Were-Sheep May Safely Graze

My goodness me but the it of it is cold this morning. Opening the side-hatch to beat my chest and threaten the world this morning simply served to startle the sheep.

We mooched on a little yesterday, the Cardinal and me, a day before our time expired in the “neighbourhood” of Audlem Lower. We’re now in a place that the Canal & River Trust Ltd cannot spell. I know that you think I wobble on about them far too much, but this sort of silliness absolutely typifies their working – from small matters such as this to the disastrous neglect of major water reservoirs (requiring use of armed services Chinooks, for example).

I hasten to add, although it doesn’t really need saying, that the fault lies squarely at the feet of C&RT Corporate, with the Corporate ethos, not with the grunt workers and volunteers. The workers and volunteers, as with most of us, do what is asked of them. The folk putting the sign up won’t have had a smidgen of a hint of a say in its “design” and ordering!

As part of their re-re-re-branding (It’s wellness, innit?), their “fight” against plastic, and their waving of their little corporate “we’re green, yeah?” willy around, the old perfectly-functional sign on these moorings has been removed and a hideous-blue plastic one nailed in its place – briefly. I say briefly because the corporate they ordering the new signs didn’t manage to just copy over the correct spelling from the old sign…

The Canal & River Trust Ltd’s re-branding – and re-naming – continues apace. This goof will have set their “plastics challenge” back a few years. I wonder where C&RT have these new plastic signs recycled when they’re torn down (to correct spelin erorz after just days, weeks or – if lucky – a few months?

Photographs courtesy of a mate who shall remain – for his own protection – nameless unless he wants to out himself in the comments. Thank’ee kindly.

Laugh? I nearly enjoyed, volunteered and donated…

For the avoidance of doubt Coole Pilate (Coo-lay Pee-latte if you’re Hyacinth Bucket, Kule Pie-late if you’re a pleb) is a parish, not a gentleman of Free French or Polish origin who flies aeroplanes.

I wonder how much a careful, worldly-wise, penny-pinching, publicly-funded, charitable-aims-with-concomitant-tax-relief limited company corporation such as the Canal & River Trust Ltd pays for the plastic signs? 50p? Perhaps as much as a quid each?

Given that this is a popular jogging/dog-emptying route for locals no doubt C&RT’s spelling has entrenched an image of painstaking care and attention to detail in the minds of those in the parish and surrounding. When you drop a b*ll*ck it does help if it make a loud “clang” noise. A certain organisation is quite the corporate testicular campanologist.

You’e got to love them. No, seriously, you’ve got to – they’re a monopoly, and wholly unaccountable. There is – for the present – no choice. Nun Whatsoever.

Hey ho and away we go. Anyway. The mini-cruisette yesterday was, as they almost always are, most splendid. Since the clocks all went back or sideways or some such and it gets light now just in time for the electric-SUV skule run, or something, I have no idea what time it was other than it was “Not Many Other Folk About O’Clock”. Easily my favourite time of the day.

There’s a wee spot of offside vegetation awaiting a new blue plastic “Beware of Offside Vegetation” sign just before Overwater Marina… Yes, it really has grown that far out and over the canal.

…and that lovely old brick edifice where there used to be a bridge up until the nineteen seventies.

The Cardinal tells me that this bridge, and the one ahead in the phomatograph above, were both manned by Home Guard during the Great Unpleasantness of 1939-1945. Coole Pilate may have been a parish of only some sixty souls, but it still raised four chaps a night on the remaining bridge and a machiiiiiiiine-gun emplacement on the now-demolished bridge. Angela Merkel would not have found either bridge a walk-over. Shelter for the gentlemen concerned was initially in a horse-box and latterly in a converted hen-house. At that time nearby Hack Green was a R.A.F. new-fangled RADAR station and/or a bombing decoy for the not-so-nearby Crewe railway yard, only going officialy “nuclear” in 1984. Now you know.

Cruising under the Coole Pilate machine-gun emplacement, slightly displaced in time, 03/11/2021. Cardinal Wolsey 508533.

Coming in to land…

…aiming for the length just beginning at that taller tree, giving the other moored boat all of the room that I can (two or three boat lengths, the photo is deceptive).


