Mad squirrels and Englishmen go boating in the noon-day sun.
Was sat sitting peacefully, thinking about sitting some more, when there was a mid-weight thump on the Cardinal’s upper hull. The shower-room porthole – that I knew to be ajar, since I had but recently partaken of a cleansing dip – started banging about.
Well I was up and at it I can tell you, faster than a cross-legged elephant rises to turn the tofu kebabs grilling on the camp fire. I’ve always believed in giving trouble a chance to go away all by itself before I roll into what may be unnecessary battle with it.
A demonic squirrellish face and two wide-spread paws appeared at the window in the main cabin, towpath side – and I swear that the little beast was staring at me and with not some little intent. Whether polarised glass doesn’t bother tree-rats or not I don’t know but we locked eyes. He must have been standing on the gunwale.
Next I knew – having (marginally, on points) won the staring contest – he was off, through the open cratch cover side and over onto the gas locker lid to sit like a figurehead on my bow mooring rope knitting, and there he stayed even though the bow doors were open… with his back to me. Could there possibly be any bigger chin-flick, bras d’honneur from a small item of timid English wildlife?
At a moment of his choosing he then hopped along the mooring line, onto the towpath jungle and away using the narrow path trampled by nervous walkers and lost cats.
I did not manage a photograph of course, but here’s one of a lost cat wondering where the hecky heck nb Kingfisher C&RT registration number 123456 was moored. Do you know please mister? I’m lost. Could you please call 0800 S-C-A-R-E-D-E-Y-C-A-T for me and ask if they can arrange for Tiddles’ mummy and daddy to come and collect him?
The “no mow” policy continues to reap rewards. No, that can’t be right. If they’re not mowing then we can’t talk about them reaping. The “no mow” parsimony continues to be a wholly un-managed balls-up… there, that’s more accurate.
We shall soon have to term them The Canal & Reed Trust Ltd.
I bought the basic basic model because that is rated at 400w whereas the other, fancier shmancier models are 650w. Such differences are important when largely “off-grid”, as on a narrowboat.
The Cardinal’s inverter (converting 12v power to the land-standard 230v nonsense) incurs a roughly one amp overhead. The Remoska – which, being thermostat-free, is either on or off – draws something upwards of 33.33 of the amps plus the overhead of the inverter.
Most things I’ve tried so far have taken between 30 and 60 minutes (baked spuds for e.g. 50 minutes, stuffed peppers & mushrooms 30 minutes). The power picture is complicated by the weather and by whatever else is running at the time – fans, alarms, cctv, all of the usuals. Generally though I’ve been left with a 5 to 15 Ah deficit which has been cleared by the solar panels in an hour or so – long before Second Digestive Belch and/or the washing up.
Sometimes the solar system damned near powers the whole thing real-time.
Tis rare for me to need to run Mr Engine for electrickeral power between moving the Cardinal; the solar system generally copes. Usually all of my domestic needs are met, I can shower, do two or three hours of laundry, and cook a meal or sometimes two in the Remoska and we’re still in all-square mode a la batteries by the end of the day.
This is why anyone or any august body – such as the Canal & Reed Trust Ltd – who/that bleats on at me that I need to be more “green” and “ecologically sound” gets a (mostly) metaphorical poke on the schnoz. Compare my environmental demands living on a boat to those of even the most modest bricks-&-mortar dweller and you are comparing a neolithic tribe in mud huts with Manchester during the height of the Industrial Revolution. What I can’t get from the sun is replaced as a by-product of running my engine to move.
Still the eco-nutjobs, the ReGretable Thunderbergs of the fashionable bandwagon movement, want to take away my diesel engine (burning perhaps 200 – 300 litres a year – compare that to your car!) and my coal/wood stove (that not only heats my boat in winter but supplies almost all of my cooking facilities too).
Heck, I even supply my own squirrels.
It’s been High Summer here of late, with temperatures and – more importantly – humidity – in the high “Ye Gods”. Now we’re back to late Autumn or early Winter. Cardigan and fingerless gloves abounding. Ruddy England.
Still, given that human society is utterly insane why should I expect Messrs Weather Ltd to behave any differently? SAGE is in charge of the seasons, and Diane Abbott, Greek and Roman gods help us, is looking after the temperatures.
Today, yeah? It will be ten centifahrengradeheit. A metric million. One hundred… um, twenty billion F or about 3 in C… yeah?
I wonder how long a slightly-podgy adult squirrel would take to cook in the Remoska?
[as will Mr Squirrel if he comes back with the same attitude and/or two carrots, an onion and some gravy]
Incidentally, for any and all of your greetings card, jigsaw, wall art &etc needs:
Ian H., and Cardinal W.
Blots on the canal landscape (apparently).