First Cruiseling of 2022

Come the Glorious Revolution my inner hamster has an awful lot to answer for.

I had a comestibles delivery booked for next week, for some sensible delivery slot circa mid-day. My inner hamster nagged me incessantly to bring it forward…

Yester-yestereve in the pitch darkness, lashing sleet and hail, and near-freezing winds of a balmy barmy-English evening I had what must rank as the most unpleasant grocery delivery ever. I do not include in that assessment the delivery that simply failed ever to appear, for – since nothing was delivered – that cannot rank as a “delivery”.

Being my usual manners-constrained self (titter ye not, madam) I oiked myself and Mr Trolley mit der boxes und der bags along to the rendezvous point some twenty minutes early, and commenced beezing my frollocks off. Also did the waiting. The delivery slot (an hour in duration) came and went with ne’ery a text message nor a telephonic communication, and at twenty-five past the full hour – for I am nothing if not hopeful, persistent and stupid – I went home again. What’s that? An hour an forty-five, spent awaiting. Not as hippodethermalised as I thought I would be, surprisingly, but then five layers of clothing can work wonders, ash can thick boots and thick socks (an IQ of 12 between them, but they’re kind to my toes and kindness is all wot matters, innit).

Two minutes later the delivery arrived. Boots back on again, coats back on again, grab Mr Trolley et al, and go to meet the chap. I may only conclude that he’d had a bad day, or some such. What. A. Miserable. Sod. Not got so much as a torch with him and demanded to use mine to read his paperwork and then to unlock the rear of his van. Not one word of explanation offered in re why he was so very late, and why there had been no communication of any kind. Unceremoniously plonked my comestibles down in the wet and mud and wotnot and then offered not one sniff of assistance, merely looking on impatiently as though about to tap his heels to hurry me along. We all know how well that sort of thing works with a Hutson…

ASDA have, as you might expect, not sent me the usual invitation to complete a survey relating to the delivery. Damn it. Still, tis done and tis good tis done. I have laundry detergent, anti-dandruff shampoo and anti-Pierspirant doe-edorant sufficient unto cleaning up the entire Prussian Army at least once, should the need arise*. It was largely that kind of order.

*In all of my years on Earth the need has yet to arise, but four-armed is better than forewarned, and there’s no “Use By” date on either Mint & Tea-Tree Shower Gel or the Prussian Army.

Anyway. As the Yoof of Tudday oft cry; whatever.

Messrs Inner Hamster & Co had also been nagging me to move on, move on, move on – with hope in my heart – before my time. No idea why. I listened to that call of the wild, too, and the Cardinal and I upped sticks and jogged on, Doris, yestermorn. We didn’t pootle far, there being no need.

The canvas tonneau cover over the rear deck was frozen semi-solid, so I had to sort of roll it up rather than fold it up. It was still frozen when I came to unroll it and replace it. The splendid low sunshine made little difference in matters of Fahrengezundheits or Celsinghams.

One of these days I’ll catch a photograph with one of the NWF HGVs chugging across this bridge as the Cardinal chugs under. It is most disconcerting.

It’s not been monstrously cold of late, so the nice taps at the Service Area were running free and wild. Praise be to Tempus Hibernus Tappenius, the Roman god of taps mounted in open locations during an Albion winter.

The Service Area, for gazunders, rubbish, and water main tank and potable – plus a quick rinse for Messrs Solar-Panels with fresh, as I flushed out the hosepipe of crawly-creepies and last week’s left-overs.

Went thence via the turning ‘ole at Bunbury. A tad of an unfavourable breeze was rising and upon mooring the Cardinal expressed a wish to be flown across the canal width on the centre-line, like an eighteen tonne kite. We played happily for a minuet or two, and then I got a rope on at both ends.

This is not the best location for solar power, all sunshine being of necessity dappled, but then this isn’t the best season for solar power either, so why quibble?

Reggie, I didn’t get where I am today by quibbling.

You won’t get any argument on that from me, CJ.

Inner Hamster never explains, so I have no idea why we moved when we done did. However, today is v.blustery and lashing with wholly wet rain, so yesterday was a good choice, meteorologically speaking. There is much of the queace and piet about these moorings too, whereas the previous tie-up was a celebration of road-traffic noises.

Broccoli for lunch, methinks, with a few other assorted items.

Then hot fruity tea-cakes for tiffin. Eaten to the sound of the rain splattering on the Cardinal’s windows, and the encouraging cadence of an ol’codger feeding coal into the stove on a v.regular basis. This evening will see the opening and commencement of my remaining book from Spendmas – more Chinese Science Fiction. The earlier volume’s contents ranged from interesting to utterly unfathomable, and had sadly been translated into American* rather than the advertised English, but we managed somehow.

