Klaatu Barada Nikto

When good topiary goes bad.

Splendid topiary reminding me of nothing less than Gort, the robot from The Day The Earth Stood Still. Two Martians from Quatermass & The Pit stand alongside him.
Splendid topiary reminding me of nothing less than Gort, the robot from The Day The Earth Stood Still. Two Martians from Quatermass & The Pit stand alongside him.

So, what’s been occurring? The usuals. Warm days, blasting gales, lashing rain, frosts, blue skies. The Cardinal and I have cruised a little, mainly to take care of Needs Domesticus rather than for the scenery.

Exciting things have been done such as the commercial laundering of money all of my favourite “warm layers” (fleeces, old-man cardigan, lamb’s wool lined mankini, &etc). Given the inclement nature of most of the weather of late this proved discomnobulating, since until they were wholly and undeniably dry once more the process left me with none of my favourite “warm layers”. I found myself forced into wearing a South American llama-wool poncho, a most discontiguous and tog-deficient item of clothing. How your average gaucho doesn’t freeze his nuts off is beyond me. Clint Eastwood made it look so easy, too. Perhaps I should have smoked a cigar(ello), for the warmth of a struck match if nothing else.

Still, hopefully the Winter’s load of coal dust has gone at least from my old-man cardigan. It does appear to be several shades lighter.

Speaking of frozen assets, Messrs ASDA were invited the other day to be-fetch me a selection of cheeky nibbles and sophisticated amuse-bouche. Spuds, mostly. As is the my custom, I went out into the blasting Arctic-esque gale half an hour before the appointed hour, they arrived at ten minutes to its close, by which time the entirety of me was colder than the extremities of a penguin‘s bum. The look and the aroma were also, of course, as always, not dissimilar.

Lovely old and real slate tiles going to a most dreadful waste as this old barn waits for its demise in the next phase of ticky-tacky.
Lovely old and real slate tiles going to a most dreadful waste as this old barn waits for its demise in the next phase of ticky-tacky.

As is also customary, the order was largely a sane and sensible “adult” (as in not juvenile) one, and the moment I packed everything away I regretted not including some items of silliness.

Ho et le hum.

I was treated to a most cromulent and epicaricacoid (sic) “boating moment” prompting a rather raw guffaw by a chance meeting near the Cardinal of an Anglo-Welsh holiday hire boat and a “hysterical” boat returning from the “hysterical boat weekend” at Ellesmere (and which was towing an unpowered butty).

[For reference and context, Anglo-Welsh hire boats IMHE are generally responsible for a very large proportion of collisions and damage, often being piloted by large people with small brains and under the influence of lot of alcohol and little to no training. “Historical” boats are built like tanks, have huge thump-thump engines, and require the operator to pull levers and twiddle little handles in order to be able to change anything in the manner of their operation once moving.]

Yonder hysterical boat combo was proceeding apace towards the junction, yonder holiday boat steaming in from Das Oppositen Direction and then proceeding to execute a three (plus) turn right in front of them. A few yards at most. I heard some exceedingly polite calls of ‘I can’t stop, you’ll have to be the one to get out of the way…’ followed by two almighty BANGS. I don’t have the best view from here but when I stuck my head-gland out of a handy porthole I could see the holiday boat still rocking splendidly from the impact. A full ninety-degree t-bone meeting involving the high bow of a “hysterical” and the side of an A-W holiday.

Oh frabjous joy.

Was it wrong of me to grin? It makes such a change to see one of A-W’s finest get smacked for a change. I don’t wish the boat any harm, but the company… well… they could do with a serious kick up the stern.

Yeah. Whatever.

Red double-decker London bus emerging from the gate of the local "once was" a "farm".
We’re all going on a summer holiday, doin’ things we always wanted to. Fun and laughter on our summer holiday as we get royally t-boned through and through… We’re going where the dings shine brightly, we’re going where the air is blue…*

*Other Cliff Richard songs are available, mention here does not imply endorsement.

Actually, there’s nothing that could be taken to imply endorsement of Cliff Richard anywhere.

A Canal Rozzer “spotter” has been around by all accounts, but I didn’t spot the spotter. I’ve asked The Canal Ministry to furnish me with any and all information from their card index relating to their sightings of me and mine over the past year. I feel no guilt in putting them to this work, since they don’t collect this data for my benefit.

If past requests have been anything to go by it’ll take a bit of wheedling out of them, but we’ll get there in the end, and I can then check their end against my end. The info has generally hithertofore arrived in the form of a password-protected spreadsheet and/or a PDF that may only – ONLY – be opened and read in the full and expensive commercial versions of those kinds of software. Being a peasant and of limited means I have to back and forth until they produce it in something that may be deciphered in freeware.

I am due to fork over a king’s ransom to them next month for my “licence”. Mother once accidentally bought a large tea plantation just outside Poonah for less. Much less.

So basically, nothing exciting, really. I have vegetarian sausages to go with my broccoli, and that’s about the it of it. The weather’s still over-breezy, the sky looks as though there’s been some terrible explosion at the cloud factory, the nights are cool and the days too warm for the tastes of Mr “Awkward Bugger” Stove. Plus ca change plus c’est la meme canals.

Apparently there are to be no fewer than three Bank Holidays in this coming May. I must find places to hide away from all of them. Most especially so the one in some sort of “honour” of the accession of Charles The Turd and his Bit O’Fluff to the throne. I shall be giving that event all due respect and here we’re back to penguin’s arses, aren’t we? Such a shame that the other one – what’s her name? Moaning Meghan or some such, can’t make it. Can’t get time off work I suppose, or perhaps they could only afford the one flight…


Chin-chin for the mo, Muskies.


Ian H.


    1. Roses Marmalade – one of the finest, and one of my favourites, alongside that delicious Scottish concoction of oranges and a dash of whisky. Also Marmite and honey, but not on the same slice of toast. Well, never intentionally so.


  1. Re the topiary: Raymond Briggs does Elton John, I reckon.
    Re the coronation: A good day for going somewhere posh that is usually frequented by easily-led idiots and having the place to yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Now that’s a thought – I wonder if the Hooray Henry pubs will be advertising large-screen coverage and cheap wine for the CorrieNation, as others do with those games of watchermacallit… “the football”. Personally I am heartbroken that Meghan will not be gracing us with an appearance.*

      *Not really. 😉 Couldn’t actually give a shihtzu.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Mr. Stove tribe have decided views on under which circumstances they should be lit…too cold? You need a muffler round the flue and a warm overcoat over the lot. Too warm? They sulk. We had a Godin. It could shrug for France.
    Wonderful collision. Took me back to sailing club days on the Norfolk
    Broads when you awarded points for same…..bowsprit through a motor boat porthole was good – tops for bowsprit through the loo porthole of motor boat when said loo was occupied. I saw – and heard – it once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that is a collision I’d love to have seen (so long as neither boat was mine)!

      Mr Stove must be French – when it’s positively Arctic he works like a Trojan, but allow the slightest whiff of erg-related doubt into the weather and it’s tools down all out and back to the negotiating table for endless kindling and attention.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If he goes back to the negotiating table, he’s not French. The very least a good French stove would do is explode and set fire to everything around.

        Liked by 1 person

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