Gloom and Geese for International Men’s Day

When the morning sky looks like this (taken from the Cardinal’s side-hatch) how the hecky heck is anyone supposed to guess at the weather to follow?

The brightest ray of sunshine in that lot was “it’s not Hackney”.

Yestereve and last night were entirely autumnal in nature – dry, lashing rain, still, howling winds. I bunged out an extra couple of lines in the afternoon because we were promised 40mph, but I think that the towpath bank and scrubby trees thereon acted as a meteorological Wind-Eze, or something. The rear tonneau cover was flapping and straining at the leash (at the bungees) but – being lucky enough to have a boat around me – it wasn’t Hammer House of Horror atmospheric enough to keep me awake all night or any such. The solar panels (near starved to death of late) had a few scattered leaves on them before their morning squeegee.

The photograph that follows is misleading: I am not nor anything like moored in the winding hole (the telephoto lens just makes it appear so); and the trees are not 100′ tall, but perhaps 10′ and well-spaced.

Jebus H., would that I could describe myself as “well spaced” at the moment.

On these moorings I am constantly reminded (aurally) of Westminster…

…the geese are much in evidence, and they both sound similar to and flap about chaotically as much as do our venerable Membrum Virilii of Parliament. The geese make more sense though.

Thanks to a loaf of very young and tender bread (praise be to my supplier -thank’ee!) I consumed a crisp sandwich yesterday that may only be described as “sublime”. Soft, doughy bread with an elastic crust; cheese & onion crisps. There are some culinary delights that persons who have fallen from grace and who are thus obliged to live abroad will never experience or understand. This is as it should be. Mr God was in his kitchen, and lunch was a cold collation.

Lunch today will likely be a form of Saag curry, made with the livers of passing “keen” cyclists.

Old Roman recipe: take one thousand “keen” cyclists (or anglers if in season), remove the livers, discard the cyclists, cook as for dormouse and serve with a chilled Chianti.

Today is International Men’s Day. Not many folk know that. The Establishment, spurred on by modern-day red/blue-haired screaming “Feminists” (a credit to the Suffragettes, but a disgrace in the eyes of Suffragists), somehow imposed the date as being the same date as World Toilet Day. Truly, if ever there was one, a case of the Feminist-led Establishment taking the pi*ss.

That the toilet nonsense is on the “United Nations” website is an oddly fortuitous serendipity, since they are an organisation that I wouldn’t Shih Tzu on even if I were tears-in-my-eyes desperate for a Shih Tzu.

Don’t be surprised if the International Men’s Day website takes a while to load or doesn’t load at all, and be even less surprised if your ISP loads the U.N. website almost immediately. Nothing to see there, nothing to deduce. It took me five internet minutes to open the Men’s Day site, during which time my ISP cheerfully let me gamble and frolic over Twi*tter and Arse*book and the U.N. Disgrace at full 4G speed… The link is the Benighted Kingdom’s dot org website; the international one will only bring up (on my Microsoft and Google controlled connection) a dire warning about hackers and danger, danger, Will Robinson.

Jus’ sayin’, is all.

Contrary to popular opinion formed from the mis-information of the popular press, every day is not somehow “men’s” day. Far from it, when you look at the real statistics for health, housing, suicide, even access to (often their own) money. Have a quick think about history – the real stuff, not what we’re all fed from increasingly snowflake history texts. Most “ordinary” men got the vote in the Benighted Kingdom at near the same time as most “ordinary” women (and for the men that was after surviving and returning from WWI).

There, that little bit of heart-felt politics made a change from the usual virus-related stuff didn’t it?

Back to just canal stuff soon enough! No worries!


do have hidden shallows, you know.

Right – the weather is, for the moment, looking briefly civilised. A perambulation methinks.

Chin-chin, Ian H., Lord High He-Who (Must be Obeyed) in waiting.


  1. What is a winding hole? Is it a well-type structure in which you place folk that wind you up? And if it is a hole how come the canal still boasts a smidge of water?


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    1. Would that it were.

      Nope, rather domestically, a winding hole is a deliberate widening of the canal where boats may turn – generally, niner-ty nine percent of the system, the canal is not wide enough for a narrowboat to be turned around. Winding holes are fairly randomly spaced, usually some ten miles apart or on that order (although here there are two within a mile). The only other place a boat can be turned is by poking the nose into one of the new-fangled marinas, thereby often having to use their friendly, rinky dinky “NO TURNING” signs as a fender, or at junctions, where a chap has to pick his moment if not to annoy traffic wot r trying to use the junction.

      Depending upon which way the Cardinal’s bow is pointing this is why sometimes there’s a cruise of some miles to get ourselves two hundred yards in t’opposite direction – first, go somewhere to turn around, &etc.

