The Cardinal and I, however, have not.
I took my protein pills and put my helmet on yesterday before engaging in a pleasant five-mile-ish (round-trip) cruise to drop off rubbish, empty gazunders, and replenish potable and main-tank water up at Calveley.
I chose, as is my long, felt, wont, a quiet period – and still there was a queue. Yon Cardinal is 57′ from stem to stern and there was a 59′ space to wait in on the end of the service area and overlapping the moorings… my thanks indeed to the (boating) gentleman who took my rope and pulled us in neatly sideways.
To the jady and lentilman – “proper boaters” – who attempted to give me a nuclear scowl of disapproval for – what? – getting too close bow to bow with their boat while they finished their chattings – well, K.M.H.A. It’s a service area, not a social club for the Braying Classes afloat.
To the lady and gentleman who arrived a few minutes after I did and who waited, full of smiles and “no problems” and (non-delaying) chit-chat – smoochies.
After servicing I took the Cardinal up to the Bunbury winding hole – met not one but two holiday boats in the narrow reed-bound section on the curve immediately before the turning point – and cruised then back past the services to find just one boat on them (one of the boats I’d met in the reeds). Unfortunately for the boat by then pursuing me and wanting to pull in, aforesaid one boat twas just about slap in the middle of the moorings. Quelle surprise, c’est la vie, c’est la guerre, c’est la concorde and probably c’est la travail de terroristas &etc.
As the services shrank from view my last impression was of some sort of “nudging in” manoeuvre being performed. A gentle ramming is oft regarded as a polite reminder that space ought always to be left on service areas, whenever possible. 😉
Messrs Meteorillogical Office kept turning a light rain on and off at irreglar intervals, but twas a most agreeabull cruise-ette indeed in spite of &etc.
I met a cheerfulness-disabled angler gentleman on both the outward and home-bound legs of the journey, he having set up (considerable) camp just down-wind of the S-Bend bridge – where liberal use of horn is most certainly indicated. The Cardinal’s horn is 120db, and due to some cunning circuitry involving no great lengths of voltage-sapping wiring, musters all one hundred and twenty of them. At the swick of a flitch I can make miserable anglers even more miserable, and I can set off the dogs that live in the garden of the house on the corner. It’s really most pleasing indeed.
These daguerréotypes are of my slipping the Cardinal around the corners and under the road-bridge on the return journey, when I amused the angling gentleman with a little more horn.
Mr Cheerful is visible under his anti-decibels umbrella, ‘dead ahead’ in nautical terms. I think that he may also have the umbrella up because the dogs keep flinging things at him. Good dogs. I had hitherto thought that only chimpanzees did that.
Back to within fifty metres of where we began the day, just facing south now instead of north.
Once the planet had been securely tied on to the Cardinal I went for a stroll-ette to my favourite chandlery to collect some pastry that had most kindly been procured for me (from some sort of nefarious street pastry-dealer, a cash transaction in the shadows, doubtless). The pastry is the better to wrap the baked contents of a large bag of apples that I’ve been given – thank’ee. We shall see what the OmniaOven does with apple bakery. I also have an appropriate brand of “custard” – lashings of – to go with the pastry-bound apples. Probably can’t say “la Creme Anglais” now that we’re un-Europed.
It’s a lousy, rotten job, but someone’s got to do it. I suffer so that you don’t have to.
This also facilitated a good natter to some local folk there who don’t (always) chase me out of town with fire-brands and pitchforks held aloft. I have no idea whether the (out of doors) meeting was legal, illegal or just judicially frowned upon. I no longer care. It is no longer possible to really know.
So there we had the day, yesterday. Some five miles cruise with servicings, followed by some four miles plus or so of walkies. I spent the evening working on my “sitting down”, my eating and my watching of esipodes of Fawlty Towers, after which I went to bedfordshire and had no trouble sleeping until 0300hrs when I stoked up Mr Stove, and he promptly went out.
Grasping the nettle I cleaned him out, began from scratch and drank an Ovaltine-analogue while checking that the little b’ger was happy enough to be left once more.
So long as other boats don’t surround me again like flies landing on…. yes, well, you know what I mean, I can crank up Mr Stereo here. The hedgerow is currently packed twig and leaf with small birds and items of wildlife listening to some over-breasted Italian bint going insane as Society reacts to her marriage to a randy git, all while they are plagued by an orchestra that won’t stop stalking them and playing atmospheric music as they fall in love and out of love and in marriage and out of marriage and other pretentious tommy rot. Why do the over-breasted italian bints always end up insane and determined to sing about it at the top of their voices? Why do the blokes always sound as though they are Sergeants Major in the Army barking out reversing orders to chaps parking Bedford lorries in the dark and rain on a parade ground? Why is tuberculosis always involved somewhere in the score?
Really, I have no idea.
However, don’t despair, it’ll probably be Europe, Cher and seventies/eighties/nineties pop by evening, when this afternoon’s pills kick in. That’ll test the loyalty (and sore test the tastes) of the hedgerow audience if nothing else. There aren’t many english squirrels that will hang around long for Mr Big or several tracks from Jim Diamond. What can I say? I’m a musical tart.
Um, I mean a tart, musically speaking.
Do I speak at all musically?
Not on your Nellie.
Oh Jebus H – now my brain is trying to decide (entirely without my say-so) what a “musical tart” might look and sound like.
Brain-swap, anyone? Going cheap.
Oh – apologies – that’s the hedgerow audience, and they’re mostly going “cheep”.
Chirpy-chirpy cheep cheep. Almost as though they think that they’re Middle Of The Road, not a hedgerow…
Time to go.
Talking of which, why, why, oh why, is FaceBook only showing me advertisements for life insurance and funeral costs plans these days, and at that, lots and lots of them? What do they know that I don’t?
Don’t answer that, not until I’ve Finnished this Baked Apple, anyway. Do they serve baked apples in Hell? Is Finland in Hell or vice versa?
I’ll let you know.
Chin-chin, Ian H., &etc.