I remain pertinacious in my contumacy

After all, it was what I was tautology by Mummery and Daddyery.

Those who sit in Downing Street are not actually, it would seem, sitting. It seems more as though they are running about in the manner of cranial-attachment-disadvantaged examples of subspecies galliforme gallus domesticus. It’s really quite embarrassing to watch.

In entirely separate news, those who plonk their ar*ses on chairs provided by the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd remain uncommon silent. For an august body that more ordinarily can’t resist barking orders (reminiscent of a chihuahua in an over-braided uniform and wearing stout leather boots), they don’t seem to be speaking to me. Not a pip, not a squeak, not a corporate raspberry blown in my face in over two weeks now. I am beginning to feel quite unloved.

Cardinal Wolsey out of – WELL out of – my comfort zone. Certain sure the town was as happy about my being there as was I.

If only (some) canals had by-passes.

Towns for those who love them, by-passes for those who don’t.

Communing with cows. Shame about the telephone lines blotting the landscape.

Something nicked an entire gigabyte of my data allowance overnight. The laptop was off but the (password protected) router was on. My monthly allowance of 32 gigabytes renews (no roll-over) overnight on the 22nd/23rd of each month. I ought to have woken this morning to 32 of them but instead there were but 31. No idea what, the nearest micks & brortar dwelling is sixty or seventy yards away, I doubt that my signal would reach them in sufficient strength to be useful. Passwords have been changed though, naturally. Most annoying indeed. Most odd that the theft was one complete, neat gigabyte…

SOMEthing nicked a full gigabyte of my monthly allowance overnight.

Calm thoughts have been thought. Calm thoughts are necessary both in the face of Bumbledom Abounding, and in the matter of this data-allowance theft. Still, I would recommend that I be temporarily removed from the Rota of Those Holding the Nuclear Codes.

Cutting remarks and/or cutting edge technology. I shall leaf you to ponder.

The wind is back today and probably for tomorrow too. It’s not even a proper wind, really, just a contiguous series of violent gusts. The sky is uniformly grey, it’s akin to being sat upon by an enormous pigeon. I live in fear today of the 8/8ths clouds parting to reveal some vast set of pigeon gonads. I should scream, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself. The solar panels are snapping at any ergs that pass. I can’t put the candelabra on the roof to help because the candles keep blowing out. Plus, candles would probably set fire to the underside of this enormous pigeon.

This is one of those days that may be accurately summed up with a shrug of the shoulders and a brief curling of the upper lip. Ho et le hum. Ce sera zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Cardinal Wolsey about to ride down the fantabulous Anderton Boat Lift, some moons ago, when such things were possible. An outrageous and vast great lump of improbable machinery. See lead photograph for a sense of the scale (with the Cardinal moored on the River Weaver below)

The canals and the countryside are not speaking to me today; they’re both too intent on thinking blank thoughts. Oh the water’s there and the hedgerows and trees are there but there’s really nobody home. Father Nature has taken to his bed with a bottle and won’t be seen today or mayhap even tomorrow. On days such as these the infrastructure of the planet seems lifeless and inert.

Well though I remember the early mornings when…

…and, as if that wasn’t enough reason to giggle then this…

and the world seemed worth it somehow.

That’s about it, really. Dull and grey and windy and a thirty-twoth of my mobile data has been spirited away. Thanks be to the gods (Greek and Roman, only) for coffee and cake.

Actually, thanks be to Rosie II for the cake! Most splendid it is too, thank’ee. πŸ™‚

I’ve been out, briefly, to blow away the cobwebs. The rest of the day will be spent in avoiding thinking of what more dimwittery will come my way should I be fool enough to read the “news” or check on my emails. Hopefully the world is not quite so shoulder-shruggy today wherever you may be, and there’s a touch of sunshinery, or birdsongism or something similar.

It would appear from Boris’s latest sandals and toga-clad “Friends, Romans, Countrymen…” speech on the balcony at Number Ten that minor cruisery may be permissible from the 29th of next month, March, precisely. Subject of course to the whims and caprices of SAGE & ONION, his scientific side-kicks. Don’t ask me which is which, I think that they’re interchangeable.

How very interesting that I should have lived in The Age of Dimwittery, Buffoonery, and Incompetence, when had I but chosen more carefully when flicking through the brochures in Mr God’s Waiting Room I might have had instead to bluff my way through the Renaissance or the Victorian Era or – heaven forfend – the Era of the Discovery of Fire. There’s no denying though that witnessing the State of the Human Species in this, The Age of Stupid, is a fascinating thing, even if only in the same way as watching the 4:57 from Paddington leave the rails at Little Felching Next the Sea, and scattering carriages and unfortunate passengers right, left and centre.

