Like a turtle on its back on the towpath – wearing a flat cap…

… but it made a change from watching Mr Stove farting out vast clouds of smoke, and listening to the CO and smoke alarms all singing The Hallelujah Chorus in the key of “screech”.

Yes, it’s another of those “named” “storms” – ‘Corrie‘ is the moniker of Met Office choice on this occasion, presumably short for CorrieNation Street, their favourite high-quality televisual “soap” series. Still, Mr Stove sat sitting all self-satisfied in a fog of his own making and the alarms singing a cappawhatthehella make a change from listening to the roof vents whistling a tribute to Roger Whittaker when he was in his LSD era.

Gustoids of just 49mph – although if pressed (like a grape) I would have said 04:30 for the peak, not 03:00 hours o’clock. I am not fond of this new-fangled nonsense of “naming” storms, tis but one short and lucrative hop for the Met Office from here to “sponsored” storms – Storm I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter; Storm Coca-Cola; Storm Black Rock Investments, that sort of thing.

I stepped out this morning at the crack of doom to inspect the Nation. Listening to the canvas covers flap and the roof furniture clonking about does rather make one expect to find some post-Blitzean scene. Fortunately, aside from a stove with a penchant for comedy farts, the Cardinal is made of quite stern stuff.

The turtle in a flat cap? That was me of course. Note to self – when tightening mooring ropes agin the breeze using a dollop of one’s whole body-weight, pick the correct strand upon which to oik. It’s very undignified when you lean back on a loose one.

My fleece somehow escaped annointing but the backside of my jeans will need the chortling attentions of the washing machine before I can wear them again. Praise be, I somehow avoided the swan and goose poop dotted about like little laundry land-mines.

The folks up ahead will, mehopes, look before they leap, the towpath not being quite as close as they left it when they moored up yestereve.

We cruised yesterday, when things were much more civilised. Away from Barbridge, back to Calveley – the only and nearest place for rubbish disposal following the latest C&RT closure – a five mile cruise just to get to the dustbins – and thence back the way I’d just been and on past, to – yep – “Windy Alley”. I like to live dangerously.

Still, veerheer (reference to an Elephant, in Hollywooden WWII German-speak?) now, and that which ought to be empty is empty, and that which ought to be full is full. For the time being. It would be most odd indeed were it for some other time. Do “other times” exist or only the one being? Pardon me, the smoke is getting to my brian-gland, I am beginning to Hallelucinate…

Yonder breeze is blowing at near right-angles directly off the towpath here, so I’ve left the cratch cover open on both sides in order to present least resistance. There’s already been a couple of boats past, crabbing along with scant control. Oh boy oh boy oh boy, are they ever going to make friends navigating through the linear moorings on both sides of t’canal at the end of the branch. If I could get there on foot first I’d be sore tempted to go just to watch.

The moorings in question, on a less breezy day…

There be there much glassfibre boatery which is wot do not mix well with seventeen or eighteen tonnes of out-of-control steel. Eighteen tonnes at three miles per hour is not dissimilar to one tonne at (three x eighteen) miles per hour in effect… and think how that would feel on your kneecaps.

Corrie – very mild hereabouts when compared to the wild northern wastes and the wholly unmapped territory beyond (Sturgeon’s New Scotchland) – is mooted to hang around for a couple of days, full strength today but waning like an honest politician’s career thereafter.

I really cannot be enbotherated with laundry today. I shall have to let my jeans go crusty instead.

It isn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last.

I mun go and feed Mr Stove, and compliment him upon his smoke-rings and his dragon impressions. Then there are vegetables to slaughter for tiffin.

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H.


  1. Storm? What storm? SEZ I from my home in the deep south. We don’t get storms hereabouts. At least, not since the ‘hurricane’ of 1987. Now that was a storm.


  2. Barely registered the storm here. Mind you, we’re used to three hundred mile an hour winds around these parts, and the sort of temperatures that’d freeze the tears to the cheeks of brass monkeys.

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    1. We all must appreciate a good storm – it’s so very rare for the government to give us anything at all. That said, I’m sure that we’re charged for it in some way or other. Is there VAT and NI on storms? It’ll be coin-operated air machines next and then where shall we be?

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