of my youth, Whitechapel in Victorian London, oh we knew how to do fog properly in those days. These days a fog is gone before you can say ‘there he is – after him, lads!’

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rainy season here, so for a lot of mornings the house in in the clouds, but a fog is as rare as you say….somehow the British Empire didn;t manage to export it.


  4. Glad to have you back. I missed your comments on life on the canals.
    Glad to see Mr Stove is doing well and keeping you warm. He seems to be enjoying eating those briquettes.
    We’ve got spiders, too, down here in the deep south, but not fog. Not yet, anyway. We also have a current plague of crane flies, otherwise known as daddy longlegs. (These are the real daddy longlegs, not the harvestman spiders that some people append that moniker to. The real ones have a long body and wings, not a round body with no wings!)
    As to pontoons–I have no problem with them, but I can see what you mean if you have to walk a long way with them swaying about, especially if you have a trolley of something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s often Mayflies that inadvertently add to my protein intake around here – they have no sense of direction or self-preservation. I’m tempted to wear a face-mask whenever they’re around – and goggles. They are squishy things and difficult to remove once you’ve unthinkingly rubbed one into an eye… ugh!

      My sister has (at least, used to have) a distinct dislike for (the real) Daddy Long-legs insects. I find them difficult to capture in the Insect Experiment Jar because I worry about breaking their legs. Although I try to be humane the Jar is my downfall, because it is usually “out of hours/dark/weathering-like-mad” when I capture some wasp or spider or fly, and I have a terrible habit of then forgetting about the release part of the process. What goes in often has to fight for its life, and the strongest survives. I’m probably accidentally breeding some Universal Insect that will one day rule the world… Should you find yourself being cocooned, stung and eaten by something the size of a bull but with wings and eight legs then my apologies, it’s almost certainly my fault!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The pontoon picture makes me quake with fear, I am totally unable to function with water on both sides of me (even flood water) and driving up to Dornoch, over the Firth and all those bridges I managed with my eyes closed (no I wasn’t driving) on two seperate occasions (well four if you count the coming back!). I count my experiences on the MacBrayne ferries (like going to the Isle of Bute) as a therapy session with lots of glasses of wine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good ol’ Caledonian MacBrayne ferries – some of those have the most insane Captains on the planet. Ninety foot waves? No MacProblem, all aboard…

      Once in a while I needs must carry a couple of water containers down part of the pontoon to the water tap – something that – for me – requires concentration. Tis strange, I’ve flown inn hot-air balloons, piloted gliders, been in light aircraft, abseiled down the sides of tower blocks, and yet I am as nervous as a nun in Soho on those pontoons!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah! You’re back! In pipe and slippers mode, too.
    About the naked pontoon…yes, I’d probably be OK with that, provided there were no other lurchers. I am known for my unsteadiness on moving surfaces…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s peculiar, I am (reasonably) steady on my feet but on spaces such as those pontoons I always feel as though I am going to throw myself sideways. It can be most annoying, sine on occasion I do have to wander up and down, and/or wheel Mr Trolley with some load along them and past the light/electricity/water posts. My theory is that deep down I never really accepted or mastered this whole “walking upright on two legs” thing… 😉 I need to find a decent tree and climb back up into it!

      Liked by 2 people

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