Storm Otto Stole My Hat

Storm Otto – named such by some continental types stranded in ‘The Abroad’ – arrived on England’s canals at approximately 10:00hrs o’clock a.m. yesterday, Friday the 17th, and promptly stole my tweed flat cap. I’ve only had the damned thing for fifteen years and I must have paid at least a fiver for it.

I have submitted a claim for immediate no-cost replacement under The Flat Cap Guarantee Act of 1702, and expect an early reply from The Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

A short service sine corpere will be held once the half-bottle of dry sherry arrives.

I was just coming in to moor up when a blast hit us sideways, whipped my bales off and gave me five things to think about all at once instead of the usual four. I made a damnably fine but ultimately unsuccessful lunge to save matters, the same blast whipping the Cardinal along and across the canal during my moment’s distraction and there we were. Flat cap sodden and sinking, my boat atmospherically discomnobulated, and me ringing on the Chadburn for ‘Full Astern’ to avoid the poor devil moored – what had been a moment before – some considerable distance ahead. I lobbed the life-belt towards Mr Flat Cap but hadn’t the time to see if he could swim to it or not, being too busy in the matter of avoiding a “full suez” and what would have been a most impolite ramming. Only the arrival of a gentleman from another boat who gave tug on our centreline saved the day, thank’ee most kindly sir.

Once tied on of course extensive searches were made but to no avail. Flat cap gorn.

Was this freshly-arrived windypops finished with us yet? Was it eckaslike. It blew then with such enthusiasm as to pull my stern chain through some sections of the armco piling, sending the Cardinal’s arse-end out over the canal. I got knotted once again and if we go anywhere now the towpath and half of Cheshire will be coming with.

I was warned. In spite of the much more clement conditions pertaining at our departure I was shown a brooding sky while later calling in at Venetian for an elephant’s sufficiency of Go-Juice for the Cardinal. Once through that bridge ahead the meteorological gloves were well and truly orf. The timing of the blustery uppercut was, it has to be said, perfection. Had the day not seemed so conducive at time of moving off I should not have moved off at all. I think that I heard a voice up the in the clouds mutter ‘Gotcha at last…’ the moment that I committed myself.

It is as well that, being me, I have a spare flat cap to call into service.

So, what else has been occurring?

Well, we’ve bunkered and comestibled, that which ought to be empty is damned near empty, that which ought to be full is damned near full. There are fresh vegetables milling around and growling at me from behind the bars of the Vegetable Cages, awaiting their turn at table. Messrs ASDA delivered, praise be, the full list – albeit at mayhap two-thirds as much moolah again as t’would have cost a year ago.

A rare opportunity presented by an uncomfortably empty well deck was grasped, and the rubber matting raised, the muck brushed back into the canal and some twelve, very large, highly-disgruntled spiders temporarily evicted.

In Winter that’s as clean and neat as it gets, what wiv da towpaf being walked in on my boots each time I step aboard.

Otto, such as he was hereabouts, has I think now left the area. Only the usual February bluster and precipi………..tation remains. Twas so (relatively) mild yesterday that I gave Mr Stove the day and the night off. He’s been lit again this morning but only for breakfast, so to speak. The it of the outside is hovering around the fifty mark of the Fahrengezundheitings – this in February. Any tactic that ekes out the expensive black stuff is welcome.

Winter is highly unlikely to have finished with us yet. I can’t decide whether we are being lulled into a false sense of security or lulled into a sense of false security.

That Police heckilopter has been buzzing around again. I do wonder if perhaps they are under some sort of contractual arrangement with the Canal Company Trust Ltd, and really are following me about. I turned my back on them, dropped my trousers and showed them some true respect. I am fairly sure that I heard a horrified scream as they banked away.

It’s all very silly. Sillier even than it was during the fake… during the faux… during Pfizer’s little money-making venture. WWIII PLC is beginning to trade in earnest, the rich will get richer and the rest of us will get, well – deaded. Plus ca change plus c’est la meme Johnny Crappo. The Canal Company Trust Ltd is laying the groundwork for charging anyone who has the temerity to not pay a commercial marina for a permanent mooring more, much more, for their licence.

