Where am we?

Company comes and goes on these moorings. I feel as Jim Rockford must have felt in the opening scenes of the Rockford Files; still while everyone else is blurred because they’re all moving.

Sometimes more packed than an MP’s wallet…

The Rockford Files was great to watch – from that television series I learned how to do J-Turns… find a nice deserted car park… work out what Rockford must have done to spin the car around backwards… do it… leave before some local resident calls the police…

You can’t do a J-Turn in a narrowboat. Not intentionally, anyway.

Sometimes deliciously isolated, like a leper sitting in the circle at the opera….

The Worm-Danglers & Laughter-Givers Club is in full swing through the next two bridges. Do The Watery Wellness Trust Ltd. Kerching PLC really spend time, money and other resources on “angling coach” training events? I wouldn’t put it past them, but in the interests of oiking over the benefit of the doubt in spades I also wouldn’t put it past the local Worm-Drowners Club to try to make their event look “official” by usurping the unsullied and much-respected C&RT name.

Yes, I know – they can’t even get the date correct!

There’s no “sharing the space” with this lot; they want it all.

Boats verboten please.

Gentleman on a velocipede wobbles precariously past anglers. I’m on no-one’s “side” in this contest; I hold both anglers and cyclists in the same high regard…

In my day (by ‘eck, eckythump and I’ll go t’foot of our stairs &etc) a chap angled with a small rod, a pocketful of maggots and two rounds of SPAM & HP Sauce sandwiches. Anglers these days carry more utter crap totally useful equipment than does the average Shimla railway-porter.

Mr Velocipedist hasn’t yet reached these angling gentlemen but one or the other is going to have to give way.

I didn’t see much evidence of any “coaching” going on, it looked more like just another line of happy anglers bravely chasing terrifying tiddlers. There was no-one in hi-vis and sandals rushing back and forth between them giving encouragement, suggesting deep-breathing exercises for courage, and generally channeling Zen and/or Fly Fishing by J.R.Hartley.

Oh well. What and ever.

There are teenage sheep in the field alongside these moorings. They bleat a lot. All night.

Teenage lambs. Noisy things, which is possibly what drove early examples of the human species to see if they were good to eat. I have no idea how mint sauce was invented. Yes, that’s a Touch of Frost on the grass.

Bleat bleat bleat bleat bleat.

My theory is that they are saying rude things about anglers.

I haven’t found too many footpaths yet, most of the countryside is fenced off.

This is a shame, because there’s much countryside.

Is this a meadow I see before me?

There is a Grand Example of “Stating The Bleedin’ Obvious” on the canal hereabouts. This one has been here for years, and ranks up there right alongside warning signs that warn ‘This Sign Has Sharp Edges’.

The “obstruction” was probably constructed to safeguard the ‘Beware Obstruction’ sign… this IS England, when all is said and done.

It’s getting towards the end of the afternoon on a sunny day – these moorings will probably be rammed again ere duskfall.

My interwebnetting disappeared earlier. One moment three bars of 4G and then wallop, one bar of something called “H+” that actually did nothing at all in the way of internettery connectivitode. Then it came back again. I suspect that someone was fiddling with the nearest mobile antenna.

For the moment all is well. I have cake (thank’ee!), I have coffee, I have no pressing need to be elsewhere until next weekend – when the Audlem Festival is held, and the Cardinal and I must be long gone. The Audlem Festival is … there’s no easy or polite way to say this, so brace yourself … folk music and the like.

[Hangs head out of side-hatch to scream scream and scream some more. Takes a swig of laudanum, pulls himself together and brings head back inside the boat.]

If this place is crowded now, it’ll be Hell Afloat come next weekend.

And the boaters’ Services at Audlem are still closed.

There’ll probably be an outbreak of dysentery.

One can but… no, no – I won’t say it out loud. Even folk music fans don’t deserve that.

Here – have some more baa-lambs, and help me to think nice thoughts, and contrite thoughts, and to love my enemas – even folk music fans.

