Autumn to Winter Overnight

We’ve gone from mellow fruitfulness (the reds and golds of Autumn) to the inside of a polar bear’s boxer shorts overnight (heavily frosted and blasting a foul wind).

It is lashing down with hailstones as I type this.

We’ve also gone from where we were to where we are.

Never forget; wherever you go, there you are.

There wam ice on the inside of the metal porthole surrounds a couple of nights ago; first of the season (the portholes farthest away from the stove). This really does not bode well for the season, and my psyche, such as remains these days, is ill-prepared for meteorological winter on top of these past years of intellectual, social, and political winter.

I shall have to gird my loins.*

*Also perhaps stop wearing Polar Bear’s boxer shorts.

We moved a tad earlier than I had planned because I looked at Her Maj’s Met Office’s weather forecast, and the Cardinal needs must be in Venetian Marina at the weekend, ready for (indoor) dry-dock and some bum-blackery. On alternate years the hull needs cleaning off and re-painting with protective (black) “paint”. We are as near as can get without actually curling up like a stray dog on the doormat.

It may not look terribly close from the phomatograph above but tis. Immediately through that railway bridge ahead is the marina, and therein layeth my bethtetht chance of a civilised arrival should the blasting winds not abate before Sunday. In, turn to port and oik up onto one of the workshop pontoons is the plan.

Mete and just it be that my once each two years manoeuvres in a marina be undertaken in the flying skirts of the remnants of the first “named” storm of winter; Storm Arwen. Gusting to 48mph for midnight tonight, apparently.

I can’t remember whether it was Mr Confucius or Ms Doris Day who put it so succinctly as ‘Que sera, sera. whatever will be, will be.’

As philosophers they were equally matched.

I like WIndy Alley but I shan’t see as much of it as I might hope in this “not exceeding fourteen days in any one area” sojourn since a week of our stay will be in dry dock. I have little to no doubt that while there a portal from some evil dimension will open, possibly in the corner by the lathe, and a little Canal & River Trust rozzer’s Gollum-eyed head will appear, note down the Cardinal’s position and then disappear again. Pop. Possibly so each day that we’re in there. Or perhaps the regular nice chap and doggo will just list me when doing his rounds of the marina.

Wouldn’t it just be like the Canal Company Ltd to send me one of their ‘Have you forgotten to cruise?’ passive-aggressive threats while I am in dry dock?

The formula for happy life living on a narrowboat on England’s canals is a lengthy and complicated one, there are many factors involved. One of these factors, that of arranging that one moving target (the Cardinal) meet up with another (more swiftly moving) target (Messrs Fuel Boat Bargus) on a regular basis goes awry next week – they are due to pass while the Cardinal and I are otherwise disfacilitated in the facilities. Hopefully we can meet again afore Spendmas, perhaps at Philippi? Perhaps at the dock gates of St Nazaire?

My laptop’s gone loony.

Two or three of this planet’s days ago I discovered that it hasn’t been updating itself for over a year (and hasn’t been telling me that it hasn’t been updating itself)… and I allowed the beast to spend many hours and about 8gb of my mobile data in putting itself to rights. This morning I booted it up to find a message insisting that I do many things, ranging from “connecting my phone” to “giving Bill Gates my blood type and inside-leg measurement”. There was no “close” or “bugger off” option shown, just “do it now” or “remind me in three days”… A machine voice began reading the message out to me…

I have always taken great pains to disable all such techtosspottery as “Cortana” and wotnot, and was most annoyed to hear her oily tones. However, when I did get “Booted up” and went to check that everything that could be set to “off” was off… I was promptly advised that ‘Cortana is not available in English at this time.’

So what they helly welly then was it that had been talking at me?

My next machine will be a Linux beast, come hell or high water, and Messrs Apple and Microsoft can book a room and do unto each other until The Hot Place freezes over.

I haven’t spent ages purging google and youtube and whatever nonsensical “accounts” to then hear my own laptop nagging me to connect my phone (the phone that’s only ever switched on when I want to use it)! As a species we used to use I.T., now I.T. uses us. Or at least seeks to.


