Well, last night was most atmospheric indeed. The Cardinal is well and truly frozen in, the broken and re-frozen ice on this stretch being a couple of inches thick in places (with manifold even lumpier bits), and an interesting wind was and is still blowing in from the east. Mr Stove was and still is working his little cotton socks off. The sensors tell me that my domestic and engine starter batteries have, as of 11am, attained the dizzying heights of 3° Celsinghams, and the solar system has adjusted its charging voltage accordingly.
Four days since the latest Commissarunication from the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd., they are apparently considering the information provided (id est this blog and the cruising log), all apparently in no rush even though they are still looming large in my darkest mid-night thoughts and – oddly for a “wellness” charity – still behaving with scant regard for my health (my being only a paying customer of theirs, not a nice cyclist, angler, rambler or dog-emptier). Six weeks since they fired their first shell(shock) opening salvo in the process that potentially leads to (much) more expense for me (short-term) and eventually homelessness. Not a shred of an iota of a suggestion that they see anything wrong in chasing anyone around the system in these Interesting Times. Charity my ar*se.
Enough of that, this drear and mediocre organisation has dominated my thoughts for more than long enough. What probably irks my ire-gland more than anything is the utter, total unfairness and power (and respect) imbalance in any transaction with them; they are accountable to no-one but themselves and have less than zero regard for individuals who must of necessity navigate their wide array of corporate pathologies.
The lock hereabouts nearest has frozen over. It was full when the freeze froze, so to spoke, so the ice layer formed, as you would expect, at the top. Because most locks on the system leak like sieves it is not unknown for ice to form like this and then the water beneath to drain away, leaving a vast lock-shaped void underneath. Quelle surprise were one to fall in…
Whatever the levels, the ice makes it damnably difficult (impossible, if a chap has any sense) to use the lock; you can’t get a boat in there as well as the ice. There can be interesting effects (total loss of boat) if a stray lump of ice jams as a boat locks up or down. The boat can end up either not being lowered with the water level or not rising with the water level, either is a sitty-ation less desirable than the proverbial bowl of cherries.
That said, there’s been much sunshine of late which, given the entitterations with the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd, has been no bad thing in re Seasonal Affective Discomnobulation. Wasn’t it one of Shakespole’s characters in King Lear-Jet who cried out ‘Give me a bright day with a light breeze and little cloud cover or give me death!’ as he swapped his kingdom for a horse?
National House Arrest continues. Messrs ASDA are on a kiss and a promise to meet me under the apple tree early next week with vegetables and other fine comestibles. One distinct advantage of the freeze is that the mud-wallows near Bridge 4 and between Bridges 2 and 3 become solid enough to walk on… with care, and with ice-skater’s ankles. The direction of the breeze currently makes a walk to Barbridge and beyond pleasant in the outward bound direction and a little colder homeward bound, with the Soviet Siberian Steppes in one’s face.
Messrs Jason on the Fuel Boat BARGUS came surprise (to me) calling earlier this week, so we have coal enough for much plenty while again now, and between you, me and my tartan slippers, I’m not rationing its use.
A-top Mr Stove is this evening’s curry, I’ll bunginate a pot of rice on there later this afternoon. Subtle cooking it is not, what’s needed it is.
From the looks of the forecast tonight and tomorrow will be equally cool and with an equally bipolar bear breeze to gently rock the Cardinal back and forth against the ice.
I’ll do my best not to think on ’em, but if the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd ever do develop any sort of system of morals and/or a recognition of even the mildest duty of care I’ll let you know. Don’t hold your breath, the entire corporation is in its daily systemic operations more Dickensian than a winter workhouse run by The Puritan Heamorrhoids-For-Jesus Society.
Chin chin, chaps. Keep warm and wonderful (if you want to be loved).
Or Jung, or something. Keep Jung and beautiful.
Ian H., & nb Cardinal Wolsey 508533.