Oddlets and Sodlets (with the usual odds and the same old sod chasing)

Choice of mooring in these uber-crowded, inner-city times and places was dictated not so much by the beautiful display of wild (savage) daddofils, but by the bush in view above to the top right on the offside of the canal – experience speaks of a puddle of WiFi signal if one bungs one’s bow (and booster aerial) in line with aforesaid shrubbery. WiFi in Windy Alley propagates in wide waves and troughs, from “nil” to “really quite alright”. The daddofils are a total bonus, peering in through all portholes and windows port side (not Port Said – sadly it’s been damned near sixty years since I last passed through there, and I wasn’t “KapitΓ€n” of my own vessel then, not even “in loco Commanding”). ‘Loco’ is a good word, I find that I’ve used it many times in this past damned-near half-year (you know who you are sir).

The Cardinal and I are ruining Windy Alley on the Middlewich with our presence once again today and shall be for a few days more, at my discretion. We had to make a swift descent through the Cholmondeston Lock day afore yesterday because the water was fast disappearing where we had been moored, just above t’lock. Down by five inches – and given that the pound stretches from Cholmondeston all the way north Bunbury and south to Hack Green, that’s one heck of a lot of water for someone to not know the whereabouts of, Your Honour, on my oaf as an Hydrologist’s Assistant’s Trainee Sluice-Opener. Having just spent the morning doing laundry it were much discomnobulatory that I considered escape from a possible “life on a tilt” to be more important than “an hour on the water point, refilling”. We scooted on empty and were happy to do so since not having 1,201.5 lbs or some 19,224 oz of water in the bow was probably a good thing, given the canal’s sudden shallownessnous.

The Cardinal was the third of three boats scooting through the lock, and it was a tad worrying a., moving to the lock and b., moving into the lock – having once been cilled at Grisly Grindley Brook (through the attentions of an over-eager hire boater…) I did not want to repeat the experience and most especially so solo. So low, solo. The levels are a couple of inches off recovery today, but explanation be there none. Perhaps it all drained into the Centre of the Earff. innit? Yeah.

Maybe twas that twas Farmer Giles extracting the

canal water in order to wash his cows?

Given that we, His Eminence and I, woz where we woz for several reasons, one of these being the meeting of Messrs ASDA for a bulky order, I called a halt to the swift but alternatively-distance-enabled (WOKE-Speak…) cruise opposite the Venetian Marina. Arrangingments having been also made with the folk at Venetian Hire Boats & Raymond Chandlery to refill on their pontoon I re-scooted yesterfore morning, this time just across the canal, to combine comestibles with H2uh-oh. As it happened we done timed it perfickly, exchanging mooring spots with three boats from the marina who wanted out in order to do some boaty-works.

Messrs ASDA contrived to arrive something like 40-45 minutes early. My many thank’ees to Zoe of the Marina (why does that sound like the title of a Doug McClure film about dinosaurs and folk in animal-skins?) for directing and bringing them to me. I usually allow 20-25 minutes of “earlyth” but they defeated even me this time. From the paperwork the gennelmen showed me the ASDA computer is having a melt-down at the moment, and all local delivery drivers are simply winging it.

However, my bulkies – pillows and duvets and apocalypse stores for the cellar, all arrived most nicely indeed, and were even handed to me as I stood on the back of my boat – sheer luxury!

Was then merely a matter of scooting on – minimal movement for essential services only, you gits – [official quotation] – through the railway bridge. After a few minutes of flying the Cardinal like a kite in the minor cross-wind (I leap off with nappy-pin in the same hand as the centre-line), the planet was re-attached and a late lunch commenced.

The view from my desk – when I can see it through the maddening throngs of “El Lockdown” boats jostling for position – is farmland to one side…

…and railway embankment to the other…

Tis peaceful at the mooment, but I have little doubt that some official from the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd will be cruising up and down soon enough in his company-provided steam-launch, barking metropolitan policy through a megaphone. Shift along a little Number Six, your time is up. I want to see you winded and locked up before the end of the day Numbers Seven, Nine and Ten, you’re looking far too peaceful and happy. That sort of thing.

