Still alive, still kicking, still getting in everyone’s way and causing mayhem on the system

This little fellow came along with me for part of my perambulations.

I was walking, he was flying. His legs weren’t long enough to match my colossal strides, and if they were to be then he’d be a flamin’go, not a robin. My wings were removed when I fell from Heaven – a spot of a disagreement with management; the pattern of my life begins…

He was of course, as all wildlife arranges to be, at the extreme end of the zoom of my pocket picturemaker. I make no apologies.

It’s been a mixed old week, wevvawise. Four days out of the past five there’s been enough sunshineation to get the Cardinal’s batteries to “float” without my intervention, the other three days we’ve spent hours in “absorption” and been convincingly satisfied. We’ve had rain, wind and total calm, relative warmth, biting cold, and while we don’t have snow at the moment, as I type we’ve just had a flurry of tiny hailstones. Nothing big enough to brain a duck, just enough to pitter-patter against the glass of the windows and portholes.

I am, the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd will doubtless be pleased to know, still denying all of the nice boaters moorings and facilities in this area.

The Cardinal, as WWT Ltd will tell you, is just under 3,000 metres in length, and when I moor up I really moor up.

Gosh, I’m so selfish and inconsiderate.

It’s time that something was done about me.

The boats above are on the offside, on private moorings (Venetian). The Cardinal’s stern would be visible under the bending-over-backwards arch of the lovely old apple tree near the benches, were it not for the shrubbery.

It’s even worse down in Windy Alley below the lock and beyond the railway line, where the Cardinal is hogging almost absolutely all of the space and there’s only room for one poor wee cruiser…

There is one interesting feature out there on Windy Alley, but it’s on the towpath.

It is the custom around these parts to bury ne’er-do-wells (anglers, cyclists, joggers, ramblers) and other boat-botherers in un-marked graves, head-down in the towpath. Occasionally, as here, soil erosion and wotnot uncovers the soles of their feet and/or shoes. Here be the grave of one, one-legged boat-botherer, revealed by the falling level of the Middlewich Branch towpath at Windy Alley.

It is the custom in these parts to bury ne’er-do-wells and other crinimals head-down, feet-up, in un-marked graves on the towpath. Occasionally soil erosion reveals the soles of these miscreants’ feet, or, in this case of a one-legged boat-botherer, their foot.

I wonder what this size 9 fellow did to merit quiet, unofficial burial in unconsecrated ground?

We shall likely never know.

Mind you, I don’t know most things, so what’s one thing more in the Grand Scheme of Not Knowing Things?

My money, were I to have any, would be on “seen wearing lycra with malice aforethought and bulges abounding” and/or “in the possession of alpine walking poles and a map in a plastic bag around his neck”.

Both capital crimes in these parts (planet Earth).

It’s been a week now since Messrs ASDA fought their way to me through the over-crowding and chaos that I cause, and I have but some spuds, carrots, onions and dark-green cabbage remaining in the fresh comestibles line. A confusion of a variant of Colcannon is called for, methinks, all steamed and then mashed and mixed and scattered about with a smidge of sea-salt and a lashing of fresh black pepper.

What though for protein, you hear me cry.

Oye mi canto, protein-wise.

Robin, I think. Roast wild robin.

That’ll teach the little b’ger to escort me off “his” turf.

Now, if you’ll please to excuse me, I have to find some little white paper ruffs to adorn a roast robin’s feet.

Can’t serve him up on top of my veggies improperly dressed now, can I?

To stuff or not to stuff, that is the culinary question.

With what, and how though?

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H.


    1. I would have made a Robin sandwich but I always find that the little legs and feet and the beak poking out from under the edges of the bread are so depressing, sort of a reminder of the fragility of life. Plus, there’s so very little meat on a robin after he’s been got with a blunderbuss.

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    1. I haven’t hunted Tofu since I lived in Scotland – impressive occasions; hundreds of beaters driving the wild tofu out in front of the guns, the smell of cordite in the air, the terrible, unearthly cries of the people that I’d shot by mistake, the wail of the ambulances coming to take them away, ha ha, hee hee. Then later, a hot lunch out of wicker hampers and a verdict of ‘Not Proven’ from the Procurator Fiscal.

      Tell the youth of today about such things though and they just won’t believe you.

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      1. Those eew the days! No one hunts wild tofu anymore. These days they have big tofu farms. It’s all corporate, they rent you the gun, the beaters are just roombas, and everyone is guaranteed a cube. Another sign of unimproved modern life.

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    1. Thank’ee kindly! I gave up carrying a backpack of DSLRs and lenses years ago, and now make do and mend with pocket compacts, for which my shoulders, hairy as they are, are highly grateful. 😉


    1. What Chef calls ‘a breakfast egg roast’ – four minutes at Regulo 3 for a bien cuit one, three minutes thirty seconds over a kitchen candle for soft-boiled.

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    1. I decidummed as I always do that the veggies were fine by themselves. I model myself on the Mountain Gorilla, and they only eat Walkers Chees & Onion flavour crisps.


  1. Bubble and squeak doesn’t need any chirpy chirpy cheep cheep, just lashing of black peeper! Just what the doctor order this really cold weather!

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    1. I have little trouble with bubble and squeak. Quite often as I go through life I hear voices and animal sounds, and quite often I answer – only to realise that I am talking to my stomach. It can be quite spooky in the dead of night… 😉

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