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 moms Christmas.

Monday, 23 November 2020

Rubbish

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.

Grotesques

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.
NTFR!

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 drive 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

FORGOTTEN SOLDIERS

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

Monday, 9 November 2020

I got this message on my laptop today.
Are we in Communist China now?

Friday, 6 November 2020

Advertising!

You will notice as you view this page that there is a small advert on the left of the page. I have no idea from one day to another what this ad will be, but I do know it will be there. It seems you don't! That one ad generates money which I give to a charity. In order to raise money you guys have to click on the ad. That's all just click on the ad. In about the last five years clicking has 'earned' £45.75. OK so the charity has benefitted by £45.75, well no! The advertiser only pays out when the figure reaches £60. So I need another £14.25 in order to donate to charity. Now I am not allowed to tell you this but you could click when you come here. Don't say I said!

Hoorah!

Black Lives Matter protester faces JAIL after trying to BURN Union Jack on Cenotaph in London

Astrophel Sang, 19, was filmed flicking a lighter in a bid to torch the flag, unaware it is flame-proof.

Westminster JPs heard he had been hostile and aggressive and enjoyed the attention as a crowd egged him on at the London war memorial.

Sang told cops in June: “I didn’t rip it. I tried to set fire to it.”

Protesters defaced Winston Churchill’s statue the same day.  

Sang, of Birmingham, admitted attempted arson, was bailed and will be sentenced later.

His girlfriend claimed he didn’t know it was the Cenotaph.

His lawyer added: “He wants to apologise.”

Thursday, 5 November 2020

The Presidential Election

What I see is a corrupt Democratic push to oust a president that is not of the ruling class. The whole point of a democracy is the politicians work for us not rule us! Yes Trump is a fecking clown, but even so  he has done more for America in 4 years than the Pedophile Joe Biden has done in 47 years. I don't see what the problem is!

Joe Biden the well known pedophile has done more to fuck Black Americans than any politician in modern history. More Black Americans are in prison because of Biden's corrupt legislation than ever before, yet the fuckers keep voting for him! Are they stupid?

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Who?

I don't know about you but, if I have only met you once or twice I am not likely to recognize you without your boat and if I recognize your boat as far as I am concerned you are the person I know on that boat. I bring this up because I find my self sometimes talking to boat owners who I have never met before but I know the boat. I open a conversation and remind the boater, who I am sure I know, that I am Maffi. This information is often met with a blank stare as I haven't been keeping up with the blogs I am unaware that many of my friends and acquaintances have sold up! A resent encounter with NB 'Parisien Star' ended this way. The guy had absolutely no idea who I was and I was left on the bankside feeling a bit like Scott-no-mates. Ho-hum!

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Grammar

No not Grandma, but Grammar. I found this blog today and it is right up my street. Grammar Grandma. If you have any interest in using English correctly you may like to take a visit.

I love the English language and using it correctly. I am not an expert by a long chalk but, I do enjoy finding out. Having said that there are some mistakes I make on purpose. 'Licence' (noun) & 'License' (verb). I always use Licence even if License is the correct word e.g. 

Correct: CRT license me to keep my boat on the canals. They issue me a licence to put in my window. 

My take: CRT licence me to keep my boat on the canals. They issue me a licence to put in my window. 

'Licence' does not exist in American English, 'license' is both noun and verb.

Anyway pop along to Grammar Grandma if you have any interest in grammar. It is written in very simple English so people like me can understand.

Monday, 2 November 2020

The trouble with @FaceBook.....

..... is it is not connected to reality. People have opinions and that is their right. There are times when people over step the bounds of propriety and rightly should be taken to task, (notice I didn't say 'punished'), It is not for @FaceBook to punish people. They are not a court of law. To argue that it is their site and they make the rules is pointless! It is not their site, they may have originally set it up, but they sold it to the advertisers. In doing that they gave it to the users to whom the adverts are pointed.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Rubbish!

I think we all try to do our best when it comes to our litter. Even so there are a group of people, boaters and pedestrian alike who don't really care for either the canals or their general environment.

Mothers with their children who are too busy on their phone to notice the kids dropping litter. The local yobs dumping their Kebab wrappers. The town boozers who just leave their empty cans all over the place.

