Doug McClure and Susan Penhaligon in their time wandering around Cheshire would have been quite used to the sight of huge dinosaurs plodding up and down the lanes in the mist. What do I get? Milk tankers. This one’s not even being driven by the customary cow. The odds of being trodden on by a Ruddygreatosaurus and a milk tanker are about equal; it’s a narrow lane and home to one hundred and two thousand dozen percent of Cheshire’s pot-holes. This has a lot to do with a small and unsuitable country lane being used as a rat-run by HGVs and with its having not been repaired or re-surfaced since Doug McClure’s day. What Winsford Road needs is a councillor to move into a house on its length.
Isn’t it odd to think that if we could just wait backwards we might be able to play with Pleistocene and all of the other ages of Man and the temporally co-existing cuddly aminals. How easy it is to wait forwards, and yet – I know, I’ve tried – how difficult it is to sit on a favoured bench and wait backwards. Shame.
Talking of backwards, the Watery Wellness Wallahs Ltd have been silent now for over three weeks. They really don’t seem to comprehend this whole “customer/service-provider” relationship thing. They do rather behave like the chap taking the sticky 20p coins for day-rental of deckchairs who thinks that he owns the whole beach and coastline outright. While I hold the volunteers and grunt workers (the dirty fingernail mob) in very high regard, each attempted interaction with the Corporate Gestalt takes my opinion of the organisation and its philosophy to new lows. We shall soon be in Australia, if WWT Ltd don’t stop digging. Enough, for the moment, of that dreary disorganisation.
We remain, in illegal legal terms, under national house (boat) arrest with all unecessary movement verboten. In that spirit I took a massive, humungous, really quite extensive cruise day afore yesterday.
I roped the Cardinal back a hundred and fifty yards to the water point to fill up.
Even by the time that I’d supped my customary litre of coffee Messrs Solar Panels had the batteries into absorption phase, and it seemed churlish and un-Regretable Thunbergish to start Mr Engine just for such an insignificant pootle.
The Cardinal weighs – the book tells me – roughly 17,000 kgs (plus my worldly goods) but – so long as you remember to untie the mooring ropes – he’s quite easy to move by hand. In fact, once you get him going the difficulty lies in stopping him. The main water tank (under the well deck) holds some 545 litres and since most canal-taps are (relatively) far from the mains, can take 30-50 minutes to fill.
There having been no other traffic, no nuffink at all, I then roped us back to almost where we’d begun, back out into the better solar (away from the shadow-making trees) up towards yonder boat in t’far-flung distance. Once there (again) I sat upon my “self-satisfied green credentials” and penned an email to Bilious Gates about how I’d just helped to reduce my carbon footprint to a size 11 (UK) and please to send the money c/o the usual Swiss account number.
I will entertain any and all arguments that this was not minimum local essential travel only and in the spirit of the Whole Global Utter G7/C19 Nonsense provided that you show your working-out in the margin and cite any sources in the footnotes. Extra Karl Marx will be awarded for any answers using the terms ‘Metonic Cycle’, ‘meanderable’, and ‘Greenwich Meridian’. Marxs will be deducted from answers using the terms ‘lazy git’, ‘don’t narrowboats reverse then?’, and ‘Hutson’s got buttocks like a cart-horse’.
Lord Grebe has developed a habit of surfacing and diving alongside the Cardinal, and of staring in through the windows (they can see through “one-way” glass – polarised eyeballs, or some such gizmo). He’s fine with me watching his angling antics so long as I don’t move a musscule. The Cardinal also seems to be his favoured take-off and landing point, beginning and ending his “let’s try Churmston Lock for pilchards” efforts here. Grebe are really about as elegant as are swans and geese during take-off (not elegant at all). Fassy-nate-ing to watch though.
One of these days I’ll manage to get a decent photograph of him eyeballing me and/or diving or surfacing or taking off like some over-laden RyanEasy JetAir flap-doodle.
Messrs ASDA are on a kiss and a promise to call tomorrow. This means that today is the day when I mun finalise the order, take account of any “out of stock” inconthrumbulations, and try to achieve that delicate balance of half fresh, interesting food, and half apocalypse stores and necessities. I usually over-order and there is nothing delicate about my balance when dragging the trolley back along the towpath, loaded with a pack of twelve bog-roll, two bottles of gin and a box of those pink and yellow wafer biscuits.
There’s nothing like a balanced diet, and that’s nothing like a balanced diet.
Q. If I eat a hot PUKKA pie (with side-serving of marrowfat peas) while perched on top of a fence-pole is that a balanced diet?
I’ll ask Mr Grebe, tomorrow morning.
Life, the Universe, and Everything. Confuses the heck out of me.
As the Moody Blues once crooned, do all please keep on keeping on; it riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave.
Chin-chin &etc, Yours Truly, Magnetic Ink.