It’s not just the new Terror Weather that’s yanking my chain (kill the children and the livestock, grab the family Holly Bibble and run for the hills; there are thunderstorms on the way!) – although I mun admit, I loathe anything over 63°Fahrengezundheitings with a visceral vengeance – but some damned boater. Moored here on chains, and they went past so… velocitatiously enthusiastically… that they moved the eighteen tonnes of the Cardinal sufficient unto ripping the bow chain through two of the upright convolutions of the armco. That’s a first for me (and probably for the Cardinal, too). The doubled-up rope held, the chains held, but I munned gone out and re-moored us since we were then drifting wide of the mark.
I’ve saided it before and I’ll sayeth it again; if you’re on the canals in a rush then you’re in the wrong damned place.
Especially so when the weather is this disgusting. If my Latin was correct (and it seemed so; I summoned no demons-by-accident) then the speedy boater’s entire nether regions ought to be nicely septic by now.
The early mornings are most splendid at the moment, days generally beginning with a mist of varying densitosity and – which is wot is more important – a coolth unknown during the fullness of the day.
Windy Alley – formerly formally requisitioned by Das Inlanden Waterwaysen
National Socialist Ass-O’ciation* but such diktat largely ignored by all, as is only right and proper – is generous in the matter of Lebensraum at the moment, with a boat-length and sometimes more betwixt each narrowboat. I suspect mightily that this will not last, come the fullness of the weekend. Hey ho.
*The full circus is in town for a couple of days at Cholmondeston Lock and demandened reserved moorings, fnarr fnarr. Some sort of fund-raising event for their anti-live-aboard-boater work. I hiss at them and extend my wings whenever I pass, and receive a “NIMBY, He’s-Not-We” glare in return.
Mr Cardinal, while slow to warm, is also of The Science necessarily slow to cool of an evening, being eighteen metricated tonnes of hot steel.
Mind you, give it a week and I’ll be moaning about the wind and rain, for such is indeed forecast. It’s being so miserable that keeps me going. That, and a generous tot of rum in my coffees.
We’ve cruised about a bit forth and hither, once or twice to avoid the meerkat-like affections of a couple of boats that reduced property prices in the neighbourhood immediately upon their arrival. In an irony known only unto the Canal Gods [Narrowboaticus, Lockius, Dredgeia et al] those two wee glassfibre cruisers passed a day or two since – and came head on with a [Huge Corporate Co.] hire boat who had either merely forgotten that on the canals we drive on the wrong side and/or was intent upon sinking them. It was a game of chicken, but with boats at perhaps 5mph (perhaps 6mph). They missed by a Rizla. Oh how I would have chuckled to see three such entities meet themselves for a change instead of preying upon more innocent parties.
We have a new chair in the
salon library. Old Mr Comfortable had finally to be put out to grass, being in the process of losing yet another leg. New Chair, as with everything else these strange days, arrived with some assembly required and with in-bold exhortations that the job was not to be attempted by fewer than two stoutly-built persons and both with prehensile, muscular tongues. I managed the job – just – by going “Full Angry Gorilla”. Not even flat-pack furniture likes me when I’m angry. New Chair is very comfortable indeed, although there is much negotiation yet to take place; Mr Comfortable had become saggy and baggy in places where I have become saggy and baggy. The entire chair was one big “Homer Simpson dent”. New Chair gives the impression of being young, keen, fresh from Medical University and determined to improve my posture…
We entered negotiations the other day with a first (for the new chair) full screening of Master & Commander. I think we’re going to get along just dine and fandy.
The Canal Company Ltd’s much-vaunted “Nature-Friendly Mowing Policy” has been revealed to in fact have been a “we can’t even manage third-party contractors” debacle, during which, to improve matters, they’ve switched from one outsourcing contract to three separate contracts! Penalty Clauses must have been revving up his Cancellation Reindeer. It has had less of an effect on Windy Alley than the Fuhrer may have wished, since many boaters now sport battery-powered strimmers, shears, and flame-throwers. You can see where boats have recently been moored because the towpath overgrowth has been tamed a little in 35′ or 40′ or 57′ or 65′ or 72′ lengths.
Canal Company HQ estimates up to four years to ‘get things back under control’ – but I must take technical issue with the ‘back under control’ element of that announcement.
They’ve also just awarded (to a name on their “Preferred” suppliers list) a ten year £510,000,000 contract for the heavy work maintenance of the canal system. Nothing’s “in house” these days, there’s little remaining expertise or knowledge, not even managerial. Given that they couldn’t manage just one contract for the “gardening” I can’t see a(nother) vast contract for the bridges, locks, &etc working out any better. What’s that old saying about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over and over again while expecting a different result?
‘Bung’ and ‘baksheesh’ are words that spring to mind for some unrelated reason. Why – and I already know the answer – is everything in the “Public” sphere dictated these days by certain individuals’ prospects of luncrative future £contracts£ of personal “employment”? Comfortable seat on the board or “hugely-overpaid and under-worked advisory role” in years to come, anyone? Just dance to our tune in the meantime then…
One of my favouritest boats on the cut has just cruised past, back in the area. Hello, long time no see, good to talk to you and to see your happy-looking boat again! 🙂 Thank’ee for the scones – and for the opportunity to lean out of my side-hatch canalside and fuss up a hound!
There appear to be more boats moving (in the heat) than yesterday, so perhaps the IWA Circus will have more luck today with their begging bowl.
Who can say?
I certainly won’t be going out in the mid-day sun to check.
Chin-chin for the mo, chaps.
Do please keep on keeping on.
Don’t forget, folksies, that oodles of my photomagraphs are available – worldwide production and worldwide delivery – from Fine Art America clickez vous here – as prints and mugs and jigsaw puzzles and greetings cards (multi-packs bring the £/$ down signifibode) and even as kinky shower curtains, duvet covers, tote bags and all manner of wall artwork, framed or otherwise. All manner of sizes.
Ian H., and Cardinal W.