Replacing Two Worn-Out Old Friends

Something like twenty years ago I bought a gilet – from a charity shop, second-hand. I paid £2 for it. It’s quilted, green, not too warm, not too cool. It just sits there and does the job. I have thicker ones, I have thinner ones. The old one’s been my favourite. The collar is frayed as badly as a Heathrow Customs Officer’s temper, the stitching is coming undone everywhere faster than the stitching on current government policy. I’ve worn it so often that I can’t simply throw it away; it’ll live at the back of my wardrobe like an old family retainer pensioned away to the attic rooms.

I think that I’ve found a replacement (photo to left).

We shall see. Not too hot and not too cold; I like my gilets the way I like my porridge (toasted, and with Marmite).

The other item in need of replacement – although the need is not so urgent – is my manbag. The current one is a tad too small, is knocking on a bit, and once it’s been through the washing machine can also wait quietly as “temporary emergency replacement”… because via the wonder of Face*Book’s targetted advertising I have not only found my old favourite manbag, but found it on “sale” and with “free” postage (no such thing, I know, but hey ho and away we go). Old/New favourite is roughly A4 sized – and in a much more discreet colour (khaki) than the current (blue) one. Yum yum, bag’s bum.

Fnigers corssed that they both arrive and that the former fits and the latter hasn’t declined in kwalitee to a shadow of its former self, latterly.

Does this qualify me as some sort of “rabid consumer”?

I doubt it.

My bank debit card is due for replacement. Weeks and weeks ago I contacted The Bank and made arrangements for the new card to be sent to beloved relative on this side of the country. The bank confirmed, in “writing” (in “secure message” in my ickle bickle account website thingy) that they had made the necessary changes and t’would be so.

Well, t’w’ain’t. Twasn’t. Didn’t. Liar liar trousers ablaze. The new card has arrived at the address of beloved relative on the other side of the country. ‘Xactly what I arranged to avoid (after the mega-fuss of the previous replacement card; three months to sort out).

Why I bother I do not know. At least this time it’s not taken so long to arrive there that it arrived pre-cancelled. This one works. I’ll have to make arrangements for an Army Courier to collect it for me.

I loathe banks, as I loathe all “modern” institutions. They take the term “brain dead” to new lows. We are, as I have opined afore, deep in the grip of the new(ish) corporate ‘Customer Resources’ departments, seen not as humans at all, but as raw material. Modern “commerce” only works smoothly if you are exactly the raw material that the corporations are looking for. Up with which I will not put, &etc.

Mr Sun was a tad shy about making an appearance yesterday.

The weather of late has been interesting. Windy mostly. We had a blast at about 10pm night before last that Her Majesty’s Meteor-illogical Office tells me was 40mph, but which from experience of previous inclemencies I would put at about 60mph – with hail.

Hail I say.

Hail Boris Spode. This is too comprehensively accurate an assessment of “political leadership”, Jeeves and yer basic English subject (we are not “citizens”) to ever have been fiction:

I will leave the viewer to decide where my loyalties and sympathies lie.

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme generously follicle-equipped cojones.

Enough of this aside. Back to the weather!

We had hail; turbocharged hail.

Last night was windypops but ne’er so fun. That said, H.M.’s M.O. is warning of ‘strengthening, gale force nineteen to twenty, Dogger Forth, Bailey Shannon, before you get a German Bight‘ later today and overnight, so we shall see. The extra lines have been thrown out some days since, wholly unnecessary, doubtless, but they take two minutes and I sleep more soundly for them – waking up on the wrong side of the canal, or which is worse [see Suez Canal], across the canal is a disconvenience to be discouraged.

Today looks to be one of those very cool, uber-dull never-quite-fully-daylight, 8/8ths cloud with silly winds days that England does so very well. Utterly dismal stuff.

Mr Sun blew himself up yestereve just before setting. I know just how he feels.

Mr Moon, on the other hand, appeared to be displaying his split personality. I know just how he feels, too.

[Apologies for lousy photos – I have no excuse.]

The damnable sundials all go forward by an hour hereabouts today.

I shall be jet-lagged for a week. The best that may be said for this temporal silliness is that my nineteen-seventies digital Casio watch (told you I was the last of The Big Spenders) will be correct* now until the autumn. The adjustment buttons have stopped working, so some minor arithmetic is oft required in re date and time for accurate readings.

*Provided that I remember to subtract the two minutes and fifteen seconds that it has accumulated in either fast or slow, I can’t remember which and – on the canals – I don’t really care. 🙂 The date indicated is out by a factor of one. This is why when folk ask me what time it is that I frown a little and look pre-occupied; arithmetic.

Messrs Watery Wellness Trust Ltd, having (very eventually) confirmed and re-iterated their threats – while in the same email advising me that they don’t really mean it – [huh? then why do it?] – have lapsed back into obdurate corporate silence. I won’t offend the manufacturers of Chocolate Teapots by making any comparisons.

We have a few more days before we move on, unilaterally, to the Waterways Ombudsman and include ‘obdurate silence’ as a major part of my complaint. The initial problem was serious enough; the way that C&RT have behaved since is criminally reprehensible. They are, I can only conclude (again!) a most ridiculous “organisation”.

