Autumn in August

Ruddy England.

I have, of late, turned the quilt up to “two bars”. Damned tempted on occasion to bung the chimney back onto Mr Stove and to light the fire. Might have done, too, had we not between these harbingers of Autumn and Winter had spells of damnably hot and humid. I blame the Gubbermunt; they’re obviously buying in second-hand weather from a fly-by-night second-hand weather dealer with bunting all over the forecourt.

Each day the Met Office posts up juicy warnings of monsoon lashings, thunder and lightning – and each day those items of “at least it would be interesting” weather are quietly removed, leaving only the eight-eighths cloud cover, the coolth, silly now-you-feel-it now-you-don’t winds and dismal, dismal but otherwise quite ordinary rain.

Aside from this it’s all really most splendid indeed. πŸ˜‰

While it has been, mercifully, quieter than the Llangollen nonsense, there are still silly, silly numbers of boats rushing about, all desperate to holiday, holiday, holiday at maximum intensity (and speed). The Cardinal has had a couple of close shaves here on these moorings. Why is it that boats always choose to meet other boats right alongside me, and to pass there instead of in the empty, moored-boat-free miles fore and aft? It is a choice; a simple adjustment to velocity would remove the problem and allow them to pass one another sans moored boats. Why also, and more importantly, do those on the tiller always, always, always favour hitting (innocent party) moored boats rather than the oncoming idiots who aren’t giving them enough room (especially in these gusts)?

Photograph of the only place on the entire canal system of Planet Earth where a COLAS diesel engine may pass over several blue narrowboats that are themselves passing over the top of a diving grebe in pursuit of a small perch. Ian Hutson, 08/2021.

The human world continues to become more actively, eagerly insane every day. A while ago I reduced my frequency of “checking the news” (such as is possible these days, between the efforts of Her Majesty’s Government’s Army’s ‘The 77th Brigade’ propaganda unit, and the total lack of effort – and lack of spine and moral substance – from the winnets that now make up ‘The Fourth Estate’). I am now reducing my interest in the world’s utter nonsense from once every other day to once in three days. Life is really much more cheerful if you don’t willingly absorb the patently obvious bullsh

it offered.

There is a heron stalking these parts, and he expresses a similar level of disdain but in his case a disdain for the presence of humans and boats. He stalks the extra-shallow shallows of the bank opposite the Cardinal.

Forgive the cr*p photo, taken as ever through glass and at full telephotoscopicness. A heron hunting the shallows of the Shropshire Union canal, looking for anything to eat. Heron will eat anything from ducks to small dogs. Heck, you could throw a McNasties Happy Meal at him and he’d probably eat it. Probably.

While I am squeamish about their diet of ducklings and etc., I do like heronii. Heronum? Whatever the plural of ‘heron’ may be. They look very prehistoric, and that’s quite appropriate considering the fresh lows of human society. They add a touch of ‘The Land That Time Forgot’ to England, a land that time picked up, examined, snorted at and then put back on the shelf. The English language has been reduced almost to a glottal ‘ug’ and trackie bottoms and logo-splattered MAN (is it ‘City’ or ‘United’? I forget which is good and which is unforgiveable) shirts are the new animal-skins.

The view, as ever, is not all wildlife and roses. There are manifold Watery Wellness Trust Ltd workboats scattered all over what that venerable (!) institution itself terms “visitor moorings”. All tied up very loosely with blue string. All far, far over-staying the The Watery Wellness Trust Ltd.’s own time restrictions.

Another Canal & River Trust Ltd wokboat abandoned long-term on “visitor moorings”, Shropshire Union Canal, 08/2021.

The Watery Wellness Trust Ltd is very much a ‘do as we say and not as we do’ outfit. Much like the English government, although if anything, I hold politicians in slightly higher regard than C&RT Corporate. At least the politicians make no bones about their self-serving corruption and civic incompetence. Politicians are also more competent at being incompetent.

I am where I am (and I yam what I yam) for the weekend. The ‘The Weather’ is supposed to improve marginally next week. We’re still pointing south, we may go farther, we may not. I am not in the least bit convinced that I know one way or the other. When the day dawns I shall flip the usual florin and call heads or tails.