No-one (else) seems to understand that once they’ve stuffed we ‘boaters without a home mooring’ (the correct and legal term in the 1995 Act that specifically allows us to be such without being bullied and villified by the Canal Company Ltd… not not NOT ‘continuous cruisers’!) there won’t be time to make a sandwich before they come for any and all other sub-divisions of boaters too. The tactic is classic, if a little unimaginative. No-one could ever accuse the directorship of the Canal Company Trust Ltd of being over-burdened with neurons.

Yonder The Gubbermunt is still explicitly excluding we itinerants from the scheme to relocate money from the tax-payer to their “energy company” chums. This means that we are being royally stuffed twice since not only do we not get the ยฃ400 – ยฃ600 “grant” but we still pay taxes to fund the money for those that do.

Moan moan moan, it’s all that I ever do. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mind you, what can you expect from a chap running in a new flat cap?

It took me years to knock the other on into shape.

Chin-chin for the moment, Chihuahuaii.


Ian H., & Cardinal W.


  1. I had a similar sudden gust (ooh-er-missus) experience crossing the Lune Aqueduct, which I didn’t realise was guarded at either end by a short-lived
    but aggressive force twenty gale. My reading glasses, flask of ‘fortified’ coffee, Collins’ guide to the Lanky Cut and three egg and cress butties were last seen disappearing over the Pennines into deepest, darkest Yorkshire (a terrible fate, especially for the egg and cress butty, being it a sandwich of sophistication hurled into the uncultured lair of the hairy Morlocks).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Can there be a worse fate than to be blown into Yorkshire? I doubt it. The wind is a mischievous minx at best. Have to wonder what the Morlocks who found the egg and cress sandwiches thought about it all. You’ve probably set them on some entirely unintended evolutionary course, and before long the whole country will be full of quarterwits scoffing finger food and supping lattes… Hang on, how long ago was this?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello from Sussex, UK.

    Very good post thank you. We have the police helicopter too as far as I can tell as it is at night. We are quite close to two main roads so perhaps they are hunting a miscreant.

    In 2020 they were buzzing around us at midnight when I was trying to sleep. It was summer and warm so window was open. As it was dark of course I could not expose my backside to them so I swore at them instead.

    I like your use of the phrase “WWIII PLC is beginning to trade in earnest”. I keep telling people that we are following a pattern of WW2 only 80 years ago making it now 1943. And that we are in a different type of war with the same adversaries, Germany, more strictly the Nazis plus the Marxists who both came out of Germany.

    Keep up the good fight!

    Kind regards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G’Day Sussex, and thank you for stopping by!

      Folk do seem to rather like to forget history, and to not look at the ‘what actually is happening, not what we’re told is happening’ don’t they? I imagine that the dinosaurs were subjected to a barrage of information from the Dino-Government about the real causes and putative benefits of large meteor/ites, only to discover too late that it’s not just the snakes that have forked tongues!


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Otto sounds like a relic of the Guelph and Ghibelline wars….who on earth names these things?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Gawd knows, it’s all very silly indeed, isn’t it? Serves no purpose at all as far as I can see. Now, if they called them such as ‘Storm Mega-Killersaurus’ or ‘Storm Certain Death To All’ or ‘Storm Apocalypto, Smasher of All Things’ then it might be more meaningful. Storm Doris just isn’t going to cut the mustard. I miss the days when they told you relevant facts such as wind speed, expected precipitation, and direction. Do they still do ‘isobars’ anywhere, or are they considered to be too imperial these days?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just can’t wait until there’s some international drive to punish those who have named storms using gender-specific names… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Can’t be long now…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had that hat man and boy, brought it up from when it were nowt but t’size o’a teabag. It’s going to take some getting over this. ;-( Especially when in Spring I see a duck nesting in it among the reeds…


Comments are closed.