If I Could Turn Back Time

Oh hang on though – in England we all just did. The Matrix hiccoughed and suddenly there I was, an hour behind where I had been.

We had – and are still having as I type – a lovely squall here on the canals. Forty miles per hour winds, the variety of rain that sweeps along like small angry clouds at ground level. The wind direction is onto the Cardinal’s stern end and slightly onto the towpath, all of which is wot are good, and I am sure certain that my mooring ropes are grateful. Officially it’s oh nine hundred hours o’clock but is it really ten hundred? Light? There are signs that the great outdoors may engage with daylight soon, it’s been very dark indeed during the weather.

On my “dawn” patrol I discovered that the big window in the galley was, behind the blind, open. Not as discombobulating as may seem, since the panes tilt inwards at the top and no more. Question is, did I somehow draw the blind over an open window during yestereve’s disclemencies [unlikely] or was the window blown open by some gust? If it did blow open then why did my guard-dog hind-brain not wake me? It’s happened before, during a gale of some sixty-five milekins per hourliquode, when the wind was directly on our beam. Itth a mythtery, and there’s a Toyah Willcox reference for you to put alongside the earlier Cher reference.

Do I have a series of photographs for this post of a man and his narrowboat charging head-down into England’s autumnal meteorological pleasantries? Do I hell. The covers are lashed in place, Mr Stove is lit and I am busy getting myself wholly, albeit temporarily, outside of a(nother) litre of coffee from beans kidnapped in their prime from Southern India. Any and all outdoor jobs can wait until tomorrow at the earliest, which will he halfway towards Tuesday when the weather is predicted by the soothsayers to be more reasonable.

I shall, whenever tis that I venture out, need my boots for the towpath; the surfaced areas that I can see are a shallow rapids, the more natural parts will be a mud-wallow infested with hippoids.

So, photographs eh? Well, you may have some of my favourite photos from my more sporting past to keepez vous amused. I couldn’t then sell these ones either for love nor money, not even to the folks featured in them. Plus ca change &etc.

This is remarkably good weather it must be said for sitting on a narrowboat and reading several damned good books. I spent most of yestereve alternately with the officials of the Victorian Raj in India or with the Rats in London, the latter courtesy of James Herbert and a rather nice hardback picked up for a quid in the local charr-id-ee shop hereabouts. Today will be more of the Raj – finishing the book, hopefully, and Mr Herbert’s ‘The Dark’. That only leaves me about fifty books that I haven’t started yet.

Do I read “e-books”? Yes I do, when circs dictate that I can’t get my grubby paws on a hardcopy.

I recommend an amuse-bouche collection of horror AND the latest in the “Penny” series.

Available from Messrs AMAZON of course here
Available from Messrs AMAZON of course here

I’ve read the former with its curiously compelling horror (and reviewed it), and I am reading the latter, as I have read and mightily enjoyed all of the earlier books in the series.

The images and links below are as elegant as Das Wordenpressen will allow me to get.

Cl uMsy, much, but you can at least click.

Well, the rain and the wind has stopped while I’ve been typing – tis now dead calm (suspicious), though still only an odd twilight, and has the air of trickery and meteorological backstabbery about it. Typical autumnal England. A man’s just sploshed past on the towpath, his small dog in a doggy-raincoat swimming frantically to keep pace. One of the coal boats that more generally frequents the Llangollen and environs has just pootled past, heading homewards. I hope that they haven’t come down the Audlem flight in its entirely this morning, at least not without a pre-warmed snorkel and a bottle of rum.

I wonder what traffic we’ll see today? The hires and share boats will of course have little to no choice about cruising, having set themselves targets and placed themselves away from base. Some cruise past in these conditions with everyone on the rear deck and enjoying the squelch. Other boats cruise past with family all inside (and glued mindlessly to their “smart” “telephones”) while Father keeps lonely vigil at the tiller, muttering something under his breath about ‘…sodding Benidorm next year it is then…’

Lunch today I hear you cry? Steamed veggies of course. I have found some potatoes which, while more suited to baking than anything else, at least have some flavour. I needs must keep up my broccoli quotient, and the carrots this year are particularly sweet.

As am I.

Chin-chin, chaps. I hope that wherever you are, if you are, it’s either pleasantly clement or pleasantly inclement and thus highly conducivious to some horror and a good yarn.



