The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Mole

Never before have I seen a trail of molehills, created overnight, that so accurately encapsulate the essence of the story of my life. An insane and thought-free rambling, a wild swerve here and there, surfacing for air and a sat-nav signal once in a while, all heading towards living on England’s magnificent (if decaying) canal system, my lumpen form re-purposed as an annoyance to the Canal Company Trust Ltd and to anglers, a source of amusement to cyclists and to ramblers, and a backdrop of scenery for tourists.

Splendid stuff.

I wish that I could have captured video of these molehills being produced so that I could set playback speed to 3x and add some “Benny Hill” music.

One strives for accuracy.

We’ve been in a spot of deep-freeze this past week. The Llangollen, with it’s gentle (water supply for Nantwich &etc) flow hasn’t frozen, but the locks ahead, and the main Shropshire Union has.

Hurleston Locks in the freezy-fog.

Lock 2 sported a nice collection of ice yesterday, all of it making a vaguely other-world and alien, slightly “John Carpenter/Ridley Scott-esque” nerve-tingling noise as it strained with the water under it dropping away (with the leaks).

As the leaf-soup drains away the ice is left unsupported

One or two boats – possibly the clinically insane – one at least being a hire boat moved by staff, presumably of necessity – were crusty-cruising yesterday. I for one would not leap about on lock ladders nor yet at the ice-covered side of locks full and locks empty. My preference for the manner of my death would be a high-speed stolen Ferrari off Beachy Head pursued by manifold Police in convoy, not simply slipping and banging my nut on the way down to a bubbling sluice. Call me fussy if you will, but I’ve given this not some little thought.

Besides, as one gentleman discovered, it’s difficult to get a boat into and out of a lock when you’re sharing it with sheets of ice.

I have to say this, and I make no apology. It’s berry cold.

Yonder towpaths have changed temporarily from “egads, it’s knee-deep muddy” to “frozen solid, if a little wonky in places”.

Hedgerow robins are much in evidence, although I’ve not captured any on the pocket-rocket camera. Blackbirds are eyeing up passers by with a hungry look.

The Met Office is using phrases such as ‘-8°C’ in relation to forthcoming nights. I am beginning to consider seriously the flammability and exo-thermic value of robins and blackbirds.

It’s just a question of who gets whom first.

Seriously, do I look like a pumpkin seed?

Don’t answer that.

Time to get out Baby’s First Axe (by TOMY™) and hack up some (more) logs so that they’ll fit into Mr Stove. Logs are a great way to wake up the fire in the mornings, and to provide a quick, short-lived blast of (relative!) warmth.

Lumberjack, eh? Any more butch and I’d have to live up a tree.

Chin-chin, chaps and chapesses.

Ian H. &et al.


    1. I like to picture a little mole paw rising from each surfacing, little mole mobile phone aloft, checking for a signal… Mole mutters ‘Bugger!’ and tunnels onwards.


  1. Usually the blackbirds around here rely on people feeding them. However, they’ve been eating the berries on the pirocanthus this year. Perhaps people have stopped feeding them so they can heat their homes. (The people’s homes, not the blackbirds’.)
    So far the birds haven’t turned their eyes to humans as food–yet, although I didn’t like the look a magpie gave me the other day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our dear politicians have indeed contrived to make h/eating somewhat of thought-provoking either/or, and I thank them from the heart of my bottom for it. Useless pillocks. Any other [so-called] “professional” nest of incompetence would have been sacked and burned into history long ago.

      Sadly I think it likely that wildlife has some similar social arrangement in place, and that is why sparrows, robins, and blackbirds &etc are reduced to living in hedgerows and foraging for worms, while eagles (and vultures) dine on small children.

      Plus ca change plus c’est la meme Establishment. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.