Silly o’clock in the morning, down to the watering hole to watch the lions and tigers and ephalumps and zedbras and rhinotillexomaniacs and mucophagists and wotnot drink, to turn the boat around, and what do I meet? Well, there’s one of them in the photograph above. Someone old enough to know better, scooting around in a plastic baby-bath. I’ve met dead ducks with more idea of the canal “rules of the road”. I’ve met dead ducks with a more sparkling personality, too.
C&RT Corporate don’t have Clue One.
Or perhaps they do, and they’re salivating, waiting for the inevitable, when doubtless they’ll be egging on the crowd and baying for the blood of ba*stard murderous narrowboaters. It’s not as though C&RT have exactly got our backs on any issue, is it?
There’s a lot of silliness going on this weekend, and I awoke with the madness upon me and a hankering to visit the services and then find somewhere to hide – somewhere where I’d see the minimum of chuffing bunting and as few peasants as possible kissing the wrinkled and spotty gluteus maximus of The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Up through the lock and away it was.
I almost almost almost got everything done before the rain set in.
There was an interesting moment at the second winding hole when a dog walker with three dogs kept encouraging her hounds to swim the length and width of the Bunbury winding hole (by throwing toys across the far side and exhorting the hounds to ‘go fetch’) even as I hove up and began to turn into it. That boils down to binary possibilities – hates the dogs and wanted them minced, or is too stupid to tie her own shoelaces. Fortunately, the dogs were brighter – much brighter – than she.
Why the helly hell do I keep meeting these people? I’m not an inherently bad person. I pat cats on the head and wait for the lights to turn green before I cross the road. I was an angelic choirboy, I never once burned a whole school down, and I capture bees and wasps and spiders and eject them rather than smash their brains in with a rolled-up newspaper. You wouldn’t believe the self-restraint involved, and yet still I am greeted by dew-damp dwarfs pretending to be paddling up the Orinoco (the river, not the Womble… although…) and ladies virtually chucking Fido and Max and Spot into the canal in front of me.
Breathe, Hutson, breathe.
I do confess that I have messed with the psyches of one boatload of hodilaymakers. They moored up bow to bow yestereve, and were not the quietest wee critters in the world. While they slept this morning I roped the Cardinal back away from them some 60′. I wonder if they wondered – or even noticed – when they finally crawled out of their respective husbands and wives this morning? Probably not.
In my defence I must say that I would have moved anyway, this spot off the arbitrary restrictions being available and thus allowing me to sit out the Platignumb Jubbly cerebrelations at my own pace. This spot is one of about two on this stretch off the restrictions where a chap may still attach his boat to the ironwork and thus not have to rely on pins during the silly season.
There’s also an internet tree in the next field. What was it Confucius said about EM radiation? That which doesn’t fry me only connects me better. Something like that.
The weather’s been almost lovely these past few days – all four seasons in one, short only of snow. On these moorings I get to watch the trees blowing around nicely. There’s something about the sound of a breeze through the trees – tis not dissimilar to the sight of the sun sparkling on water. A race-memory perhaps, from sixty-thousand years ago. Contentment.
Takes me back to the days when the cave was clean, the nearby volcano quiet, we’d brought down a roastbeefosaurus for dinner, and all was well with the world. Time to put filthy, hairy feet up in front of the fir fire, fire up the old Sony Athroposcreen two-inch wrap-around telly and watch the latest esipode of ‘The Weakest Missing-Link’.
Myyyyyyyy god, those were the days.
Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end, we’d sing and dance for ever and a day – meteor showers and rapid bursts of evolution notwithstanding. I remember the day that thumbs were invented. Father looked at Mother, Mother looked at Bro, Sis, and I, and we all learned a new disco dance-step, something about “hitching a lift”.
I’ve lost it again, haven’t I?
Early-morning lockery. It’s almost pleasant. My apologeeze to Pizza Boat Paul for waking him at such an unholy hour. If the Cardinal’s engine didn’t do the job then emptying the lock to set it will have. I can’t help it, I just love that time of day.
All that I can say in my defence is that had I woken earlier I would have been on the move earlier.
Five and a half miles, two windings, one lock, one service point visit, and about three hours from fart to stinish. Why this direction? Well, I’ve never claimed to be rational.
I’ll wear the pyjamas with the straps and buckles tonight, please, and be a darling and pop two crushed-up pammies and a half-pint of rum in my Horlicks.
I say ‘darling’ in relation to Nanny but really, any more butch and she’d have to live in a tree.
God, how I loved living in trees, the Rift Valley spread before us, and the whole world fresh and new.
Now those were the days.
Ian H., & Cardinal W.