Sunday, 24 October 2021

Electrical Discrepancy.

Today I found some broken insulation on my work lamp. To repair it I used heat shrink sleeves. This involved cutting off the sealed plug to get the sleeves onto the cable. 

So, job done I had to get a new plug. I went to 'Robert Dyas' because I expected to get a quality plug. They stocked the plug seen in the picture below.

This plug cost £1.79. You'll see the plug has a 3 amp fuse. Had I wanted a 13amp fused plug it would have cost £2.49. Now according the 'Robert Dyas' site 3 amp fuses cost the same as 13 amp fuses.

So my question is, Why a discrepancy between 3 amp and 13 amp plugs?

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Banbury Lift Bridge

I dont get it! It's a lift bridge, how hard can it be? The up direction and the down direction are clearly marked, in white, with arrows and ↑'UP' & ↓'DN'. Yet people can still get two or three rotations of the windlass before they realise they are turning the the windlass the wrong f*****g way! Even though its a real struggle. When they have wound the bridge 'UP' rarely do they realise that if the winding gets stiffer the bridge is 'UP'. The fact that the beam is sitting on the floor doesn't permeate their thick skulls.

People came through last year when it was very stiff saying, "It never used to be that stiff" and this year they are saying, "I was told it was very stiff." One can only assume that they have never fixed anything in their lives.

The working mechanism is not on the towpath side. If you are a single hander, providing you are less than 58 feet and are skillful you can moor on the working side. There is one bollard, roughly midships to tie your handling line around. There really is no need to moor on the other side and walk down to the lock to cross over to get back to your boat.

If you are longer than 58ft you can get your bow on to the working side bollard, then take your bow rope on to the bollard while working the bridge. You can either traverse down the gunnel or walk through the boat.

If you are a single hander then be a single hander. Dont ask me to help you because I wont. I have been a single hander for nigh on 15 years I accept help sometimes when offered but never  ask for help. You chose to be a single hander so be a single hander. Don't keep expecting others to 'help' you because you cant sit back for a few mins and solve the problem in front of you.

There are some boats I will help through, an elderly couple and a chap who had a stroke and lost the use of his right arm come to mind immediately

There is always a dummy who says, "Why are the beams are on the "wrong side?"  To which I have to respond, "Donkeys, mules, and cart  horses don't jump beams. In fact it would be a folly if they did, the risk of injury is greater. 

"But we don't have donkeys, mules, and carthorses anymore". That's true, but CRT are tasked with keeping the history and heritage as intact as best they can. If you dont like it buy a caravan! Your ignorance and lack of thinking ability is dangerous and damaging to the equipment we all rely on.

Two boats this last few months have, through their own bloody mindedness, crashed into the bridge. One, BLUEPRINT, wasn't too bad although the bridge did shake, but the second, WARRIOR, was under power. More than a crawl! and lifted it up off it hinges. Fortunately it dropped back in the right place.

Earlier this year I was moored on the outside of the wharf with the historic KILSBY on the inside. This leaves a good 15 feet for the passage of two boats. A chap comes past and bounced of the MILLY M. I asked if he had enough room and highlighted the fact that Tooley's do give handling lessons to which he blurted out, "Well you shouldn't be moored there". 

There was only one reply I could muster. "I wondered how long it would be  before your lack of boating skills was my fault". It seems that people want to change things instead of honing their boating skills. 

A few week later I was moored on the inside and KILSBY an 111 year old FMC boat was on the outside. Now I dont know about you but even though I am 5'8" I stand on a 14" high milk crate when steering. This way I can see forward to just about 60' in front of the boat. The Skipper of MAISIBERT, seeming somewhat shorter than me, stands on the stern deck and cant see the 200 yards in front at all. He was 3/4 of the way across KILSBY when he hit it. I thought KILSBY was going through the bridge! "Sorry", he said "I didn't see it". Well of course he wouldn't see it his narrow boat was in the way.

I know negotiating past Tooley's is not easy, but that's a good reason for taking care. People are more likely to come on through the bridge when there is a boat waiting, than to wait until it has a free passage. The other side of the  bridge has space for six boats at push and still leaves passage from the lock, but do they wait, NO! 

On the other side I have seen boats who wouldn't go through to the lock waiting area because the was one boat ready to come through despite mooring spaces for six boats.

I despair!

Friday, 27 August 2021

Today I posted a pic of Biden's son with a child (10ish) in in skimpy underwear more suitable for a woman. I was banned in 10 seconds! 

FaceBook obviously think this is OK!

