You’ve got to be taking the

I suspect ‘large dog’ and would hope ‘unaccompanied’ but I doubt the latter. There just aren’t any stray hounds in this area. Seems to have been a most odd choice of piddle-site, and I can’t imagine that it hitherto offered an irresistibly exotic array of aromas. All it smells of now is Flash bleach.

What it is to be loved, eh?

No, but seriously.

I know the favoured-candidate hound, it’s walked past here each morning, and the bloke with it is welded body and soul to his “mobile telephone” (instead of more properly to his dog).

It’s just such an odd target for a dog to choose.

Perhaps it is “human”? [points des doute significant]

Given some of the behaviours* that I have witnessed on the canals and the towpath it would not be beyond the realms of bladderability.

[*All manner of things, ranging from a boat mooring ahead and mistaking the neighbourhood for a “dogging” area (and mistaking me for an audience!), to group fisticuffs of a most ungentlewomanly kind. The canals attract a complete cross-section of society, but weighted very, very heavily in favour of chuffing weirdos.]

Hey ho. So. The weather…

Whatever the official season, Autumn is upon us.

Moorings Alley, the start of the Middlewich Branch, at Barbridge Junction.

I have a week before the Cardinal goes into dry dock for his bum to be blacked, something that needs must be arranged every other year. Before then I also needs must change his engine starter battery for one of new and stout heart. The current starter battery is waning, but owes me nothing – the date scratched on the top is ‘2015’.

I have been juggling our mooring spots for a while, endeavouring to arrange moochings so that we can arrive in the vi-cin-it-ee of the marina (see paragraph above) not too late, not too soon, so that I may also have a few days thereabouts after the C’s B is B’d. Doubtless the Canal Company, as is their wont, will spot, spot and spot me again, since this appears to be a most favoured and patrolled area (civilised towpaths, easy to walk?) – and I’ve already been logged twice here since our previous move!

We bunkered the other day. We weren’t on the scheduled route (I now find out) but Jason very kindly reversed BARGUS from the junction and the well-well-well what have we here deck was replenished. That’ll see us into the heart of the Silly Season, but we’ll meet again, don’t know yet where, don’t know yet when, before Spendmas Proper. Then we’ll be into Winter Full and By in January and February, and then the meteorologically disgruntled months of March and April. By May Mr Stove may be ready to go back into hibernation.

I had “neighbours” yesterday, thankfully they’ve embuggerated off now. End of November, space hardly at a premium, three generous boat-lengths ahead of me on this little stretch alone to choose from, more beyond the bridge, still more back beyond the junction. So where do they oik up?

Here, that’s where:

The boating equivalent – in quiet times and places – of sticking your nose in someone else’s face…

That’s part of a load of laundry drying out there, so it wasn’t as though they imagined the Cardinal to be un-crewed. One of the shirts hanging there is red, the other green, and for all of you (similarly C.D.O.-afflicted souls) out there I hope that you appreciate the placement.

C.D.O. is similar to O.C.D. but the letters are in the correct alphabotanical order.

This isn’t London or Bath or Birmingham or some other metropolitan hell-hole, this isn’t high season. Not even stern to stern, but bow to chuffing bow, damned near rubbing buttons. Why I do not know. Afraid of the dark, perhaps, or some high percentage of “Meerkat” in their genome. Whatever the reason, it’s rude.

Nobody minds being bumper to bumper when necessary, but really…

Did they catch a glimpse of me and think to themselves ‘Oh yes, now there’s a dyed-in-the-wool people person, let us all cuddle up together’?

Mad, impetuous fools.

It’s good that they’ve gone. I don’t have to get Mr Hacky-Hacky out of the toolbox.

Mr Hacky-Hacky is a close personal friend of Mr Biggenthwacker (but between you, me and the gatepost, he’s a bit sharper).

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H., moving on to slaughter some broccoli for lunch.


  1. Mooring up close syndrome is related to cars in empty car parks. You can guarantee that if you are the only car there, the next one in will park right next to you.


    1. It would have been fun indeed to swick a flitch and electrificate the Cardinal’s hull – nit much, just enough to produce a touch of carbonised soft tissue… (unless it was a canine dog, in which case a simple ‘shoo!’ would have sufficed.

      I’ve had folk stand hand-wringingly lovingly by while Fido or Fang or whatever their hound is termed takes a pee on the mooring ropes – and once while Foo-Foo Flop-Bot III took a dump – but this is just the second time (to my knowledge) actually on the steelwork. I really will have to buy mysrelf that Raytheon Phallanx installation for Christmas…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reminds me of France. You would pull into a layby some kilometres of the old road now cut off, and some bloody driver would pull in immediately ahead of you, get out of the car and pee.
    Have seen better specimens on saucers with vinaiger on shellfish stalls

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve always believed that the way to a flasher’s heart is to stop, peer and then comment ‘Looks like a penis, only smaller.’

      Whatever happened to flashers? They were all the rage in the seventies. Gone the way of recycling silver foil, the ozone layer and “The Green Belt” I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I suggest that you always keep a full Thetford under the bench in the bows. Then, should you catch the culprit in the act, discreetly follow them home and empty said Thetford on their front doorstep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A dog I would excuse, but had I caught some “human” peeing on the Cardinal I would now likely be in police custard. Ee.

      Got to love the way some people treat our boats, everything from ramblers leaning on the roof while they adjust their Alpine Ankles (or something) to – as this morning – folk standing, looking in the windows and speculating in loud tones about life with no shower, toilet or cooking arrangements.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Whoever or whatever the species trying to p**ss on your fireworks they certainly needed the relief! In the absence of a passing cart horse I can offer up the knowledge that the species was male (no sh*t sherlock!) most women are incapable of holding that much fluid except in their bloater cells. Why does the male of the species have to pee up against something? Always been curious. So it’s ‘black bottom bam a lam’ time again, he’s a smart chap Cardinal Wolsey.

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    1. Every other year, or thereabouts, out of the water and on with the blacking. Hopefully the anodes ought all to be dine and fandy this year (twelve of them, eight new at last blacking, Cardinal never been crowded about by other boats with – potentially – wayward electrickery). Fingers crossed.

      This is a very small island nation; it’s impossible to not pee up against something!

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