  1. Erm…just a quick note – I’ve been trying to read your latest blog post about weresheep (at least I think it’s about weresheep, I can’t get in so I could be wrong) for a couple of days now, but for some reason every time I click on the link my browser collapses. I’ve tried using several different browsers and using both my computer and my laptop, but it’s having none of it. I realise that you’ve probably just as much idea about what’s going wrong as I have (which is none whatsoever) but I thought I’d best let you know…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for letting me know – I’ll see what I can see, and I’ll keep on checking. I really do appreciate your presistence too. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The last moment before it was never the factory-standard shape ever again…

      I was running backwards as I took the photo, with the car rolling towards me! The Marshals very swiftly rolled it back onto its wheels, but sadly also onto two traffic cones and a tyre,,, trapping the beast. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  2. If anything was needed to remind me of some of the reasons we left Europe your post did the trick..indeed, the hat trick! Brought back memories of slushing off to school in diluvian downpours, running for the train in later life in the pitch dark of morning only to find it very little lighter on emerging from train two hours later, gales whipping round the house and dogs refusing to go out, working on the collier crew contract item ‘ dumpling out, duff home, poop in the cabin foul weather’ sliding down to the hen house to break the ice on their water and needing crampons and an ice axe to get back up the slope…
    Yes, Costa Rica has Weather….landslides closing roads after heavy rains, the odd tail of a hurricane, but at least i am not driven to using an electric blanket and muffling up in three layers of clothing to go to bed to avoid being found frozen to death in the morning….
    There are certain items I miss….charcuterie being one. What passes for a black pudding here would break your heart…..to obtain suet I have to enter the butcher’s cold store to get him to cut it out for me in a lump….not a decent apple to be had for love or money…but things are changing. I found fresh brussels sprouts in the local feria yesterday, so civilisation is on the march!

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    1. Tis indeed one of the few countries of the world where you can never quite know if sleeping attire is to be ‘two dabs of High Karate and an open window’ or – and which is more common, by about a thousandfold – PJs, thick socks, gloves, bobble-hat, two duvets, two blankets and a liver turned up to “maximum heat output”.

      They do eat some funny things in Overseas, but if Brussels are beginning to creep onto the menu then full civilisation can’t be far behind. Proper and decent dark green, crinkly cabbages seem to have become a scarce item hereabouts in Blighty – all I’ve found of late have been those insipid white/light-green things that are use to neither man nor beast.

      Mind you, it’s just a part of the general decline. Ask a grocer for couve-tronchuda or even cardoons these days and you’ll likely get a blank look. Most of the sea-kale is forced in fresh-water. I wonder where we’d be with veggies if these global “fast” “food” chains served real food instead of poisonous sh*ite? McDonalds “Happy Mash” perhaps, or Subways “Foot-long Carrots”, or KFC*

      *Kent Not-yucky Fried Cabbage

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  3. I turned the clock back this morning and found myself living the same hour all over again. Because I’d mistimed it slightly, this meant that I also got to turn the clock back again. I’m now trapped in an endless Groundhog Day style feedback loop that grows thinner and more distorted with every rendition. Each repeat is slightly dimmer than the last; each more ridiculous and grainy. I just heard that Boris Johnson is prime minister. Clearly I’ve crossed the threshold of believability and entered the Twilight Zone.

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    1. It’s worse than even that, Jim – Boris is in Glasgow for the COPoff26 “conference” – what are the odds that he’ll do something monumentally reckless, such as breeding with that Sturgeon creature? Can you imagine the offspring?

      So many old pick-up lines apply…

      Get yer hat, coat, and private jet luv – you’ve pulled.

      Hello darlin’ – do you have yer own country or do you still live with your folks?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, so kind and thank you for the mention. I hope it cheers your rainy day. The irony of what the America’s call ‘the daylight hours’ seem to have passed us by during today’s clock malarkey and it’s what I like to call sodding wet.and as dark as a dark thing. But ’tis Sunday and likewise the veggies are really good at the moment with an abundance of Lincolnshire brussels! ‘Let the wind blow high, let the wind blow low…etc….Donald, where’s your troosers?’

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    1. This messing around with the when of it serves no decent purpose that I can see – can’t stretch the day by taking an hour off one end and bunging it on the other. What used to be done in t’dark is now, for a few days, done in t’light, and verse vica – but big deal! In the days when I was “working for the man” I used to get jet-lagged twice a year without going anywhere.

      The Brussels sprouts do seem to be healthy this year, though perhaps not (maybe yet?) with the taste that makes them such a special treat. I have sage and onion stuffing ready for when I reach the Brussels sprout and stuffing sandwich stage, which won’t be long (with HP Sauce, of course). ๐Ÿ˜‰ Like proper chips and decent puddings they’re a treat that so many on the planet will never, ever understand…


      1. Speaking of chips, what about that northern standby, the Chip Butty? Unhealthy, they say, but there’s many an OAP who was brung up on this delicacy still going strong. And bread and dripping. And suet dumplings. And bread and milk, served at bedtime. (We called them Pobbies. Cube some bread and heat some milk. Put bread into a bowl and pour over hot milk. Then add some sugar. My Nan used to give it to us when we stayed with her and we loved it.)

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        1. Banana sandwiches… that was probably a war-baby thing though. There’s nowt quite so satisfying as a well-made chip butty, eating when very hungry. I do hear that apparently all of the evil fats are now suposed to be “good” for us, and we’re back (well, some are back – I am not!) to Edwina Currie’s going to work on an egg. My theory is eat what you fancy, in moderation if possible, and always eat variety. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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          1. I agree with that sentiment. Food is a basic thing, and should be enjoyed, not agonized over as to whether you should be eating it or not.

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