FB are totally unable to understand that the first amendment protects freedom of speech!

Monday, 23 August 2021

 Saturday, as you will all know, was very wet. I have never seen it this wet!

Sunday, 1 August 2021

I Learned About Boating From That!

Now I know we are not all perfect, me especially, but the difference is I generally PAY ATTENTION all the time. Though there are not many people in this world who would own up to snagging their bow exposing their propeller and then cilling it in the same lock, and all that whilst going up! I am he. And to highlight there can be a danger even to long standing boaters I wrote about it somewhere here and and put a link on FaceBook.

In Napton a few years ago while delivering a boat. I saved a boat from sinking. If there is water coming through your front door and you are rolling a fag you are just not paying attention. Now say thank you, I just saved your arse, because I was paying attention! I shut the bottom gates, I opened the top gates to sort out the problem you were not paying attention to. I am sorry your gearbox destroyed itself, but that was nothing to do with me saving your arse!

Boating is fun! But if you dont pay attention it can be a disaster. I worry  because I understand that boating is dangerous, others don't.

Monday, 14 June 2021

Dashwood Lock

 One again it seems that CRT are only fixing shit that has totally failed instead of fixing stuff before it has a chance to fail and cause mayhem!

It must be 3 maybe 4 years since I sent CRT pictures of damage to Dashwood Lock. I sent CRT a picture of the damage and a picture of the lock name plate, which as it happened was actually a BW sign! On my return I observed that the damage had not been repaired, but the BW sign had been replaced with a CRT sign. What kind of idiots are more concerned with corporate image than actually doing the job they are paid to do?

Had CRT acted 3 or 4 years ago when they knew the problem existed then maybe they would have a better understanding of the problems! Instead of pissing about faffing over signs.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

It seems heroes are 10 a penny.

Anyone know who this is?
It's strange how the British media haven't given him a mention. If you're interested...he is PC Keith Palmer. He was murdered on 22 March 2017, by a Muslim extremist. I find it strange that a guy who put his body on the line to save not only his colleagues, but innocent tourists who were nearby, hasn't even had one mention on mainstream news. RIP PC Palmer 😪 Copied from Avril Evans

Monday, 24 May 2021


The plans for the refurb of Kilsby are ongoing. This month it spent time in the dry dock getting a survey. The results were promising. 

Some members of the Oxford Canal Trust appeared last week to inspect the hull and discuss the next stage.

The hull is going back in to the dry dock in October to be 'slippered' to replace the wooden bottom with a steel shoe. 

The the back end, which seems not to be original is very poorly constructed, will be mostly replaced. 

The good news is the engine bearers are in excellent condition! 😂😂😂😂

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Did the fat lady sing!

And so Derek Chauvin was convicted as I had predicted. We can say he was guilty because a jury of his peers listened to all the arguments and determined on the evidence presented that he was guilty. No 'might be guilty', 'think he is guilty', or 'on the balance or probability' Just straight forward guilty.

Then out comes the story that one of the jurors a Brandon Mitchell said, after the trial, that he had been stopped a couple of dozen times by the police for no real reason. Now I may be a thicko, but how can that trial have been fair when at least one of the jurors was biased against the police!

He, the juror, also LIED about attending a BLM protest.  Chauvin's hope of appeal was boosted after picture emerges of Mitchell at BLM rally wearing 'Get Your Knee Off Our Necks' T-shirt despite telling court he'd never been on a march.

Brandon Mitchell was one of 12 jurors who convicted Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin of  the second-degree murder of George Floyd last month. Mitchell, a 31-year-old black man, was photographed on social media attending an August 28 protest in Washington, DC at which Floyd's relatives spoke. Mitchell is seen in the photograph wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Martin Luther King Jr and the words 'GET YOUR KNEE OFF OUR NECKS' and 'BLM'. He is also wearing a baseball cap embossed with 'Black Lives Matter'.
Mitchell acknowledged being at the event and that his uncle posted the photo, but claims he doesn't recall wearing or owning the shirt or cap. Mitchell said he answered 'no' to two questions about demonstrations on the questionnaire sent out before jury selection. Legal experts say the revelation will likely be brought up on appeal by Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, who will argue his client was denied impartial jury.

We have at least one man who perjures himself and suffers severe memory loss. And he was supposed to be one of Chauvin's peers? How many more of the jury will come forward with similar stories!

So it ain't over yet!

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

And away we went!

Well I completed my little tripette. I went all the way to Gayton and back. Not very far I agree, however the Good Lady Bones could only boat at weekends so I was there as security during the week. There was no illegal activity happening here One is allowed to move house. That is exactly what we did, move a narrowboat home to a new location. My part was also legal in that the person moving house can have assistance. MoI!

