A Whim and I’m Away

In short, I got fed up of looking at the backside of the boat in front. The day dawned lacking in precipitation and with a delightful surfeit of “little wind”, so I called for full and by on the engines and orf we jolly well went.

As well as a whim we had a mission; diesel and stuff at Venetian, water somewhere en route.

My “tangle-free” flexi-hose is indeed tangle-free, preferring to tie itself into quite neat knots instead. Being fabric-covered in this season tis also mightily muddy, and will need a damned good wash sometime when it’s worth bothering. Still, does the job, even with the dribble now available from the vandalised tap above Cholmondeston Lock. Everyone – including myself – always runs water through their hose to rinse it out before filling the tank, and instead of wasting this water I use it to rinse off the solar panels. Folk, if they think about it at all (doubtful) probably think that I am wasting water washing my boat, but I am not – I am making sure that every drop possible performs a useful function.

While enservicing at Venetian Chandlery & Hire Boats I was even treated to the passing of a Bassington-Bassington Class D-312/468 77K ex-BTB Traction Avant Munter-Shunter Module, the rare one with the experimental side-flange turbo-dump valves, right-hand drive and an en-suite with shower/lavatory/bidet for the driver…

The engine being a Pushmepullyou can motor at speed in both and opposite directions at one and the same time, and is thus useful for rail journeys where simultaneous arrival at and departure from wildly geographically disparate stations is a requirement of the customer demographic.

After pootling on through that very self-same bridge (although under it, not over it) the Cardinal and I experienced a weather sensation at the end of Windy Alley – it suddenly got very cold indeed. Took me a moment or two to link the phenomenon with the cloud formation then overhead, and that we’d cruised under, from blue sky to cloud.

A classic meteorological epistemologically-inspirational eschatologically-distressed semi-occluded cold-front temperature bomb forced down from the northern reaches of Siluria by an uncontrolled anti-clockwise D.A.R.P.A.-created offensively-defensive Polar vortex, if I’m not very much mistaken. I am often very much mistaken.

Whatever, it was mild mild mild and then wallop – ruddy freezing. Akin to stepping from the sitting room directly into the body-storage room.

The second lock of the day was Minshull Lock, this being merely an 11′ drop in comparison to Cholmondeston’s 11′ 3″. The lock ladder in Cholmondeston has no room for size-11 boots, the ladder in Minshull is more generous and much safer for lone pillocks such as one oneself – even if One One is a racehorse, not an Elf. The lock landings above and below at Minshull are appalling.

The sleeping horses that we tip-toed by a cruise-ette or two ago were this time awake, but appeared to have argued. The one to the left of frame had drifted off to look at the view, and to compose himself before returning to the bridge with renewed ability to respond with ‘yes, dear’ in that non-committal tone that is the only safe tone to use during domestic discussions.

I chose as our destination, some five of your Earth miles distant, a small puddle of interwebnetting signal that I know of at the end of some armco-clad moorings, just to one side of the relative (for Cheshire) middle of nowhere, near the village of Huh? Who cares?

There is a massive mobile and repeater tower here no more than a stone’s lob from the canal, but very little in the way of free radicals or excited 3 or 4 Gees – not even any BeeGees – so whatever that enormous tower, bristling with aerials and antennae is doing, it’s not much in the business of civilian peasant browsery. If there are microwave repeater buckets on it then they are about the size of a hundrum two-person soup-tureen, and there are an unusual number (I’ve always thought of three as an unusual number) of “ordinary” single-pole aerials poking about.

Could it be that I’ve stumbled across the fabled retirement home of Radio Caroline?

There are advantages to living in an 18,000kg Faraday cage.

The telephoto lens is a deceptive thing, in the shot above it looks as though I’ve moored yonder Cardinal almost in a bridge-hole. I haven’t, it’s just the foreshortening effect of a 6,000mm f1.2 Hubble Zoom with anti-glare coatings by I.C.I. Dulux.

While Mr Sunshine is out and about doing his thing there’s a distinct breeze blown up today, which makes me v.happy that I cruise-etted yesterday. I can sit inside and listen to the windows and roof-vents whistling to one another. Also broccoli for lunch. Broccoli, carrots, cabbage, spuds, cauliflower, sprouts and onions – with gravy. Yum, et le yum, pig’s bum.

We’re on a mission eastward, while the world decides whether or not to nuke itself and if so, where. By rights I ought to be moored near Hack Green and brandishing my Pass at the sentry on Entry 4A, but considering who is likely to be “saved” in those establishments I am not entirely convinced that I’d like to be so “saved” also. The company’s much better out here with the peasants, crispy or otherwise.

The sun going down yestereve presented quite a pleasant aspect on these moorings.

How far into the wild Far East will the Cardinal and I make it on this expeditionary whim? Middlewich (seriously nothing like or to do with Middle Earth)? Anderton? We shall see, when we see. I didn’t get where I am today by dint of military planning and precision personal manoeuvres.

Oh, hang on though…

Hang on, Snoopy, hang on one cotton-picking minute.

This has been a photo-heavy post alright already but I’ll leave you with today’s shadow selfie…

Again, a deceptive shot. I really don’t have such “child-bearing” hips, it’s just that my jacket was undone and flapping in the breeze, and my man-bag was slung to one side, making me look like some sort of Weeble.

As Captain Jack Aubrey was oft heard to opine, in the Navy one must always choose the lesser of two Weebles.

Chin-chin, chaps. Keep on keeping on and, should you meet your local politician in the flesh then do please consider administering high-velocity lead-poisoning to same.

This concludes the broadcast for today. The Shipping Forecast follows.

Back in a flash.

[Nuclear “gallows” humour, such as it may be.]

No, but seriously… I may only speak from personal first-hand experience, but it’s just like the chuffing sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, noughties and twenty-teens all over again isn’t it, with the war-war not jaw-jaw and the (more, incredibly more) utter nonsense and the price increases and the profiteering and the “shortages” and the hurry up you peasants and worry worry worry. One might almost think it orchestrated.

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme serves us a-right for allowing it. Baaaaaaa! Baaaaa!

Ian H., and Cardinal W.


  1. That tower is probably operated by well paid mates of the rulers of the waterways to track down those using its property…whch is how their shitehawk always seems to be on your tail.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Moored up here (different place) yesterday – and within three hours the towpath had been visited by some home-grown busybody, noting down boat names and numbers! I doubt very much that there are “boat-spotters” in the sense of “train-spotters”, this one probably sees himself as the guardian of all that is right and proper. He’s dead now, and I’ve eaten the liver.

      I truly do live in some sort of total-surveillance society!


  2. That storm-line in the sky is rather spectacular. 😀 … great shot.
    As for those ridiculous humans, we both know how we both feel about them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.