Sunrise Over Texaco

It’s light enough early enough these days to really annoy other boaters (quid pro quo eh?) by cruising – in this case – somewhat before dawn. It’s quite the best time of day for some manoeuvres. Set off at twenty to six, moored up again by twenty past the seven. Just as the day’s rain set in. Poor earnest.

That which ought best to be empty is empty, that which is best full, be full. For the moment. Tis but a brief sensation in the Great Scheme of Things.

The Cardinal ensqueezinating past some C&RT boats lined up and awaiting paint jobs and other work.
The Cardinal ensqueezinating past some C&RT boats lined up and awaiting paint jobs and other work.

The earlyth of the hour makes generally for quite pleasant cruise-ettes – fewer boats and people; more wildlife.

Whenever I steam out through the harbour wall I tend to have INTERPOL chasing me two or more possible moorings in mind but in this cruise the second was not needed; the spot that I wanted was vacant. Not pretty vacant, just vacant. Nice enough views, but nothing that you’d get your oils, smock, and beret out for.

There’s mud. Lots of it. Mud mud mud. There used to be signs up ahead proclaiming (that you can’t walk five hundred miles in) DEEP MUD, but someone harvested half of the fence for firewood (needs must when the Robber Barons drive) and the signs just rotted away, like deregulated pension funds in the hands of an unfettered The City.

The Cardinal enjoying a brief, all too brief, spell without meerkats moored up his arse. It didn't last long.
The Cardinal enjoying a brief, all too brief, spell without meerkats moored up his arse. It didn’t last long.

Aside from the sad boat that’s been dumped for months and months and months (how many months in a year?) and a brace of boats ahead it was initially all quite civilised. Not for long of course. The boat now behind docked using the most amazing manoeuvre, some textbook arrangement that began with overshooting the vacant space, included full reverse – followed of course by Full Suez – and ended on the ropes at improbable angles, and missing us by a Rizla. Various boats have come, gone, and come back again at our bow.

There is an Anglo-Welsh Hell Boat Centre not far ahead so, this being “El Weekend”, there has been and likely will be again today a minor flurry of boats crewed by The Spirits of Timothy “it’s a contact sport” West and Juan Manuel Fangio. A Shelby Boats boat passed yesterarvo, a gaggle of ageing but still at-heart-millennials aboard (not to be confused with a gaggle of Minnellials) positively desperate to be confused with the Leadbetters. No, Jeremy, it’s my turn to be Margot – go and put your trousers on. There was much braying, much sipping of white wine, and very little room left on the cruiser stern in which to steer. They passed at a very sedate speed indeed, which gave me more time to appreciate their… “boom box” blasting the usual tune-free, lyric-deprived, ill-mixed crap favoured by the younger generations. Nice try. Better luck next time. p.s., the Thames is down south…

Truly that Parry chap is turning the canals into some sort of linear “Butlins” and no-one has a clue about his target demographic, including the target demographic.


It’s all go on the canals, you know. If there were a corporate ha’penny in go-go Parry would encourage that too.

This being Ingerlund in April the weather, of course, is a confused blend of sweepings from the Met Office floor. Cool enough to want the stove, not cold enough for the stove to stay lit. A bit of sunshine, a lot of dismal dullth. Rain and more rain. Oh to be in Spain, where the rain stays mainly on the aeroplane. Moan moan moan, it’s all that I ever do, do, do. Ah…


Such wildlife as there is around here – one scrawny swan, a smattering of the makings of a duck pâté, and a moorhen – remains aloof. I’ve tried them with green stuff and I’ve tried them with lightly toasted sliced seven seeds wholemeal, and the answer has been universal; the bras d’honneur. Stuff ’em then I say. Chesnuts perhaps, with some element of the wild clementine.

Something with classic male-pattern ecclesiastical alopecia, “dressed” in tights and a hi-vis vest has just “jogged” past, presumably in wild pursuit of his health. Good luck with that. If he loses his footing in this mud he’s going to split more than his infinitive.

When I was still knee-high to an all-in wrestler (we had several such in the family) tights were something worn exclusively by little girls whose parents told them that they were “princesses” and by the dancers of The Immingham Ballet Company. When did men lose all sartorial shame? If you’re going to wear tights then the least you can do is to resurrect the embroidered codpiece too.

Talking of codpieces, I see that the “mainstream” “news” is still full of the details of Charlie boy’s impending CorrieNation. I would say that I’ll wait until the Spitting Image version comes out on Radio Rentals Videodisc, but well, those two waddling up the aisle of Westminster Abbey will far exceed even the p*ss-taking talents of Fluck and Law.

I note that as an empathetic nod to the real world of massive inflation, total political ineptitude, and run-away corruption the Happy Couple will only be using the Gold State Coach one-way. Oh no, hang on – it’s because their arthritic arses can’t take more than the one bumpy ride in it, nothing to do with food banks or “warm spaces” at all.

None of which has much to do with the canals of course. 😉 I digress.

Praise be to the Greek and Roman gods.

Actually, if there are any gods left alive on Mount Olympus, woudl it be possible pleasey weasey to send Mr Wogan back, get him fissed as a part, and let him give the sole commentary on the CorrieNation? Perhaps with the assistance of Statler and Waldorf…

Me? I’m heading back under my magic duvet until they finally open the canal link to Mars.

Dear gods, please let me escape to Mars.

Chin-chin chaps.

Ian H., & Cardinal W.


  1. How’s the trench foot dude?
    We are back above our favourite lock but as usual the tinternet & mobile signals are dire.
    At least the towpath is dry and no need for dockoff boots

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A jogger came past yesterday – he looked like something from a Disney cartoon as he scrabbled for grip. The mud is… of a high quality and the portions are generous. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. If the mud doesn’t take your jogger, then the jogger’s nipple probably will. It’s a painful condition that starts on the jogger’s head and eventually consumes their brain, although it has to travel the entire digestive system first, of course.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I shall invent the Explosive Anti-Jogging Nipple. A small amount of Black Powder and a friction fuse, stitched on over the originals under a local anaesthetic in mobile clinics run by the Army in all parks and on all towpaths. The ridiculous habit of “jogging” will soon sort itself out – with manifold opportunities for hilarious u-toob videos… Headstones will liven up too – ‘Here lies Tarquin, a keen jogger until one day quite without warning his man-tits exploded.’ &etc.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. We were planning to be out of the country for the Corrie-nation,but sadly, that hasn’t happened. But I think we’ll be well away from any broadcasting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I imagine that the day will be a splendid one for exploring parks and countryside – far fewer folk than usual, and those out and about self-selected for quality! I may tune in to a news channel should I hear of any wild exothermic disconveniences in the Westminster area… but only then. 😉 I wonder if North Korea has the range?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Given all the undesirables infesting your mooring, where is that punt gun when you need it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In for repair. The barrel overheated during a debate at my previous moorings. Am taking the opportunity to have a Laser sight fitted.


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