No idea how long we’ll be here for, I shall needs must toss the Navigational Florin and decide then. I know no other way.

The view to our stern is quite supercalifragelistatrocious.

No better really than the view forward…

Don’t even get me started on the view to the side…

Which is wot does become, due largely to the vagaries of the English weather and not some little rotation of the planet, a sunset…

Cardinal Wolsey 508533, Coole Pilate moorings, 03/11/2021 – just and only just able to step far enough back – with the were-sheep snapping at my hind-quarters – to contain the Cardinal from stem to stern.

Although I am not certain which angle – which Angle – shows it best.

The gween and pweasant moorings of Coole Pilot. Um – Pilate. Cardinal Wolsey 508533 03/11/2021.

Mr Sun appeared for mayhap three minutes at the end of yesterday, before sinking into a deep depression and service in The Abroad. He’s always on duty somewhere in the English Empire.

Sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the years. Oy.

Today Mr Sun is back with some blue sky, and the solar panels will be feeding once the shadow from the hedgerow gets out of the way. It certainly won’t get warm, but it is becoming much more cheerful.

I like being cheerful.

I even smiled once.

Didn’t enjoy it though; it made my face ache, and it confused everybody.

I wonder when the sign will be re-replaced? If it happens while I am moored here I’ll let you know. Holding breath not recommended though. I needs must away and check again on the Winter Stoppages, which change every once in a while, to make sure that the Cardinal and I have sufficient mooching room available to us over winter.

Hmm… broccoli for lunch.

Also other vegetables.

Mr Stove is warming the pot as I type. Also the pan for the vegetables.

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H.


  1. The stern-wards photo doth be quite grand. 😀
    Mr Solaris pootled over the pond to grace us with a momentary splendiferous sunset set nicely t’wixt dueling rainclouds, then scarpered westwards in ignominious embaressmentations. Who knows where he’ll land next.


  2. I’ve nicked the photo, credited to A.Nonimous for the FB NABO page and Twitter. I see great similarities to these plastic nasties and graffiti.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The two poles for the sign stand empty now, presumably awaiting the replacement! Perhaps if C&RT Corporate had asked the sheep in the field behind how to spell Coole Pilate – with or without accents…

      Why oh why the signs can’t be something sourced locally in each area and made of more natural and/or more durable materials I do not know. Why must they be that strident shade of very un-rural blue (or any other inappropriate colour). It’s the stuff of cheap and nasty theme parks.

      My sister’s village had their signs made up by the local blacksmith. Surely in and around the canals there’s enough talent and resources to make up better signs – no reason why they have to match nationally, they could each reflect the local area…

      Silly me.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. A relative of a friend of a relative of a friend – and nothing at all to do with the occasional buckshee holiday or Audi SUV appearing in the driveway… Heaven forefend! I can’t imagine that these plastic nasties are cheap – or that their supply was properly put out to tender (let alone the call being for something locally-sourced in each area, and of more natural or more durable materials. Three winters will see these things off.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if our lack of regular sunshine has something to do with border controls and the bureaucracy of Customs… delayed at Dover… 😉

      It’s difficult to imagine us having an empire (in the days when they were acceptable, and when everyone wanted one) – these days we can’t even keep a small town park open and well-kept!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Perhaps a part of the “punishment” he reckons the UK deserves for leaving the EU…. 😉

          That said, when I endeavour to wrap my little brain-gland around the structure of macro (not Macron-ite) reality I simply fail miserably to reconcile the odds of balls of nuclear heat with balls of iron and mud in orbit, all in spiral galaxies with immense distances between. It’s such an unlikely disposition and arrangement of the building materials of the universe.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Just incase your interested I have it on good authority that CRT have so far managed to rack up the grand total of 9 million pounds so far on re-branding!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ye gods – and this was the “re-branding” that they swore would cost no more than “just” £60,000 and only be done on an “as and when” basis…

      They’ve totally lost their way (if indeed they ever had it)! Time methinks for DEFRA to sack the lot and begin again with people who can actually identify a boat in a line-up.

      Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.