Chaste by the Sun

As in a(nother) dawn raid. Positively the best time of day to move. Weak, low sunshine, gathering mist on the water, and the chance to royally discontentibode all of those slumbering boaters who annoydimuchuthed me by their moves. Win-win.

The big ball of nuclear confusion is arising there over Cholmondeston Lock (pronounced “chumston”) as the Cardinal and I cruised away to pastures new.

We need pastures new for several reasons. First and foremost, Farmer Gillespie has lathered his pastures with the most obnoxious substance that, while it undoubtedly originated in the intestines of cows, is most definately not one of yer regular nice “countryside” niffs.

Not unless he supplements his cows’ diet with boggysmellyformaldethroatscratchynosehurt. Chemical symbol BsFtSnH.

I trust – in part – in evolution. Something that smells that bad just can’t be good for the human system.

Also the Canal Rozzers are due today or tomorrow, rinky dinky iPiddlyPads a-logging boats and positions for the purposes of. I believe that the family crest of the Canal Company Ltd is crossed iPads (over bezants, tiny). We will therefore give the poor wee (lost) souls the chance to log me somewhere where they haven’t logged me for quite a while. Having once been in lengthy conversation with the Canal Company’s titular “head of boating” I have no desire to ever be in communication with him again. Some life experiences add to the quality of Life’s grand moth-eaten tapestry, others are on a par with unblocking a toilet.

Push the bows out and ring down to the Engine Room for both ahead ten revolutions please

I am as kind as may be to my neighbours, I untie my ropes first, stow the fenders, generally make ready, and start Mr Engine only just before ready to depart, with perhaps only a centreline to un-oik. I labour under no illusion however that I am not cursed at length from under many a slightly-damp and tangled duvet.

Once more into the light early morning vapours, dear boy, once more.

Many folk seem to love the Acton Trussell and Trailing Bustle of boating about at the height of the day. I am of the opinion that only mad dogs and non-English men go out in the Noon-day sun. Give me Sparrowfart O’Clock in far preference, when the water’s calm, the hedgerows full of birds screeching about burning their toast and having no clean knickers to fly in, and the yappy dogs of yap-dog boats asleep in their whatever yappy little dogs sleep in (biscuit barrels?).

So many folk draw only the blinds on the towpath side of their boats, assuming, possibly, that none will pass on the water until they’ve shat/showered/shaved/finished bonking the wife and/or covered up that black silk & red velvet bustier and fishnets with their oily boiler-suit. Some things, once seen, cannot be unseen, no matter how hard one tries not to even glance at a window or porthole.

There’s less chance of some After You – No, After You Stand-Off at bridge ‘oles. Being English and once meeting an Englishman boating towards me at a bridge – and with both of us equidistant – my longest wait for one of us to take the rude initiative and motor through was two years four months three weeks five days and seventeen hours. A further four months was then wasted apologising to one another.

It is easier for an Old Lady to ride a camel down Threadneedle Street than it is to get past the bouncers of Heaven in trainers. Or something.
Mist arising as the carp boil their kettles for a cup of tea with which to begin their day

Bridge ‘oles seemed terrifyingly narrow to me when first boating I began. They can still be a bit of a squeeze even now, and there are lots and lots and lots and lots of them on the system.

The general Golden Rule is that whatever isn’t a bridge hole will be a long line of moored boats, probably on both sides.

Squishy boats to the left of us, squishy boats to the right of us. Boldly they cruised and well, blah blah blah*. *Tennyson.

Usually, as here, on a bend. A wonderful place to meet oncoming traffic and/or a crosswind.

Our first choice of mooring was kah-poot, being littered with holiday boats and with a certain boat abandoned there by a certain local workplacery. Our second choice of mooribodes was vacant, pretty vacant, God save the Queen, Her His fascist rrrrregime, &etc.

Actually, by no stretch of the imagination might these moorings be termed ‘pretty’, but they’ll do nicely. I am not pretty myself, and can have no business looking for conspicuous views in every port of call. There’s a bar of internet here – a resource which I must remark is becoming increasingly rare, for all of the hype and self-congratulatory b*llocks spouted by mobile companies. There are few places where the signal is as good as it was even just last year, and none that I know of where tis improved, despite their rectumrick. Um – rhetoric. I do wonder what, in the mobile telephone & internet business, is occurring? Something, for sure certain.

Something doubtless that will benefit EE/Three/&etc/The-Grubbernment and probably not the peasant consumer. Cynical me.

Anyway, moored up was what we got, albeit with an odd arrangement of fenders to accommodate a towpath that is bowing out (to my experience over the past years, where it did not bow out before), and coffee was brewed, re-brewed, and thrice-brewed.

Praise be to the [Greek & Roman] gods all was also done long before the heavens opened with a monsoon performance most splendid.

A predicted monsoon performance during the Acton Trussell and Trailing Bustle hours of the day… soggy boaters thus abounding. I’m not quite so green as I am cabbage-looking. Here in Ingerlund we attempt to forecast the weather as best we can for a reason; our inclemencies are of magnificent quality, and they descend at the drop of a hat.

The downpour has ceased and Mr Sun is blasting down now, making the dark and thunderous clouds look quite dramatic.

Each moment a fresh adventure in meteorological extremis with barely a chance to don or dis-don a Pac-a-Mac and one of those clear plastic headscarves printed with flowers or polka dots that Mother used to favour on occasion.

So, whatever; to settle in, to keep an eye out (I have one on a stick for the purpose) for the Canal Rozzers, and to concoct a curry for late tiffin from whatever I have in the Comestibles Barrels.

Bugger – in the time that it took me to type that last paragraph the sun has disappeared again and the hedgerow birds have stopped tweetering. Something approacheth.

Ah – not weather at all, but something equally portentous.

An Andersen Boats holiday boat with the throttles jammed wide open and the holidaymakers making the alcohol-fuelled late-morning most of their last moments before ramming the lock gates at St Nazaire.

Chin-chin, chaps. Ruddy well done.

Ian H., & Cardinal W., Contented Malcontents. Contents may settle with time. Malcontents rarely settle. Settle has a railway to Carlisle. Why, though, I could not say.


    1. I too am mightily pleased that they decided to hold mornings before afternoons and evenings. I don’t think I should like them so is mornings were nearer sunset. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I imagine that, considerate as you are in upping sticks at sparrowfart, the effect on the slumberers might be that of having a pipe bañd playing “Johnny Cope” under one’s window

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is only so much that may be done to suppress the music of a 1,200 litre three cylinder marine diesel engine running on pure five star (with Green Shield Stamps). I worry about encouraging some of them to appreciate early mornings, when that is the last thing on my mind.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.