A Magical Mooch a la Cruise-ette Domesticus

If a scoot to the services can ever be described as such!

There’s one thing about oiking up the Bunbury Windy-Windy Hole at this time of year – never forget, when attaching the waggle-stick and otherwise preparing the boat, to also lay out the sun shades. Cruising there will see the sun on your back (if it’s up at all) but the return will see it right in your eyes, bouncing off the canal water. I wonder what that would sound like, if we could hear the Sun? Probably best that we can’t. P’doinnnngg-zap?

I began, quite deliberately and as is my long felt wont, when most (but not all) were still a-bed, wrapped in the alms [sic] of Morpheus. Cool, misty, and moisty was it then.

The it of it quickly became Sun Factor Ugh of course, into the high eighties of the Fahrengezundheitings and fetid with it (the word ‘humid’ doesn’t seem to live up to the ughness of the hoo-mid-e-tea sometimes). Moan moan moan. šŸ˜‰

I enjoyed by far the better part of the day, setting off before six o’sundial and being serviced and on slightly fresh moorings not long after eight o’hundred hours. Messrs Supermarket & Co are scheduled to call here today, which is wot is why I &etc’d yesterday.

The light at the start of these interesting days changes swiftly.

Calveley was a veritable jam-packedness of boatery from one end, madam, right to the other. There was, of course, the complimentary peasant moored alongside the reed overgrowth, right next to the winding hole. Isn’t there always one, or more such? ‘Moored’ is perhaps a strong word to use for the loose, hairy string attaching the boat to the planet, for the beast swung out a yard or so as I bumbled past, taking up much of the space twixt bank, boat and reeds. Some people only carry a brain a-top their spine because it acts as stuffing and prevents their head from looking like a deflated badger’s ar*se.

So long a line of sleeping boats took me longer than I’d thought to cruise past, tickover doesn’t half become boring after a while, even for a slowth-merchant like me.

I think that my presence on the service area perhaps annoyed the only other boat I saw moving, even though there was plenty of space for them too and at the “pump-out” end, which is what they needed. My god, from the niff wafting in my direction did they ever need a pump-out! They certainly weren’t overly-effusive with the good mornings and the nods.

Mind you, not many folk are these days. The insanity of the past two years has seen a distinct change, methinks, and ‘hello’ and a wave (all that used to be required; we’re not after Caesar’s address to The Senate or anything) has become some sort of rude challenge. Once upon a time it was positively de rigueur to acknowledge a fellow creature in passing, but the behaviours of London &etc seem to have (been) spread (deliberately), and such is now de rigor mortis.

Progress, eh?

I surmise that the Membrum Virilis of the World Ecognomic Forum might consider it so. The baboons of the troop now no longer show one anther their pink and blue arses in the cause of tribal (troop) cohesion, but instead wave their mobiles in the air, displaying a “Covid-19/20/21/22/āˆž Vaccine Passport Papierre Bitte QR Code” as some sort of “new” “cultural” totem. Personally, I preferred the arses; much more honesty involved.

Tis my vague plan to slip slowly across the M’wich Branch and mayhap – if keen – set baseplate upon the waters of the Twent & Mersey as my own version of a symbolic totem (a Churchillian two fingers). We shall see. Time and tide wait for Gnome-Man. Wim is my weh of deciding where the lion sleeps to-night.

I’ve had my email from Messrs Supermarket. There are a couple of substitutions but nothing that will see me reaching for the nuclear codes. It will be a horridly hot and humid meeting, but there’s nowt that can be done about that, those who book (of necessity) last minute can’t be too choosy. I shall maybe get trolley and crates ready, and then crouch waiting in any shade the Cardinal may afford me, running out into the blasted landscape only when necessary, and holding a palm frond aloft for protection.

Whether I shall screech, bare my teeth and show my arse or not remains to be seen.

I can always have a cold shower when things are stowed away.

Then I might do nothing at all until the excess of warmth wears off. Tomorrow and onwards are forecast to be less ergful.

We ought to be grateful for small Murphys.

Ye gods, three (hire) (Angloid Welch) boats in quick succession as I type, followed by a privateer and then a (an?) “historic” boat and butty creeping around the junction, and there I was daring to imagine that the canals were returning more to the Norm now that the skule hodilays are done with for a while.

Chat fance.

Norm? You’ll have to wait a while yet.

Make that four hire boats, add an ABC to the mix, an ABC with a broken “tick-over”…




  1. What time is your delivery? I await the chock horror headline in the yellow press of an innocent delivery driver suffering from PTSD after an encounter with ….well, that depends on your decision as to how to greet him. Or her, Or it. Or any one of the three depending on how the driver identifies on that particular day…
    Could all these boats be filled with London based civil servants working from ‘home’?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The delivery was hilarious – and I’ve just been on the supermarket website to praise the driver for staying cool and calm and polite! The delivery here is down a hedgerow-lined single-width lane… and someone in a v.large tractor decided to begin trimming the hedges just before the delivery arrived. The supermarket van had no sooner turned into the lane when someone pulled in behind him and began honking his horn and effing and blinding and gesticulating! No-one had anywhere to go in truth – hedge-trimmer wasn’t going to stop until he’d finished the lane.

      The supermarket driver suggested politely (incredibly so!) to the car driver that if he reversed three or four yards they could swap positions, I could get my delivery and the car could run over the tractor or whatever it was he had planned. He refused (even though it would have been easy and safe to do so), and continued swearing at the supermarket driver…

      …who just smiled, turned off the van engine and proceeded with delivering my goods in a most painstaking fashion indeed. Conspiring, we made it a game, and I packed things into my crates and bags on the trolley equally carefully, sorting out heavy from squashable, goods that were sweating in the heat and goods that would dislike being made wet. My lashing of everything to my trolley was a work of performance art, with bungees.

      As it happened, we were all done and dusted before the hedge-trimmer was prepared to let anyone through anyway! I wished the car driver an early meeting with his deity of choice, hung around to make sure that he didn’t give the van driver any more grief and then bogged off back to my boat – broccoli abounding. šŸ™‚

      So I suppose that in terms of intent I -did- show my arse, but to the swearing impatient car driver…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. What a nice man! He was born for the delivery van job in these trying times. My rather hot-blooded Italian-heritaged Mr. P would have been a veritable fruity and gesticulating Captain Hornblower in his place, which is just as well he wasn’t.

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  2. Well at least you had my grinning idiot face to chat to at”sparrows fart o’clock ” on your way to the winding hole and back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did indeed sir, and I thank you for it! It’s v.pleasant to meet someone else who can be compos mentis in the (relatively) early morning. Took ruddy ages to sneak as best possible passt that long line of boats.

      Watching the Junction for today – tis the best pantomime in town (unless you’re a narrowboat that bruises easily)!


        1. One or two of the boats that have been through I don’t really feel safe sat on the bench – I’ve been ready to run in case the bow rode up and came across the towpath… Run down on dry land, by a boat…

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