Oh look – the hailstones have stopped.

Is it then Summer, Nanny?

Wibble. Leave the layer of goose-grease where it is, you sickly little runt.

Alright, Nanny.



  1. I turned off my automatic updates decades ago. It hasn’t seemed to make much difference. Just so long as the pilot light’s lit, the old computer keeps on rumbling along.


    1. Woke this morning – the morning that I mun move the Cardinal to the workshop – to find the canal iced over. Thank’ee winter! I think I may be becoming a fan of Spring and Autumn rather than of Winter. Hmm…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Messrs Microsoft and Apple are two of the world’s nasties, along with Amazon. Once upon a time, such huge monopolies were considered bad. (Unless you had aboard with little ships, dogs, top hats etc, when it was good.) Now. It seems, everything is part of a bigger corporation. Go shopping at your local Tesco? Belongs to a huge corporation that also includes many other supermarkets.
    These huge bodies want to control us all.
    Microsoft is trying to force everyone to move to Office 365 for example. Instead of buying it outright, it is now pay monthly, thus generating a hugely greater income for Microsoft.
    Everything is about making more money for those who already have more than they know how to use. Hence wasting it on joyrides to Space.
    Oh, and have you tried contacting some of them? Virtually impossible.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Corporations of any size, good, bad or ugly, need reining in – no corporation has a sense of moral direction or a conscience, it’s just a money-grubbing machine and will find ways to do absolutely anything to make money – just look at the weapons industry, let alone the pharmaceuticals! Not “evil”, just totally lacking in heart and soul, out of control. JMHO. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It does resemble dooms day today and early Banshee howling last night. Excellent pictures though. Can’t remember if you can stay on board whilst in dry dock, it not what are you expected to do?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to be elsewhere this time because the dry dockery is indoors in the main marina workshop. Mind you, it would be warmer with a building around us… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful photographs even if they did make my timbers shiver at memories of European winter
    Better make the most of the blacking up opportunities….once the woke crowd hear of it you will have protesters lining the towpaths, excoriating you for racism.

    Apart from which if the government succeed in bringing in new ‘restrictions’ after the latest variant to be discovered, you might not get into dry dock without a vaccine passport.

    They are trying to use them here, so no doubt there will be a hunt on to bribe one of the six officials running the project to produce false ones…and, typically, the protest at their use has not come from the human rights crowd, but the tourist and hotel lobby….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The more self-important “governments” globally do seem to be making themselves a twelve-course all-you-can-eat banquet out of this [insert term from selection scanned for and banned on “social media”]. England plays lap-dog to so many venerable (!) institutions these days that I gain the impression that orders received at HQ change and conflict by the hour. This though is not a problem for the politicians, since each new order pays better (in personal grift terms) than does the former. Doubtless the “tax havens” are doing a roaring (numbered) trade. Have to love the latest wheeze of locking up those of us who don’t want to take part in the medical experiment by oiking up syringefuls of a yet-to-be-certified/approved drug with no long-term data. I’ve said adfore and I’ll say it again, I have a real problem with the concept of “authority” as we knows it. Once upon a time – and of late only, the past few decades – it was some loose arrangement where folk surrendered a measure of individuality and freedom in return for Westminster keeping the lights on like good little caretakers. Gob-erments these days seem to imagine that they own us, lock, stock and kidneys.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The problem is that all too many people go along with it….my father reckoned that having national service kept governments in check…people used to bearing arms and working together were not people to upset en masse.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I think you have it there. Far too many folk these days just walk in line for an easy(ier) life. Haven’t seen a wrecked university campus in decades, students these days seem to be too busy being offended and getting into (designed) debt. I think that the system as we have it is broken and needs a bit of a drastic change, we’ve forgotten what modern governments are (supposed to be, at least) all about. It worries me mightily that vast corporations, especially pharmaceutical corporations, now rule the roost (and have in just eighteen months dispensed with that expensive commercial inconvenience of exhaustive drug testing, the better for profits)… I wonder if we are living through some sort of commercial coup.

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