I took the trip to Gayton and others arrived to continue on to the new mooring. It's fab to have friends. 

The NB Bones on going to Braunston 'twould seem the fuel tank needed a good clean out. This was projected by the sudden stopping of the engine about two miles out. I towed her into berth near the marina. I find it odd that Mort Bones was glad that I towed her in! I couldn't possibly countenance leaving her where she stopped. I am a gentleman, so I am told, and I could not have been party to leaving her there in no mans land!

During the week the tank was cleaned and the boat readied for the weekend journey up the flight through the tunnel and down the Buckby flight, we finally stopping at Weedon (1 day) Stowe Hill (two days) and Gayton! We would wait at Gayton until the river was OK! 

 The return journey was FAB!

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

That Floyd Bull

There cant be many who missed the events in America last May. It changed us for ever. It made us less. The story that was put out by the press was a pack of falsehoods. Lets start with the infamous picture of Officer Chauvin with a knee on Floyds neck. Why is this picture so tightly cropped? It is to highlight the knee on the neck, but it doesn't do that. What it shows is that Chauvin's knee is not on Floyds windpipe. Floyds spine and neck muscles would prevent him from asphyxiating, No this picture is cropped so you do not see what is happening around Chauvin. 

The reality is that four officers were involved in this arrest. Chauvin didn't have to kneel on Floyds neck with any force as there were officers on his legs and back stopping him from moving. Yeah ya dont believe me. So lets look at this picture from a different point of view!

Totally different isnt it? The previous picture was cropped to hide the other officers in the arrest. Chauvin didn't have to apply excessive pressure because officers Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng had the upper hand. Chauvin was holding Floyds head down to stop it flailing about!

A few facts most people ignore. George Floyd was not murdered. GF was passing dud money. Not just the $20 bill from the shop but when officers arrived GF was stuffing forged money down the side of his seat to hide it from the police. GF was dying before the cops arrived on the scene. GF lied about taking drugs to the officer. Had he told the truth the officer may well have called an ambulance straight away.
BEFORE GF was put on the ground, at his own request I might add, he said “I cannot breathe”, 7 times. The officer, Derek Chauvin, did not, repeat louder DID NOT do anything illegal. The neck restraint method was at that time part of his training and still in the training manual on that day. GFs body contained 3x the lethal dose of Fentanyl plus other drugs, he was dying. He would have died by nightfall had the feds not arrived. The Press told lies about what happened and who he was as a person, loving father and all that crap. Then the world exploded! All of the riots across America and indeed across the world were the fault of the Press fanning the flames. GF was a violent criminal drug dealer, he held a gun to a pregnant woman’s baby bulge, he had a long rap sheet and the world went into meltdown over a piece of shit.. The world honored this worthless piece of crap and we are all less because of that.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

A simple emergency!

Here I am moored just below Lock 15 at Marston Doles above Napton on the Oxford Canal. On Tuesday I took a walk down to the bottom lock to get rid of my domestic rubbish. I didn't realise it was a tad over 2 miles one way which meant I then had a 2 mile hike up hill to get back to the 'Milly M'. Going wasn't too bad its down hill, but coming back was a bit of an effort!

On Wednesday @1800 I started to feel a bit odd. My pulse started to race. I dont mean just speed up a bit I mean raaaaaaace! I got out my BP monitor and checked my BP Systolic 169 Diastolic 97 Pulse170 bpm. 

Text book figures are 120/80 and below 100 bpm.

Mmmm, thought I that's not right so I checked it again, it was similar so @1806 I sent this picture to my good friend Dr Bones with the message 'what do you think'. She came back with, "Seek medical help and call Dr Kate.......unless it's the dog."

Well I called 111 @1809 I was lucky there is almost no signal here but they picked up and entered in to a diatribe of recorded messages and button pressing. After the sixth button press I thought I don't have time for this so I hung up and called 999 @1815 and explained the situation and the said they would get a Clinical Tech to call me which they did @1855.  I again explained the situation and after a discussion of the fine details they said they would send an Ambulance. 

Well it was over two hours after my first concern before they arrived. I didn't worry I was in an awkward place and I knew not to worry and get stressed lest I should exacerbate the situation.

The Paramedics arrived about @2020 with more gear than I could carry, on a good day, and proceed to stock my boat with bags of tech/med kit. There is a pinch point in the kitchen that is 9". One of the girls was a bit embarrassed that she couldn't get through with out a struggle. I assured her that I had a friend who made her look like Twiggy that managed it with a struggle.