Then there is the new craze of magnet fishing. People dragging crap out of the canal on the pretext of keeping the canal clean only to leave the towpath covered in useless rusty artifacts that even the scrappy doesn't want. "Someone is coming along later to collect it!" No they're not! They are only interested in the 'prize'. A gun maybe? Or as happened jus a few weeks ago, in Banbury, a live grenade! 

Some 'magnet' fishers have now taken to grappling hooks
Boaters seem to be keen on leaving their latex gloves on the tow path and currently, having never seen a face mask anywhere but in a hospital, they are sprouting up like dandelions. On the streets, on the towpath, in parks, everywhere. Where is the logic of that. Potentially toxic bio-hazard just dumped on the streets. 

A favourite of mine is prop-crap. It seems that everyone these days when they stop to take the plastic bags and shit off their propeller they just dump it on the path.

Only a small amount but  back in the water it will
 hold up someone else.
Never a thought to who is going to remove it, what yob will kick it back in. No just leave it there! What is wrong with putting it in a carrier bag and leaving it on the roof until you get to a disposal point?

Is it just some kind of weird cult that holds the roof to be a sacred place and not to be sullied with the crapsam and jetsam of the water. Or maybe they have a snot bubble blocking their thought process. I dunno what it is, anyone?

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Giblets

 I am moored once gain at Tooley's on an official private mooring, I pay to moor here! As we have seen a few posts ago I have had to line the side of my boat with tyres to stop the 'Giblets' from damaging my boat.

Most are good, some are not. There is sufficient room for two boats to pass, but even one boat often has trouble getting by. A common excuse is, "the wind caught me". This only happens if the Giblet 'hovers' rather than ties up on the ample moorings on the towpath side.
Now in order to do this properly it requires one thing! The free end of the center line needs to be at the back of the boat. It needs to be there so that one can step off the boat with the line and immediately be in control of the boat and bring it to the side. The boat of course should be close to the tow path and not Moi! There is no point having the line screwed up in a ball on the roof or even 'cheesed' next to the mid-point fixing.

To arrive from under the glass walkway (in the pic above) and come to rest against Moi is just bad form. I might have to start charging a mooring fee, £5 should be enough.

In all fairness I don't seem to get hit as much as when Kilsby wasn't there and I was alongside the wharf directly, giving the Giblets another 8 feet of space, but then I didn't have all the tyres for protection so I would have noticed it more especially as even the slightest bump showed up on the freshly painted gunnels!

So the point of this story is "Jenny B" and Mr Grumpy. Mr Grumpy was waiting for the workmen to open the bridge. Instead of mooring on the tow path (the right thing to do) he decided to come to rest against me and then went inside his boat. When the bridge opened he was nowhere to be seen! Eventually he came out. He was lined up with the bridge, so when they opened it he should have been able drive straight through, but for some reason he steered, left hand tiller, into the wall and had to take another crack at it. Reversing back he started the have a go at me, I was by this time on the back deck, I love watching these Giblets. I said nothing! 

He saw me watching and offered, "The wind caught me".

"Well you should have tied up on the other side and the wind wouldn't have been a problem."

And then it came, "Well you shouldn't be moored there". 

"Oh", says I, "Like I didn't see that coming. You have 16 feet of space and I am to blame because you can't drive a boat?"

"I am getting pissed of with people like you on the canal," he said.

Note: I am properly moored on a private mooring and 'I' am the reason he cant drive his boat. 

His next obstacle after this 16 foot space, and the 10 foot wide bridge hole, is an 8 foot wide lock and he made a fuck up of that!

So now and for evermore I will be the evil genie in the story that he makes up that he will tell to anyone that will listen, and my crime? I was moored up minding my own business! If you should come across him please, please point him to this page.

PS Hire boat just came through, absolute text book driving. Moored on the tow path side brought the boat to a halt using the Center line and waited quietly for the bridge to open.

PPS 14:10 Jenny B came past, passing in the opposite direction. Said he wanted to apologize, and signaled me over, I was standing on the wharf under a shelter out of the rain. For one I wasn't going to get wet, for another I don't trust angry Giblets.

Monday, 26 October 2020

Banburyshire!

