Traffic-Calming Measures

We mooched on again the other day. Having re-traced our prop-wash up the Limpopo (known by the locals as the Llangollen) and yea even unto the depressing Deep South (Audlem) we found that we still couldn’t get arrested by the Canal Rozzers even if we waved our underwear overhead and shouted rude things about Mr Parry’s putative parentage. In weeks, not a sniff of a whiff of a Rozzer.

Then, as we mooched, while cruising in t’middle of t’canal, our number was taken by a Canal Rozzer – almost at the end of our cruise, just a couple of miles and just five bridges south of here.

Then the morning following we were clocked again, this time moored in our current location, in the neighbourhod where “they” always clock us. Not because I don’t go elsewhere, but because they don’t!

Makes a chap wonder if this is the only stretch actually patrolled in this corner of the woods.

So, once again, the Canal Company’s picture of me will be one of near-monolithic immobility.

Hey ho.

I like these moorings in some perverse sort of way. They’re right alongside a busy busy busy road with lorries thumping up and down all of the day and most of the night, and thump they do, crashing in and out of the many potholes like tanks during some major assault.

The constant noise provides counterpart to the bleating of sheep and the bellowing of bulls on more rural moorings. That, and this is far and away the most convenient mooring from which to summon the Demon AhSDA, and sufficient weeks had passed since their abysmal failure-to-deliver of the previous order for me to try again.

It worked, praise be unto IVECO and GARMIN, twin Greek gods of supermarket deliveries.

The acid-green van arrived early and when the clock struck the beginning of the delivery hour I and my groceries were already back aboard the Cardinal. Demons purged.

There be spuds and carrots and cabbage and onions and … broccoli. Fresh orangeeegeeegeee juice… and coffee fit to melt my best silver spoon once I remove it from my Arse

nal Villa are still doing awfully well this season, are they not?

We are also now replete with an ample elephant’s sufficiency supply of teasted fruity toe-cakes to toast, brekkers and tiffin for the consumption of.


*Other dinosaurs are available, mention here does not imply endorsement.

The cruise here was most enjoyable, and about on the limit of The Hutson Cruise’O’Meter, at some seven miles two and a half furlongs, including two locks, a visitation to the Services in Nantwich, a lot of leaf-soup and something around the prop, damn it, collected I think while at the Services.

Cardinal Wolsey 508533 08/11/2021 Nantwich Services

There was one boat already on the services when I arrived, and another hove up and queued on the towpath side. The tap – singular – in Nantwich, while much appreciated, is not the fastest thing on slick racing washers.

Unlike some of the pre-ghostly botormikes that pass these moorings.

Tis also my wild ambition to again meet Messrs Bargus, The Fuel Boat, ‘ere, ere long.

Je suis ici, je suis restez until they pass in a few days’ time.

We’re down already to our last sack of nuggetty dinosaur remains on the well-deck, and need to re-bunker. The “txt msg” request has gone in – see? I can technology when I want to, even if all of my “txt msgs” are in full and properly-punctuated form. Mayhap it please Bargus upon our meeting next to render aid and supply of ten sacks of Excel and two of your finest kindling, and oblige in consideration of BACS payment to follow, your humble servant, etectera, etcetera…

I played with the traffic this morning on my perambulation and before it was properly daylight. It’s been many a year since I panned an object and, yes, there’s an image or two below to show that I can pan properly – it’s just that these days I quite like the ones with random movement in them almost as much as the more technically “correct” images.

The traffic noise here doesn’t bother me, and certainly not at night (I was renowned at The Asylum for sleeping through the entire Blitz). It helps that I know it to be merely temporary, and it will make the next more rural moorings seem all the more quiet.

Of more annoyance is the “music” that some car-drivers favour. Why is it that those with the loudest stereo have the worst taste?

I briefly played host to a queen wasp or hornet a couple of days ago. I can’t definitively tell you which because I declined to turn it upside down to check. Damned thing got aboard somehow, introduced itself at my right ear and then proceeded to look for somewhere to nest for the winter. We exchanged threats (they’re all especially ill-tempered at this time of year), the beast declined to be captured in the jar set aside for such purposes, and thereupon being bereft of viable acceptable alternatives, I committed waspicide with much malice aforethought.

Basically, I hit it with my dog-poo shovel until it stopped twitching and buzzing, stitched it into a canvas shroud, weighted the stinger end, and gave it ceremonial burial in the canal. I played that scene from Master & Commander while doing so; the one where the crew sound like The Borg reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Vile critters. I count them on a par with politicians, robber barons, and the more ovine of the overwhelming majority of the human species. Were I to be a power-crazed despot I’d be out there like the Norse Thor, except that I’d be splatting people and wasps with my little yellow dog-poo shovel instead of a hammer.

Run, Mildred, run! He’s got a dog-poo shovel and that glint of the sane in his eye…

The Autumn colours are developing nicely this year, lots of reds and golds. If you should see me walking along with a big grin on my face then please know that I will just have seen a(nother) leaf fluttering down to the ground. Ever since the Python sketch I can’t see a leaf fall without hearing a little leaf scream… I can’t take it any more… eeeeeeeek! Thud.

I have jobs a-plenty to do in the coming weeks, and precious little oomf with which to do them.

No change there then.