Although this is where I had my wonderful badger-encounter (in the middle of one night, nose to nose on the towpath) the larger “wild”-life is generally seen above and nearer the lock.

Arnie, the resident Guard Goose, oversaw operations from the Chandlery Wharf as I bunkered.

Does anyone know the life-span of a goose? Local residents have a theory that he is entering his goosely dotage (as indeed are we all, some faster than others).

The dobbins in the fields above the lock were both enjoying and envying the fresh blossom on the trees. Some can reach it…

Some cannot…

The dobbin to the right of frame above was reduced to tears, the other merely sullen and questioning.

I was sullen and questioning once, but now I take fertiliser from no-one.

That’s about it for the past few days. I must away, once more unto the fray with the Little Peaked-Caps of Darkness.

Pasta for lunch, I think – Pasta del Use-By Date.

It’s a recipe of my own invention, and it may be served with or without shrunken heads.

Someone else will have to use up the current glut of those.

Hopefully the water will remain at Order and Attention in this shorter pound.


Chin-chin for the mo, chaps and chapesses.

Ian H., &etc.


  1. There has been an over-supply of rain in parts south of my patch. Folk who used to calculate large volumes based on the capacity of Sydney Harbour are, apparently, going to have to find another method . I suppose we’ll hear how the poor insurance companies can’t cope. ..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Takes me back to being stranded at Alice Springs by floods – bits of houses and fridges and wotnot floating past. Odd isn’t it how belief in Big Sky Fairies is (generally, in the West) optional – until you come to insurance companies losing money, and then it’s all an “Act of Ms God”.

      Can’t they just drop a tape measure from the bridge to the top of the water? πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Daffodils are wonderful. they are bright and cheerful to remind us that winter is ending. But it’s still cold here in the deep south of England, though. But Mr Sun is getting a bit of heat back.
    Your question on Geese. Professor Wikipedia says the Canada Goose can live for 10-24 years. I suppose that depends on who fancies goose for dinner. Mr Fox is capable of taking one. At least he’s capable of taking a domestic goose. I have personal experience of that. The Canada Goose is a little smaller, I think so might be easier to nab.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah – so we’ll need to cut him in half and count the growth-rings then! He just seems to be losing a little of his oomf – perhaps feeling dismal after this year of nonsense. After the minor battle skirmish with the wind mooring here today is flat o’calm… so far. Spot of sunshine for the panels, too. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Hidden Breach. Good novel title.

    Daffodils. The chorus of flowers that are proof positive that the earth’s axis is starting to favor Northerners again. I adore them . Some government beautification officials in the 80s around these parts agreed and giant fields of them are seen around highway exits and the like here. It makes spring feel marked.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They are indeed a magnificent item of flora (I can’t believe it’s not Lurpak). Mind you, most plants are nice beasties – I had a garden once that was full of pink and blue lobelia; splendid stuff. It grew like alien weed and all I had to do was to flame-thrower it back once or twice a year. I have an odd emotional attachment to the poppy, too – odd ones dotted about are fantastic, and you can’t beat a field full of the things (unless you allow yourself to get emotional at their connotations). πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  4. A breach too far? It all sounds quite worrying when you have to move your house pronto to stay afloat. It sounds like Mr Asda is experiencing similar problems to Mr Morrison’s – last week being the first time ever my shopping broke down enroute. Fingers crossed for tomorrow and that they have sufficient vans this week. It’s all looking very Spring-like, I love daffodil season.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It WAS looking Spring-like! We’re back to overcast 8/8ths cloud and overly-breezy breezes again here, damn it. πŸ˜‰ The temperature is just borderline – not warm at all, but I feel guilty burdening Mr Stove.

      Fingers crossed for your delivery! I do like a nice well-stocked cupboard, even if I do have to have all tins, packets and wotnots standing the correct way up so that they aren’t uncomfortable while waiting to be eaten!

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.