Fond Not Am I Of Wind

Dudley came and went, Eunice may or may not still be around – Her Maj’s Met Orifice, like all of the mainstream media in their turn, never “follow-up” on an item – and the forecast for the week is blasting, with for an all of our tomorrows more of those fifty-eight mph gustoids in this neighbourhood. Ugh. The highest recorded “in” England – on the Isle of Wight – during “Eunice” was a new Elizabethan-era record of one hundred and twenty-two Victorian miles per Georgian hour.

Yes, that “picnic” table is bolted down to that concrete plinth – otherwise we would not be alongside one another. The smoke is lingering because we were in one of those brief “early morning” lulls, the ones designed to trick you into hanging out your laundry on single pegs.

The Cardinal done performed magnifibode, the ropes held and, while shaken and stirred, the cratch and tonneau remain intact. On the grounds that what worked once might work again I’ve made the same preparations for tomorrow’s 0500 hundred hours o’clock extravaganza (as in, left everything where it is and how it is, just tightened up that wot doth needed tightening). The only slight discomnobulation was that Mr Stove suffered mightily from back-draughts, the smokey-smoke billowing out into the cabin instead of being whipped away from the flue on the wufe. I’ll be awake and about before the peak of the possibilities, j.i.c., and anyway.

While the solar panels have worked wonders for a week and more there looks to be little chance of same today, so I am running Mr Engine. This will enfillinate the batteries and replenishment the hot water.

Two boats past us so far this morning, both before 08:30hrs. One a chap who seemed to be on a mission, possibly a boat mover, possibly an escaped lunatic. The other a mixed couple* of not some little accumulated years, very obviously out on a “jolly” and, as yet, quite oblivious to the need for a tad more speed to achieve “the steerage” in what is already a very cross wind. I wish them luck. I hope that there are no more.

[ *One male, one female, albethey both humanoid and about the same height. ]

The smoke signals of the lead photograph were, as they always are, but a brief phologistonic communication of an exothermic nature quite unavoidable and highly necessary while I rekindle Mr Stove’s love, with kindling. The only way in these breezes is to pile on the wood, get the flue nice and re-warmed, and only then add coal and only then in small amounts.

I can quite see how with these ten-minute pollution-fests from narrowboats the brain-confusion arises among the metropolitan sandal-wearing NIMBY brigades. Usually Mr Stove is lit from Autumn to Spring, it’s only in “weather situations” where he does this sort of thing, and then only briefly and for a specific porpoise.

I’ve always had to add coal to my stove with tongs (metal tongs, not the Chinese tongs running large parts of our inner-cities), one tasty nugget at a time. Is it just me or does anyone else who has to do something similar always feel as though they are placing little black-hearted souls in the furnace of Hell? Sometimes I worry about splitting up two (or more) nuggets that seem to have formed a relationship in the scuttle. Some of them go to their eternal damnation meekly and mildly, others fight back, rolling persistently away from where I wish to place them.

Oh. It’s just me.


If it helps at all, when I play the game of Placing The Black-Hearted Souls in the Hot Red Glow of Hell I name each little coal-ish nugget. ‘You, Mr Trudeau, can sit there on the edge, where you’ll burn but not swiftly, so the pain will be greater. You, Mr Macron, may sit alongside Mr Turdeau – oops – Trudeau – and share in the discomfort.’ Mr Gates, Mr Schwab and all of the other nincomnutwits I generally place in the centre, to burn quickly and disappear – as I wish that they would in real life.

Given the state of the Human World today it really doesn’t pay to be “sane”.

Make that three boats thus far. In an irony not seen since the White Star Line described the Titanic as “unsinkable” when filling in their inflated insurance policy application (later rejected!), nb Moor & Peace has just steamed past, with the breeze.


Well, wherever you are my reader – and after many years of building up this blog and posting once or twice at least a week like a loon, I now garner perhaps betwixt eighty and a hundred “views” per new post, with some (much-appreciated) half-dozen of these folk kindly commenting – I hope that you are happy and well and battened down again.

Battened down, that is, intellectually, emotionally, politically and meteorologically.

Wanders away from keyboard to set all of the esteemed members of “S.A.G.E.” into the flames, between the institutions of modern “journalists” and modern “police”. Sets a pot of water to boil on top of them all, for the rice to go with today’s veggie Vindaloo.

