It rained this morning.
Of course it did! It rained and then the wind just smeared it all over the place.
The sky was one enormous monochrome blood clot as I stood there on the stern with my hood flapping noisily round my ears, struggling to reverse the boat into the winding hole at Moon’s Bridge (it’s impossible to steer backwards at the best of times, let alone when there’s a gale rising); juxtaposed against yesterday’s endless blue horizon and yesterday’s short-sighted weather forecast (sunshine with occasional showers).
It rained this morning. And it blew. But I kind of figured it would. The CaRT (despite the evidence to the contrary) seem to think that the plague has upped its mooring pins and gone off to explore alternative possibilities somewhere, and that, by way of consequence, us continuous cruisers must now do the same.
Travel as normal.
Back to the same old, same old.
There are several months’ worth of swollen bin-bags in the bows; there’s a Thetford cassette creaking with internal pressure tucked under the bench, and a water tank beneath the floor that’s almost down to its last skein of bilge rust. The boat is sick, rolling despondently – emptily buoyant yet leaden with garbage, both at once.
It’s all very well, I thought, but there’s going to be a second spike, I’m sure of it. You could see the lack of hope in the doleful eyes of the cows sliding past in the gloom. Only it won’t be a second wave, I thought, so much as a tsunami. I saw the crowds at Southend on the news yesterday; the ‘tomb-stoning’ lemmings plummeting from the heights of Durdle Door, having ‘fun in the sun’; the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests in London. I’m all for showing solidarity in such matters, but given the circumstances perhaps they could have organised a more ‘socially distanced’ rally.
Yes, I thought, Covid-20’s on its way (in Britain, at any rate, where Boris’s optimism for the common man runs deeper than Dominic Cummings’s spin drier); bigger; more explosive; more deadly than ever before! It’s the franchise that just keeps giving!
Or am I being pessimistic?
We’ll find out in a couple of weeks, I guess. You watch – the sun’ll come out and the wind will drop when it returns, just as the CaRT are reintroducing lockdown. And rather than the pleasant, pastoral surroundings of Moon’s Bridge, the boat’ll be stuck beneath a pylon in some scrubby, un-dredged mire somewhere…nowhere…next to an overflowing midden, surrounded by angry, hissing swans.
You wait and see, I thought.