WallaceSheen & The Washing Machine

Barbridge Junction.

Also engine servicing, repairs, joinery, Victron solar panels, battery set-ups – all manner of boaty stuff – and a hire boat too. A very Churchillian The Black Dog, the boat, not the psychological beast with which so many of us have become so familiar in the past few years.

I include WallaceSheen et al in my list of favourite canal businesses to frequent over and above all others in these parts, these being Venetian Marina Chandlery & Hire Boats, Four Counties Fuels Halsall and Bargus, Chamberlain Carrying Co’s Mountbatten fuel boat, Cheshire Cat Hire Boats, and last but not least although a distinct walk from the canal, The Bunbury Chippy.

As is usual though, I have wandered off course like some Antarctic expedition in a blizzard.

Laundry. The Cardinal has a most splendid washing machine, a wee twin-tub from the Orient, and a fine job it does too – on all but the larger items such as the duvet covers, sheets, and my boxer shorts, all of which make it grumble and moan (for various reasons).

I remember back in Poonah in, oh it would have been (18-) ’43 or ’44, the lady who undertook to meet our regimental laundry needs there used to burn any underwear that I sent her. Said it was something to do with her religion, but one never knows, does one? She grumbled and moaned a lot, too.

Anyway, yonder commercially-sized machines, washer and dryer, at this “Under Gnu Management” establishment coped splendidly – and they’re damned easy to find and damned easy to moor up close to. It’s enough to put a big “smiley” grin on your face.

They also sell gas and logs and things. Look for the signpost. Give them your business. You won’t be soggy that you did. Sorry. Someone had to say it.

So what else have I been doing of late, aside from plotting the over-throw of governments, lamenting the deliberate exclusion of itinerant boaters (me!) from the taxpayer’s refund system otherwise known as the “Energy Support Grant”, and liaising with my extra-terrestrial colleagues in their inter-galactic hot-air balloons over Canada, over that collection of confused places to the south of Canada, and – it now appears – over Ingerlund too. Fnarr fnarr. Giggle.

On which topic (Hmmm… Topic bars…) wouldn’t it be awkward if aliens were to land and to demand ‘Take us to your leader’? I could only reply ‘Wouldn’t you rather talk to someone sane instead, such as, well – almost anyone else?’ I’d be rather embarrassed if aliens had to meet the bunch who think themselves to be “in charge” globally, at the moment. Not the brightest little pickpockets in custody, are they?

Anyway, I digress again.

[Interruption to pass the time of day with Spotter (no doggo) as he clocks me and enters my name, rank, number and location into the rinky dinky Canal Company Trust Ltd’s database.]

Been surrounded by some of the world’s most intrinsically cheerful folk – anglers. They were, as the Canal Company Trust Ltd spends a fortune telling boaters – “sharing the space”. Not. Yes, that is a tent, so yes, they were there overnight. I hope that they didn’t mind my snoring.

All of the gear and no idea. Personal space? What’s that then? To put their antics into context, here’s a photo of them from the bridge visible in the photo above…

How rude. One step away from coming aboard and angling from the Cardinal’s side-hatch…

Do have to wonder at the psychology involved, the thinking processes behind their decision to ignore two thousand miles of open canal (well, almost!) and instead drown worms as close to the Cardinal’s stern as was humanly possible. Perhaps that’s the problem, eh? There were no thought processes involved…

One of them is only alive because of the invention of solar panels; had I had to start the engine to charge Messrs Batteries he’d have been gassed to deaf.

[Suppresses a feeling of glee at the thought, adds a touch of Catholic guilt, and sashays ever onwards…]

Will the Canal Company Ltd ever raise a quizzical eyebrow, let alone a minor chastisement? Will they ‘eckaslike. Anglers are sacrosanct, let’s badger and bully the boaters instead.

At least – and it was the very least – this pair took their rubbish away with them. There must have been a Blue Moon.


The Police heckilopter is reported to be still circling over Calveley, so they haven’t cottoned on that I’ve moved. Not yet. One wonders rather what it might be that they are searching for – obviously something that won’t be forewarned and scarper at the spectacle of a chuffing helicopter whoomf-whoomfing overhead for days… Illegal shrubberies perhaps?

There have been – IMHO – far too many boats about for the time of year. Gone, long gone, are the days when a chap might need only the toes on his right foot to keep count for the week (up to six). Benidorm must be damned-near deserted.


There was some sort of archeological dig (an archeological dredge?) at the junction, and an Iron Age lampshade was found near-intact.

Missing only the iron bulb and the iron frill of iron tassels.

Not a lot of people realise that everything was made of iron in the Iron Age. Animals, food, trees, bedding, people…

Egads, my fingernails need a (re-)scrub.

Tis easy to imagine this wee iron lampshade adorning some Iron Age iron desk, iron books and papers strewn about, someone scribbling by its light with an iron fountain pen.

Everything in the Stone Age was similarly made of stone, ditto the less popular Wood Age, and now, well – now we live in the Stupid Age, when everything’s made of

…and on that happy note I shall bid you chin-chin, Chihuahuaii.

I must away and slaughter some vegetables for early tiffin.

Oh, the humanity

Get your backsides down to WallaceSheen if you can, and keep them in business.


Ian H., Cardinal W., & a New Lampshade for the Captain’s Study.


    1. Those are they.
      I used a pair to surrender once, tied them to a stick and waved them around. Got reduced in rank and three years on a fizzer for using chemical weapons.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jan and thank’ee! Sorry it took me a while to get your comment “approved”, tis only the first ever one that needs to be tickled so. 😉


  1. What will vegetarians do when (it’s bound to be a when) they (whoever they are) discover that vegetables have feelings and trees are sentient?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I shall become murderer of carrots, destroyer of cabbages. My name will be whispered in hushed tones both (slightly) above and (slightly) below ground from Lincolnshire to Norfolk to wherever it is in Wales that they grow potatoes. Mother Broccolis will remove small stalks of broccoli from the street when I pass by. Lettuce will wilt in my shadow.


      Actually, I think that plants are sentient to some degree, but the world’s not perfect, I need to live, and I didn’t claw, bite, and savage my way to the (current) top of the (local) food chain to be afraid of a musclebound cauliflower. I may not know any of the Arts Martial, but I do know Berserk, and how to use it.

      Or I might just eat the ones that die of natural causes…

      Liked by 2 people

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