‘Afloat,’ the Sage once whispered over my shoulder in a rum-soaked breath that would have flattened a score of sailors heading shorewards, ‘is the desired state for any ship of our line—’

At which point he paused long enough to fire off a shattering burp that just about flattened my own downwind self—

‘—the converse of course being the desirable state for ships of their line.’

Fair enough, too. I got his point and the attendant subsequent free hangover.

But does it apply to other floating objects?

Given that thousands of years ago some ancient Greek lolloping about in an Athenian bathtub defined ‘float’ as being when an object displaces a greater mass of the fluid than it weighs itself (okay, something like that) … then can an object floating about in an orbiting space capsule really be described as ‘floating’?

‘Nuff on that and on with our floaters:


Here be a leaf. So far as I could tell it meets all the criteria of being afloat, in so much as not being employed in swimming and having no visible means of support it must be afloat (or on a pension).


no post of mine is complete without its fair share of ducks, here’s your floating duck—

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 18.25.03

—any waterborne duck not aground or underway has to be floating …


and listen to my tale:

my beloved Spouse (her birthday yesterday, boom boom~!) loves op shops. Her enthusiasm is contagious and I got contaged, now I love ’em too. And in one of our very favourites (Hospice in Yarrow) where they have a ‘freebie’ table I spotted this wee beauty—(piccie further down, dammit)

It’s a scale model of a US Navy WW2 battleboat (plastic kitset thing) lovingly made by someone who knew what he was about. But sadly it has over the years taken a few hits so he recycled it by charitable donation—and when the good ladies of the Hospice couldn’t sell it (I never saw it or I’d have snapped it up myself) they offered it free to a good home. I grabbed it, and after some scissors-surgery and a bit of blowing out of dust and spiders it’s now as good as new(ish) and proudly guarding one of my bookcases.


I set it afloat on a sea of grass and took half a dozen snaps, not all of which would delight the eye of an aficionado but they please me—

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 20.10.32

—and here’s the weirdest damned thing:

on my bookshelf I set all the guns to fore and aft (the turrets train and elevate) but although the sharp-end turrets stay true … with no input from me the after turret trains outboard to starboard. Brrrr. I never see it move, and the case is both level and stable and passing traffic heavy enough to vibrate it to that degree would rattle my teeth. Spooky?


to The Spouse yet. I much prefer the mystery. Tonight I shall again reset it to centreline and see how it is in the morning … brrrrr …


Nil Desperrata




5 thoughts on “WPC: AFLOAT

  1. Maybe it’s the Sage burping it out of alignment?
    Did you know, if you spin your duck shot one click to the right it looks like the silhouette of a horned hairy beast?
    (Typing on this tiny thing is a minefield of inappropriate typos this morning…phew, I’m glad I got through that in one piece without unduly embarrassing myself…)

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