A Spot of Sport – Spotting the Spotters Spotting

iPiddle-Pad in hand.

TBF GF, it took ’em two days to find me this time. Compare this with one of the Canal Company Ltd’s earlier record-breaking efforts, which was five minutes and twenty-seven seconds, a feat recorded early one Sunday morning this Year of Our Lard, 2022.

On that Sunday I had already cruised for a couple of hours, tied my ropes off on the fresh mooring at 08:30 a.m. and was engaged in tidying up The Usual Matters About The Boat at 08:35:27 a.m. when a liveried C&RT van hove up and disgorged a uniformed Occifer of The Company.

Just because a chap’s paranoid doesn’t mean &etc. πŸ˜‰

Still, it’s nice to know that they care.

The gentleman in the “hi-vis” is not “taking a pee” but strimming down the bank, the new contractors making the final cut of the year a far more comprehensive one than ever seen from the previous contractors, their cowboys, or their horses.

We mooched on later in the day than is us usual (wanting for bunkering as well as watering and thus limited to Office Hours). For various highly nefarious external raisins this proved to involve a trip to the Syke’s Hollow winding hole, a trip up Cholmondeston Lock, use of water tap above the lock (splendidly, although unusually, fortuitously free of boat moored “using washing machine/showering the Chihuahua/whatever/didisayicared”), up to the Crossbank’s Farm winding hole, back down the Cholmondeston Lock, onto the chandlery wharf for gazunderings and a splash of diesel, back the way we’d been when we’d been, down through Church Minshull lock and onto some – generally – pleasant moorings hereabouts.

The pleasantry of the moorings was called into not some little question yestereve when from out of the towpath darkness came persistent cries of [insert pithy Anglo-Saxon language]. I can’t be positive, but I think that a certain boat may be in town, in which case the entertainments ought to repeat each time the incumbents find their way back and forth along the towpath. Lovely.

Minshull Lock on the Middlewich Branch, a drop of some 57′ 7″

Mist has been the morning’s leitmotif of late, but the cool damp variety, not the back-lit photomagenic variety. Here’s some litigation-in-waiting that’s been interestingly moored for a week or ten…

Messrs N’Owin N’Ofee N’Obother, tee et le hee.

The green(er) portion of the towpath is that generally walked upon, the straw-coloured effort being on more of a slope than is evident herein, and avoided by most pedestrians with length-matched legs. It’s a most creative way of anchoring a stone-cold (dredger?) to the towpath, and I can only hope that many a keen lycra-clad cyclerist has gone arse over tit upon not noticing the legs. Messrs N’Owin N’Ofee N’Obother, tee et le hee.

Mooring below the towpath restricted to 48 hours

Boats have come and boats have gone in my few days here so far, but not so quickly as have come and gone the tenants of the various deceptive piles the length and breadth of Downing Street.

At least as I type this the Establishment has more cracks in it than does the canal infrastructure. Just.

We are indeed living in Interesting Times when the establishment has more, and deeper cracks than does the canal infrastructure.

The Daguerreotype above is a portion of the strange and twisted narrowing created by the partial removal of some long-gone bridge, some distance past the aqueduct. To the left of this image there’s been a hefty obstruction under the water since time immemorial, making it nigh-on impossible to get a boat through without scraping the hull horribly. Fallen stonework, I suspect. It’ll be there like as not until the Wem-Bridgemere-Red Rock Fault System moves again.

The submerged obstruction complements nicely the underwater ironwork obstruction that produces the same blacking-removal effects on any boat foolish enough to attempt to use the one portion of the Minshull Lock lower landing that appears to be intact and safe. Mustn’t grumble.

Does anyone know who’s Chancellor today? I do hope that it isn’t me; I have better things to do.

Being a tree, for one.

I could be a plank rather than a tree. Then I’d be eligible to be Prime Minister, if I were a short plank.

Or I could be a rich man, ya ha yiddle-diddle-diddle-diddle dumb. All day long I’d sit and do u-turns, idle bidle biddy biddy bum. Other ear-worms are available, mention here does not imply endorsement or membership of H.M. Government.

Needs must bung on my wellies and take up walk in the wrong direction later; see if that boat has moved into the area. If yes then I’ll know, if not then mayhap the effing and blinding wam rural ne’er-do-wells and drunkards, and I should load the long nines with grape and chain agin their possible return this evening.

WIsh me luck, dry powder, and a favourable wind*.

*Meteorological, not biological.

I conjoured up a rather magnificent mushroom “Karahi” curry effort the other day, I’m going to see if I can recreate the beast today. Tis the season to be curry, fa la la la laaa, la la la pass me another wooden spatula, Igor, this one’s dissolved.

Take two hedgehogs and a large pan of water on a rolling boil… fry the shredded banyan bark until Golden Brown*…

*Stranglers, 1982.

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H., &etc., leaving a wet silver trail of happiness wherever I go.


  1. I’m intrigued by the ever increasing circular mounds radiating outwards from the tree in your photograph as though said tree has been slammed a bit too vigorously into the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve had the misfortune of locking this couple through on more than one occasion this season.
    On the last occasion I seem to remember them being abusive to a couple who were waiting for them to finish at the waterpoint. The couple decided not to wait any longer and decided to move on and get water down at Auntie Wainwright’s!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Been up and down the towpath in both directions now and no sign – mayhap it please the gods, if it was them, that they’ve cruised on to live happily somewhere else. That said, since I cannot confirm The Them Theory that puts me back into the realms of rural drunkard ne’er-do-wells agin. Damn it. Peaceful again since though, so perhaps the effers and blinders drowned… πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The aforementioned couple effing & jeffin wouldn’t happen to be on a green boat with all the portholes blocked out with wood would it?
    If it’s the one I’m thinking of I’d move counties b4 having them anywere me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we’re singing from the same rap-sheet. πŸ™‚ They are… entertaining. I may load the long nines with grape anyway, just in case. Going out for a walk-see soon – if you hear of a dark blue narrowboat speeding away in reverse, you know what I found!


    1. I do wonder, but the Company Gennelmun who pursued his fifty-email vendetta just for kicks agin me would be more likely to just put some corporate bounty on my head. ‘Bring me the licence of Cardinal Wolsey and I’ll put an extra tenner in your corporate pension pot’, that sort of thing. I couldn’t credit him with anything more imaginative.

      That said, I shall do another sweep for bugs asap. I do seem to be “on the radar screen” rather more than might be considered polite.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a beast, isn’t it? I can imagine it moving itself along, picking up people and cows from the towpath with the grab… It can probably move itself by road and over land, too. Even Sigourney Weaver in a hydraulic loader outfit would have trouble wrestling it to the ground.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.