Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Judge Dredge

The canal near to our house, long disused*, has been the subject of much debate in recent years, with applications for grants and subsidies being made in order to get it up and running again.

Finally, after a lot of campaigning, organising, lobbying and discussion, money was finally scraped together and made available from various sources to begin work on making it a usable resource once again.

And it was all worth it to see an excavator on a barge!

An excavator on a barge!

Awesome with a capital AWE.

Obviously, if you have a child, particularly one of the type with a penis, they will nearly wet themselves with enthusiasm at the possibility of merely being near an excavator. 

Combine that with a canal barge and the almost mystical qualities of black, smelly mud dredged from the bottom of a half-choked canal and, well, you get a state of pleased excitement matched only by a man on a day-time talk show discovering he's NOT the father of  little Chantelle-Mia or Diamante-Sequoia.

My son was obviously not immune to the magic of an excavator on a barge, and day after day I would hear entreaties to go and see it, all pleading eyes and hopeful expression like a puppy at a barbecue.

Of course I agreed because, well, it's an excavator on a barge and a shitload of mud. Who wouldn't want to see that? So I would pretend to grudgingly acquiesce, whilst secretly hoping they might let me have a go.

Which they didn't. Miserable buggers.

In reality, the operators both of the excavator (on the barge) and the little sludge pushing boat that was dumping the goo on a field nearby wore the constant attention very well, returning friendly waves and thumbs up signs to the kids, although they must have felt like exhibits for the week or two they were in the area

I suppose you're bound to be naturally ebullient if you're the driver of an excavator on a barge. I would definitely be happy if I got to operate an excavator, and particularly so if said excavator was, as has been mentioned, on a barge.

In conclusion, let us look, from a different angle, at an excavator:

On a barge.

*Long disused by humans, at any rate. Coots, moorhens, swans and ducks use it regularly.


  1. You are right, diggers on barges are excellent. This is why aircraft carriers are ace, planes on ships, you can't beat it.

  2. Did you run over to the dredged earth with a metal detector device? There could be untold treasure there for the discovery in freshly dredged canal slime!

  3. I grinned, foolishly, throughout this piece. As the mother of a male, the pictures brought back some fantastic memories. I can only imagine how very, very exciting it was to actually be there.

    You are one of my favorites, Jules. You truly crack me up.


  4. Tony Van Helsing - Things carrying other things is obviously inherently cool. It's a wonder we don't revere fleas more.

    Eric - This area has predominantly been used for sheep rearing and wool production for a thousand years, so you'd probably just get lots of metal sheepshoes and things.

    Pearl - You have no idea how pleased I am to know that! Thank you.

  5. Ha. Yes, machines. Now what's this you say about swans?

  6. You know, I'm glad you put in pictures, because it was only by looking at them that I realised the excavator was on a barge. You really should mention that in your blog post somewhere.

  7. Having come equipped with said penis, I heartily concur that the excavator/barge combination might be the finest piece of mud excavation machinery ever produced.

    Second only of course to the giant deathsaw excavator:

  8. Wow! and excavator...on a barge, not one but TWO way cool things together. Who could have dreamed up such a thing..barges are cool..obviously! but the bright spark that thought to put an excavator on it as well!! Genius!
    Sadly I had three daughters and NO sons, so I've had no one to blame to go to see such things...and my girls would just look at it and suggest we go do something else. It's almost worth traveling half way around the world to see that... (wouldnt have the GPS co-ords would you?)

  9. Wait a goddamn second. For a moment there I thought you said there was an excavator. On a barge. I've decided I'm asleep and merely dreamt it. And this.

  10. Steamy - I bet your American swans are bigger than English ones. It's just swan-upmanship.

    tennysoneehemingway - Perhaps I should have highlighted it, although I believe such a sight speaks for itself.

    SkylersDad - Yeah, but giant deathsaw excavators are ten a penny, so lose out to the canal barge on novelty value alone.

    Tempo - I bet you're always well-groomed though? The co-ordinates are top secret, otherwise excavator-bargeophiles would flock here and ruin us!

    Veggie Ass - It is almost too good to be true isn't it? And if you weren't a girl you'd make a jolly fine chap

  11. What Boys Own stuff, on a barge to boot. Watched a youngster (type with the aforementioned appendage) about 7 today while I was waiting for a bus. Would he listen to his mother, not likely, there was a construction crane working across the road. Mother never had a chance.


  12. I am so glad that boys are so easily amused. I don't have a son.. but I have a boyfriend and if I were to ever see an excavator on a barge, I'm calling that a date opportunity. Just bring they boy there and let him watch the excavator... I'm sure he would enjoy it not as much as your son but still enjoy it not the lest.


I'm going to risk taking comment moderation off for a bit, so if you're a web-bot, a robot, a bot-fly or a bottom-dwelling sediment-feeder, then please refrain from commenting.

Otherwise, have a go. S'fun.