Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Belts continued…..

Good Morning Mr Maffi,

We  pride ourselves in quality Brands at Brammer and we only supply the top quality products we do not profiteer for selling high quality. I can not comment on what Brand you bought from you local Motor factors but there are several brands out on the market which are not as high quality as Gates.

If you are un happy and the belt has not been used you can return this item and we can do a credit but only if it hasn't been used.




I thank you for your email. Just so you understand the belt I got from the local motor factors was a Gates product the one I got from you wasn't as far as I am aware. Your ball!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Belt ‘n’ Belts

Last night my engine threw a belt. So no hot water for me then. This morning I went to the motor factors on the industrial estate to buy a 950 x 11.9 belt. They had one in stock which I bought And I ordered two more 950 x 13.  Total price £19.64 for the three. When it came time to fit the belt I could not find it. I searched high and low but to no avail. I retraced my steps all the way the the motor factors but no joy!

I had heard of another place where I duly went to get another belt.  They had a belt, in stock, and I bought it. Now I don’t mind paying the going price, but I do object to getting ripped off. The second company charged me £19.16 for one belt. I pointed out that that couldn’t be right as I had bought one earlier at the motor factors for £5.66 + VAT and that the total bill for three belts had been £19.64. He assured me it was. Given that I needed the belt I paid.

I decided on the way home to go to the co-op and whilst there an Eastern European chappie  who had seen the belt hanging on my bicycle asked me if I had lost a belt. There in his hand was the belt I bought this morning. I thanked him profusely! So now I had two belts and two on back order. I returned to the boat to fit the belt. The original one didn’t fit – too long. So I fitted the expensive one instead.

I can get a shower tonight.

EDIT: the company who charged excessively was BRAMMER

Monday, 14 April 2014

And this is?

You may never have seen one of these before it’s a baby Glibich. I had only ever seen a grown up one. Indeed I am writing a story about one. It is unusual to see one so prominent, they usually blend in with the hedgerow. Keep an eye out for them they are rare. I first saw one in Thrupp. The recent snow had highlighted its outline and made it easier to see. You are blessed if you see them . You must treat them with respect. They are cursed wizards and you can help them.


Saturday, 12 April 2014


Today I have managed to get as far as Northbrook Lock. Earlier this afternoon Sarah called and said to look out for the willow at Bridge 210. Apparently Mark had heard it crack as he passed and said it is going to come down today. Yeah! yeah!

I arrived at Allen’s Lock at the same time as Chris and Joy who were just returning from the shops. I stopped for a cup of tea. Can you believe they had just got back from the shops and had NO cake! It’s a scandal!!!

I stayed for an hour. When I stopped at Heyford I heard that the tree had in deed fallen across the canal. Had I not stopped at the Wren’s boat for tea & no cake it may well have fallen on me.

DSCF0871 DSCF0872 DSCF0873  DSCF0875  DSCF0877  DSCF0879

One of the many……

….things I have had wrapped around my propeller.

It’s a about 15 feet long.


Thursday, 10 April 2014


Some one did a good job of tidying up on the Birmingham & Worcester but the effort has been spoiled by the piles of  bags left awaiting collection. It looked to me to have been there some time.


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

No! This is so wrong

Along the Birmingham and Worcester and the Stratford Canal contractors are dredging the canal. There is a problem these days when doing such a task, in as much as, much of the canal is contaminated. A number of the toxins are long term and have built up during the working days of the canals. Cadmium and sulphur to name just two. Of course modern day farming techniques use a lot of nitrates and these are washed into the canal. EU regulations control where the dredge can be put. Years ago it was put back on farm land as that saves the farmer buying the stuff the best place for nitrates. However now that that is not an option the contractors are putting the dredged silt on the bank, mostly on the off side but some on the towpath side.

Unfortunately everything they take off the bottom goes on the side. Cans, bottles, plastic bags, scrap metal, mobile phones, murder weapons, bicycles, car tyres, hypodermic needles and every other kind on scrap you can imagine. This is not good! DSCF0779

Since October I have met Richard Parry three times. The last time was on the Hatton Flight a few weeks ago. I explained to him about the dredging problem and he agreed with me that it was not good. Hopefully in the not too distant future a solution will be found to sieve the dredged silt before it is put on the side of the canal. Then the only problem will be how to stop the dredged silt being washed back into the canal because……(pause for effect)……. that is how it got there in the first place!

The Dishonourable PM

I am sure we are all well aware that the Right Dishonourable David Cameron is not a suitable man to be the political leader of our once great nation. His recent support of Maria Miller is simply a reiteration of his dishonesty and of his contempt for the people of the United Kingdom.

The people who he has in his cabinet are hatchet men who, in these times of austerity, are nothing short of Nazis in their concern for the very people who they are pledged to represent. They thieve, and lie, and cheat expecting to be protected by their friend Cameron.

