Loose Boats Wild Orchids Headless Pigeons

Photograph from a few days ago – the Cardinal making (more) close friends.

It now being “Peasants Celebrating Serfdom” Bank Holiday weekend of course, tis a tad more reasonable to expect nose to tail, with every boat that ever there was being out and about, including a pea-green boat with what appeared to be only an owl and a puddy-tat aboard.

I should add, just for the cynics, that the “gosh aren’t you lovely, let’s all have a cuddle” mooring in the lead photograph wasn’t in any way antici…patory in re the coming Sardine Season, since both boats, fore and aft, moved on before the rush began. There’s just something about the Cardinal that seems to make most boats want to moor up with ne’ery a fag-paper’s gap between.

I’ve been playing a game while here – ten points for each passing boat spotted where plastic bunting has melted onto the sun-warmed steelwork. Some boats are going to have some serious ‘splaining to do when they get back to base and ask for their deposit monies.

Loose boats? Something passed a couple of double-moored Canal Company Ltd workboats with, I would surmise, their boat’s Velocity-Paddle in such a position as to not only rip out the mooring ring but to take the whole concrete foundation with it…

Yeeeeeee-har! Full steam ahead, Deirdre, we’re late, we’re late, for a very important prune.

Being of civic mind and practical bent I did done my best to re-moor the beasts, although with little to moor them with and only slightly more to moor them to the prospects for shipping were not good. I attempted to notify the Canal Company Ltd by tephelone, but to dial their number is to be harangued by a minutes-long lecture about how they won’t tolerate anyone being anything other than Saccharine-nice and sickly-sweet kind to their (crystalline, came down with the last blizzard) staff, followed by a looping, never-ending ‘Choose one of the following two-hundred options’ menu that seemed determined to persuade me to ‘Press 1 for life-threatening emergencies’. So I tweeted instead.

The boats have now been somewhat more securely moored, presumably by some poor grunt bugger being paged from home when he’d rather have been firing up the barbecue and singing something about confounding his monarch’s enemies.

I tell you, it’s all go on the canals.

These things used to spread themselves all over our field when we lived on Lewis.

They’re not exactly uncommon, and are now spread all over the towpath.

There’s nothing quite like a good kick in the wild orchids to bring Father Nature back to his senses.

Head-free pigeon, sir? No, thank you, I already have one.

This on the steps up to the road. A fox engaged in some Satanic ritual perhaps, or an unusual road-traffic accident beheading the critter and then somehow, odds-agin, flinging the corpse onto the only civilised road access from the canal for miles around. Perhaps – and the odds of this are better, much better – left there as a(nother) warning for me and me alone (it’s all about me) by the Canal Company Ltd?

Pigeon is about their style, I can’t imagine them running to the cost of a horse’s head.

Have you seen the price of horse heads in butchers these days?


Oh do you think so? It must be the way I’ve had my hair done.

It’s damnably on the cool side today. Raining, dull, and cool. I am considering the botheration of Mr Stove, even if only for the cheer of woodsmoke and burning pigeon-cadaver.

Or I might just go back to bed. Declare today to be a “Duvet Day”.

[Clears throat.]

‘It gives me great pleasure to declare this Doo-vayday well and truly open…’

B’geration, I think I may be channelling the public face of the (late?) robber-baron “queeeen”, head of and proud exemplar of historical human hierachical control systems, whose unearned privilege, wealth, power, and earlobe-deep involvement in and enjoyment of mind-boggling corruption and the perpetuation of galactic levels of systemic social inequity concerns me (rather than her putative, meaningless, “racial” origin, if you read me correctly).

Hmm. A veggingtibleable curry for lunch today, methinks. Quelle surpreese.

I am a predictable old Hector.

Grumpy with it.


Rest assured that Come The Revolution I’ll be there – I’ll be moaning about how revolutions aren’t anything like as good as they were in “my day”, and how when I were a lad, nobbut knee-high to a policeman’s German Shepherd, we were expected to get up before we went to bed, lick Parliament clean, wash away the manifold sins of monarchy, count t’City o’London’s money twice before breakfast and all on thruppence ha’penny a year before tax – but we were happy.

Oaf eck – the [expletive redacted] boat moored bow to bow with the Cardinal has begun some sort of incessant and loud beeping – a low-battery and/or smoke alarm or something. There are people aboard and it’s rocking as though they are moving around, but still with the beeping… beeping… beeping… beeping…


Fetch me my second-best Braining Stick. I’m going in…

Chin-chin chaps (donations for bail money cheerfully accepted),

Ian H.


  1. I have a similar problem to the one that you have with regards to your mooring locations and your unwelcome close-proximity interlopers. In my case it’s to do with my actual person, which seems to attract fat, sweaty families with radish-headed children kicking footballs about. Wherever I go they appear – in shop changing rooms, in remote meadows previously untouched by mankind, at the cemetery…I swear I could embed myself in an igloo in the middle of an antarctic blizzard and within five minutes some **** in a football shirt with Radio 1 blaring out at full volume would have built an igloo next door.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s been a significant increase of late in the numbers of boaters who seem desperate to share their “music” with the world as they pass. I am going to have to clean up the punt gun and put it back on the roof of the Cardinal. No, seriously…

      Never understood why the majority of the species are so happy with sardine-like proximity, sharing farts and armpit-odours. I may get signs made up to display fore and aft along the lines of ‘Do I look like a ****ing people person?’

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I have both feet slightly in some alternate dimension and am mostly invisible, so I don’t see why the Cardinal ought not to be similar! The best theory to date – thank’ee J. – is that both boats moored leaving lots of “good manners” room between themselves, just not even realising that I was between them… πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For some reason the picture won’t transfer to facebook, okay on twitter though. Is it because it’s too big?

    Liked by 1 person

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