Have you been to Banbury lately? Well you wont have missed much! Currently Tooley's has two 'project' boats. "NB Hardy" was the last wooden boat to be built by Nurser at Braunston in 1940. Mr Nurser did 'oversee' the building of other wooden boats after Hardy but he no longer owned the yard. "NB Kilsby" belongs to the Oxford Canal trust, It was built in 1911. It has cast iron sides and an ELM bottom. It appears to be a tri-keelson bottom, but I am thinking it is not.

Boats are coming and going into the dry dock all the time. Most for blacking, some for welding jobs/prop shaft changes etc. NB Bones arrived early October for blacking and a prop shaft/stern tube change. I always look forward to seeing Mort Bones. My fur baby Molly is firmly in love with her fur baby BOOTS and he with her. However that aside it is an opportunity for us to catch up with each other and friends in the area. Moving on!
H
er prop shaft was no where near as bad as mine. In fact I had trouble finding her shaft wear, whereas mine was plainly obvious!
The canal itself still busy due to the late start to the season.

Redevelopment of the canal area moves apace. An imaginative original idea to cover the canal with a glass roof fell at the first hurdle. Boaters were up in arms and said as much. You see, not only would the smoke of boat stoves have dirtied the glass, but exhaust fumes would have been contained under the glass and the out come would be boats would no longer be allowed to moor 'in town'.
Still not accessible by the public, the new foot bridge was installed the first week in September, not the original design. The old bridge had character, this new one none, but hey-ho. 
There is a 200 bed Premier Inn being built on the left bank between the multi-story car park, next to the Castle Quay center, and the canal down towards Rolt Bridge. It is eight storeys high and currently holds command over the Banbury skyline. 

There are supposed to be shops/restaurants on the ground floor.
On the other side of the canal, where the little two storey car park was, there will be an 8 screen multiplex cinema!


As the story goes the original developer said "There is no way a six screen Multiplex can make money in Banbury". They then sold the development to the current developer. They also said, "There is no way a six screen Multiplex can make money in Banbury". Allegedly the council said "Build an 8 screen Multiplex and we will pay for it". 

So what we can assume from this is the council are a bunch of MORONS.

The structures on both sides of the canal will add to the wind tunnel effect and block phone and internet signals. Which it does quite adequately now! SO God help us all! 

But behind all of this is the prospect of an Aldi/Lidl on the site of the old Sports Center. This will come complete with a multi-storey!

Edits underlined.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Banbury Lift Bridge

 A chap passed me today. Commercial boat. 70 foot. Hiab type crane in the front, CRT label on the cabin we are  talking about an experienced professional boater. He moored, and went to the bridge. To raise it the instructions are very clear. C/W to raise, this because I made sure that it was clear. I painted it! But yet he still wound the mechanism ac/w at least 6 times before he bothered to read the instructions. 


This ignorance is why the bridge keeps on breaking. Engineers were out at the weekend to fix the bridge. 

If you are coming to Banbury the bridge mechanism is C/W to raise and AC/W to lower. Please pay attention!

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Mooring In Banbury

So here I am moored back in Banbury for the winter. Lets hope I don't end up staying through next summer, again! 

Slightly different arrangement this year. Do you remember Kilsbsy I reported on at the beginning of the year? Well this time it is on the wharf and I am moored outside it. 

This of course means there are tyres along the wharf, there are tyres between me and Kilsby and due to the proximity to the lift bridge there are tyres on my outside, about 9 of them.
Of course this will not stop me getting hit, but it will cushion the blow as other boaters seeing the tyres seem to use the tyres as aiming points despite there being a 16 foot gap for them to get through.


Sunday, 4 October 2020

Angry Farmers and Jaspers

 For my second holiday this year we once again put France to one side even though we had tickets and have our own house out there. Instead we decided to go down the Thames to Brentford and back. I have done the Thames many times, but Susan has only covered Oxford to Lechlade and Oxford to Sonning. I bought a two week ticket and we set off in early September and returning in the latter half of the month. Susan had a great time. Lots of boats in September so moorings were at a premium. 