The girls set about their business checking and recording everything. In this situation it is a bit embarrassing for me because after 2 hours it had mostly calmed down. The 'best' they got was 146/88 66 bpm, which given I normally read high on the systolic measure was not a real cause for concern.

We discussed the situation and decided that they would take me to hospital if I wished or I could call my GP in the morning. Given my view of the whole picture I decided to go with the latter option as I couldn't leave my Molly dog on the boat all night. 

They were amazed at my calmness given my initial worries, as I was, but over the last 9 years I have been counseling a bereaved chap of my acquaintance and I have seen what stressing over stuff has done to him, and still does, so I am a bit more prepared to stay chilled than most.

Epilogue: On Thursday morning I tried contacting my GP to no avail. On Friday I did manage to contact the surgery and booked a call back from the GP. However the signal being bad after several attempts we gave up. Why am I telling you this? Well there is a very obvious problem for people who are not in the 'phone zone' getting help if needed. Why is this so in 2021?

I remember in 2010 when David Cameron became PM, he said, "We are going to bring Superfast Broadband in to every home in the capital. I remember thinking at the time, Why? I thought this is odd because not every home in the capital wanted SFBB and felt this was just a way of using public money to fulfil a corporate/industrial need.

But more especially there were large areas of the country that didn't have a basic GPS phone signal and this was a bit of a slap in the face to the people in those areas. I am sure we have all, at some time, been frustrated when we can't get a phone signal when we are out and about. Often in the area we are in there is a perfectly good signal, but not from the company with which we we are connected.

Now the electric and rail companies have a good system. One company is responsible for the infrastructure the over/under ground works, the supply if you like, and many other companies are responsible for "providing the service". Why cant that happen with the phone service. One company responsibly for the transmitter/receiver masts and all the others for "providing the service". Makes sense to me! What do you think?

Monday, 8 March 2021

That virus and the vaccine!

I am having trouble with this virus and the vaccine. I have had my letter asking me to make an appointment, and that's wonderful! and as soon as I get the answers to my questions I will make an appointment. However getting answers to questions of this nature is not easy. 

1. I am concerned about mixing antibodies I may already have from my first infection with the vaccine?

2. I am concerned about mixing antibodies I may already have from a second infection with the vaccine?

3. Given 1 & 2 is there a preferred vaccine?

4. If the second virus was not the same strain as the first will any vaccine be effective?

5. Why can I not be treated with Hydroxychloroquine? Following the political ousting of Trump, some doctors have started suggesting "It will work".

6. And finally what is the effectiveness of my own immune system?

These are all questions I have tried asking. I cannot get my own surgery to even pick up the phone, 119 a very extended diatribe from a recording  telling people that they will not answer these types of questions. The Internet is great at telling you how to prevent catching it.

I am not an anti-Vaxxer but I think it is only fair, given an A&E told me I had the virus back in February and a cancer specialist told me only a few weeks ago what I thought was flu over Christmas, was on the balances of probabilities Covid-19, that I should ask these questions.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Away for a little trip!

One is prepping for a trippette. I shall be setting off at the weekend heading to Gayton. I shall be travelling with my dear friend Mortimer Bones who is also on a trippette. She can only do weekends so I am baby sitting her boat during the week. 

Whilst at Gayton, if I can get in touch with a champion boat fitter of my acquaintance, I intend to a have kitchen refitted. I have had the boat for fifteen years now and the kitchen is getting a bit tired.

You may remember a few years ago I had the bathroom done, by the same chap as it happens! He did a splendid job of that so it would be folly not to use him again.

Tally Ho!

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Banbury Lift Bridge

For those of you who don't know I am at moored at Tooley's. I mention this because you will all start moving soon and some of you will head down to Banbury. I am moored right next to the lift bridge on the outside of the shell of a 1911 boat called KILSBY. 

This is an official mooring and I pay to be here so now that you know maybe we can come to an arrangement whereby you don't tell me I shouldn't be moored here and I wont tell you you need lessons! Yes I know its a bit tight, but I ask three things of you when you come through,

1. Which ever direction you are going, moor up on the bridge mooring, don't use me as a fender!

2. Don't come through the bridge from the lock side if there is a boat waiting on my side to come through. Its tight and you ain't good enough!

3. Please do not use your bow thruster to fend off my boat. What you have, given the limited depth of the water, is a hi-power sandblaster eroding my blacking. I will not be happy.

