No, but seriously?

Honestly, is it just me or…

Two thousand miles of canal, several hundred yards free on this stretch alone… and this pair appear around the curve, drift for a couple of minutes to look around, cruise up, back off a hundred yards, come in to the side and then pull their boat forward again a hundred yards to moor bow to bow with mine. They laboriously inched it forwards on the ropes to be within a few feet.

I’m sitting here on the hottest day of the year, covers off, all windows and doors open – so it’s not as though the Cardinal looks unoccupied. It’s not as though this pair didn’t take time to look at the options before choosing to ignore all else.

Try as I might, I just can’t understand any rationale behind this behaviour. Are they gaol-birds simply unused to giving or receiving any “personal” space? Do they ordinarily live cheek by jowl and just don’t know any other way? Have they been sent by the government to give me fleas?

I think that the only thing that put them off using my front chain to tie up to is the size of the spider (see web in lead photograph, and he built that single-handed today, after I tore away yesterday’s similarly magnificent effort).

Seriously, hire-boaters generally make gaffs and goofs just because they honestly don’t know – perhaps it’s really the one-short-trip-a-year-out-of-the-marina boaters who behave like boating boors simply because they’re no better than they ought to be. If they lived in a house they’d probably keep coal in a tin bath in the yard and wash the kids in the lavvy.

Is it just me? Am I missing something? Some War Office directive about “as close together as is humanly possible without actual surgery”? Even the Canal Company Ltd only exhorts boaters to ‘share the space’, they say nothing about sharing underwear and each and every exhalation.

I’m deliberately not on moorings that are in demand, there’s no lack of space hereabouts, this isn’t London, I’m the only boat in more than two hundred yards – and there’s space abounding before and after that, too. Where they initially came in to land is fine moorings; armco, wide towpath, blah blah blah. Damn it, they were there – so why did they rope themselves down here, bow to bow? Why this widely-held need to invade?

Far Kinnell. Beam me up, Jesus, I’m ready to cut a deal*.

*Not really.

Love and Kisses, Hector.


    1. Most odd. There’s nothing I’ve done differently on these posts. Perhaps it’s because I don’t (currently) have a PhaceBook account? I can’t think of any reason really. Still working on plucking up the UGH to get myself a replacement totally anodyne FB account – I miss (some) of the interactions (with you and with AD) – and I’ll need some way of tracking Messrs Fuel Boats! I just loathe the thought though… 😉


  1. Some campers are like that too … given an entire bloody football field’s worth of space, where do they unhitch the mules? Right next door. I mean, I know humans are herd animals but this is getting ridonkulus!

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    1. Humans are a lot like wildebeest (look at any motorway leading to the coast on a sunny day). Wildebeest interbred – in some wild orgy in the Rift Valley – with baboons. On the move en masse we’re hoofed animals, in the matters of housing and neighbourhoods and work we’re fighting over the highest rock, patrolling for rivals, and constantly baring our canine teeth in meaningful yawns. Our thumbs haven’t really led us to move that’s truly new behaviour – just sat-nav for the massed migrations, and better accuracy when flinging turds from the trees*.

      *I don’t think baboons do this, but you see the idea!

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  2. Say hello, then. Be nice to grumpy old Papi. With any luck it will infuriate him. I wouldn’t invite him over for drinks, though, if I wanted him gone. Too big a risk.

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    1. What’s that old saying? Love your enemies (because no-one will take their subsequent accusations of sexual assault seriously due to the history betwixt you). I have my fingers crossed that they just move on… they’re so interesting that I’d rather watch the gap they leave!

      That, or call in an air-strike.

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  3. They looked left and right and saw it was obvious that you, the professional in the equation, had taken all the guesswork out of the Ideal Location for them to roost for their pleasure.

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    1. A theory propounded by a BF is that the Cardinal and I are invisible and that it is mere chance that folk don’t actually attempt to moor on top of us. I think that there may be some truth in this. The boats at our previous mooring who were bow to bow and bow to stern had perhaps actually, in their own eyes, left a boat’s length between themselves – not realising that I was moored in-between. It is just possible that the Cardinal and I appear only as some sort of “heat haze” shimmer in the atmosphere, as an unaccountable shadow, or as a mooring ring pulled at an unlikely angle by some unseen rope…

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I have been accused of many things in my life (from “hit and run/attempted murder” – I kid you not – to the even more heinous crimes of “having principles” and “caring”) but I have never, ever, in all of my years, been accused of having a personality, magnetic or otherwise.

      My middle name’s not ‘This Person Intentionally Left Blank’ for nothing, you know.


      Notable Bene – in the matter of the motorised mayhem it should be noted that I have a hand-typed A5 statement from Her Majesty’s Constabulary on Crown-headed notepaper advising me in no uncertain terms that ‘No further action will be taken at this time.’ Now if that isn’t a wholehearted declaration of my innocence then I don’t know what is!

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    1. The punt gun is bolted in place, loaded with grapeshot and aimed at their bow doors.

      Would that it were so, but have you seen the price of grapes these days?

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  4. Probably, having read all of the literature in preparation for their canal-based sojourn the bit that stuck in their pirates adventure -seeking minds was the detail that the canal-living fraternity are a close-knit community, I think I can safely say it does not apply to all.

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    1. Maybe ten percent of narrowboaters are “close-knit”, the other ninety percent would simply fetch marshmallows and folding seats if they saw you on fire. I’ve listened (without wanting to) to this pair’s telephone conversations (on speaker, conducted on the well deck), I’ve been marinated in their frying bacon fumes, and I’ve listen to their jaws click as they eat – and without wanting to I can tell you that the chap uses SAXA salt but just a generic vinegar on his oven-chips. If these chaps are knitting anything then it’s my brow!

      I like the [now[ more old-fashioned boating community – all they need is a nod and a ‘hello’ en passant, but “members” know that help is just a polite-mooring distance and request (or obvious need) away. This other lot might as well just be occupants of cars in a Manchester motorway queue. Pull up to the bumper baby.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If they’re new, maybe they are just insecure. Maybe they can’t believe such lovely open space might be available. So, to be on the safe side, they snuggled up to you. Snuggling is not your thing, we all know that, but they haven’t learned, yet. I have a feeling they soon will.

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    1. Oh they’re not new by any means, I think that maybe they’re just natural tenement dwellers. They’re in no danger of anything from me, other than if I cough or sneeze, when I might accidentally blow their cratch cover off. I make a point with these nut-wits of doing exactly what I would have been doing had there not been a boat up my nostrils. I sit at my desk which is raised up to window height (unlike the seating in most boats), facing forwards through my “hottest day of the year” wide open bow doors… and soon after he moored up the chap – Methuselah’s grandfather – went all hyperbolic and stood on his bow staring in at me, as though I were somehow in “the wrong”! Perhaps he thinks that I ought to have closed up, left my desk, moved my own boat to accommodate them?

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        1. I always remind myself of that sage advice – never worry about what people might think of you because ninety-nine point nine percent of the time on ninety-nine point nine percent of occasions they’re _not_ thinking of _you_ in any way – we’re rarely even on each other’s RADAR. It’s very true. Humans rarely go out to look at the world, instead they go out to look for -something particular- in the world.

          Same way that in most conversations folk aren’t listening to what you say, just listening for a gap when they themselves can speak again without seeming to be too ill-mannered.

          Now, about me…


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