What to do with boaters who moor overnight on water points?

My object all sublime is to let the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime.

Luckily this morning I was heading in the direction that still could get water; bow foremost, and I had, Matron, a sufficiently lengthy hosepipe. This lot even had the brass cojones to get uppity when I woke them…

They weren’t broken down, there were half a dozen generously-proportioned moorings close ahead (the nearest just one boat length along), and I have it on the best authority that they knew so too. They just couldn’t be bothered. Not a mitigating factor in sight.

Nothing fancy, just hanged by the neck until terribly miffed, drawn by a really poor artist, and then quartered by Diane Abbott while charged with counting the pieces all by herself.

At times today there was a queue for Cholmondeston Lock of eight boats. This is better than the forty-five boats that the Lock Vollies sent up and down yesterday. The Cardinal and I mooched on through at around 0600hrs of the o’sundial. There was no queue then.

I’m not as green as I am cabbage-looking.

As quietly as possible down to the old windy-windy hole at Syke’s Hollow, straight into the glow of Mr Sun…

A neatly-executed seven-point turn…

Through the marina at as near a snail’s pace as I could muster – towards what is the second-busiest single (not double, id est two-boat wide) lock on the system…

Set the lock, because naturally it was agin me, and then in…

A quick glance over my shoulder…

Then up the slimy ladder with the centreline, close the gates and deploy half a paddle, then a full paddle, then two… discourage the Cardinal from reversing into the lower gates, watch for his sudden lunge towards the upper gate… and then wonder of wonders at that time of the day, bump into a certain lock volly walking the hounds who v.kindly, though still discomnobulated after the previous day’s mammoth efforts, closed the top gate for me (so that I didn’t have to moor on the lock landing and go back to close it myself). Thank’ee!

The day was already getting on the whine whine whine side of warm (am I ever satisfied wiv da wevva?).

Nope. Whine whine whine do I. Still.

Another minor cruisette of most splendid nature. The resident heron spat at my feet and flew on ahead three times before convincing himself that it would be better to fly a complete circuit and land again behind me.

Water tank full we scooted on and found moorings on Plan A, First Choice, the better to have some electrical workery tickled and poked by a relative known only as “The Bro”. After that who knows, except that I’ll be moving wherever I move to early in the morning. Not quite so many desperately-holidaying boats today as yesterday, but still enough to cause enjaminations.

You get a much better outlook at sparrow-cough o’clock.

The day’s been hot hot hot (for England). Hot enough to remind us all that we, t’English, do not blossom sartorially like roses in the sunshine. I’ve seen more gender-non-specific builder’s bum trundle past today than a chap ought to have to see. At times my only regret (aside from the indelible after-images that will haunt me when I am in my urine-damp Parker Knoll recliner dotage) was that I didn’t have a Harley-Davidson to roll in and park between those hairy, moist cheeks. Please don’t break wind until I return for my modorbike, madam, sir, you’ll burst the front tyre and probably set the headlight aflame.

In hot weather I look as though I have malaria, since I refuse to strip beyond jeans and t/sweat/polo-shirt, oft with lightweight gilet – and it doesn’t matter what I wear anyway. I’ve experimented and I’d overheat in a lightweight birthday suit.

Half of England though looks as though they got dressed hurriedly in the dark – using a scant pile of their children’s clothing. Sir, Madam – perhaps when next in Marks & Spencer we might ask for an extra XXX with our size XL? Midriff exposed is fine if you’re a go-go dancer, but not so much if you look as though you work in a scrap-yard and bite the wheels off dead lorries for a living.

Ditch the “skinny” fit, humans were never intended by Father Nature and Uncle Evolution to be stick-insects; give yourself some room to breathe. Comfort clothing, folks, not pressure-bandages.

When exactly did the unisex kaftan go out of fashion?

I speak with full disclosure and full self-knowledge of my own Weeblesosity as I also ask when exactly it was that Campari, North Face, and Messrs Bell Tent PLC ceased to be the fashion brands of choice, available at all good outlets?

At least in winter one fur-lined Parka looks much like another, but in summer? I kid you not when I tell you that a lady has just walked past wearing ballet tights intended for a two-year old and what can only be some string vest torn from a circus midget. Are we still allowed to call them that? String vests, I mean? The poor dog with her is sporting an acid-reflux rictus and if you looked deep into his doggy eyes I’m convinced that you’d see that his canine soul was weeping.

‘Dog dog dog dear dog-god don’t let us be spotted by any dogs I know, dog dog dog did you know that dog-god is a palindrome I miss the dances at the old Palindrome dog dog dog can we go back indoors now dog dog dog oh god there’s Rusty and Boxer and Spot and Fang – and I know they’ll never let me live this down…’

I ramble on, and it’s all very bitchy of me. I do a lot of that. Rambling, bitching, peering into dog’s eyeballs looking for the basic truth that underpins the meaning of universal existence.

Do you know who I am? No, me neither. I shall have to go to the front desk again and ask. They keep records of us all at the Front Desk, and there’s one nurse, Nurse Ratched, who knows us all by sight and she knows which ward we’ve escaped from.

It has been warm today, hasn’t it?

More liquids, Hutson, and quickly.

I shall have to sleep on the baseplate tonight. Ruddy England. Straight from winter, skip spring and dive headlong without pause or reflection into summer like some provincial rugby player leaping into the after-match communal hot bath.

Gin-gin, chaps.

Um – chin-chin, chaps.



  1. Wonderful ad!
    The weather seems to be playing up everywhere…we are supposed to be in winter mode…so the sun is blazing all morning and some afternoons, except when torrential downpours arrive from nowhere just as you think it’s safe to leave the washing out for another hour.
    I feel for that dog…yu are right, his mates will never lethim live it down…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if someone’s given Planet Earth a 4,000,000,000 year service and then put all of the pieces back together incorrectly? Or perhaps the north and south poles are preparing to flip later this week/month/year?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, it happens every year. Who said there are four seasons? Winter and Summer, that’s our seasons. Soon we’ll be back into winter after a few brief weeks of too hot. Then it’s back to too cold again. But the underdressed folk will still be shivering in their underdressedness because “It’s summer, innit?”
    I sympathize with the poor embarrassed doggies, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s actually quite nice today in the shade – but only because of the strong blustery wind, the one that wasn’t forecast at all!

      You’re quite correct of course – winter sees these self-same fashion victims shivering in much the same outfits… I blame the disappearance of the Duffle Coat. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Splendiferous pictures to accompany the word count today Ian o’ the waters. I must confess I seem to have been spun round so often recently I know longer know which way the pointy end is going or which country you’re in. However, I hope the sun shines on the Cardinal wherever you is/ are/am.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I dream of the link to the canals of Mars being finished and opened up – I’d cheerfully test it out. 🙂 I find that the older I get the happier I am to simply opt out of the mainstream flow, one of these days I shall have retreated so far that I’ll find myself in some totally separate dimension of space-time. I hope…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Love that advert! Hasn’t the the Watery Wellness got a sign up on the watering holes to tell folk not to park there? I know some people can’t read, some think rules are meant for everyone else and others don’t give a toss, however, they are what loud music was meant for (I can think of worse things to do to them or their tethers).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can only hope that they went back to sleep again after I woke them – the many, many boats that would descend upon them a couple of hours after me would not be gentle.

      My choice would have been to quietly pull them on the ropes back into the lock and then almost – but not quite – empty it, so that the gates at either end were pinned shut.

      Liked by 3 people

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