It’s been a busy, high-mileage old week, and it’s only Wednesday

Been cruising far and wide like a lockdown loon, just to amuse the Canal & River Trust Ltd. The corporate they have this pathological hatred of boats and boaters, and would love nothing more than to paint double-yellow lines along the towpath everywhere. Filthy beasts, boaters, they have no stamina at all and, far from cruising continuously day and night all year long (which was why the term “continuous cruisers” was coined) they often give up after just three or four hours, stop somewhere and tie ropes onto… sheeps and other nice things.

A rather belligerent baaa baaaa baaa Barbara Anne, channelling the Corporate Gestalt and telling me to “Moooove on move on move…”

I saw a sheep! Oooh, where? No, just the ordinary sort.

Anyway, we did a spot of time travel and moored for a while in The Land That Time Forgot, on the canal that the Watery Wellness (by Water) Trust Ltd forgot.

Messrs ASDA, being intrepid souls and not scared of a few pterodactyls, velociducks and tyrannosparrows oiked up on Monday and brought the Cardinal and I many fine and exotic comestibles, such as Andrex and – forgive my awful italian accent – Pasta Penne and some of King Edward’s spuds (King Edward and I are on vegetable-swapping terms, socially).

Pasta peh-ne’ and poh-tay-toes. I love being multi-lingual. The one language that I regret not learning at an early age is Idiot. That would help me so much with (self-appointed)  officialdom and bureaucracy. An expression of ‘I see your lips moving but you’re really not making any sense’ only goes so far. Still, mustn’t grumble.

Don’t have time to grumble for one thing; there’s pterodactyl poop to scrape off the solar panels.

I began the week – once ASDA had been and gone and gone – with a quick cruise of some seven thousand nine hundred and sixteen miles (one way) to what we salty old sea-dogs refer to as The Peters (The Falk Lands). CanalPlan shows the route via the Amazonian Yungle, but what with him being a boat I took the Cardinal around the coast instead. I really must cruise the Amazon sometime soon.

The penguins there are delicious at this time of year. The penguins in the Falklands, that is. The nearest they get to penguins in the Amazon are Parrots, and you’re not supposed to eat them.

nb Cardinal Wolsey 508533, temporarily beached on the Falkland Islands so that I could sojourn with the penguins. I learned how to walk like a penguin, and I am pretty certain that I laid an egg.

The Falkland Islands also being upside down, like Australium and Gnu Zealand, it is Summer there and the solar panels fed well.

We came back through the Chanel Tunnel (sic), via The Continent (I wanted to buy 200 ciggies and six half-bottles of Chateau Chatupon Royally from Duty Free), and the photograph below is proof positive of our trip, shown here approaching Customs at the Dover End while Charity Ltd personnel patrol above, noting down boat names, numbers and positions.

nb Cardinal Wolsey approaching the Dover End of the Channel Tunnel, preparing to declare our 200 ciggies and six half-bottles of Chateau Chatupon Royally to the nice man at the desk.

I’ve skipped over one of the most exciting parts of the afternoon though; the trip back.

As often happens even in England these days, creatures quite alien in nature attack as one is going about one’s peaceful, lawful and “I move quite enough, thank you” business. As we passed the Thirteen Colonies they were having some sort of “Independence Day” affair, and a giant mothership full of aliens chased the Cardinal and I ashore.

The Thirteen Colonies were having some sort of celerybration, and a giant Canal & River Trust “mothership” chased the Cardinal and I ashore. Oy vey, already. Ahoy vey even.

It was a close-run thing, but we made it.

Ahoy vey, so whaddoyou know from invading a planet already?

Some sort of virus was uploaded to the alien mothership and that sorted everything out nicely. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme script, eh?

Well, it was all very exhausting, although quite useful from a “clocking up mileage for mileage’s sake alone” point of view. Yesterday, when all my tribbles were so far away, I decided on a rest and cruised in Constable territory.

nb Cardinal Wolsey, proven conclusively beyond all daddo of a shout, to have visited Constable Territory as part of this years’ My Arse Is On Fire cruise-to-amuse (those who must be, &etc).