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H., & Cardinal W. Our electrons, as ever, spinning in a direction quite contrary to those of the rest of the Fabric and Infrastructure of The Local Universe.

p.s., make that four boats, and with this one had the Cardinal been 60′ long instead of 57′ the gentleman would have swiped us.

p.p.s., I done did the Met Office a disjustice – they have just decided to roll out a., the barrel and b., Storm Franklin. There is no rumour in the truth that Franklin Mint will be issuing a limited edition model of the storm fashioned in high-density plastic and with a cerstification of authententcity.


  1. Might I suggest a girding of loins? I strongly suspect the Arctic Outflow that has plunged us back into the Ice Age over the last couple of days is on it’s way to a rendezvous with a bit of moisture from Ye Olde Gulfe Streame, and thence to mambo all over your part of the world.

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    1. I don’t think that our weather is properly medicated at the moment, it’s bouncing around in all directions. I suspect that the Met Office is using up the scraps swept up off the weather factory floor…

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  2. It was storm Eunice that wreaked most damage around here. I looked out of a bedroom window to see next door’s jumpoline (as the little girl owner calls it) upside down on our shed.
    Husband and ropes later it was tied down firmly, just in case it decided to go and explore the park behind us. Fence also tied up.
    My son had a fun morning in Brighton Marina, helping all and sundry to refurl sails. He said, at lunchtime, he was on his third pair of dry trousers, and it wasn’t even raining.

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    1. The problems of wind on a canal do pale significantly in comparison to problems on or near the high seas! On a canal it’s just a “structural” problem rather than a problem of fluid mechanics. While our boats do bounce around like randy poodles tis the sound of the wind whipping at our cratch and deck covers, and snatching at our solar panels that worries and irks.

      Was son kept busy doing things that folk ought more properly to have done themselves and long before?

      Jumpoline is a much better term for the (horrid) things than trampoline. I’ve always thought that ‘trampoline’ sounds much more like some sort of make-up used by a certain type of lady going out (to work) for a night in Bolton… Slap on the Trampoline dear and they’ll never guess. πŸ˜‰

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    1. They are wonderful things, simple and primal, but – sadly – far from automatic. As you would expect, there are Establishment moves afoot to prevent everyone, including those of us who live in the ditch, from possessing or – which is unforgiveable – using them. I don’t think that the primary “driver” of the ban-the-stoves enthusiasm is pollution or any such thing, but more of a drive to make absolutely everyone dependent upon mains gas and mains electrickery, and thus under the thumb in the shadow of the Off Switch… and of course, inflation doesn’t really touch the price of wood gathered in the passing of trees. Love-hate relationship though Mr Stove and I have, I do come down firmly on the side of “love”.

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      1. I canlt say I enjoyed bringing in wood in the winter….but at least it was my wood from my own land.
        I loved coal fires when in the U.K., but there were not themonsters around to inspire me to name each coal…to think we thought Reggie Maudling and Ernest Marples were as low as one could get….

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  3. Does the Met office send nonsensical alarms to your phone as the US weather service does? Its beyond the point of crying wolf and is now just another annoyance. Back in the day we got a sensible screaming city wide alarm only when tornadoes were sighted. Now we get told by our phones that there’s the possibility of flood. You know what. We can SEE a flood and sanely avoid it. We dont need a siren to warn us. Sometimes its just heavy rains with wind that gets a phone siren. Yeah. We noticed it’s raining. Stop with the phone sirens, already! .

    Okay. Cleansing Breath. I’ll stop my old lady rant.

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    1. Fortunately no – and even more so now that I have had a(nother) round of “cleansing” – deleting google “accounts” (that I have never ever set up!), youtube wotsits and lately my mobile number… I now have two mobiles; the old one with the slightly grubby number known by institutions that have no right to it, and the new phone, to start afresh (and that will never be shared to the likes of The Met Office! We live in a weird mix of society – intrusive, but built on the cotton-wool assumption that we’re all useless if left to our own devices… πŸ˜‰ Rant on, it’s cathartic!

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  4. I think we’re at the centre of several named storms here. Last night I witnessed an upside down cow flying past the bedroom window closely pursued by Pierce Brosnan.

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    1. Q’s latest gadget, no doubt. You Only Milk Twice. Fly Another Day. Milkfinger. On Her Majesty’s Secret Cow. The Man With The Golden Udders. Brosnan was in all of the best of the Dairy Bonds.

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  5. I’m curious as to where you have put coal lump CRT on Mr stove, next to the frogs or banged straight in the middle?

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