Other dates are available, mention here does not imply endorsement. E&OE.
I think that perhaps the trees in the phomatograph above look rather like most people in the Western world have been made to feel, except that of course in a phatomagruph you can’t hear the screaming.
As I type this the it of it is absolutely pi…persisting down. The ducks and moorhen are confused, some are swimming past inverted, since it feels wetter that way. I’ve just fed a friendly moorhen a large chunk of precious Teasted Toecake – yes, I know it’s bread, but the wee beastie’s an adult, and there’s fruit in them thar cakes. Knowing my luck it’ll be the fruit that kills the hungry mite. I was very impressed by the way that the thing grabbed the teacake in the water and then swam back to the side-hatch, offering it up. ‘I say, could you throw this on the grill for a couple of minutes for me please?’ At least evolution would appear to have continued in a positive vein in the avian species, if nowhere else.
Took a walk into one of the nearby towns yesterday. A lot of humanoids in green Wellington boots and expensive waxed jackets were blasting seven shades of sh*it out of the wildlife. We passed a duck that they’d shot. It had made it out of the killing fields, across the hedgerow, and into the canal where it then expired alone, the little dots of bright red on its neck and back attesting to a verdict of death by misadventure.
I do hope that my heartfelt wish for the health of the members of the shoot has come about. If so then a lot of them ought to be sitting in a queue on a hard plastic chair in some fly-blown hell-hole of an A&E about now, dabbing at their suppurating testicles with Dettol-soaked wads of cotton-wool, their hairy ears assaulted constantly by low-fidelity Christmas carols and announcements that the wait to see a contract Junior Houseman who hasn’t slept since the 23rd of December (and only then on the long flight from Goodgodihstan) is now down to just forty-one hours, patient refreshments being available from the Marks & Spencer vending machine in the foyer, just past the closed public toilets.
I am an unforgiving old Hector.
Life on the canals continues apace, that pace being zero at the moment, far reduced from the more hectic 2.75mph when things are in a panic.
We got royally slammed by Idiots day afore yesterday. They were towing an unpowered boat in a 35mph cross-wind and making an insult to pig’s ears of it. I watched them scraping along the towpath and went out to them before they reached the Cardinal, smiling and saying that the next two boats were both well-secured, so please to use all the speed they needed to get past. My invitation didn’t register. The space between their ears was obviously intentionally left blank.
The kid was driving the lead boat, the bloke was retying the towing lines, and the… the… lady on the tiller of the unpowered boat was waggling the tiller about as though half-heartedly trying out a few swings with a tennis raquet she was thinking of putting on her Christmas List. They had, she said, actually shrugging her shoulders at me, got places to be. Upon my retort that the failings of their diary were hardly any of my legitimate concern (and I was polite about it) she screamed that she was ‘being abused’ and gave up attempts at steering to turn around and demand that I not take photographs of her…
I would not have been quite so fussed about their utter nonsense had they a., not purported to be “professionals” (on trade plates) and b., had the towed boat, the one that was slamming around at all angles, not sported this peculiar ironwork poking out, somewhat negating the operation of the rubbing strips…
Ho hum, or, as Mother used to say when addressing The House, quarterwits, all.
Just my humble opinion. Others are available, but they’re more strongly worded still.
Nobody minds a (slow-speed) bump, nobody minds a (slow-speed) scrape, we all get it wrong on many an occasion, but when you’re moving entirely needlessly in ridiculous weather, and when your boat’s armed with several of Captain Hook’s best hooks, a line has been crossed.
Peace, love, and load the long nines with grape and chain.
In-between these… excitements… the countryside is relatively peaceful, and when the sun shines out, rather spectacular too.
I should point out that manifold of these countryside images are available to purchase in forms from print to greetings cards to jigsaws and mugs, by exploring the ‘Merchandise’ link at the top of this page – or by clicking here.
I read a science-fiction book once wherein the “authorities” interviewed millions in order to find pilots for deep-space missions; humans who could stand the isolation. I was puzzled. Nobody interviewed me before assuming that I could withstand being inescapably cheek by jowl with thousands of millions of sweaty dullards.
Equip my space-ship with a selection of large Silent Running-style “bio-domes” and I’d cheerfully pootle off and explore the Galactic Centre for you on some “whole of life” mission. Let me take a hound or three with me and there’s be ne’ery a backward glance.
The weather of late has been somewhat wild, with the Llangollen freezing over, and with some blasting winds – perfect weather to read a book that I received as a present; Endurance, by Mr Alfred Lansing. A recounting of Shackleton’s failed expedition to cross the Antarctic continent (or incontinent, one can never assume). A most splendid and a very atmospheric read indeed with the wind howling around my cabin. It was the kind of book that made me ration it, reading some every day but stopping early; I wanted it to last.
It’s the first of the new year. I have broccolii again, and other comestible luxuries. I haven’t made any resolutions, I don’t do that these days. I suppose I could promise to restrain myself less, and thus moan more, but what would be the point? ‘Cull’ and ‘the human species’ are words and phrases claimed by others and not allowed to we peasants even as an observation.
Ye gods but it’s hardly daylight at all at the moment, and there’s a moorhen on the offside performing the Himmler Manoeuvre on another, shouting that it’s choking on a piece of teacake.
What jolly japes.
Hopefully my reader in Winter climes is tucked tightly into the nest, while my reader in warmer situations is wrapped around a cold pint of mojito.
I would wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year but, the definition of insanity being to do the same thing over and again while expecting a different result, I won’t bother. We are microscopic bugs in the toilet-rim of life, twenty-twenty-three will being what it brings, and we’ll generally just gerronwivit.
Gerronwivit while appreciating the trees and the moorhens and the clouds and the books and the most of the time when we’re not being abused by “professionals” of the sort who really ought not to be allowed out in [putative] “control” of even those little pink tricycles, the ones with tassels hanging from the handlebars.
Ian H., and a “Brace Yourself” Cardinal W.