I miss florins. Also thruppenny bits, sixpences and ten-bob notes – all of the items of currency in the days before all vestiges of character were removed from the system. The half-crown, now there was a proper coin. A young chap was rich with a half-crown in his pocket. For four-hundred years in England we used half-crowns, and then some dismal little sh

it in Whitehall decided that they were too interesting, and we should all move to the p.

Pounds and pees. The pees will be withdrawn soon, and the pound will become the smallest unit of currency. Anyone here remember the Β½p? That didn’t last long, did it.

Β£ /- d replaced by “p”.

Seriously, they are taking the p, and if you don’t know that by now then you never will.

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

A chap must have a hobby.

I cobbled up a curry yesterday. Its remains are waiting for me to finish them off today.

I wonder how wet I’d get if I did go outside and bung the chimney on Mr Stove?

An anti-drear log or two might dispel a little of this Autumn in August.

No, no – don’t do it, Hutson. Wait until September at the earliest.

Chin-chin for the mo, Muskies.

Ian H., and nb Cardinal W.,
Scourges of the Canal System.


  1. Why’d you have to mention the half crown and set me off finding my mourning clothes again for pre-decimated real currency and my favourite coin. Messrs Williams and Glyns used to take care of my pay too when we had real money and real banks. who weren’t trying to take over all the owned properties by defaulted mortgages and make them all rented with themselves as the landlords. Maybe it’s time to head for the uncharted waters of Brum until you’ve been forgotten by the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd and the price has been taken off your head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. De-regulation of the banks was possibly the most greedy and corrupt notion among many such during the nineteen-eighties. Where banks actually just needed a swift kick up the fundament what they were given was cart blanche and a stack of buff “bank-hander” envelopes to fill and deliver to Westminster. It’s just my ‘umble opinion but the whole of politics and the “money” world ran off down a blind cul de sac somewhere about that time, one from which there is no return. Society is fast approaching the complete re-boot from near-scratch stage. JMHO. If it doesn’t happen then life for the peasants (that’s us) will simply get more and more dreary and unfunny. If a re-boot does happen, well – it will be “interesting” (in the sense of the old ‘May you always live in interesting time’ use of interesting)! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  2. For some reason best known to itself, WordPress has decided not to inform me any more when you post. I’ve no idea why. I certainly didn’t unfollow you.
    Another thing to grouse about. (When did that poor bird become a word meaning to grumble?)
    Did you see that Lord somebody-or-other has created a storm over his complaint about a sports reporter dropping their gs? It’s becoming more frequent on the media. People are now goin’ to start thinkin’ that this is the correct way of speakin’. Once upon a time broadcasters spoke correct English. Now the BBC, once the great upholder of the languages has people who say such things as ‘He has ran down the wing…’ Or ‘I done…’ They also pay no attention to syntax, either. One of their newsreaders said ‘People who have Covid are getting younger.’ Amazing! In that case, perhaps I should try to contract it! I could do with a few years knocking off.
    All that is to say I agree about the BBC. They obfuscate.
    Anyway, I’m going to try clicking Follow again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I haven’t watched, read or listened to the BBC for many years, they don’t even pretend to be a “news” agency these days, it’s pure propaganda and ideology. Regional accents are wonderful things… in their place, and their place is not in mass communication! Folk who can’t form their words correctly lead to amusing little nonsenses such as the latest linguistic lash-up from teh U.S. of eh? – dropping the ‘ed’ from words such as ‘biased’ and ‘chilled’. Oh that/they are so bias! He’s so chill.

