Kippering the Daisies

Aboveski is the view from the galley window (taken a couple of evenings ago).

I’ve said it afore and I’ll say it agin – it’s not unpleasant.

Praise be to Zeus.

The sun-down sky spoke of some weather (again) and weather we got. Winds fit to whip your hat off and ruffle your feathers no matter how much Brylcreem you might use.

The view in the other direction was just as moody, if a tad less dramatic.

Middlewich Branch in moody mood. March 2021.

You may notice that I (then) had ropes all over the place (ready for the winds). As with my rubber underpants, I’d rather put them on and not need them than need them and not have them on.


Messrs AhSDA arrived yesterday. On their previous visit they were three-quarters of an hour early and caught me on the hop. This time I got to the rendezvous a full hour ahead of time… whereupon they were late. Oh how we laughed. Guffaw guffaw guffaw.

Lend me your Heckler & Koch for a moment, Mother dear, I’m going to express myself.

Mild substitutions of the coffees (Brazilian for Peruvian, House Blend for Italian) and one totally duff pick that I sent back with the driver – the refund was there before I’d even dragged the trolley back to the Cardinal.

Last eve was billed as being relatively warm, too warm to bother Mr Stove, so I didn’t. Had to get up in the night to fetch an extra blanket! To knock the chill off things this morning I rubbed a couple of logs together. Coal burns slowly but logs burn like Rutger Hauer’s character Roy Batty in Blade Runner – twice as bright but only half as long.

Ideal for a fire that I didn’t want to lurk about all day.

Unfortunately, the logs that I used also smoked eleven times as much…

Kippering the Daisies – a couple of logs thown in the stove to take off the morning chill. Anyone would think that I’d chosen a new Pope. Or set off an orange flare. The smoke wasn’t orange, it was blue – but the low sun had its way with the tint and t’wont nuffink I could do about it.

The logs also splattered soot all over the roof. It won’t brush off, it’ll take a few cycles of rain and wind before the Cardinal’s roof is back to nice dirty-cream white again. I can wait.

Morning sunshine, March 2021, Middlewich Branch, Cheshire.

I took the ottorpunity to cough a lot, remove the extra ropes, and squeegee the solar panels, by which time the smoke stack had settled down a bit. My sincere apologies to the atmosphere, I have no idea why what was occurring was occurring. I mun have grabbed a couple of damp ones (as the actress explained to the court in re the death of the Bishop).

Squeegee maximus those panels – especially, slave, the one nearest the chimbly.

Panels which have today re-filled the batteries to “float”, run the rinky dinky washing machine for two hours, and are currently running the fridge. Splendid beasties.

In winter I don’t bother with the fridge – the world is my ice-box. If I want something kept cold (or even frozen) then I bung it down at Floor-Level-Next-The-Baseplate or chuck it on deck. In summer when the refrigeratrix is actually needed there’s (usually) enough solar power excess around to run it. Tis an elegant juxtasolution with not some little flavour of the seasonal Yin & Yang about it.

Today it’s chilling my “Florida Style Orange Juice”, my squeezed Clementine Juice (apologies, Clementine, oh my darling) and other fine comestibles of a delicate nature.

It’ll go off again overnight, when it’s not really needed and the insulation will keep the contents quite bickettytoo enough til morning.

Patch of bright water. That’s similar to a Ring of Bright Water, but there are no otters.

In other world news the laundry is on the horse under the cratch cover, with a nice light breeze flapping it about. This afternoon is supposd to – and methinks will – reach some seventy of the Fahrengezundheitings. Might even get the towels and the jeans dry in one go today, who knoweth?

You watch, I’ll be moaning about being too hot soon enough.

Moan moan moan, it’s all that I ever do.


I mentioned to a matey the other day that I’ve been having another cycle of ridiculously wild, realistic and uber-numerous dreams, the sort that linger longer than most. I was reminded by them of course of the full moon…

Ding ding ding, it all makes sense.

Would seriously love to know what the effect is. Whatever it is, even when I forget about the moon, tis real.

I am easily entertained. All that I need is a giant rock satellite orbiting the Earth, whipping up tides and whipping up some really very strange dreams.

Where were we? Oh yes – Mooning.

Odd things, humans. Nothing at all over our heads except an infinity of unknown space and one chuffing great two-thousand mile wide rock not fixed to anything, and neither factor worries us much on a daily basis.

I’m with the Pierson’s Puppeteers on this matter; humans are insane.

Now, about this new Pope that my stove has chosen…

I have decided to call him Thribble.

Thribble the First, Supreme Pontiff, Bishop of Rome.*

*He still ranks well below a Cardinal.

