An Axe To Grind

It comes to something when a chap can’t use Baby’s First Axe by TOMY on the towpath next to his boat to chop some logs down to size without Plod taking an interest.

There was much activity hereabouts (now a thereabouts) involving the Police Heckilopter. It circled endlessly, zipped up and down like a mosquito on heat, hovered over Calveley – and then hovered, briefly, over me.

I was, at the time, engaged in a little light woodwork as described, an innocent enough activity, but I bet that my upturned wild-eyed face was checked against the National Police Computer. There’s something very unsettling about such a ridiculous contraption hovering over self and home, relying on air molecules and the putative skills of some unknown numptywit with – I presume – a Pilot’s Licence. I gave them a cheery curse, the shrivelling ought to be well-apparent by now and far beyond anything that might be explained by cold weather.

They do say that a change is as good as arrest, so in order to avoid arrest I’ve changed our moorings. They’ll never think to follow the canal to find me.

They might instead follow the footpath markers.

Someone ought to follow them if only to try to fathom what it is that they’re trying to say.

Signsposts are peculiar things. This one in particular:

Always with the poop. Clean up the poop. What about tidying up the scattered singles and LPs? The endless piles of used clothing thrown to the floor? The plates of half-eaten and discarded whatever, the wild dereliction of school books and, dare I say it, with most dogs, the porn? They never remind you that this will all need cleaning up too.

Some signs are simple. Old canal signs go to the Canal Company Trust Ltd to die. Like care-home OAPs wheeled out into the yard behind the kitchens and abandoned near the wheelie bins the signs of a more tasteful age are set in corners and against fences to contemplate their youth, and to rot away quietly.

The empathy and visceral affinity can, at times, be palpable.

There are Hobbits in these parts. I’ve never actually seen one, but the evidence is quite irrefutable, irregardless of any quite pacific regard for the futability of the ruins or the over-abundance of the lack of gard in re anything.

I am quite fond of old ruins, being one myself.

Speaking of which, Beeston Castle (there are a thousand Beestons in England; it must mean ‘ruiny place’ or some such in Old Roman-Norse, or something) is – was – visible in the distance. The Robber Barons, not then yet-a-while having the option of penthouses-next-the-Thames, chose to build high anyway. This is because Revolutionary Peasants are utterly knackered by long climbs carrying mixed dead-badger-&-grape ammunition and hauling trebuchet.

The ticky-tacky that is being thrown up on a scrap of land known previously as “someone’s back garden” are proceeding apace, the price – according to a well-oiled local – of these wee hamster cages being some half a million pounds. Incroyable.

Half a milliode for something made of breezeblock and some very skinny roof-trusses, absolutely crammed in cheek by jowl next one another, and where m’lord and m’lady’s teeth will rattle in their glasses each night as trains pass not twenty feet away. Doubtless each time they are awakened so it will take half an hour of panicky contemplation of the size of the mortgage before they can fall back into some fitful slumber.

I have added Builders and People Who Flog Off Their Gardens and Council Planning Officers to my Little List Of People Who Won’t Be Missed Come The Revolution.

It’s going to be quite a bloodbath, we’ll probably have to kill them to death in batches, in the manner of the French Tribunals.

The rather busy A51 roadway is as close on the other side of these Desident Resirables as is the railway to this. There will be no Peace For Our Time for these lucky ho moaners, Neville.

I bet that the little French town of Neville had its own guillotine.

So, anyway, that’s been the week that was, and a very humdrumidary and peculibode week it has been, unusually, as is usual. Once again I wasn’t arrested (except for my development, which has always been in protective custody akin to arrest). Lots and lots more things didn’t happen than did, which is also quite usual, some of them good, some of them bad.

Households on boats sans “home mooring”, such as mine, are now specifically excluded from the cash hand-outs that all of those connected to the Government’s chums via the National Grid have already been paid (and double in the case of double home-owners, such as every member of parliament). Not a penny comes our way.

Aye aye aye. But ‘puter says ‘no’.

I am a non-person in a non-household (paying double the price this year to keep warm-ish, just like those real people in real households – static households).

I rather suspect that it is going to take not some little legal-ish action before that changes, if it changes at all.