      The whole process makes my toes curl in discomfort.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Is there an actual policy or law on the p elimination because the US should have gotten rid of the penny decades ago. We lose money minting them. They have same value as pocket lint to us. You find them thrown away in gutters, piling up in jars. No one wants them. No one needs them. And they are a net loss upon being minted. Still being minted. When a government cant implement a policy so obvious, popular and simple, you know its very broken.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only policy at play in England would appear (over my lifetime thus far) to be one of de-valuation of the currency, assisted by changing the currency itself. Price increases for everyday items follow a pattern, once they tip over the “pound” unit it’s a headlong rush to reach “.99” on top of that, since the population has been trained to think in whole pounds instead of the actual price (or value, or smaller units). The change from Β£ /- d was just to make this exploitation easier. JMHO. πŸ˜‰


      1. Well. That makes a shitty bit of sense. Perhaps the need to manipulate the customer with .99 is the whole reason for keeping the penny. Capitalism. It’s such a shit religion.


  4. I quite like this weather. It keeps the fat people in shorts, the Ambre Solaire brigade, the screaming, purple-headed children and the ‘Must have a barbecue and set fire to the hedge’ mongers indoors, where they belong.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is indeed true, and a valuable side-effect of near-biblical rain. Half a dozen boats past this morning, and perhaps tow joggers, two dog-emptiers and a slack handful of serious Alpine-pole walkers.

      I try try try to scan boats when I must moor near others – checking the roof for solar panels (good) and for barbecue-machines (bad). Based on the results I either pull in or cruise on… πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 4 people

  5. I caught a programme on BBC TV about a chap with a narrow boat travelling from Ellesmere Port to…I forget where. It would have been a much more interesting programme had it featured your good self. There was mention of the limits on mooring….you were not, it seemed, to disregard these – modern version of sucking of teeth at the likely consequences.
    As to the collisions, have you not yet mounted that punt gun….or started a production line in Molotov cocktails?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank’ee most kindly. The producers of these televisual feasts are missing a trick. Would they but set up hidden cameras near a few of the corporate hire bases they might produce two or three hours a week of “edited highlights” of boating bloopers. It wouldn’t even need commentary, just “Benny Hill” music. The final credits of each episode could roll over footage of Timothy “Contact Sport” West repainting all of the boats he’s bashed about.

      Sadly I have a face ideally suited to radio rather than television… although I might be able to cope with some sort of canal version of ‘Animal Magic’, with Johnny Morris style animal voice-overs. Perhaps pointing out the maintainance problems in an orang utan voice as we drift along…

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank’ee kindly sir. I do wonder at England, once the centrepiece of the “Town & Country” shop window, now in the bargain bin. I would say that we’ll be sent to the Far East in a shipping container for “recycling” soon, but, well – we’re really already there.

      Tis a common misconception that politicians in general are ineffectual. One has only to look around at the Decline & Fall to see their influence…

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Ah, real money, I remember it well. I think I have some somewhere. My first pocket money was half a crown. I wrote a cheque the other day for rapido repair to my computer and they cashed it – thought they had got rid of those – I could imagine an office somewhere and someone shouting to their colleagues, “Hey, come and look at this, there must be an old person still alive out there!” Of course, with your posts it’s nice to know there still is an ‘out there’. It’s looking green and we must be thankful that we live in the wetlands!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheques were a brilliant device – well I remember in my “first job” days being able to cash a cheque three days before payday, to tide me over the weekend – and knowing that the cheque would not be processed until my pay had gone into the bank. The banks themselves all knew that everyone did it, but in those days they weren’t Beelzebub PLC. Indeed my first bank account was with Messrs Williams & Glyns, and the bank used ink pens and hand-written ledgers, I kid you not.

      My signature was often a problem with cheques, since nothing of my handwriting is ever quite the same twice in a row. More so, these keyboard days.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. About 3/4 of an hour south there is a lovely place to moor. It’s about 300 yards ( not metres)from the winding hole at the bottom of the Audlem flight. This spot has a wonderful view over the lakes below. Oh and we think it’s compulsory to walk into Audlem for a breakie at The Priest house cafe opposite the church(closed Mon & Tue).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. With this rain those lakes will have become minor seas c/w container ships darting about. Audlem’s a fine visitation for a canal town. The winding hole I’ve always found to be most peculiar, with locking boats abounding if visited at the wrong time, but also that strange permanent mooring of a boat actually in the hole. Most odd. When last I turned there the wind had me and it became a six-point turn, damn it. πŸ™‚

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