Frozen in

The top of the canal is a bit …solid, this morning.

In typical Ing-er-lish weather fashion though it’s also now drizzling, the drizzle settling on the ice-skim as hail, we had an impressive albeit brief sunrise and now it’s as dull as ditchwater.

The odd thing is that the canals, while most don’t have any sort of flow to speak of (Llangollen excepted), do sort of drift by, and I can’t stop my brain trying to gauge the speed of the ice passing even when it’s going nowhere. Sort of land-sickness, I suppose. Mal de terre.

It won’t be long before someone comes along, and we get to enjoy the crash bang scrape graunch clatter of ice against the Cardinal’s hull blacking. Can’t be helped sometimes, I’ve been caught out myself, so the moral high ground here is not available to me. Were the moral high ground available then I still wouldn’t be on it, because I am on a boat. It’s a horrid sound though.

Only England could freeze and thaw at exactly one and the same time, both with and without the Sun. It has been observed that the Sun never sets on the English Empire but this is not strictly true; it simply does the best that it can, and we must remember that while the gods are omnipresent, the Sun is just highly manoeuvrable.

Coal and logs are being burnt. The Fuel Boat has already begun his first rounds of the year, although beginning south of our postion and working the wrong way around the Fork Ounties – um – the Four Counties ring. We have ’nuff tuggetby.

I wonder what goes through a seagull’s head when first it walks on water.

I’m not the Messiah, I’m just a very naughty seagull.


Where can I find a clean Ferrari to poop on?

Poupon? Wasn’t he President of All France in the fifties?

Mon Dieu.

Je suis Dieu.


Chin-chin &etc.

Ian H.


    1. I’d imagine that the winter of 1962/63 had a distinctly freezing effect on whatever of the canal system was in water in those days (days of neglect and abandonment, a lot of restoration work has been done since). The most I’ve seen is ice about 2″ thick – and that made it damnably difficult to do anything. Thinner ice makes it difficult not only to move but also to get into and out of locks (and there’s always the danger of jamming), and to come into the side to moor. I’ve been caught out a couple of times when it’s not been frozen near me and I’ve moved, only to discover that half a mile on the world is ice, ice baby. It would take one heck of a deep and long cold spell to freeze ’em solid, most canals are about 5′ or so ish in the middle channel, some more shallow, some a lot deeper.

      One precaution that I do always take is to make sure that there’s always a little bit of spare room in the main water tank, just in case it decides to frost up or freeze a little. I don’t know if it helps or not, but I do it anyway – and I have insulated the pipework as much as is possible. Mr Stove is in 24/7 from the start of winter to the end, and that helps to keep a little bit of warm in the system. In fact, the colder the weather is outside the more eagerly the stove burns, he seems to relish the work!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The geese were distinctly unimpressed by the river freezing over when we lived in France….thwarted of access to the islands by ice they eventually decided to use the rickety ersatz brdge made from scaffolding poles and planks…thirty of them goose stepping along keen to get at the grazing only to find it frozen. Not happy birds as they later made clear to us…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ii think – when I think – that geese are cantankerous from birth (it’s one of the very few things that I like about them). They are also very wary of being in any way individual or of changing their habits – the thought of them lining up to goose-step over a bridge tickles my guffaw-gland, thank’ee. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I was walking down by the lake last week and thin sheets of ice had formed in some of the small inlet areas. There was a large group of ducks swimming about and while most detoured around the ice one or two braver ones decided to try walking across it – with comic results as most slipped and slides a good bit and were quite annoyed and vocal in their annoyance!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right there – ducks in particular seem to have a problem with walking on ice. I’ve watched them before and it’s two steps and then apex over fundament. I wonder if it’s because of their swimming motions, with the feet oft flapping sideways under the water? Either way, if you’re not a duck, it’s hilarious. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your very naughty seagull’s thoughts. I’ve often wondered the sam about ducks, looking confused as thei slip slid around on the water they were swimming in yesterday.
    Thawing and freezing at the same time, eh? Interesting. Talking of freezing, my brother-in-law phoned on New Year’s Day. He said they had ice on their house windows. (Near Grantham.) I presume outside. Even in Grantham they have central heating. It’s not a thing I’ve seen in decades, but I do remember in my yoof having ice on the INSIDE of the windows. (Not far from you, in Northwich.) Bootiful patterns. Ferns, leaves, trees etc. While I appreciate not having to warm my clothes up in bed before getting dressed, it’s a pity the youngsters have never seen these natural works of art.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good old single-glazing – I too remember the frost patterns on the windows.

      The Cardinal has single glazing, and could probably do with a tad more insulation if such were a choice. One of my jobs for last year – which was cancelled by the blrrghh – was to build and fit secondary double-glazing for winter. Ho hum. Mind you, there’s not a lot to be done with mooring ropes soaked first in rain and then frozen solid!

      Well I also remember scraping frost from the inside of my car’s windows, usually with the heater fan blasting away, trying to help. Tell the Youth of Tudday that though and they’d laugh at you.

      Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.