Pareidolia & Apophenia & Dogberryism Abounding

A veritable ball in a china shop. Or a giant bullock in the sky. My Peopleing Gland, Worlding Sphincter, and Doiactuallygiveash*te Lobes are all of them looking not dissimilar to portions of nineteen-seventies school lunch liver. I was born too early – as far as it currently seems – for popular space travel, otherwise I’d be long-gone.

Before we go anywhere else may I just remark upon the more reliable connection between stepping off your boat in the early morning mist to give your two dogs their first walk of the day, carrying neither poop-bags nor flick-stick (hands thrust deep in pockets on both outward and in-bound journey), and the probability of their now being two or more fresh, steaming piles of dog shit on the towpath hereabouts. In the words of Jesus, the notorious and huge guard dog in the dark (and in the early morning mist); ‘I see you…’

Scoop thee thy dog’s poopings or be thou forever confined to an inner circle of Hull.

The evidence for my hypothesis is merely circumstantial, I grant you, but I’ve polished the buckles on my shoes, powdered my wig, and sent men to the gallops for the long drop on the short rope on less.

Just sayin’, is all.

I blame the parents. We should neuter and spay more humans and fewer dogs. JMHO.

‘Misanthrope’ – the word, not the stripper’s stage-name – is usually defined as some sort of hatred, but I don’t feel any hatred, just disappointment and concomitant utter disinterest. For the life of me, I just can’t see the point of most humans. It’s a more equitable arrangement than might at first seem; of the humans that I can see the point of most regard me with disappointment and disinterest! Like most equations we balance out nicely. Yin, Yang, and Ying Tong Yiddle I Po.

Put Father Nature, The Universe, and Competitive Evolution around a cauldron and they have a merry old time.

Look what you’ve done, I’ve only been here five minutes and you’ve got me moaning again.

Leave the smallest gap – for manners’ sake – and something small and rude will moor in it.

We moved yesterday, the Cardinal and I. Not so much because of the abandoned boat moored up our ar*se on two squealing nappy-pins and a couple of lengths of optimistic but deluded hairy string, but because of the interwebnets. The signal down here used to be great. When I moored here it told me that it was “adequate”. The moment I retreated below decks it guffawed and revealed itself as a single bar of “H+” or, at times, “H”.

I moved us about one hundred and fifty yards farther along, and we now sit satting prettily in a tiny puddle of 4G. My guest bess is that we’ve swapped from one to another among the three (distant) mobile masts “serving” this area.

There are so many aeroplanes in the sky hereabouts that one might be forgiven for thinking that there’s some sort of global eco-conference nearby.

Mr Stove is “in” as I type. He was reluctant, but there was a shrivelling frost this morning. Later this afternoon of course, this being Ingerlund, the Met Orifice advise me that the it of the temperatures will be knocking sixty Fahrengezundheitings, with twelve hours of blue sky and sunshine. It’s no wonder we’re all confused, and in my case, dazed.

It’s Easter weekend here, although if you were simply to go by the strident screaming on “news” and even ASDA’s website(s) all that is happening is some sort of foreign thing to do with the progress of or the ending of (or something) of something called something like Ramalamadingdong where, again if you believe the “politically correct” hype, all persons on Earth refrain from eating, drinking, and sexual congress for a while in order to please a god. All else has been erased from the stage directions.

Oh bugger, we’re back to the word ‘misanthrope’ again, aren’t we. In the words of that Carry On film, Misanthropy, they’ve all got it misanthropy.

Surely that ought to be Msanthropy now?

I suspect that today’s much vaunted sunshinery will bring the boatoids out like flies on a Shihtzu. We’re on a long, straight, wide section of canal, so the odds of being royally rammed are just as high as they are anywhere else these days.

Far from charging we boats without a home mooring more for our licences the Canal Company Ltd ought to deliver buckets of Valium, gratis, to our well-decks each day.

No idea how or even whether I’ll get through this season with my Brain-Gland intact and functioning (such as it is and does, but it’s the only one I’ve got). I’ll be clutching my pearls and biting a knuckle all Summer long.

We’ve comestibled, such as may be in a week when the partially-formed humans (“children”) are on parole from Juvenile Gaol (“schools”) and everyone’s determined to do everything at twice the pace and three times the intensity – some of the vegetables from ASDA were of dubious provenance and even more dubious parentage. Mr Cauliflower in particular looked much as though he’d only been released from the Old Vegetables Home for some sort of fight with something larger and more competant in the matter of fisticuffs. I accepted them all, since to return them would be to be without, and to be or not to be with or without “B-Grade” vegibodes, well – that is indeed the question.