*A perfectly fine language in its own right, but still a foreign one to a native-English speaker/reader, and with some jarring syntax and wotnottery. πŸ™‚

Inner Hamster is back inside his little sleeping hut, pulling the cotton wool around his shoulders, and awaiting the next opportunity to sweep forth dramatically and to channel the spirit of Michel de Nostredame.

Perhaps his next dramatic pronouncement will be laundry-related? Beware the ides of Starch…

Silly little sod.

Ye gods but it’s just gone very dark – near-night light levels – the wind has become offensive and the rain is being pelted down. I think that under the circumstances I shall forego Walkies II today.

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H., & Cardinal W. Damned Nuisances of the Canals.


  1. Walkies foregone? You need the sailing terms of the crews of the Newcastle colliers as recorded by Hervey Benham
    ‘Duff out, dumpling home, poop in the cabin foul weather.’
    I should not have uttered this aloud within the hearing of the dogs in the rainy season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of my first jobs was sluicing down the Poop Deck (I was working for the Spanish Navy at the time, but left when I learned that we were to attempt an invasion of England – there are limits, after all is dead and son).

      My sister had a pair of hounds a while back – one, dapper and fancy and prim and couldn’t have given a rat’s posterior if it was raining or snowing or whatever, the other rough and tough and independent and could not be persuaded out into the rain except with a push from a yard-brush. Still, we all poop indoors in the end…

      I hope that all remains well with you and yours, and that your plans for a coup are coming to fruition.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. For all the delivery drawbacks, it’s got to be better than a supermarket full of coughing biddies who, despite the dramatic increase in hospital cases, seem to think the plague has run its course.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Really super supermarkets are far and few between in my favoured huntin’ grounds, so delivery is – has always been, even pre-narrowboat – a boon. I shall persist, and they’ll feel the rough side of my tongue if and when necessary. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I wonder how many of your readers get the Reggie and C.J. reference. Sadly, I’m old enough.
      American is a totally different language. I get irritated when they say things like, ‘I could care less’ when they mean they don’t care at all. And they change the letter t to d. Thus water becomes warder. Now to me, a warder is a person who looks after the prisoners in a jail, not a clear liquid that you drink and wash in.
      And I read, or heard somewhere that Webster changed the spellings of some words in his famous dictionary in order to make it easier for Americans. Thus we have color, humor, draft (a slight breeze through a door or window, not a rough copy), check ( issued by the bank for sending money, not different coloured squares) etc.
      Nuff said. I don’t want to iss poff any citizens of that great country.
      Interesting to note that you didn’t get a request for a review of the delivery.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is indeed a foreign language in its own – perfectly fine – note, but it does cause me difficulties sometimes. The book ‘The Martian’ was completely un-readable for me, while the film, for the most part (I discount the silly ending) was very good. Sadly with all of television and “celebriddy” originating from the other side of the pond these days almost all of each of the younger generations speaks American without knowing that they do. English is a nigh-on dead language!

        American does provide the occasional giggle – charges of “Assault and Baddery” for example – yes, it is a measure of badness, unlike the alternative charge of “Assault and Goodery”…

        I have framed the character of my Inner Hamster on CJ … πŸ˜‰

        ASDA quite probably knew the answers that would be given on any such survey!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Walk II foregone-gone, you could always get out the long forgotten and rusting hamster wheel cast aside in a fit of pique, not dissimilar to the one generated by laughing Asda boy, only in order to keep trim, mind. Who to grace with your shipping order next I idly wonder after bad-mouthing Sainsberry, Tesco NO definitely Nah. Waitrose here we come methinks?

    Happy new year ole fruit.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. How do, ma’am (rhymes with ham)! Splendidibode to hear from you and I hope that all is well in yourabouts, thereabouts. πŸ™‚

      Messrs ASDA are certainly doing their best to blot their copy-book, it must be said. As you know though, there are only a slack handful of choices for home delivery… so I mun persist. Sainsbury’s are far too woke to re-consider, and they summarily dropped me like a hot potato during the “Lockdowns”, leaving me high and dry, so I shall not darken their doors again (except perhaps to take a swift poop on their threshold). πŸ˜‰ For the mo I am going to assume that the delivery chap had just discovered that his father was Tony Blair and his mother Bill Gates (before the operation), and we’ll say no more…

      Liked by 1 person

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