One important thing for you to know about the lift bridge is last year it was very stiff to wind up/down. They came and installed a new hydraulic ram and now it is even harder to wind up and down. Kids will find it very difficult. 

It seems the contractors who 'sorted the hydraulics' don't understand lift bridges. The give away was that when they were manually lifting the bridge for boats to pass under no one noticed it took three heavy guys on the beams to do the job. That's about 500lb. A lift bridge only needs to be balanced to about 20/30lb on the beam the same as it would be if it was a manual bridge.

What's really annoying is the CRT inspector who came to sign off on the job said it was OK. He didn't even have a windlass with him to test the bridge. When told about how hard it would be to lift for and older person they said it would "wear in" it hasn't! It has gotten worse If I had an hydraulic system that need to wear in that much I would be going to court.

Monday, 15 February 2021

Its been a while!

 Hi peeps, Its been a while but I have been poorly and busy.

About the 19th of December I had a meal in Oxford at the Chateau Chavagnon, I only managed one mouthful. That is unusual for me. On the Twentieth I took to my bed on the Good Ship 'Milly M' I decided to stay there as the old body was not functioning properly. I dosed my self with all sorts of potions and remained there for three weeks. During this time I lost nearly 2 stone. 

Now I am thinking it was the flu, but I am not discounting the Virus as I was told back in May I had had the virus during a visit to A&E to attend a fractured clavicle. I only rose to let Molly out on the wharf and to heat a can of soup. When I finally decided to get up and have a normal life it was somewhat difficult. The body was not willing! I would get up about 10 and by 12 I have used up all my available energy and needed to retire to my bed. This went on for a few weeks. Not funny I can tell you. In fact I still have a lay down for half an hour most days.

I have had my letter for my C-19 jab, but I have a question to ask and cannot get someone to answer. Before I have the vaccination I need to know if I have already had the virus and what effect it will have taking the jab. I don't think that is too much to ask but no one seem to want to pick up the phone let alone answer the question!

What to do?

I trust you are all as well as you could be, given these troubled times we seem to be in? 

However, I will come back trust me!

Thursday, 17 December 2020

That Election!

America's President Donald Trump has said all through his presidency the MSM was fake news. And every body says it just because MSM are anti Trump. FaceBook have been a supporter of fake news and currently are going all out to support Pedo Biden with lies. At the Senate hearing on election fraud Nevada had 130,000 illegal votes including 15,000 dead people and yet FaceBook are still pedaling the lie "There is no Fraud"

"ERIC" is a computer system that allows states to check if people are registered in other states, among other things. Only 30 states are signed up to ERIC and not all of them actually use it. ERIC has declared that in those states that did use it 91,000 dead people voted and yet FaceBook say the is no fraud!

Now the way I understand it is on December 14 the Electoral College weaves their magic and comes up with the 'final' result. This is set in stone  because usually by December 14 the losing party has conceded. However, that is not the case this time Trump is still litigating against states so the EC Magic is sealed. On January 6 the 'envelope' is opened. If Trump is still contesting the election it will be placed before the Senate & the House of Representatives. They will determine the next President of America. 
So you see it ain't over till its over.

I am surprised most Americans don't know this is how their system works.

Monday, 7 December 2020


Life has away of making surprises. Last Saturday I received a small package from Roy on NB KATO. I don't think I have met Roy before but he thought of me after reading my post "RUBBISH". Several years ago at Peterbourgh waste disposal Roy found a CD made by Gary From Ledgard Bridge Boats (LBB).

Roy thought I might like it, and I do. The CD contains 4 sets of slides of boat construction carried out by LBB. Wide beams, dutch barge style narrowboats, a Narrowboat build and Narrowboats we have built, The last section includes the Build of a 58 ft Narrowboat. This is my boat The Milly M. Those of you that have been with me since the beginning will know there were webcams in the workshop during the build so I saw this from the beginning. I haven't seen it since then. It was good to see this again after 14 years. If I can extract the build file from the CD I will post it here.
Thank you Roy most appreciated!

Friday, 4 December 2020

Re: Advertising revenue!

 I am so glad we have between us raised just over £71 plus the 40 quid I donate for losing my wallet. I will forward this to Trevi House. Hopefully this will enhance the Christmas.

Monday, 23 November 2020


When you place something in the disposal at a water point It may be useful to someone else, so its a good idea to leave it accessible for others. If it is broken, old, worn it should be in the bins, and likewise if hasn't been taken in two weeks it should go in the bin.