Haven’t spotted a Canal Company Ltd spotter in weeks. I generally like to have some idea of where they’ve seen me, so that I might arrange with some care where they see me next.

Oh Christ on a pogo stick, Mr Dog-Shit’s on the towpath now with power-tools.

For the sake of the majority and for the protection of my (relative) freedom I shall put the Purdeys at the stern, the cartridges in the bow locker, and remain indoors as far as absolutely possible until the (bastard noisy) world goes away.


How lucky I am to not only be perfect myself in every way but to also harbour such meerkat-esque sentiments in re my fellow planet-dwellers.


Irony, oh irony. Incidentally, I haven’t ironed anything for years. Not even my face.


If you hear the dull distant report of a blunderbuss being fired later, panic not; it will only be me putting some prematurely-yellowing broccoli out of its misery.

Bites knuckle, clutches pearls, reaches for the free Valium that the Canal Company Ltd supplies to all boaters without a home mooring in consideration of the freak-wency with which twenty tonnes of Anglo-Welsh or ABC steel is rushed past under the sole putative control of some holidaying family’s eight-year old, on a footstool at the tiller.

Perhaps I was born after my time as well as before my time?

Duvet, where are you now? What do you mean, it would be not quite the done thing to go back to bed so soon after rising?

Harrumph, and manifold other noises.

Chin-chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H., and Cardinal W., showing Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu of Calcutta how love ought to be done.


    1. I am reminded of that Season of Pure Terror on Christmas Island when trillions of red crabs swarm across land and into the sea – the hire boaters hereabouts are much the same and they engender not dissimilar gut feelings (requiring frequent biting of knuckles, wide eyes, trucking of stray locks of damp hair back into the bob, and – I must say it – screams. If only there were an aerosol spray for them or something. ‘People Be Gone’. 😉

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  1. I’ve come to regard humans (I was going to say ‘my fellow humans’, but thought better of it) as a disease that’s slowly rotting the planet. If people really want to be green and responsible and stuff they should produce less humans. No kids, no carbon footprint – plus more jobs, better wages etc. This planet just isn’t big enough for the ever-spreading canker of people. No matter how far I try to distance myself from them, some overweight family of tattooed, loud-mouthed morons with a football always seem to find me.


  2. I did enjoy that, Old Chap. I should visit more often. Your misty photo is particularly good, too. I wonder how many of your readers are old enough, or sufficiently edukamated, to recognise the Ying Tong Yiddle I Po reference, let alone dazed and confused. I have a T-shirt with that on it somewhere – the memsahib hates it because the writing does to her eyes what it says on the T-shirt. As for vegetables in ASDA, our local seems to have plenty – though, to be fair, the lady that served me recently was very pleasant and intelligent.

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    1. When the delivery arrived I did wonder if perhaps the ASDA workers had been given orders to ‘get rid if that lot of old sh*te before it goes out of date tomorrow’. Not picked with the discrimination that I might use were I able to get to a shop myself… and how I wish that there were small independent grocers around as there used to be. Haven’t even seen a “farm gate” stall for years. It’s all called ‘progress’ I believe in this peculiar slice of the multiverse. ;-(

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        1. Since that nasty business with Thick Eric from the warehouse (and the vacuum-packed hamsters) I’ve been careful to never gossip about the staff.


  3. Ian, sweetheart, I do enjoy your mitherings. Well, mostly I enjoy them. But I feel I must chip in (in a minute you’ll see what I did there!) and say that here in the The Great South Land of many,many English bloods, some of whom claim to be descended from chaps who were deported some 300 or so years since for paltry sins, we, too, are suffering and struggling under the yoke of vegetable unavailabilty. The two major supermarkets in this small-ish city have A4 printouts in the largest font available to computers, grovellingly advising customers that a shortage of the potato variety suitable for the making of frozen chips necessitates their purchase by said customers to no more than TWO items per customer.

    I am wondering whether to tell people that A) chips can be made from other spud varieties or B) they can just do without. And now you’ll see what I said, back there.

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    1. I do like my chips done to a crisp… 😉

      On the previous comestibles drop the supermarket substituted my carefully chosen Welsh potamatatoes with their own unidentified “in house” un-branded “value” spuds… and ye gods, they had neither taste nor texture! This global disvegetableing is a tad concerning, since the wee beasties for the greater part of my diet. There’s little to no room on a boat for growing my own… and I refuse point-blank absolutely and entirely to consider a dish of stir-fried locusts instead. Not going to happen. Not even should Schwab, Klaus, himself be seen to make the change. I shall end up gnawing on tree-bark.

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