I shall pie for tiffin, methinks. Pukka. Oh yes. Trying out some dastardly and fiendish new (to me) curry sauce a la chip-shop style. Wish me luck.

Chin-chin for the mo.,

Ian H., &Co.


    1. I gave it two overly-ambitious and optimistic sweeps of a hand-brush… it’s like some sort of modern art. My boat has a Banksy on the roof… perhaps I ought to varnish over it?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Living in North Norfolk…and surviving it….I had a proper larder. No need for a fridge even at the height of what passes for summer in those parts and needing to put on coat and gloves before entering it in winter.
    As yesterday’s afternoon temperature here was over 40 degrees C I could have done with that larder.
    Has The Cardinal held a conclave in your absence waiting for ASDA and thus elected part of itself…note the gender neutrality…as supreme pontiff Thribble? I look forward to His Holiness toddling down to Westminster and choking the current crop of politiciand and civil servants with his emanations.
    What’s that? The tyre drowners have made that impossible by closing down half the waterways?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Two of the four possible directions for a cruise-ette or more remain blocked and labour under “updates” using terms such as “next few weeks” and “while we plan a repair”, but the other two are, for the moment, technically open – yee et le ha! Finally spoilt for choice. I’m going to ignore the tacky and obvious bright-light delights of those routes for the moment and cruise to where I have increasing need to be – the waste bins at Calveley! That is if there is enough water, for levels be low everywhere hereabouts.

      We are expecting Wacky Races, possibly the busiest “season” the canal system has ever known since the Romans first moved Christians and Lions by the boatload on the Fossdyke, it’s yet springtime not full summer – and water levels are already low… I predict much envy between the groundling and the kite in times to come. 🙂 Har har.

      p.s., The Cardinal is still making up his mind on the old Pontiff job. I may have to raise the salary a little.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tis clever of the cold season to become the perfect refrigerator. My mom always put the holiday leftovers on the deck because too much food, not enough refrigerator.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember one of my late aunt’s houses having a proper old-fashioned – and very functional – marble-lined pantry. She used it but I can’t remember whether there was also a refrigeratrix or not… I rather like the sustainability element of using the hemisphere as a fridge-freezer!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. After watching GMB’s Laura Tobin giving us the bank holiday forecast I have retrieved my thermal Benny hat ready for the snow showers on Easter Monday. Might need to drag your thermals out and keep Mr stove on tickover.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I reckon you’re right about that – it’s a rare Bank Holiday that comes with fine weather. The logs – aside from being smokey and spitting soot – are working well, although I had forgotten just how quickly they burn away… Moan moan moan, it’s all I ever do. 😉

      Hopefully we’ll get some really decent early mornings and I can pootle about then.


  4. We must be thankful for those among us(and their numbers are dwindling) who still have zanier, rather than sane, moments. Zane, sane…there’s not a lot between ’em!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a theory. All of the gods on Mount Olympus are playing Naked Twister, and a lot of what is happening down here is due to their uncontrolled thoughts as they fall about in a tangle among the columns and the mosaics and the discarded togas. Either that or visiting aliens have flushed out their fuel tanks in the oceans and it’s worked its way through the water systems everywhere; we’re all high on alien unleaded.

      Or both.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Well you must admit, togas do get in the way so… 😉 Never fully understood why the Greek and Roman gods fell out of favour; they’re so much more “human” than this god of the Christians who can’t be seen, doesn’t reply to prayers and never interferes unless its with the odd plague of frogs. The “effects” of the Roman gods could be seen and felt in everyday life, I would have thought them much easier to identify with!

          Mind you, playing naked Twister – a sight that cannot be unseen once seen. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely moody photos, Ian. I’m glad your solar panels are doing their job. Sunny and warm here today, although the in/out thermometer is saying it’s only 16.9! (Outside, that is. It’s warmer indoors.) I think it’s lying. It’s much warmer than it was last time it said that.
    I fully agree with you on the fact that humans ( the majority) are insane. And gullible, too. Except for those who agree with me, of course. It’s easy to see how Hitler and his like came to be. Tell them lies they’d like to believe and you’re all set.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A frightening number of hoomans do seem to have this desperate need to be lead by others. Society at the moment (and probably throughout all time) looks to me rather like a Benny Hill sketch; a couple of loonies out in front and the great mass of people chasing them all around the country. We only lack the music and an extra slap-head or two. It’s quite sobering.

      Until the year 2020 I hadn’t ever been able to understand how nineteen-thirties Germany came about – now I know exactly how, and I rather suspect that if you swapped your monocle from one eye to the other then nineteen-thirties England looked quite horribly similar. Tinpots and snitches behind every net curtain, every hedgerow, lurking in every wardrobe. We’re really not the least bit civilised. ;-(

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.