A topless selfie in the snow

Her Majesty’s Meteorological Office faithfully promised us “heavy” “snow” with mist.

We received soggy slush, and lots of no mist. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme squelch.

Having little to no self-discipline, morals or meteorological standards, I still took the opportunity to run outdoors and take a topless selfie in the “snow” (lead photo above).

Cardinal Wolsey, Barbridge Junction, in the first slushes of winter 2020/21. From the evidence of the footprints something has escaped…

My peregrinatory perambulations were perforce tip-toid, given that my favourite boots split yesterday, and the replacements from Ship’s Stores have urban soles with little to no grip-grabbery. Can’t get more than about five thousand miles out of a pair of boots these days, I don’t know what the world’s coming to, really I don’t*.

*Nor do I particularly care, so long as it sods off and leaves me in peace.

Frozen fields near Cholmondeston, with what appears, unsurprisingly, to be Ayer’s Rock in the background.

The fields were ripe for black-clad parsons scurrying from consoling overnight death-of-minor-gentry to officiating at peasant “shot-gun” wedding of a hapless couple spotted sharing facial intimacy under the wild mistletoe and over the hot pig-swill in the farm-yard yestereve, but saw I none. They manufacture parsons to no greater standard than they manufacture boots these days.

The trees were naked, as is their wont even in near-zero of the Celsingheits.

I don’t know how they do it, I can’t take more than a couple of minutes and at that only when spreading the still-warm stove ashes in the hedgerow. Trees are made of sterner stuff than I. Mind you, I’d make a lousy coffee table, so there’s balance of a sort, even in Nature.

Referring to Nature, while the hump-back whale may be in decline hereabouts the local population of hump-back bridges remains stable.

There’s a certain cold irony in the early morning of winter to a sign at a hump-back bridge reading “No Track-Laying Vehicles”…

The sign may read ‘No track-laying vehicles’ but someone’s gone and left a set.

I’m no expert but from the evidence of the wheelbase and the print of the “O-Bead” Bridgestone POTENZA RE050A 255/30 Y 19 tyres I’d hazard a guess that the track-laying vehicle in question here was a 1934 Sunbeam 20 Sports Saloon carrying three adults, the rearmost passenger sitting to the left of the seat and the second carburettor needing just a tad more air for efficient running.

Cardinal Wolsey, Barbridge Junction, winter 2020/21, with the boat behind apparently burning old well-oiled Popes in their stove.

A pleasant walk, for all that it was uber-damp and remarkably cold given that we remain on the upper east side of Zero.

When I returned to the Cardinal I took the ottorpunity to clean off the solar panels. It’s likely that on a day such as today they’ll still keep up with my immediate needs, although possibly they’ll be able to make no inroads to the overnight deficit (of some 9.8Ah). I’ll wake up one of the hamsters later, and set it to running in the wheel that’s attached to the dynamo. The Crimson Dynamo. Ah, Magneto, and Titanium Man. How times have changed, and not for the better. I feel like letting go, but I’ll just put my hand in the medicine jar instead. Listen to what the man says.

The Cardinal’s bottom is cold, the world is blue, and there’s nothing I can do.

Actually, one thing that I can and I shall do is to remain indoors, aboard, for the remainder of the day. The squelch and the mud are in the ascendant here as everywhere.

There’s a couple of lavishly-proportioned servings of yesterday’s Saag-esque vegetable curry to be had, and there’s also a large pot of rice on the stove. The joy of getting to be anciently old is that by the time I come to eat I don’t remember who put the extra garlic in the curry or who put the pot on the stove. Whoever it is that does such things, IĀ do notice that they always leave the washing up to me though, so there’s lovely for you yes indeed Myffanwy.

From my desk window I am being treated to the sight of a Robin hunting worms in the mud. Please forgive the poor quality of these photos of Robin; both taken through glass and at the full extent of the pocket rocket’s zoom capability. Ta muchly.

Seriously, I’d rather have veggie curry.

He looks awfully round and puffed up in the hedgerow, but I would bet a guinea to a farthing that he’s mostly feathers, and what lies beneath is scrawn and scraggle. Still, at least his (face-)cheeks are rosy. I am not going to up-end him to check on the rest. Not the done thing, don’t you know.

I am always in awe of these beasties, surviving as they do. Chuck most humans into a hedgerow for the winter and you’d like as not come back in three days to find the kernel of some Hallowe’en decoration.

So there we have it. Our “heavy” “snow” is, for the moment, slush and nonsense.

Quelle surprise.