I have scanned my bookshelves and re-familiarised myself with Mother’s old recipe for Molotov Cocktails. If only the party would begin.

[Sighs, and toys with his V For Vendetta facemask.]

Chin-chin, Chihuahuaii.

Heat entropy will claim us all in the end.

Probably not just in the end but elsewhere about our bodies too.

Ian H., & Cardinal W. Lost in Space, and Time, and Meaning.


  1. I too have noticed the ‘downsizing’ of building structural elements, from my day when I was a draw-er-up-er of houseplans. You have to admire (the stupidity of) a civilisation that believes moving the goalposts is all that’s required to keep the Vandals at bay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What’s that old rule about how to make your blanket longer? Take six inches off the bottom and sew it onto the top… Those roof trusses are about half the size of yet regular truss! The aim never seems to be better better better, but rather more more more.


  2. You mention the doggy poop and how there are signs to clear it up,but nothing about all the litter.
    Now, while I agree to clearing up the doggy poo, (with an apparent, to me at least, increase in dog owners–almost every family seems to have at least One) it is at least biodegradable, unlike all the plastic stuff dumped everywhere.
    And what’s with the dog emptiers who hang their filled plastic bags on the trees and bushes? Do they think they look pretty, like Christmas Tree decorations?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Dog-Poop Hedgerow and Tree are an amazing species, aren’t they? Folk carefully bag up Fido’s doings and then lobn them into the foliage, not caring that in Winter they’ll hang there like some unholy fruit from Hell. I’d do the same with the people if I could.

      In the days when there were rubbish disposal facilities at these moorings I met a lady dog-emptier who each morning and each evening lobbed Fang’s poop over the fence of the (correctly) locked compound into the skip. I asked her what her “Plan B” was for the days when she missed her target. ‘Oh I never miss’ she replied. Needless to say the boaters’ bin compound was littered with aromatic and full dog-poop bags…

      Love dogs, not so fond of a great many Hoomans. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 3 people

  3. When I first saw those house foundations being laid I thought two houses and garages at most but no it’s three.
    Another place we’re people complained was on the huge bend on the Shroppie just south of Nantwich. The residents complained that boaters could look out from their boats into the bedroom window’s so what did CRT do they rolled over and put no mooring signs up. It doesn’t somehow apply to the hoards of people using the towpath who can look directly into the bedrooms !! Grrrr

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    1. Aha – that explains the no mooring there, I’d often wondered, especially when Nantiwch can on occasion be v.popular and I could see no other reason. NIMBYs abounding. Trust the Canal Company Ltd to roll over on command – everyone’s interests at heart except boaters (and except their own hands-on workforce).

      The new hutches at Calveley are amazingly crammed in, aren’t they? If their access is to be straight to the road right near that road-bridge then I foresee a few accidents and nasties in store. The floor-plans that I saw from the foundations looked to be lots and lots of small rooms – the better to advertise the houses as X number of bedrooms, X recepts, and X bathrooms I suppose. Do people still “knock rooms through” in modern houses? Is it even possible in a new house these days?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It used to be townspeople moving to the country and complaining about church clocks, cockerels and cows… it’s people moving to jerrybuilt rabbit hutches clearly sited betwixt railway and motorway, which, unlike clocks – who reserve their maleovolence when sighting potential movers in – cockerels and cows are clearly visible and audible twenty fours hours a day.

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    1. Tis indeed. I heard distant church bells the other day, and it struck me just how rare a delight that is. I am in no way religious, but the sound is most pleasant indeed. I dread to think what has replaced church bells, especially in some urban areas. Mind you, not much will beat that occasion when I moored up not realising that there was a convent just the other side of the towpath hedgerow – I woke to the sound of nuns singing, and thought that I’d snuffed it in the night…

      Liked by 3 people

    1. They will indeed – just like the (similarly expensive) development right opposite the Barbridge canal junction, a spot where every boater has by necessity and law to sound their horn, if not once then several times… I bet none of the occupants factored that into the equation when they came for their half-hour viewing and signed on the dotted line! They are also in romantic juxtaposition with a VERY busy lay-by on the A51 popular (at the moment) with lorry drivers, a high proportion of whom run their refrigeration units overnight, all night… I wonder how long it will be before the lay-by is closed?

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