Yes, just some pictures of baby ducks in Ely for you.  You get the pubs re-opened, I’ll visit them for you.

Look how much of Page 123 of the Navigator I’ve done.  Perhaps I should start swimming the rivers and colour those in.

Stuff your Mappa Mundi

I popped in to Ely to make sure my parents didn’t fall in the Ouse.


“Don’t fall in Keith”

It’s good to see old folks (says he) getting out and about a bit more now, doing their little dance to keep 7.2 metres away from everyone else, while wondering why the ice cream van isn’t on the riverside.

Ely riverside is one of the approved beauty spots the BBC have been banging on about the last week.

Protector of the BBB c. 133 AD
Baby ducks off to Sweden in search of cask
“Wonky right ear”
“Sold as seen”
Weird boat name

Just as Mrs RM and I are desperate to get our campervan out so we can wild camp in bucolic Britain (well, probably Burton), the canal boats want to get out again, but overnight stays are scuppered for the time being.

No sign of life at the Cutter, a smartened Greene King gastropub that would have been heaving on a normal glorious May day.

Spare us the Cutter

Despite the setting, not a great deal of outside dining at the Cutter, though the Maltings may fare better.


Anyway, nothing about pubs from Boris in today’s briefing, and frankly it appears the British public are more interested in hounding Cummings than reaching an end to this crisis.


      1. I did smile when I saw that “Spare us the Cutter” caption. First saying I don’t know the band’s work enough to say whether this is fair or not, I recall seeing a (rather inflammatory) quotation from somebody saying “The only difference between Duran Duran and Echo and the Bunnymen is you have to have gone to university to realize that Echo and the Bunnymen are c**p.”

        Also, I rather like a fair number of songs by Duran Duran. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. UK and US music fans have very different views on “post-punk” bands, don’t they.

        There was a 6 month (late 80-mid 81) period when the Bunnymen were the 16 year old student’s favourite band. The Shine So Hard live EP is proof. But by the time you Yanks caught up they were all poppy. Exactly the same process as the Cure, OMD, Simple Minds & the Psychedelic Furs, whose 1980 LPs were a lot darker than the stuff they conquered America with 4 years later.

        Mind, it took us longer to catch up with aa lot of great American artists so I’m not being snobby.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’d swear you were reading my mind, naming all those bands. I didn’t even know the full Psychedelic Furs catalog, but when they released “Heartbeat” I thought, “Wow, the fans of their early work can’t be too happy about this!”

        And as an OMD guy, I can say I was pretty dismayed by the blandly mainstream sound of “If You Leave.” I have the impression though that The Cure emerged largely unscathed from that period, i.e. still accorded a lot of respect in most circles. Not sure if that’s true in the UK though?


      4. Yes, compare “Souvenir” with “Locomotion”, or “Sister Europe” with “Pretty in Pink”, or “A Forest” with “Love Cats”, or New Order ’81 with New Order ’83. I loved the Pretty in Pink film, of course.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Sugaring ropes or branches is a way of attracting moths daubing the surface with a sweet substance for them to feed on. It’s the dark side of mothing….


  2. The PM’s briefing did turn out to be rather a damp squib, but buried in the waffle was the excellent news that UK dentists will be allowed to reopen from June 8th.

    Although the reopening will be incremental, and priority will be given to the obvious emergency cases, this is music to the ears of a company like mine, which specialises in the manufacture of dental materials.

    At the start of the emergency we had over a million pounds worth of orders on our books; the majority of which were either postponed or even cancelled. We’ve been ticking over, mainly producing over-the-counter temporary filling materials, and weren’t expecting dentistry to recommence until August at the earliest, so for us, this news couldn’t have come at a better time.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No, it was on that scrolling red line at the bottom of the screen which proclaims “Breaking News.” I didn’t hear the PM say it, so I checked on line afterwards, and as it was in the Torygraph, I knew it must be correct.

        Full steam ahead now to complete the modification of our production and packaging areas to comply with social distancing guidelines. Then we can un-furlough our workforce.

        ps. How many of us had even heard the word “furlough” before all this started?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember visiting Ely in the early 80s and being struck by how the seats in the public bar in the Cutter were upholstered in carpet, presumably to cope with boating people wearing damp clothes. From your description it sounds as though it’s gone considerably up-market since then.


    1. It went upmarket about 20 years ago, when Greene King gave it their “Olde English” rebranding from memory. Ely used to be very old fashioned Fen town but an influx of younger commuters to new housing has changed that, often for the better. Spoons planned to open this year.


      1. It’ also one of the few Ely pubs that hasn’t been in the Beer Guide (in 30 years, anyway). Despite a micropub and Smith & Jones Spoons clone in the last decade the pub stock has changed little. It would make a pleasant and varied if inessential crawl; the Minster served an excellent Rev James last year.


      2. The Minster was memorably good when I visited in about 1982, but very ordinary when I went back in 2007. I think those are my only visits to Ely.

        Liked by 1 person

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