Its been about two weeks now since I put a broken storage box, a tatty grass woven basket, and a broken washing up bowl in the skip since it had not been removed. Every time I go there with my rubbish the said items have been removed and left beside the bins.

Essentially these items are crap. Old, broken, worn! No one wants them. Now add to this a number of old batteries (not allowed) a dozen old oil containers all full (not allowed) piles of books, an old cage generator, Loads of old shoes and bedding all left out of the bins 'in case they can be of use' and what you have is not enough fucking room to get in the storage area to put your rubbish in the bins.

I don't know who is doing this, taking the rubbish out of the bins, but it is bloody annoying. And they need to get a life. The disposal point is for the collection of rubbish for disposal, not for the storage of your crap! STOP IT!

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Thats so cool

We are now up to just over £65. Thank you everyone for your clicks. I am sure Trevi House will be most pleased. If you are interested you can read about them here.


A 'grotesque' scene in Quito


These seabird statues lining the wall of a cathedral in Ecuador are called grotesques, the architectural term for statues found on the side of buildings for ornamental purposes. But hang on… don't we call them gargoyles? Not exactly. Gargoyles are a particular type of grotesque with a handy feature: spouts that carry rainwater away from the building.

Grotesques often live up to their off-putting name, depicting demons or monsters (the word 'gargoyle' comes from 'gargouille', an evil creature from French legend). But the Basílica del Voto Nacional's grotesques celebrate the beautiful fauna of Ecuador: not only seabirds but iguanas, crocodiles, armadillos and more. Although the Basílica is one of the main tourist attractions in Ecuador’s capital Quito, it's been under construction since 1892 and technically remains unfinished. Legend has it that the world will end when it's complete, so no one's really been rushing the job.

Friday, 20 November 2020

Thank you

It seems my post about the ad has produced a further 10 quid. Thankyou everyone, only another £4.06 to go. I have to send Trevi House £40 after I retrieved my lost wallet (I always give half of the contents). So £60 from the ad will bring that total to £100. If you have been and clicked, it can be done every day if you have more time to spare. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

How cool!

Those of you that know me are aware that in the last two years I have been involved with Susan Chavagnon. Susan is the the wife of the late Andre Chavagnon owner of restaurants  'Le Sorbonne' 'Rouge Blanc Bleu', 'Le Rendezvous' and 'Ma Cuisine', all in Oxford. He was a Master chef, three star Michelin. One of the two best chefs in Oxford. Andre taught many of the good chefs in Oxford  during the 60s and 70s, including Raymond Blanc.

Andre died in August 2017 following a long period of Dementia. He left his wife Susan well cared for. Susan has a Restaurant on the Cowley Road and the flat above, also a house in Roanne France. Its at the bottom of the LOIRE VALLEY. Its not palatial, but it is somewhere to live. Its a two bed bungalow. I think it is the only one on the street. The rest of the houses are 2-3 stories.

However this is not the story I want to tell, read on. 

We visit the French house two times a year, except since Covid. 

During an early visit one March we stopped of at the canal basin, yes Roanne has canal basin! I had no idea!  The basin is only about one mile from Susan's house.

We spoke to an English couple, painting their boat, who were overwintering there. They said we should come to the wine bar on Thursday when all the over wintering boaters get together for a few beers/wines.

Well I was ill the next Thursday so we arrived a week later. It was a typical French wine bar.  On entrance we passed a table of  the French boaters, a table of German & Dutch boaters, and next was the British boaters.

As we arrived we said hello to the people we met at the basin. A chap stood up and said, "Fuck me, it's Maffi!" Well you may think I would have been stunned having travelled 600 miles, I was, but Susan was beside herself. She just could not believe that after all this traveling we met some one who knew the Maffster! The chap was Roger who used to own NB 'Fizzical Attraction'. I met Roger some years ago in Loughborough and all of a sudden he was here in Roanne. What a coincidence!

We had a good night! Plenty of good French wine and plates of chips thrown in.

Now that doesn't happen very often!

We were going to return in March but C-19 got in the way and again in September, no joy! Yet again we were looking for the NEW Year but its looking iffy. I don't know how the British boaters are getting on out there, but I do hope the French are treating them right.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Ugly bastard

You may or may not know what this is. I do only too well. Its the Scabies mite. It is an ugly little fucker. You don't want to meet it. It is not only annoying in that it makes you itch, it also 'bites'. I say bites I'm not sure that is the right word, but if you have ever had a wasp sting you will know what I mean. The pain level is only about half the intensity of a wasp sting. but it happens (in my case) about 40/50 times a day. And I cant even see it, its microscopic!