Maria Miller has not only stolen £90,000 from the tax payer. She has lied and she has tried to bully the Committee about procedure, the Committee who in her case are the law. This is the equivalent to me committing a crime then bullying the arresting officer and telling him he is not interviewing me properly and that his line of question is outside his remit. She has been known on numerous occasions to utter “Don’t you know who I am?” I will now ask “Who does she think she is?” Like David Cameron she is an employee nothing more. If her employers, us, were to carry out an ACR she would at best be demoted at worst fired.

What our political leaders seem not to understand is they are public servants. We, the taxpayer, pay their salaries, their vast salaries! They are employees, they are not bosses. In much the same way as I can fire my lawyer if I think he is not doing his job, we the citizens should be able to fire the PM because he clearly isn’t doing his job. He works with criminals, he shelters criminals. He lies to his employers. He is truly a dishonourable man.

The good thing about this episode is the Conservatives, specifically Cameron, have sealed their fate. They will not get elected in 2015.

Edit: Hurrah she has gone!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

I wandered lonely……


Taken in Braunston.

Safer Ladders!

On the Stockton Flight CRT are addressing the problem highlighted a while back about not having enough room behind lock ladders it get a safe foothold when climbing  out of a lock.DSCF0794DSCF0792Much safer than before.

Molly likes it 


At Marston Doles


Monday, 7 April 2014

Around the prop!

I seem to have spent more time down the weed hatch this year than I have in the last eight. This was yesterdays pile of prop foul. One thing you can be certain of is this and all the other stuff I have had around my prop, which since Leicester has been enough to fill a wheelie bin, has all been disposed of at the proper places and not just tossed on to the towpath as others are apt to do.


Can we all make an effort this season to not throw away our prop foul willy nilly but save it in a carrier bag to dispose of at the proper place. Your roof will not rot away if you put a bag of rubbish on it for a few miles.

Sunday, 6 April 2014


After leaving Braunston, where I unloaded five bags of rubbish, I collected all this before I arrived at Napton.DSCF0817

After leaving Napton I collected all this before arriving at CropredyDSCF0867 And believe me I wasn’t really trying I could have doubled this if I was able to get into the side to collect all.

Indeed this container part filled with oil was dumped near a bridge where I couldn’t get close enough.DSCF0868By Banbury I had collected a further two large bags of trash. there is no end!


Friday, 4 April 2014


I was up early on Monday morning. I crossed the canal for water. At about 9.30  Carpe Diem was ready to leave so we once again set off up the locks together.

We did OK arriving at the top of the Calcutt flight at about 12.00. It is then short of a mile to Wigrams and five miles to Braunston. We arrived mid-afternoon. I moored behind Oakfield they were not at home.

Text: You’re not home!

Oakfield: True we are in Rugby for they day with Del and Al.

Me: Well in the absence of any friends to commune with I will do the next best thing……….PUMP OUT!!!!!!

Oakfield: Shit happens! :)

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Bob Crow

Bob Crow was buried last week at the City of London Cemetery in east London. Mr Crow died from a suspected heart attack at the age of 52.

Hold it! A man of 52 dies and they only suspect he had a heart attack? What about a post mortem examination to determine the actual cause? Its not like he was Jo Public is it. He may well have had a heart attack but what caused it.

He wasn’t the first powerful union leader in the world to die young, I doubt he will be the last. Who or what killed him? That’s what I want to know!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Heading for home.

I left Brum Wednesday  morning and managed with the problems mentioned earlier to get as far as Bridge 2 on the Stratford Canal. Thursday saw me at Lapworth worn out. Rather than take a day off I decided to go to Saltisford. I know Keith on Hadar has not been too well so I thought it might be nice to pop in and say hello.

Saltisford for those of you that don't know is an old canal arm  at the bottom of the Hatton flight. Of course to get there from Lapwprth one has to traverse the 21 locks in the Hatton Flight. This is no mean task. 21 double locks, very heavy gates and vertical worm drive paddle gear that takes 22 turns of the windlass to raise and in some cases 22 turns to lower. By the time I got down to about lock 10 I was worn out again. That was when the thunder and lightning started coupled with the snow and rain and at the same time as if to mock me glorious bright sunshine throughout. WTF!

When it was over I did two more locks before a chap asked if he could join me the rest of the way down. We tied the two boats together and I drove them while he did most of the leg work. I think we reached the bottom of the flight about 5.30. I was moored up in Saltisford by about 6.30 and went for a cuppa with Keith and Jo.

Poor old Keith has been in the wars. At one time it was touch and go. It was fortuitous that they had recently obtained the residential mooring on the arm and that made things so much easier for Jo. Keith is recuperating now, taking things easy and steadily gaining weight.

After the Hatton I decided to have a rest day. Saltisford has all the facilities one could want. So out came the washing bag. Despite my best efforts I failed with the washing machines and had to be rescued by Jo who is conveniently moored by the laundry. I had managed to completely scramble the brains of two of the machines to the point where they didn’t know which day of the wash it was! Sainsbury’s was just down the road so I stocked up there on essentials choc and cake being the main items.

