More boats than you could shake a stick at.
More boats than I’ve seen about all at one time since 2019.
Every hire-boat that ever there was and an elephant’s sufficiency of marina-based boats that haven’t moved thus since Doris Johnson was on only his second or third fresh concubine.
This past Saturday the queues at Cholmondeston Lock were to the railway bridge below and gawds alone knows above, I didn’t have time to go and see. Waiting time for the unfortunates constantly replenishing the R Send of the queue approximately four hours or more. I am happy to report that there were no fisticuffs over the lock, although there were one or two encouraging debates with waved human limbs (attached).
At one stage there was even a queue for the chandlery wharf, and S., Messrs Proprietor, was truly “living the dream” with boat toilet pump-outs numbering in the low teens before we both gave up counting. Diesel wasn’t in terribly high demand – everyone had stocked up for the weekend before the weekend, but iced creams and drinks were truly Arkwright’s till a-go-go.
Tis now half of the past seven of the ante meridiem, and we have four boats already past and the one moored behind raising steam and considering loosing the lines. In peacetime this is virtually unheard of, general boat-movement a.k.a. the Great Unwashed Afloat not occurring before ten or ten-thirty at the earliest.
[Assumes voice of Reginald Perrin and/or Basil Fawlty:] My god, they’re ugly.
Make that eight boats past, so there will already be queues again at both locks hereabouts and t’ain’t even eight o’sundial.
We have gone, as Ingerlund does these days, directly from ‘ooh, that’s a bit cool’ to ‘ooh, it’s a bit warm for my tastes’. Don’t worry though, it will be winter in just a couple of months and I’ll be back to talking about being iced-in instead of iced-cream.
I took my First Constitutional at 0500hrs this morning, and combined it with a couple of trips to the tap above the lock for potable H2uh-oh.
This being Ingerlund, there is of course the obligatory boat that’s been moored all night on the lock landing bollards, bow doors askance, two fishing lines trailed out into the marina (thirty paces from the ‘Private – No Fishing’ sign), and three well-hydrated gentlemen snoring cheerfully somewhere inside under a pile of empty cans. I know that they are three in number because I saw the boat yesterday before beer poisoning and piscine perturbation and lock-landingery set in.
No names no pack drill, natch, but yes, that’s ’em there opposite St George’s pocket ‘kerchief and having left but two bollards and one boat-length behind themselves for the queue that has doubtless now surprised them and will like as not currently be putting the proverbial boot in. Poor chaps. Whodathunk that just oiking up on the lock landings on a good-weather Bank Holiday when Doris Johnson is away being married and everyone feels free would make a cove unpopular so early in the day?
The marina will be waking up in an hour or two (at least I hope so, since I’d like the gazunder sluice to be unlocked please), and then there’ll be a trebuchet flinging of dead cats and rotting root vegetables upon them too. There’s little peace for the wicked, unless they’re in politics.
Oops, here comes (yet) another boat, and me with not a child in the house washed.
Tell me again, Emperor Parry, about how it is boats without a home mooring that wear out the canal system.
We were in a long line of nose to tail
seacanal-farers yesterday but a space cleared ahead overnight.
Well, two spaces really, and in consideration of the distorted perspective of the camera lens. Another boat beamed up by aliens, or dragged down to the depths by the Kraken, all hands lost or at least wishing that they were so.
The braying masses will be upon the towpath afore long. I must time my jobbly expeditions to avoid their peak if at all possible. MAWIL* hordes on velocipedes, folk out waddling for their health for the first time this year – and there’s a gentleman who walks with the aid of Welsh Collie and an old broom-handle. I think he’s channelling the spirit of the Cerne Abbas Giant, at heart. No idea what the dog’s thinking. ‘Dog dog dog dog dog – I’m a dog, boyo – dog dog dog dog dog’, probably.
*Middle-Aged Women In Lycra.
The boat ahead did a shedload of laundry yesterday and cheerily set-up a clothes line on the towpath as well as on their boat, the better to teach the The Watery Wellness Trust Ltd’s most favouritest people in the world – anglers, joggers, cyclists, ramblers and dog-walkers – the true meaning of the word ‘hurdle’.
More (DAZ, LUX, OMO or Sunlight washing powder) power to their elbow. 🙂
The blankets being dried thus changed from yellow (green?) to white to red, but still caught they live cyclist none to my knowledge. 😦 Perhaps a change of bait was in order?
The it of the day is slowly waking up, although there’s a spot of a breeze and Mr Sunshine has yet put in only a couple of brief, token appearances. Our hopes are not yet dashed.
Well, not completely dashed, anyway. Not yet.
This being Bank Holiday Monday some of the frantically-holidaying folk will be rushing back from whence they came, the shackles of the workplace be-beckoning again for tomorrow morning. The hire boats from local companies will be farther afield, and the hire boats from companies farther afield will be scooting past, all anxious to “do the canals”.
Twelve boats past, and it’s not yet half of the eight as the crow flies. I must stop keeping count, otherwise I shall run out of fingers and toes, and be tempted to open a fresh jar.
Note to self: brace for the smell of formaldehyde.
Right, I must away, and wash and shave and put on some Planet Earth-based clothing and get the trolley out and do my jobettes. While I am out and about I can check on the bodies of the inebriated lock-landing anglers, and see if anyone’s nabbed the livers yet.
Faux-coughs the word ‘Chianti’ into his sleeve.
The day promises to be fun fun fun, ’til Daddy takes the T-Bird away.
Ian H., and Cardinal W., of the High Fleas.