You know that your ducks aren’t really all lined up neatly when…

…you look out of the boat window into the wild, wet night and conclude that it must be a Harvest-Mouse moon low on the horizon, or some such… only to then realise that what you’re looking at is a Belisha Beacon on the road alongside the canal. Note to self: wear monocle at all times, no matter that it is 3am and you’ve only got out of bed to feed Mr Stove.

Went for another hyper-mega-uber-stonking cruise a couple of days ago – not coals to Newcastle, but rubbish to Calveley. Those are the nearest bins to where I was previously moored. The civilised moorings at Calveley were rather full of anglers (three, friendly, but spaced out, spatially) so, knowing that the fore-fore-forecast (get yer c-c-c-cloth, Granville) was for rain and breezes, I declined to rest on pins and came back here. Six miles to the wheelie bin. Six very pleasant miles indeed, albethey damp-cold enough to freeze the monkeys off a brass ball.

Yonder The Barbridge Inn may be closed (possibly for all of Eternity, sadly) but the pub moorings are pop-u-lar. Not so the towpath side.

The Canal Company know something about the water levels, either expecting monsoons or an incontinence from the Llangollen – or perhaps for that bulging, slipping side of Hurleston Reservoir to give way and release a tsunami – and have opened the sluice hereabouts, draining off some of the water. The sluice isn’t at full flow, it looks to be cracked at a quarter or something like.

Draining off some water from the Shroppie at Barbridge, March 2021.

Appen as reckon as Adderley’s there, moored and waiting (for something).

The Barbridge boater bins are not there and waiting, the Canal Company’s Huge Throbbing Brain thinking to slide the removal of those under some sort of foggy radar.

Adderley is moored up in a style new to me. Usually with El Workboats it’s a couple of yards of hairy blue bailing twine, but this workboat is chained to the mooring ring. Is Adderley especially dangerous, or prone to running away perhaps?

First time I’ve seen a workboat chained up.

The sluice is producing a vortex in the canal.

So, being so sorely tempted thus, I took advantage and produced another “selfie”.

Here’s me, teetering on the edge of the Watery Wabbit Hole. When you can stand on the edge of the vortex, Grasshopper, falling neither in nor falling out, then ready you shall be to leave the monastery.

Another “selfie”. Teetering on the event-horizon, staring into the vortex.

We all know how ugly the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd.’s new “half-sunken old tyre” logo is, and how jarring the shade of blue chosen – the signs positively blight any rural scene. Is it so very wrong of me though to wonder why this new “branding” as applied to the workboat Adderley could not at the very least have been lined up with the name-plate?



A C.D.O. nightmare. C.D.O. is like “O.C.D.” but the letters are in the correct alphabetical order. Is there some reason, perhaps multiple thumbs and a ski-worthy forehead, why the new “branding” might not have been at least aligned with some artistic sympathy? #canal #river #trust #limited

Sheesh O’Reilly.

Another slight discomnobulation yesterday, this being with the new mobile internet service providatrix. When purchasing the required SIM card I naturally, having been trained at my Father’s knee in such matters, gave them a load of old baloney in the matter of personal details. In adult reality a mere service-provider has no need whatsoever to know, for example, my date of birth. Ditto the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd, where I am recorded as having entered this world on 01/01/1908 – the earliest date that their silly system would allow. Well, it transpires that in this “wrap ’em in cotton wool and assume everyone to have the mentality of a backward toddler” world, the new ISP (and all others) defaulted to my being a child and wouldn’t show me “adult” websites – these “adult” websites being political parties, discussion forii (forumsies?) &etc, indeed anything much more than the already wholly juvenile Titter & FarceBook….

No matter, their website said, simply enter your card details, be charged Β£1 and we’ll accept that you are no longer in nappies (what do they know, eh?).

Reluctantly, I handed over my card details.


Only “credit” cards are acceptabubble “proof” of age in this insane Society of Window-Lickers & Thumb-Suckers that we have created about ourselves in decades past.

I do not have credit cards. I have one debit card.

There then followed an amusing hour on something called “live web-chat” with someone on a night-shift somewhere in the Indian sub-continent, unravelling my mis-information and finally allowing me access to the adult – not “adult” – internet world, such as it is.

As folk oft expostulate on this same adult internet; FFS – which I have always taken to mean “Flying Fish, Surely”.

Sorted, although aforesaid damnable company now, of operational and practical necessity, has a lot more of my details than I give even to the Regimental Medical Orderly at the annual retirees Turn Your Head & Cough Ceremony. Trying to live as un-plugged a life as may be is rather akin to swimming against the tide, ain’t it not?

Grumbles. Shakes angry fist at Mount Olympus and all those upon it, tittering into their teacups and congratulating themselves on arranging such a jolly jape at my expense (both literally and figuratively).


Yonder breezes are forecast to be gusting at a fresh 46mph overnight tonight. I’ve bunged the extra bungees on, Bungditdin. Today looks as though it won’t ever bother to change out of its pyjamas and assume full daylight. Dull, grey, wet and windy. But enough of my brain-gland.

Let’s hope that someone at the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd remembers to come back and close that sluice sometime. πŸ˜‰

Curry, I think. A damnably hot veggie curry.

