There’s been a lot of politics about lately; statues being torn down making pigeons homeless; angry protests about black lives mattering by people willing to rekindle a plague which disproportionately claims the lives of black minorities; people calling other people racists, with those being accused of being called racist calling their accusers racist back, because they’re calling them racists; it’s all getting a bit much.
As far as I can work out a large portion of the protesters filling the streets of London and Manchester and Birmingham didn’t really care what they were protesting about. They just wanted to illegally herd. After three months in lockdown the need to gather in large groups and chant is overwhelming for some people, I suspect. Possibly.
There were thousands of people in Manchester and Liverpool attended raves yesterday. Presumably they don’t think any lives matter at all, regardless of colour. And thousands more were queuing for the reopening of Pri-Mart this morning. (I don’t even know what Pri-Mart is. I don’t care either.)
You watch…I’m going to be accused of being an ignorant so and so now. Perhaps I am. At least I’m still following the two-metre distancing rule. My preferred personal airspace is about half a mile, to be honest…with a sixteen-foot bramble hedge in the middle.
The BBC is eager to show us how the world is slowly returning to normal, as if somehow that’s a good thing – slowly returning to its normal never-ending path of self-destruction.
The traffic’s back.
The contrails are back.
All the screaming and shouting and arguing is back.
And the herons are back.
I don’t know where they go in the winter. (I’ve never seen a baby heron. It’s a bit of a puzzle.) But the full-sized ones are back by the dozen, haunting the towpath like grey tent poles and casting their shadows across the cut like gloomy cloaks.
I picked up two kids shortly after I set off from White Horse Lane today. Not literally. I’m not Fred Talbot. I mean they ran along the towpath beside the boat, whooping and shrieking and screaming, all the way to Bilsborrow, where I took a sharp right to the Thetford Station and picked up two drinkers on a bench instead. (I’ve no idea what the beer garden at the White Bull is like, but it doesn’t bode well if the customers feel the need to stray to the Thetford Station.)
Thetford emptied – tick.
Water tank filled – tick.
Three months’ worth of bin bags chucked – tick.
Large mounds of spiders’ webs and rotten leaves uncovered by the aforementioned bin bags being moved from the bows, brushed and cleared away – well, not tick actually. I travelled down to Skull Bridge once I’d finished with Bilsborrow, planning to sort the mess out after I’d moored up, but the glorious sunshine that had brought the mouth-breathers and towpath shriekers out suddenly broke with an ominous crack and the heavens’ poured through.
So, everything’s more or less back to normal it seems. Except that it isn’t, really. I have one last panel to paint on the boat, before I start on the interior. Then it’s back to repainting the roof. It’s like the Forth Bridge, except it’s not red, and it’s a boat.