Reflections of the Schnark

The end of the world, dinghy sailing, and other things

End of the World Diary, Pt. I – Natalia Klyuchareva — literalab

Translated from the Russian by Mariya Gusev Throughout this week, which will close out the first month of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Literalab will publish the writing of Natalia Klyuchareva. “The End of the World Diary” recounts her reactions during the war’s opening week. “March 6” tells about her experience attending an anti-war rally. […]Continue reading “End of the World Diary, Pt. I – Natalia Klyuchareva — literalab”

I saw three ships…

To day I chatted up the owner of Millie, a boat similar to this above. He is getting on in age, I’m guessing he predates Ian Proctor’s 1965 design for the16’6″ Beaufort Dinghy, which was, I am told, popular with the Royal Navy dinghy sailors, and was seen as indestructable. He has sold his yachtContinue reading “I saw three ships…”

The wrong beach

I had been sitting on this groyne for over an hour, waiting for the tide to float my boat so that I could escape upwind within the narrow gap between the groynes, and hoping that some friendly soul would happen by and exchange the time of day; none had. I hadn’t intended to come here,Continue reading “The wrong beach”

Dying for democracy.

Today I viewed some grisly footage of conflict supposedly in Ukraine. It was offered as evidence of Ukrainian atrocities, and I felt it on my conscience to see it to the end. I’m not troubled by blood or gore, or death, but I am troubled by the argument, and should I be involved? As evidenceContinue reading “Dying for democracy.”

Searching for a relevant parallel

“Molecular clock estimates, genetic studies and archaeological data all suggest the initial colonisation of Sahul and Australia by modern humans occurred around 48,000–50,000 years ago. Over the last few decades, a significant number of archaeological sites dated at more than 30,000 years old have been discovered. › science When did modern humans get to Australia? –Continue reading “Searching for a relevant parallel”


Mr and Mrs Schnark have enjoyed a weeks holiday in South Wales, staying in a charming terraced cottage in the village of Crickhowell, that stands beside the River Usk between the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains. We enjoyed walks on nearby Sugar Loaf, and Table Mountain, which gave its Welsh name to the villageContinue reading “Levelling”

Stone cold sober.

Mental illness has been in my thoughts of late, best I don’t say why, but it has always been a diagnosis that I am not prepared to take at face value. I believe it might be always the case that the fault lies not with the patient, but with the world in which they live.Continue reading “Stone cold sober.”

Deaths Peripheral to Sars Covid II No 1, The Track Worker.

Summary of R.A.I.B. finding. At around 10:52 hrs on Wednesday 8 April 2020, a passenger train, travelling at 90 mph (145 km/h), struck and fatally injured a track worker on the West Coast main line near the village of Roade, Northamptonshire. The accident happened because the track worker, who was the person in charge ofContinue reading “Deaths Peripheral to Sars Covid II No 1, The Track Worker.”


7th June 2021 Its very quiet in here. Sadly I no longer have access to a computer at work. My wife’s two laptops do not tempt me, I’ve tried writing with my smart phone, but that doesn’t appeal either. It could also be that I don’t have anything desperate to say, or have done nothing worthContinue reading “Tumbleweed”

Schnark Music

The Schnark has been keeping his head down this winter. A new boat is in my care on the Medway, but we’ve not been a float since July except as crew, or in hired craft. I have stories to tell but not the time to give them credit. I have been instead banging away withContinue reading “Schnark Music”

A visit to Ardrishaig

The gate opens out of the last lock onto a small pool before the sea lock, A tiny idyll abound with wild flowers and skitting birds. Several startled swallows are rattled from their hidey-holes in the structure of the lock gate. The old canal wall curves around from our right to describe a circle, SlopingContinue reading “A visit to Ardrishaig”

Christmas and the NHS

Salbutomol 100mcg 2x daily if required Beclamethazone 200mcg 1x daily, Calcium and Vitamin d3 600mg & 400IU, (10mcg) x2 twice daily. Alendronic Acid 70mg x1 once weekly. Folic acid 5mg once daily. Methotrexate 20mg injected once weekly, skip folic acid on this day. Tacrolimus 0.1% ointment once daily applied externally to affected areas as required.Continue reading “Christmas and the NHS”


Prickly scarlet kisses dangle dangerously over the water butt. I am tasked with taming them. Surgical precision cuts with cold steel Leave a pile of thorns and blushes at my feet. The brightest are to keep, Those mellowing to a fire orange Can be raised to the mouth, Sucked out from the back end, SweetContinue reading “Rosehips”

Oh wretched mouse

Dear little mouse, It has been two years now Since your last appearance, And once again you have destroyed my peace. My poor dear wife is driven to distraction For fear of what you might be doing. And where did you find that acorn? In our attic studio. I understand your pleasure in devouring it,Continue reading “Oh wretched mouse”

Series Apocalypse

This blog is supposed to be about the end of the world, dinghy sailing, and other things. Other things seem to have taken over of late, mouse poems, cat poems and reflections on the mundane have held sway. I have been prophesying doom for many years, I remember years ago as I was sweating aboutContinue reading “Series Apocalypse”

Little Bird

Dear little bird, You have become trapped under the netting Over my neighbour’s cabbages. A state of dire panic You exercise every muscle in your body In an effort to be free of that spiteful web.   I am moved with pity and anger. I try to help But I need a knife to cutContinue reading “Little Bird”

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