After a cold, wet and wild walkies.

Chin-chin, Doris.

Ian H., &Co. Bunging up the English wateryways since 2015.


  1. The words Slap and Dash doth spring to mind with this new-fangled signage that just proves the millions of pesos paid to the “Consultants” necessitated ticking an All Care/No Responsibility box re the institution and follow through. The times they are a-lazy.

    Your tale of information-fleecing re your sim-card is new to me. The Young ‘Uns take the approach that tra-la! who cares?!! isn’t it wonderful that someone cares enough about me to want to know what I had for breakfast because they send me a Happy Birthday message every year when they know everything! And neither do they take with them their receipts, I’ve noticed, when purchasing their whole world through the Handy Tap&Go facility, even the $3+ coffees from dodgy outlets whose Merchant Names on bank statements have such bewildering names that you cannot in a month of Sundays figure what the transaction could be. Tra-la! who cares?!! nothing unforeseen will happen to ME!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Folk do seem to place an incredible amount of trust in all things in corporations and governments, assuming that they have their (the individual’s) best interests at heart, when in fact there is no heart at all.

      If there is an easy but risky way to do something and also a much safer but ten seconds longer way – there’s no contest. People these days won’t walk around a hole in the ground, they’d rather just fall in, scream for help and blame the council/parents/upbringing/Martians/anyone-else. ;-(


  2. I used to make efforts to change DOB ect when it’s so obviously irrelevant. But at some point I gave up. I suppose when it became clear to me that Google knows more about me than I do. Now I just hurl myself in and let them know. Its easier than keeping track of the lie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Spreading misinformation wherever I go does take effort. Given that I am in fact an eighty-five year old woman called Doris Winthrop living in a retirement home in Dorset it can be difficult sometimes to get fresh, appropriately canal-based photographs for this blog. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems that every Tom Dick and Harry who claim to provide a service want to know the ins and outs of a bull’s arse about their clients while preserving their own anonymity. As far as I can see, all they need is money in, by whatever means, and service out…which it often is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s my view exactly – I am buying a service, not entering into some sort of unilaterally-close relationship. One of my other bugbears is websites that try to force me to open an “account” with them to make a single purchase. Nooooooo! Here’s the money, now please send me the goods and there’s an end to it. πŸ˜‰

      As well as being a cynical old Hector I am a very grumpy old Hector. My condition is reactive, akin to a rash produced by my environment!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. While I was standing mesmerised by the water being sucked out of the canal – and trying not to lean over closer and closer and oops – I couldn’t help but wonder at the possible fait that awaited any small dog (or duck) that fell (or flapped) into the water…

      If they made it through the sluice and the pipework then the brief water-slide ride into the overflow would have been spectacular.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Even Nature can line up the ducks! It isn’t like those two signs were of different widths is it and therefore not an immediate challenge? Obviously it was to someone and looks very much like the Polo Mint sign was painted on (perhaps without the guidance of the ADDERLEY in place) either way its an eyesore. Like I said should have gone to SPEC SAVERS!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Whoever put each of the signs on Adderley was probably – almost certainly – following written orders issued by someone who not only had never seen the boat and wouldn’t recognise a boat if you dropped one on them, but who couldn’t give an office-fruit-bowl fig for balance, artistry, neatness and all of those old-fashioned things! I am a cynical old Hector. πŸ˜‰


  5. Welcome back to the adult world, Ian. Like Chris, I love your selfie my the vortex. And the sign! What is going on with the world?
    Is that circle thing on the Watery Wellness Company supposed to signify anything? A half-sunken tyre says the canals are full of rubbish. ( OK. Tell me they are–filled with things called ‘tourists’ on hired canal boats and dog emptiers on the towpath.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The half-sunken old tyre could – I suppose, trying to be generous – be intended to be a bridge perhaps, or some sort of sun-set, but I don’t know. It’s either far too sophisticated for me to comprehend, or else it’s just a load of old pig-poop with a high price tag! The earlier swan/bridge logo was professionally designed and donated free by the company that produced it. It was unique and spoke of canals and wildlife. This new-fangled ugliness, aside from being unfathomable and thus meaningless, is similar to at least half a dozen other corporate logos out there… Mind you, we (boaters) expected no better from the Great Throbbing Brain” of the canal company, and our dismally low expectations were met in full! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It is painful, isn’t it? If I had the means I’d correct the positioning myself. I suppose that at least it’s not stuck on at some awry angle as well as out of position!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. You want privacy but you keep a blog? Okay….A birthday is one thing I will turn over. I’m worried that if I ever go back to them for anything, I’ll forget whatever lie I may have told. However it is information valuable to identity thieves. Companies should be heavily penalized if they are hacked. The current, “Oopsie, maybe change your password?” routine is pretty useless.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. πŸ™‚ As you sagely note, there’s a big difference twixt offering a peek through the curtain by choice, and being mugged for the minutiae of one’s identity. I just don’t trust any company to keep my details confidential – and all of the evidence supports my lack of trust!

      We’re about to be vacuumed clean in ridiculous detail in England with the National Census 2021 – we have to give the government the information on pain of criminal conviction, they sell it to anyone who will pay. Makes my blood boil! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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