I can feel a binge-watching evening of some nineteen-seventies series coming on. Coffee, cake, and trigger warnings. Fawlty Towers is a contender. Or Allo Allo.

Splendid. That’s a plan then.

Chin-chin, chaps. Ian H., Scourge of the Canals, and Cardinal W., now of Panamanian registry.


  1. That data theft would have sent me to buy a canon with which to scourge the entire region. I would have placed a yellow poster note in the blackened and barren post cannon scourge indicating the reason. Then pootled off to more civilized regions

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    1. It’s got me pondering because the theft was of a neat whole gigabyte rather than just some random amount. Most peculiar. I now use Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch as the password. Let’s see anyone steal now my data allowance with security like that.

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  2. Oh, pish-posh, all those past eras have been explored unto the nth degree, I want to know what happens next … to hop aboard some passing comet, spend a millennia or two zipping through the cosmos, hobnobbing with all manner of intelligent species, then swing back this way and see what the remaining hominids have made of themselves.

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    1. I suspect that the species may be careening towards once more becoming short, hairy, well-adapted to life in the trees and back to banging on the outer casing of a mysterious orthogonal parallelepiped with sticks…

      What was it some noteworthy person is supposed to have once said after a good meal and over the port and stilton? Something about not knowing which was more terrifying; our being alone in the universe or our not being alone in the universe. πŸ˜‰ I do wonder if intelligent life is avoiding us.

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        1. Question is though, how best to open the dialogue? A diagram of a hydrogen atom? Outlines of a male and female politician? The opening verses of God Save The Queen played on mouth organ? A friendly gift of a jar of Marmite could be terribly misinterpreted. What will you do if they ask to be taken back to Earth and then taken to our leaders? Explaining that we have none, just idiots, might take some doing… πŸ˜‰

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  3. Actually, evolution can happen quicker than many people think. Look up the peppered moth.
    Many things are adding to this, including spelling out in detail how to transfer a refill of hand wash into the original container, and a pack of walnuts saying ‘contains nuts’. The need to think about even the simplest things is taken away, so we lose the ability to think for ourselves. Great for the politicians.
    That’s what I think, anyway.

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  4. Sage and Onion? Should be cooked! Preferably over a slow fire.
    The New Statesman used to have a competition page at the back and i remember one about the right upbringing for children. A competitor suggested a danger park with open pits, bare electric wires and various abysses where those who did not heed the warning notices would perish. I have a feeling that neither Sage nor Onion would have survived, let alone Boris.

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    1. That park sounds like a splendid idea to me. I remember my father taking me out to a local playground (in Hong Kong) when I was but a toddler (two or three or some such nonsense). Photographs, the sent-away to be developed variety of those days, arrived and mother saw the one of me leg jammed askew at the top of the 20′ slide… over concrete… Father was not popular in maternal circles for a while. I survived. Mind you, surviving life as my elder brother’s personal laboratory rat was a more difficult thing altogether… and I have the scars to prove it.

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    1. Stupidity (indolence, incompetence and even a tendency for corruption) all seem to be worn as Badges of Office, or as medals in these times. It is most strange. Facts are derided and rejected in favour of “feelz” and common sense is entirely uncommon. I do seriously wonder if someone has put some several million gallons of something in the planet’s water.

      Assuming that the species limps on for a while what, I wonder, will the world of the next couple of generations be, with all of the Renaissance values thrown away and science returned to emotion-driven alchemy?

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  5. I think we are neither more nor less stupid than before. It’s just that stupid may be harder to get away from. As for escape-binging, hard to say. Fawlty Towers may be too close to the truth. The Avengers? Peaky Blinders? Or is that too new? Blackadder?

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    1. I settled on a couple of Dad’s Army followed by a silly number of Black Adders in the end. Most excellent nonsense indeed. Cotton-wool dipped in Dettol for the brain-gland… πŸ˜‰

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  6. A good one, The Age of Stupidity. I’ve noticed that more and more people are noticing how the human race is becoming more stupid each day.

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    1. The timetable is too short for proper Darwinian evolution so I suppose that this must be some sort of “social evolution” – I suspect that it will not end well. The whole planet gives me the same chills and discomforts that I last experienced in Rome, just before the fall. The music will be worse this time though as we burn; someone is likely to play the ukulele…

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