Whither this already weary winter I wonder, what and when? More “National Socialist” style restrictions, jump straight to the no-consentration camps [sic] or perhaps, miraculously, some wild return to what used to pass, more comfortably, for social sanity? I cannot guess and as Rome falls all over again, all over it seems, I care only a minor jot and wit. As a species we may have opposable thumbs but perhaps our evolutionary dead-end lies instead with our atrophied brain-glands. We may be back up into the trees by Spring, looking puzzled and wondering why we bothered with thumbs.

Whatever happens, I know for sure certain that I’ll not be seen flinging excrement from any tree other than those close hereabouts.

Perhaps there’s really only one Canal Rozzer on patrol? N* and doggo B*.

I’ll like as not be the recipient of another of those “passive-aggressive” corporate threats this year; Have you forgotten to swing from branch to branch?

Um – cruise, I mean cruise. Have you forgotten to cruise…

[Why, yes! I did wonder why I was on a boat. Thank you, C&RT for reminding me, what a silly old Hector I am!]

Patronising, much.

Forgive me and my tone, I still haven’t recovered from the utter disappointment that was Guy Fawkes Night. So many outstanding reasons for Semtex, still nothing with a fuse in the Westminster cellars.

Year upon year, the 5th of November arrives with hope and departs leaving nought but disappointment.

Sighs at the why bother of it all, and exits, Stage Left.

Heading towards the coffee pot.

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H.


  1. I agree on the loud music from drivers! And why do they always have to have their windows down? Even in the coldest of days, these tasteless (are they, though, I’ve never tried tasting one! Ugh!) creatures seem to want to inflict torture on all and sundry.
    As to your wasp–it was probably a queen. They look for somewhere to hibernate over winter as all their workers have died. Then they start again in the spring with a new crop, so she probably wouldn’t have harmed you, although there’s no trusting the little blighters.
    Having said that, and agreeing with you that they are a hateful species, they do, in fact, have their uses. You might like to peruse my ‘In Defense of the Wasp’ (

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s something primal about my distaste for wasps (and even for bees) – I just cannot bear to share a planet with one. I suspect that the cause is some deeply-buried species memory from the era when wasps and bees were cow-sized and ate primitive humans. I am better than I used to be; these days I do at least offer them the option of the jam-jar and ejection from the boat (just once, all bets are off if they decline the offer). Sixty million years ago I would have had to turn to Doug McClure, eyes streaming in the gases from the nearby volcano, and say ‘Doug – we’re going to need a bigger jar.’

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The trick is to find the stretches where the clockers never tread and move between them under cover of darkness. That way you’ll disappear off the map completely.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think I may paint out the Cardinal’s name and number and place an LED display on the panels instead, cycling randomly through names and irrational numbers. Perhaps sell subliminal advertising that pops up between change-overs. If someone were to give C&RT Corporate a clue wradpped up in ribbon they’d have to ask what is was and what they could use it for…

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Time was I wasn’t allowed out alone – I always knew that at least one of the coachmen would be in the family’s employ and reporting on my movements. Now I’m lucky if I get a solitary half-hearted Restraining Order once every two years… Being a cad a bounder and the family idiot isn’t what it used to be. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I suppose they can only afford one rozzer after handing out contracts for plastic notices…
    And i agree…somehow one always hopes…every 5th November. Country is going to the dogs…thogh I imagine that the dogs would refuse it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We do seem to have been neutered in terms of the species – no assassins, no gunpowder, treason and plot. No nothing these days except quiet acquiesence.

      I do imagine that dogs are flying all over the globe of late, attending international conferences to discuss the Human Crisis (and probably concluding that we’re a lost cause).

      Liked by 3 people

  4. “Those with the biggest stereos have the worst taste..:” I’ll say! But you are fortunate that you do not have to go to actual shops, where the current fad is to have VERY LOUD radios blaring. One supermarket has what’s known as “quiet hour” when they turn off their radio And, oh joy! the BING_BONG of the check-out alarm that summons help from a higher authority. Even their tills are quietened. (They also dim the lights, for benfit of people who cannot cope with too much luminosty.Bit of a bugger for some of us ancient crones, but apparently, we have a great many on a truckload of mental meds and bright lights set them off..)
    But please , do, keep on cruisin’ cos you cheer us in our struggles..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I look at the human traffic passing on the towpath and it does indeed seem that the human mode is now somewhat less than… optimum. Few aspire to life these days, preferring instead the kudos now attached to mysterious ailments and tenuous victimhood. Mind you, I can’t stand too long or hard on my laurels – since I prefer to get my comestibles delivered rather than face the Uber-Plastic Environment of Les Supermarkets. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m sure it would pay the Wellness inc if they just subscribed to your lovely website which has chronologically pictorial evidence of your movements which are panned around the world for all to see. It would save them send out their laddo with a subby pencil and note book wouldn’t it especially as he only does the one embankment. They wouldn’t get far in a court of law that has an overhead projector, silly peoples.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We shall see. Last year when they were screeching at me I pointed them to my online cruising log (purely positions, cruises on a map, and photos at each mooring) as well as this blog (which is similar)… and the reply from their “Head of Boatering” was that they didn’t show me moving enough! The Company is very selective in those it argues with, only being objectionable with those who have manners and self-restraint; those they see as the low-hanging fruit. The real problem boaters they avoid dealing with because it would be too much face-time trouble. I wonder if they’ve read my latest article for NABO about how their “spotting” system throws away more data than it uses? I doubt it!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I can assure you that the canal rozzers are mooching around as I’ve just seen one in Ellesmere port!

    Liked by 2 people

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