      Narrowboats do reverse, but some narrowboat, and some narrowboat tiller-chaps reverse better than others. With bow thrusters (“the whine of shame”) I’ve known folk reverse for miles, but not I, not the Cardinal. If it’s more than fifty yards, we go the long way around! 😉


      1. Bit like smart motorways then? Just be sure at mid manoeuvre you don’t get taken out by a coal barge travelling at warp factor 5.2mph. Funny folk these costers of coal…


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  2. I have some (a lot of!) aversion to designated days.Mostly American inventions from the Hallmark crowd. I have seen cards celebrating divorce! I would not be in the least surprised to find Covid cards on shelves soon.
    And I do not stand weepily in front of half-staff flags remembering “brave soldiers.” Why would I? Hell! I’d be racing around the cenotaphs of half a dozen nationalities.

    But I do like your image of not-quite-in-the-winding-hole

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    1. The scariest aspect of these “Days for XYZed” is that there is usually some department – or a whole raft of departments – chock full of office workers paid uber-high salaries to encourage them and nought else. Money that might instead be used to, oh I dont’ know – actually pipe water to some South Wales village hitherto without (or whatever).

      As an individual it seems to me that, these days, commerce (and government) consists of a thousand constantly-jabbing hypodermic needles, all trying to draw a unit of money or happiness or security out of my system! Every which way you turn (Clyde), a needle coming at you.

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  3. I was rash enough to follow the World Toilet Day link and discovered that I could download something which would give me a toolkit to take action while on the run…..presumably a gozunder. Or a bourdaloue for daytime use….Or the ill fated Easywee. I remember adverts for the latter showing a bed bound patient employing the device, whose waste pipe led from the bed to an open window…a latter day gardyloo system.
    I spent a great deal of my working life trying to obtain decent wages and decent conditions of life for ordinary women…..modern ‘feminists’, with their high heels and high aspirations for the mashed avocado eating classes make me spit. In the gozunder, of course, we must preserve the decencies.
    As to the U.N… in Costa Rica we have a University for Peace, founded and run by the U.N., where well connected – with the U.N. – young people are prepared for non jobs for life in the various tentacles of said U.N.
    The local town is full of joints selling mashed avocados.
    Perhaps I should search on eBay for a defunct Easywee and operate it from the roof of the lecture theatre….except that I would need a helicopter to get me up there, given the state of the knees these days.

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    1. You’re not wrong there. The most telling aspect of the modern “Feminist” is their habitat – it’s never the third-world factory or the indeed even the “first world” sewer-construction building site – but exclusively the high-falutin’ office or the university campus. The organisation cares nought for real and majority women (and cares less than nought for men). Their spoor (and scat) is found only where the world has been thoroughly tamed. The U.N. is mortally infested with them as are most other (presumed venerable) institutions – and their greatest facilitators are the men in those august bodies!

      People who actually effect beneficial change are to be found in quite different environments – the “coal face” environments, where the modern “Feminists” would be scared of spilling their (late-)morning commute Starbucks or losing two bars of their 5G signal. I think, as I reckon do you, that real equality is a product produced by people with rolled-up sleeves.

      Why the hecky heck we can’t just all be people, treat one another with a scorching equality and forget all of these sub-divisions and sub-divisions (except where they are fun, or truly cultural, and benign) and just gerronwivit beats me. There’s an entire highly lucrative global business that actually requires discrimination (real or otherwise) for its very existence, and as long as we allow that business to thrive, it’s never going to reform itself away. Too damned sad to think about for long. ;-(

      Damn I’m feeling too political (the PsyOps tactics are working!) – time I got back to just looking around the local canal system and photographing stray waterfowl.


  4. Lord that sky is tremendous! It looks like the portal to somewhere that is better than the here. I just read this after finishing the almost final edit through my manuscript (The Day After) and am left with a feeling of wondrous achievement and great warmth for your massive contribution in helping me to produce it and to a large part inspring it and I feel so grateful. Speaking as a woman who finds the majority of women unfathomable and completely terrifying and who prefers the intellectual company of the male half of our race (not all as there are unfortunately idiots on both sides of the aisle) I would rather celebrate International Men’s Day than the other one (often flighty bissoms) – Happy Men’s Day and my eternal gratitude!

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    1. Thank’ee – I am awaiting to read your latest!

      If the statistical distribution curves are to be believed (and I think that they are highly plausible) there is a significantly larger proportion of men who are in the daft “let’s jump off a cliff for fun” category (but there’s also a flip side to that… 😉 )

      I have great difficulty with penetrating the thoughts and logic of most of the species (and doubtless they me). Dogs are easier any day, you know that they are thinking either food or sleep or get warm or need to pee or ooh, shiny, must chase. So much more simple – and sensible. Dog. Dog dog dog dog dog. Dog. I’m a dog.


    1. We’ve had a little bit of everything today. The sun came out for a while, the wind went away, we’ve had dry spells – and we’ve had some sleety showers where the raindrops were half a degree away from being snow. Sort of a tin of Quality Street but with the green triangle all chocolate one missing!

      I think that for once I managed to moor in the right place – the bank here kept a lot of the wind off.

      Keep warm (and/or cool as necessary) and keep on keeping on.


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