Surveillance, Saraharan Sand, and Pyornkrachzark’s roller

It’s been a funny old week. The planet that I am currently living on (‘Earth’, according to the locals) has joined in with the insanity of the currently dominant species. Overnight rains a few days ago dumped sand straight from the Sahara everywhere, including over my solar panels, and we’ve enjoyed two or three days of blue-sky shirt-sleeve weather since.

Solar panels of Cardinal Wolsey covered in sand from the Sahara, February 2021.

Messrs Fuzz & Co Ltd were buzzing up and down, occasionally stopping to drop even lower and to circle, menacingly, perhaps counting a gaggle of humans tempted out of house arrest by the sunshine and barmily balmy temperatures.

Heckilopter enforcement circling over the Middlewich Branch, Febrary 2021. Ihre papiere bitte.

When Pink Floyd shouted it on-stage the line was ‘You! Yes, you behind the bike sheds, stand still laddie!’ but when the amplified Voice of Right, Reason, & Rectitude blared out as it hovered all that it said was ‘Ihre papiere bitte’. Then there was a short pause, some automatic gunfire and the heckilopter continued on its Social Duties elswhere, presumably having cleansed some outbreak of individualism.

The frogs are boiling nicely now and they didn’t notice a thing.


Well it certainly did them no good in the end. Very few things in the end do.

This morning, meteorologically, began with a neat sunrise and a modicum of mist.

A lumpy mist floating reluctantly about Cholmondeston Lock soon after dawn. Dawn didn’t float about; she’s a Milkman, and her float is laden down with heavy lead-acid batteries, Ski yoghurts, Slimcea bread, and three wheels.

The mist came and went and went and came. Overnight the lack of warmth-particles in the area had produced a light frost, not sufficient for an underfoot crunch, just enough for a five-minutes’ photogenicismnessnous in parts.

Mr Rock Biter (Pyornkrachzark by rights in this era of Nationalist Right, Reason, & Rectitude) must be staying on one of the boats moored up ahead – his roller (the remains of his bicycle) is parked in the field over the hedge. The Watery Wellness Trust Ltd ought to introduce themselves, they’d get on like a canal on fire – Rock Biter really is on a never-ending journey.

All that remains of the Cholmondeston Rabbit & Apricot Pie Factory; the industrial pastry-roller.

There are boats moored ahead now of course, some occupé, some très aimé mais inoccupé pour la durée sauf par les araignées. This is a sometime-popular little portion of this big empty stretch favoured by those with sunshine-eating devices on the roof (or with a distaste for Human Society) (or both).

Cardinal Wolsey on a cool morning in February 2021, Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Onion.

Mr Stove is in the Season of Firelighters & Kindling – essential overnight for extremities of the warm variety, surplus to requirements during the greater portion of the daytime, and thus requiring much-varied and careful feeding to persuade him into “now you see him, now you don’t” behaviours. I am sure though that Messrs Winter Ltd have not yet entirely finished with us.

A slack handful of boats, the variety that have ants in their pants, roam around (two have passed as I typed this). Stoppages “Until Further Notice” continue to block the Shropshire Union in either direction from here, but there is news of a new chippy opened not far beyond the services and associated winding ‘oles of the Llangollen (the English part; still das open to we The Globally Despised; The Angelcynn), so next servicings may well take place there, Hurleston Flight notwithstanding (and still standing).

This – the boat movement – illustrates a blunt dichotomy overlaid on the narrowboatering world: I live on my boat, happily, and the associated genuine cruising is a complete bonus; to others living on their boat is the bonus and they’re not happy unless they are disturbing the ducks on a daily basis by cruising at least once to hither and thrice to thither.

Both are equally valid raisins d’œuf d’mouton in the d’etre cake-mix of Life, methinks.

Something of or something in the holly of the bush near the tree of the hedgerow alongside the Cardinal seems tasty to the horses in the field behind all. I’m more of a crumpets-&-Marmite man, myself. Still, each to their own.

The most awkward snacks are always the most tasty.

Talking of nutrition, I must get back out there later today and let the sun sort out some of my mould and mildew, while other parts of me create Vitamin Delta by the bucketful.

An ancient email address – one used exclusively in the services of a Scottish photo-album printing company – appears to have been either sold or hacked, and is being used for the manifold to-ing and fro-ing of SPAM by the milliode. I am only aware of this because my (European, somewhat teutonic) ISP is in its loveliness flinging me loads of disguntled delivery failure messages. This doesn’t generally end well (for me and for my email).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Capital Punishment is the only way for SPAMMERS, and yes – I would cheerfully take the job as Lord High Executioner, and sleep still a-bed with a pristine conscience.

Right, tis time to begin the middle of my Saturnia, and I must away to achieve many fine things. Perhaps extending the grasp of Science by perfecting Room-Temperature Confusion, or widening the understanding of Philosophy by Having a Clue.

Or I might just put some more coffee on, and watch the moorhen dodging about in the scrub on the far side of the canal.

I live very close – and especially so in these days – to The Far Side.

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H., Git by Appointment to the Canal System; Scourge of Civilised Moorings.


  1. A chippy? Cast off at once and away to investigate, before some official has it shut down on the grounds that people enjoy its wares – enjoyment seeming to be a crime akin to petty treason these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I notice one erroneous error in your perambulations. You mention humings as being the most dominant species. This is not the case. There is a species so dominant it even gets our species to alter the very landscape for it. Can you guess what said species could be?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Good reply, but not quite right. The answer is Grass. (and it’s sub species, Rice, Barley, Wheat, Corn etc)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I often wonder if sheep and cows et al actually like grass, or whether they are fed up to the back teeth with having nothing else on offer (most of the time). Come the Revolution (and the Reincarnation) I am coming back as a tree.


        2. Two fields up, third tree from the left. 😉

          A gnarly old yew tree in a misty, barely-consecrated country churchyard, quite near the gate but a few yards inside so that I don’t get bags of discarded doggy poop thrown into my branches.

          Actually, whatever I came back as I’d probably end up as a coffee table.


          1. Interesting tree fact (Where I pick up these snippets of generally useless information is anybodies guess)
            From the millions of seeds generated by each tree, throughout its lifetime, the average number that germinate and become a mature tree is exactly one!

            Liked by 1 person

        3. My family operates on a not-dissimilar principle. It has often been noted that I ought to have been more severely pruned and possibly even composted.


  3. I quite agree with your view on spammers. perhaps there should be an annoyance factor calculated and punishment made to fit the crime.
    Commit murder – greatly annoy 1 person (the victim) for a short time
    Burgle 50 homes – intensely annoy 50 people for a longer period.
    Send out 2 million spam messages – mildly annoy 2 million, day after day.
    It would seem that spammers would deserve the death penalty on that annoyance basis.
    Unfortunately it would never happen since it would have to be voted in by politicians and they, being even more annoying, can’t be executed more than once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly these days there’s a higher likelihood of being sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour for mis-gendering a turnip than for sending out millions and millions of virus-laden, porn or crypto-currency SPAM. I believe that it was just like this with the Fall of Rome; proclamations being nailed to doors overnight in the millions and no-one ever prosecuted.

      As for politicians? In any sane society most of them would have been pushed head-first down the “raw materials” chute at the nearest Soylent Green factory.


Comments are closed.