There’s only one thing to beat the smell of oil paint in the mornings, and that’s the smell of napalm. I love it.

Of course, no cruise is ever truly without incident, and on the return trip from Constable Country – along the (currently largely closed) Llangollen (most of it being in bang-shut-tight Wales) we were, as one orften is, buzzed by yet more aliens.

nb Cardinal Wolsey 508533 being buzzed by an alien craft on the Llangollen Canal, 2021.

These aliens, lacking imagination, were demanding to be taken to our leaders.

I had to explain gently that from Waterways company to Number 10 Downing Street and all bureaucratic detritus in-between, we have no leaders, just bums* on seats.

*Bums in the Anglo sense of hairy gluteus maximii and bums in the trans-Atlantic sense of ne’er-do-wells.

It took a few chirrups from the Raytheon Phallanx installations on the Cardinal’s deck to persuade them of the veracity of my information.

So, that’s been my week so far, with lots and lots and lots of photographic evidence of my travels – oh, if only I had till receipts for Coconut Lattés, comics and ACME Acne Cream to help me convince you of where we’ve been.

Don’t despair, folks – normal service will now be resumed, I am through with extracting fluids from a certain august body. Heck, if the stretch of canal betwixt Barbridge and Hurleston opens again (with official blessings) then I may even find my way onto the first few English miles of the Llangollen for a while.

At least since Messrs ASDA found me (here on the Middlewich, oddly, at the address that they hold for me – you don’t think that this may be a factor in They Who only ever spotting me here, do you?) I have live vegetablearyans to skin and steam alive. Hmm… broccoli… sprouts…

Time to bung the steamer on top of Mr Stove.

Chin-chin for the moment chaps, and I do do do promise that normal service will be resumed asap or sooner!

Well, as “normal” as life gets, at the moment in these Interesting Times.

Ian H., for the mo.


  1. Timothy Leary! That’s a name I’ve not heard in a long while…

    I hope your cruise-ometer has clocked up enough furlongs to satisfy the snoopy rozzers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think that anything would satisfy the Rozzers – the canal corporation does not seem to be home to many orderly minds! The ones that are there stand out like beacons (although I should be loathe to describe the landscape around them)! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wales is more closed down than ever the Iron Curtain countries were – precious little to be heard from Wales these days. When – if – they re-open the borders I suspect that they’ll all be wearing drab coats, head-scarves and driving beige Trabants.

      The sheep in that photo was obsessed by its own reflection in the one-way glass – I was sore worried that it was about to back up and charge!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the Constable one most, but all of your adventure pics are marvelous. I suspect you have enjoyed this creative vindictive photoshopping.

    PS if you keep feeding the sheep they come back with friends. It never works out well, as the friends are always the thug sheep, head butting themselves into your life. Never feed the ruminants. It’s a maxim of mine.

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    1. Had shares in a couple of pet lambs for a year or two when I was a child – they are big and strong when grown up. I remember my mother wrestling with one on the doorstep on a regular basis and losing every time – the sheep liked the warm of the kitchen… 😉

      Had to use the Maxim gun in the end (the sheep’s end, that is).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mercy me! That last photograph, what an amazing book cover that would make for anyone of the #scifi genre! I’m not sure ‘normal service’ can beat you when you’ve got your dander up! We of your humble followers thankee for it nonetheless. A laugh a day keeps the lizzards away and those big green beetle things that hang off the curtains when the walls start to close in! You are most entertaining.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is always worrying when you’re talking to someone and realise that they are blinking sideways… I used to think that David Icke was on the fruitcake side of Cadbury’s Nuts but of late, well – I think he’s nailed it.


  4. More great photos of your travels, Ian. I hope the pterodactyls don’t poop too much on your solar panels, but they fed well in the summer in upside down land so you should be OK.

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