This is a contagious infestation. I have no idea where it came from!

Scabies Mite
Scientific name: Sarcoptes Scabiei var canis
This beast burrows under your skin.  It seems its purpose is eating, shitting, and procreation, which it does right there, under your skin. It neither paints, sings, nor fixes motor cars so it has no real purpose. Worse than that it cant even drive a narrowboat. I am more scared of this Oik than I am of C-19. It can cause my death from emphysema, sepsis, septicemia and god knows what else. Its eradication is supposed to take 2-4 weeks I have been suffering now for more than 16 weeks.

Biblical Quote: "God made ALL things in the heavens and on the firmament!" If this is the case he is a c**t. He cannot possibly have made this just to piss me off. What is the point?

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Nothing Further To Report

I had half expected the police to call me today. If for no other reason than to check on details and see if I was OK after my altercation with Mr Angry, but no there was nothing. Their rapid response never came even though the STY is less than a mile away and we heard the siren.

It was nice to be there to help the girl out and somewhat calm the situation. Social distancing went by the by. Masks were definitely not worn, it just never occurred to me. Unlike most people in these situations, I never thought to turn my phone on. I could be trending on Twitter or You tube by now. 

I don't think he was ready to be let out of prison. I don't understand why she ever let him back in her house, after all he was in gaol because he had beaten the crap out of her. Girls today need to start learning to make smarter decisions. Parents need to teach them, not abandon them to the evils of bullies like Mr Angry.

Friday, 13 November 2020

Oh dear, Rambo rides again

An Old Age Pensioner, who had just picked up his lady friend, off the train, heard a scream near the Station. At first he was alarmed but not enough to seek out the screamer. Then another plaintiff scream and he had to go see what was happening. 

He walked down near to the station entrance where a young woman and a man were in a heated argument, very one sided. As the OAP approached the couple the guy said to him, "Stay away and keep out of it, you don't know what's going on here". OAP had seen enough bullying thugs to know exactly 'what was going on here'. 

Mr Angry started to yell at the old boy telling him to, "fuck off" and he "wasn't wanted", "don't poke your nose in!" The OAP said as cool as he could when he passed the guy, "I don't want to talk to you I just want to talk to her and see if she is OK". Angry man says, "You are going to get hurt if you don't fuck off, just leave". OAP ignored him, walked up to the girl and asked if she was OK. Mr Angry went of on one again. OAP turned and said, "I told you I don't want to talk to you".

She responded, "NO! I don't want him near my car". There was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing. 

I want my stuff. 

No go away. 

Give me my stuff. 

Get away from me.

Just give me my stuff.

Stay away from my car.

The guy shouting at the top of his voice told the OAP, "This is nothing to do with you. Fuck off and mind your own business or I am going to fuck you up". Sadly he didn't realise he was dealing with one of her majesty's military men and they don't give up. OAP had been threatened before and in an earlier time he may have walked away, but he was not going to back down now. 

The guy, about 25-30, wanted to get his stuff out of her car but he was just being an absolute arsehole! 

So the OAP says, "Calm down mate. Look why don't you wait here and I'll go with her and get your stuff out of her car and bring it to you". Well that wasn't good enough. 

By now there was a small crowd forming. He walked over to the girls car, everybody followed. Still shouting and threatening the OAP he said, "you are going to get hurt if you stay here! Just fuck off. You  don't know what's going on. This is none of your business. Get outta my fucking face" The tirade seemed endless. "Calm down Mate. Shouting is getting you nowhere," says the OAP, "I'm staying here until she is safe away, just stop shouting and we can sort this". Wasted breath!

She opened the boot of her car and took out his stuff and put it on the road and that should have been the end of it, but no, now he is complaining because he didn't want one of the bags on the ground and wanted it to go back in the car (probably thinking later he needed her to have the bag so he had an excuse to go back to her house).  When the girl said no he opened the back door of the car, still shouting, and got in.  OAP asked him to get out of the car, "If you want me out you will have to call the police, to which OAP said, "Fine by me sonny", and dialed 999.

Still shouting and threatening to kill the OAP the yob, realizing OAP had called his bluff got out of the car and left the area. The girl moved her car to another part of the concourse and waited until it was safe to leave. Meanwhile the police had a rapid response vehicle on its way.

Angry man eventually came back to get his stuff. At this time while OAP was still talking to the police on the phone he was also moving 'said stuff' off the road onto the pavement. 