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H., & Cardinal W., of The Fleet.


  1. Definitely Ayres Rock! šŸ˜€ … ‘Ian Hutson Goes Topless!’ – Shock! Horror! Gasp! … you are rather handy with a camera, sir. Indeed you are. šŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank’ee kindly – for your comment here and for ALL of your comments during the year.

      Fortunately, I awoke this morning to discover that I had fallen into a coma as a baby and all of the past decades were merely an illusion brought about by over-prolongued contact with hospital linens. I am in fact an elderly Martian, name of Gribble, now retired to the planet Zog where I live a peaceful life and grow purple Zogahlias in my garden.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I had hoped that my squelchy footprints on the towpath, exposing the mud, would provide a bonanza for the boyds, but no – the robin’s preference was for the snowy patches between. Just proves that I know nothing about hunting worms…


      Liked by 2 people

  2. At least you had some of the white stuff, soggy or not. All we had was torrential rain, and sog, of course. It’s been so wet our lawn can’t drink any more water and it’s lying on the terrace. (The water, not the lawn!)
    At least snow looks pretty as long as you can look at it from indoors. I’m not much for coldth. Rain just looks miserable. Lovely photos, by the way. I love little robin.
    (And since when has Robin been a girl’s name, as our American cousins have designated it?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin (was) always a very nice male name to my experience, I have no idea when it suddenly changed gender or became that mythical beast of the social scientist – “unisex”.

      I had a wonderful vision of your lawn clambering out of some impromptu swimming pool and up onto the patio – I suppose that even grass has its standards. You’re right of course, rain is nothing like as picturesque as is snow – it’s only saving grace being night-time reflections on Parisian pavements, or some such – and how rare are they?

      Although there was that one time when I was eighteen, and got lost in Paris during a monumental thunderstorm… hmm. šŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The Americans have a weird idea on names. Who ever heard of a girl called Sydney? ( Or Jamie, or Billy, or…) I once had a boy in one of my classes come up to me saying his friends were saying he had a girl’s name. My reply? Tell that to Courtney Walsh!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a pretty snow for all that. And right brave adventurer you are to go on a walkabout in it. I hate walking in icy mud. Cold feet and inevitably, in my case, a cold backside as I rarely manage to stay vertical when slippery surfaces are traversed. Gazelle-like am I. You should see how much grace I can put into landing on the ground.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Staying vertical is over-rated in many circumstances, as is remaining sober and/or intellectually or emotionally connected with the “moment”… šŸ˜‰

      When the ground froze a couple of days ago it was fantastic – so easy to plough through the towpath where before it had been mud mud mud. Sadly, back to mud mud mud now. ;-(

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Some lovely photos! Glad to read that you are staying warm and that life on the canal is fairly quiet at the moment.
    We got 8cm of snow on Christmas Eve and it made everything look very Christmassy. I went for a drive to see all the lights and the snow certainly added to the atmosphere. We are due to get a few more cm this afternoon but the temperatures are to rise to just over 0 later in the week so it will all turn to rain. Personally I don’t care – a white Christmas is lovely but after that snow is just a hazard! Besides all the ski slopes are closed due to Covid so it would just drive all the outdoorsy types crazy to think about what they were missing.
    Hope it stays nice and cozy for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank’ee!

      It is funny the way that snow in England is “reported” these days. In my youth “heavy snow” meant several feet deep – and we still walked about, and still drove our cars. Half an inch of snow is enough to bring all traffic to a standstill these days. I well remember many occasions when the end of the working day meant all hands to the pump (to the shovels), digging everyone’s cars out of the car park – where they had become nothing but anonymous mounds in the snow. Have we really become a nation of such lily-livered nit-twerps? I do wonder, the evidence mounts! šŸ˜‰

      Keep warm and wonderful, wherever you are – if you’re feeling particularly energetic then, as the song lyric suggests, also keep young and beautiful – especially if you want to be loved. May your mince pies be warm and your mulled wine be well-mulled. šŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I suggest that the members of theTrust – what a misnomer – who claim to be running the canals should be tasked with a long term examination of the canalside hedgerows with a view to estimating their vaue as a food supply – theirs – in winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do worry though that including the directors of the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd in the raw material of the local Soylent Green factory would spoil the product, giving it some sort of unpalatable after-taste. All that we can do is to try a batch, I suppose.

      The day has lost all charm now, reverting to type with dullth and grey and just the remnants of the dusting of slushy snow – it’s all a bit grubby! Ho hum. Ho ho hum, even. šŸ™‚


Comments are closed.