Sunday saw me on my way. Marie who I had been breasted next to was going to Aldi’s so we shared the two locks on the way. Marie got waylaid at the bottom collecting  wood while I continued and met up  with 8tch who used to work for OXNB but now works for Kate NBs. 8tch felt the bottom Cape Lock operate so was kind of expecting me to appear. I have been trying all this winter to buy a Nicholson’s Book 3. They are as rare as rocking horse turds. Just by chance I asked 8tch if they had one in the shop as my rather rain soaked muddied copy I bought 8 years ago needed replacing. Yes they did it was £15 my old one was £13.

While in Leominster I moored outside the the Morrings pub. There s a sign that says 48 HOUR FREE MOORING CUSTOMERS ONLY! That was like a red rag to a bull. I bought hinges at Homebase for my folding doors because I have misplaced the ones I had. Two were £3.69 but a pack of eight were less than 9 quid! Go figure!

The hire boat season appears to have started with a vengeance! While having a cuppa before setting off I could hear a boat the other side of the bridge. It took ages to arrive, but when he did he was winning the race. I called out to him that he was travelling too fast to which he replied, “It’s alright I’m mooring here”. What that had to do with the cost of chocolate frogs I don’t know, but he over shot the mooring behind me and with much ado in the reversing department ended up across the canal like a lemon. I called VIKING to report their inane ability to hire boats to fecking idiots! This arse would have travelled a long way at that speed. “Thumb up his arse, picking his nose, he will cause havoc where he goes”.

Being an idiot myself I can’t bear to be in the presence of real experts so I left. Before doing so I picked up my thick black marker pen and amended the  customers only sign,

I had a pallet on the back deck which, having fished it out of the canal, I was getting bored with it and needed to dispose of said pallet. I picked up a sandpit cover as well on the way to the next lock where as luck would have it there was a rubbish point. I got up the lock and as I was leaving a lady asked if I would wait at the next lock for them. This proved to be a good idea as we shared the locks al the way to the Blue Lias easy day! It turned out they had already done the Hatton 21 that morning! My heroes!! The day before while I was having a rest day they came up from Stratford 38 locks!

We all spent the night in the Blue Lias well half of it we were bushed (I wont bore you all with the Blue Lias being a type of stone from the local area).


At a recent CRT meeting in Leeds this question came up again.
Why do continuous cruisers pay the least amount of money and don’t comply with the rules of continuously cruising? Why don’t Canal & River Trust levy a basic mooring charge on top of the licence?
I’m sorry but if people insist on asking questions based on mis-information they will never get an answer.
AS a CCer my licence cost me £833 for full access to the whole canal system.
As a marina moorer it costs £833* for full access to the whole canal system.
Now please correct me if I am wrong but £833 is the same as £833. So I ask how am I paying less?
I am not, but those that cant spend their life out on the water think that because they need somewhere to park their pride and joy I and others like me should pay for something we don’t need.
In a marina usually there is Electric, Water, Services and security and not to mention somewhere to park their car while out on their weekend jaunts. For this they have to pay the marina owner (it doesn't matter who the owners is). The Marina has overheads which he has to pay. This includes among other things council tax and also a connection fee to CRT water. This really has absolutely nothing to do with boaters. When a marina owner set his prices he charges enough to cover his services and overheads plus a handsome profit, after all he is in business.
In reality the owner doesn’t have to pay the connection fee and CRT could dam the entrance to the canal. That way Marina moorers would get cheaper moorings. Then in order to go boating every boat in a marina will simply have to get their boat craned out of the marina onto the canal what could be easier? There is one drawback an in-out-in-out crane lift could cost £200 each time, but not to worry think of the money being saved  by not paying a higher marina fee!
I have mentioned Mr Norman Bate here before he is not a lone voice. He is a marina moorer of some renown who will berate CCers for being CCers because they overstay yet he will overstay often and in the not too distant past stayed two weeks on a 48 hour mooring and last year said he was prepared to overstayed in London pending the birth of the new Royal oik! The Norman’s of this world will continue to break the rules while berating everyone who does not fit into their idea of a boater. The question I ask is why is it ok for marina moorers to overstay and not CCers? Now many Marina moorers are going to fly off the handle and say they have never overstayed on a visitors mooring. I will answer, There are two types of boaters those who have overstayed  on a VM and those that are going to’.
I know boaters, in both camps, that have “never overstayed” spend three nights on a 48. Arriving late on Friday evening and leaving early on Monday morning is 60 hours. Even using time compression techniques practiced in all walks of life ‘60 is about 48’ does not wash!
The CCer question will rise time and time again, but we must remember we all pay the same licence fee for our boating** the fact that some of us don’t get to enjoy it as long as others is not a good reason to make the others pay more for what is in actuality the same licence. Maybe the argument should be for the marina moorers to pay less that way marina moorers might just get the support of the CCers.
*For a boat the same size
**For boats the equal size

Sunday, 30 March 2014

I only hope…..

…..this creature was dead when these bastards did this!!!BhFpaeVIMAAIkL8 I suspect not!