The guy didn't get closer than 25 yards when the siren sounded and he then hot footed it towards the rail bridge shouting he was going to commit suicide and chuck himself off the bridge. Well that would have been a good result! No one knows why, but the police rapid response car never turned up. The Station man made a radio call to stop all trains in and out of the station and the station Lady comforted the girl. The girl eventually drove off after someone said Angry man had left the area. 

Everything then calmed down. Everybody said thank you to each other for the support, the girl had left saying nothing and the Rail staff took Angry man's bags to the station. Everybody went home!

The Moral of this story is quite simple. I am not Rambo. I have got to stop poking my nose in where it isn't wanted. I think it was the fact that I kept calm that he was somewhat disarmed by that, that I didn't get hurt. One day a Mr Angry is gonna fuck me up bad and at 70 I don't think I will survive.

Oh well, Onwards and upwards!

Epilogue: Angry Man was recently released from prison. He was locked up because he had assaulted this girlfriend whilst high on drugs. She said the first week home was fine then he started with the drugs again and it all went south from there. She had, had enough and was throwing him out. She was pregnant! During their relationship he had isolated her from her family, a typical scenario for a buying moron with low self-esteem. What a fucking twat!

Thursday, 12 November 2020


Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty vehemently advocates for defunding the police in Portland Oregon. She says most calls to the police are not criminal cases. So you maybe surprised to hear that she called the police because the cab driver had the window open in accordance with local Covid-19 regulations.

However the police did attend the scene and brought with them another cab. Four days later she voted to reduce the police budget by $18 million!
So nice black lady but stupid, she's letting her people down!

Service with a smile

I don't want to moan, but you know I'm going to. Has customer service gone down the shit chute? Recently I was in a well known shopping emporium owned by a Mr Smith at a Rail station. I bought my self a can of coke for the journey.

The whole encounter took just a minute or two. During this time I said 'hello' and 'thank you'. The girl behind the counter never spoke a word! After she handed me my change I said, " Excuse me but we have just made a transaction here and you have not spoken one word".

Her response was, "No and I'm not going to".

I like going into restaurants and I always tip well for good service. The more known I become the better the service I get. I have noticed that in restaurants where a 12% service charge is added to the bill the service is not always up to standard. And anyway when did tipping/service charge rise from 10%, that kind crept up on us a few years ago. Catering is one of a few businesses where you are sold the goods for a stated price and then the overheads are added to the bottom of the bill after the goods have been consumed albeit by tipping or fixed service charge,. Why is that? Why is it that certain service industries work different to the rest? 

I remember as a kid, when out shopping with mummy, if the service in a shop was poor she would never go back there again and I mean never! Of course 60 odd years ago that would have happened very rarely.

What has happened? Why did it all change? What has happened in our society that makes it OK for some Service staff to think that service isn't important? Are we right to expect good service? 

I have worked in the service industry in a few face to face roles and I thoroughly enjoyed that connection. If I were to be put in a position where I had to go back to work again, that is what I would do. I know I moan a lot here, but I am also well aware that the man/woman/child who walks through the door with cash to spend is a very important part of my job. No customers no job!

A few years back I enquired about the salary paid on hotel boats, just for info I was curious. I was told I didn't have any customer skills. Well I found this laughable. 

A short time later those particular hotel boats came to our area to pick up their next troop of 'sailors'. The last to arrive was a dear old frail lady of over 80 who seemed rather bothered that it would be a good long walk down to where the hotel boat was moored.  She wasn't my customer but on hearing she was in a pickle I escorted her on to a day boat I had at my disposal and we cruised on down the canal to where the hotel boats were waiting. After gently transferring her to the hotel boat. I left saying tell XXXXXXX that Maffi says that's what he calls customer service. A Point well made I think!

I don't think every situation requires staff to go the extra mile, but a nice smile (difficult when you have been on your feet all day I know) is not much to ask. After  all it takes more muscles to frown that it does to smile. So smiling makes the job easier, Yes?

Tuesday, 10 November 2020


Down by the wall there’s a man dressed in rags.
His worldly possessions in two plastic bags.
And despite his great age he stands tall and true.
Touching the names of the men he once knew.
Then after a while he fades back to the streets.
Where he sleeps in the park and begs food to eat.
And sometimes he wonders, "What was it all for?"
If we can’t honour veterans why send them to war?

Down at the graveyard the grass is not mown.
The weeds run amok and the plots overgrown.
Gone now the gardener ashamed that it is
Now home to the drunks and the derelicts.
How soon we forget all those who did fall.
Forgotten old soldiers, just names on a wall.
If we no longer honour who answered the call.
We no longer have any honour at all!

                                                    Jerry A Banks