Hector bad. Old Hector think terrible thoughts. Hector not nice person.

Hector fallen into puddle of Frankensteinean grammar.

Hector go now. Hector eat cake, drink coffee. Hector hug local swan.

Chin-chin, chaps.


p.s., don’t forget, jadies and lentilmen, please each tell eight thousand of your very closest (and richest) friends that lots (and increasing numbers) of Hector’s photographs are available as prints and posters and greetings cards and shower curtains and mugs and … things. Hector like sales. Hector eat good things when get sales. Hector be nice. Hector not have to eat baa-lambs if get good sales…

Hector’s Little Shop of Horrors.


  1. I knew an angler once who deliberately fished in ponds known to have no fish in them. A lot of his friends just couldn’t see the point, but I’d met his wife and kids and understood perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Was he using the wife and kids one by one as bait?

      Speaks volumes about some chaps’ lives that the better alternative is to go and be uncomfortable in the rain next to some stagnant water… and that they have to dress up even that as “angling”!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. We too where taken over by the coaching brigade of CRT’s teach a child to catch a tiddler. We were not informed of the coming & they decided to take over the 48hr moorings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Makes you feel really loved by C&RT doesn’t it? I wonder if they’ve done some arithmetic and worked out that they can support the whole network on just the income from angling clubs? šŸ˜‰


  3. Are you sure you need to flee Audlem, can’t find anything about a fest this year but we are on our way there this weekend to join a Floating Market tand maybe make a groat or three.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Less need to flee if there’s no festival – I must have found duff information, thank’ee!

      Crowds and I go together like H2O and viscous petroleum products. šŸ˜‰ That said, I do feel a need to ride the Audlem Fifteen soon and see what the Deep South has to say for itself these days…


  4. What the beejeezlehoop has Taffy got stowed, topside???? It’s reminiscent of the old “Steptoe and Son” tv series. One more mangle or defunct tv added and his Plimsoll line will drown!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Plunder – plunder taken from other ships of the High Seas in fierce and desperate boarding actions, cutlass fights and fisticuffs. Tis a much-loved and very shiny boat, although the Captain and her Husband are not to be trifled with, there’s often a Bounty on their heads…


      Liked by 1 person

  5. As a Viking boy said in my book-to-be-published, when told he would be able to go to Valhalla if he died in battle, ‘Good. The Christian heaven sounds boring.’ (It’s one of my favourite lines from the book.’
    I forgot to click ‘reply’ so this is in reply to Ian’s recurring vision of Heaven.
    And who ould think putting a rotary clothes dryer on the towpath is a good idea? Who wants to see other people washing?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The washing didn’t add much to the general bucolic ambience I must say, it never does. I dry mine on an old-fashioned clothes horse under the front cratch or largely out of sight on the rear deck – and even then I cringe, and dry my shreddies inside the boat! I am an old-fashioned Hector.

      The CofE notions of “Heaven” and “Hell” do seem to have been thought up by someone with little to no imagination or knowledge of the workings of human incentives, and they haven’t been updated since! With its vast fortune available you’d think that the Her Maj’s Church would have engaged some hip and trendy firm from the City to work on the matter. Mind you, I can only guess what they might come up with…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Will they have morris dancers on the towpath? I like the Terry Pratchett theory that the preliminary groan on the squeezebox is the warning to let people escape before it starts, so can you imagine the stampede toward the closed loos, trampling worm drowners and their kit as they go and, with luck engulfing those who do but should not wear lycra. You might need a new beware of the obstruction notice if if there should be an unfortunate accident involving people, bicycles, and tents meeting water.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have this recurring vision of Heaven, which would in fact be Hell – I wander in (on the strength of some administrative mistake), it’s cool, bright, fluffy clouds everywhere, everyone smiles (a sure sign if ever one was needed)… and then someone reaches for an acoustic guitar and suggests a quick chorus of Kumbaya…

      Liked by 3 people

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