Minor changes to The New English Reich’s travel and gathering restrictions take (putative) effect from tomorrow (the 29th), with full boatering possible without liability of £fine£ from the 12th. Reich’s? Kaiserreich’s? Königreich’s? Who can say? Boris, Sage & Onion may have moved on since yesterday’s “news” for all I know. Pottylicks is not what it used to be, even allowing for colouring and serious mothing of my memory.

It is going to be chaos. Wacky Races but with boats, beer and barbecues. I have several plans, the favourite of which requires the uber-calamity at Bridge 80 towards Audlem to be tidied away (currently billed as “Easter” ish, possibly, which I believe to be some sort of religious festival, rather than a date).

I want to be serviced, bunkered and moored somewhere as far out of the flow as possible on the 11th, before the “stayholiday”* mob are let loose like Bats Out Of Wuhan.

*Stayholiday; that’s the English language version of the ‘Merican term “staycation”.

I mean Hell. Like Bats Out of Hell. Of course. We must all forget Wuhan. The “facts” of the “news” then are not the “facts” of the “news” now.

The 12th will also see the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd.’s “visitor mooring” restrictions back in play, so the “48 hours maximum” moorings will no longer be available to the Cardinal (for more than 48 hours, even were we to want to fight it out with the Wacky Racers for position, which we don’t).

Once the initial wrecks and bodies are cleared away and the sittyation may be assessed, I have similarly formulated a couple of plans for cruising ups and down, or possibly even an around.

It’ll be very nice indeed to extend my horizons (and show the camera fresh sights).

The remains of yesterday’s vee-jettable curry for lunch today, mit white rice.

I am nothing if not unreconstructed in all things.

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H. &Co.

Hansom Carriage Lamp Wick-Trimmer, and scourge of the English canal system.


    1. Fingers crossed. It can be a tad tortuous getting parcels to a boat, but that makes their arrival all the more of an occasion – sort of chrisbirthmasdays rolled into one. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good luck with the gilet and bag….unless they too are delivered to a relative on the other side of the country…
    I am at the stage of having to get a new bag. My husband’s theory is that when one gets full I discard it and contents and buy another. This is utterly false. Bags and cintents live in the wardrobe, acting as an archive for bills, addresses,threats, etc…
    Now, if ever I am allowed on a ‘plane again, I should need a bag which can carry A4 type folders, a laptop, food for emergencies and electrical conversion appliances to enable me to attach any country’s bankers to a live current.
    But if not I can go for a smaller number whose weight will not have me bent over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame….
    Decisions, decisions…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bags are an invention every bit as wonderful as the wheel I think. The modern manbag – when properly sized – is between pockets and backpack, ideal for those things that must, these days, be carried. I have been out and about with folk who laughed at me for carrying one… until up went the cry ‘Is there room in there for this… or that…’, and I became expedition donkey.

      I can’t imagine ever being on a hairyplane ever again unless this face-mask business goes away (back to where it ought never to have come from). I see aeroplanes overhead these days and it can only be some vision of Hell inside – all masked and yet all breathing limited, unfiltered, recycled air for hour upon hour anyway. The logic escapes me. Aerosols, all. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m told (by Quora) that the air in planes is constantly replaced by fresh air drawn in at the front and expelled at the rear. So if you sit at the back of the plane you get to breath everyone’s smug but have the consolation that you are most likely to survive in a crash.

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  2. I live in an archaic land where the re-winding of clocks occurreth not. In days of yore, that is, when the other States that comprise this Nation moved their pointers back and forth to take advantage of daylight hours, the (then) leader of this State refused to comply. It is said that he believed the sun shone from his nether region and he, the Leader, refused to get out of bed early for anyone.

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    1. It is a very odd thing to do, isn’t it? Intended for no other reason methinks than to put us out of sorts and out if synch with half of the rest of the world. Tis high time and beyond that we stopped bothering with this anachronism. For one thing, I am fed up of moving the sun-dial, it weighs a ton.

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        1. Tis but good exercise for them. The poor don’t feel tiredness and pain as we should do in those circumstances, they are bred to the yoke and actually enjoy it. Ditto hunger and poverty. 😉 Crack that whip I say!

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  3. I hope your new gilet and bag meet your expectations, and the gilet is as good as your old one. (They never are, though, are they.)
    I don’t suppose it’s only the canals that’ll be choc-a-bloc with people soon. The roads around here have been as busy as they usually are, but with some more freedom, I suspect people who have been good and abided by the rules will suddenly decide to visit Eastbourne en masse. That’s only the day trippers. Heaven help us when it comes to holiday makers as well, all deciding to congregate on the south coast as it’s warmer than ‘up north’, even if not as warm as the south of France or Spain.

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    1. The entire circus is – as the trendy folk say – all going a bit “Pete Tong” at the moment. Tis as though all of the performers (SAGE, Boris, the grunts in Parliament, the MSM) have just heard confirmation that the circus owners have not only gone bankrupt but have taken the elephants over the Alps to Switzerland, loaded with the week’s takings. I honestly can’t decide whether “they who be” will continue to stagger about aimlessly or whether we shall be treated to another “crisis”. The odds are evens.

      Much as I wouldn’t trust the government (et al) to run a bath, I wouldn’t trust Her Majesty’s Public to not soap up and dive headfirst into an empty tub. We’ve seen some awe-inspiring idiocies this past year, and I suspect that there’s more, much more to come!

      Tis fortunate that I no longer have anything emotionally invested in the Human species… 😉

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