One particular farmer, the guy who robs Henley, called at about 10.30 demanding his money. He didn't seem to understand that he had a duty of care with regards the mooring and it doesn't matter if there are 40 signs about, if the sign where I am moored is obscured and I cant see it then it is his responsibility to make it visible and not my job to hunt around for another, I'M ON FUCKING HOLIDAY! Of course if I had paid online, as the sign said I should, I would not have been able to bend his ear about his lack of customer service and failure to adhere to the HS Act!

High light of the trip was hammering in a pin through a wasps nest. Them Jaspers were not very happy I can tell you. We both sustained  at least a dozen hits. I got 4 in about a minute at the top of my arse crack, 5 on my face and several other spread around. Susan unfortunately got a couple on the back of her hand which swelled up and a few across her bikini line and around her boobies. She was also not very happy!

Moral; If the sign says NO MOORING it means NO FECKING MOORING

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Wood Knowledge

Oaken logs, if dry and old, keep away the winter's cold;
Poplar gives a bitter smoke and fills your eyes will make you choke;
Elm-wood burns like churchyard mold, even the very flames are cold;
The Irish, we are told, have said, "hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread",
Apple-wood will scent the room and pear-wood smells like flowers in bloom;
But ash-wood wet and ash-wood dry, a King may warm his slippers by.

Monday, 7 September 2020

HOORAH!

Today September 7th it will be exactly 14 years since I first set foot on the Milly M. This is the longest I have ever lived in one home as an adult, since I got married at 19. Being a military person I have lived in about 20 places I have called home in the last 50 years.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

And so the winter comes

Being a military type one would think I was used to such things as cold weather and the like, but you would be wrong. I worked on Vulcans, Harriers, Hunters, JPs, I even did one job on a Spitfire and one on a Javelin. But all this was mainly either in the confines of a centrally heated hanger in the UK or in the hot jungles of Central America. I say this so you wont be to hard on me for saying 'I put my fire in yesterday'.

Number 5

The fifth battery turned up at Tooleys today. I will be picking it up later to fit this am and then off to the Thames. LET THE HOLIDAY BEGIN!

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Value for money!


When I bought my boat in 2006 I was furnished with 8 batteries from the 'Squadron' badge. Two were for the bow thruster. One was for the starter. And 5 were leisure batteries. They were £200 each! 😱😱😱They would have been fitted in/or about July/August of that year. It is now some 14 years later and just last night I ordered their replacements. 😂😂😂😂 Although I am still not sure I couldn't squeeze another year out of them.

The 'Squadron' badge no longer exists so I settled for a cheaper set of 4 batteries (see here). Even so they came to £762.88. £190.72 ea plus delivery £15 so at £777.88 a bit pricey.


There are those who may think that is a bit expensive, but lets stop there. If you think 3 years out of a cheap set of FLAs is good contemplate this, in 14 years I have never looked at my batteries, except to dust them off once in a while, only then because I felt I should do as everyone else seems to have spent eons nurturing their batteries. 

In that 14 years I have never had to lift them out, they weigh more than a large bag of coal. I have never risked possible back injury, you guys of course have, and many times! And as you know with lifting them out you also have to lift them back in. 

Another good thing is, I know many people who switch their inverter off at night 'to save the batteries', I never have. And I dont have solar!


The initial cost for all my batteries in 2006 was £1600/ £1000 for 5 leisure batteries. So although the price hasn't dropped much (£22.12p) I think I got a great deal in the beginning and a great deal last night. After all I am nigh on 70 and I don't suppose I will be changing them again any time soon if ever!

EDIT: The batteries arrived today, Thursday! So when I set about changing them I was surprised to see that there were 5 not 4 leisure batteries installed in the boat. Consequently I have amended some of the figures above.

Important news if you live on a boat...

LANDMARK JUDGEMENT CONFIRMS HOUSING BENEFIT FOR BOAT LICENCE FEES
In a landmark judgement issued on 25th June 2020 (AB v London Borough of Camden (HB) [2020] UKUT 158 (AAC)), the Upper Tribunal has confirmed that Housing Benefit is payable for boat licence fees because the boat licence fee if living aboard is rent. Specifically, the boat licence fee is a payment in respect of a licence or permission to occupy a dwelling and thus it qualifies under Regulation 12(1)(b) of the Housing Benefit Regulations. Regulation 12(1)(b) is directly transposed to the Universal Credit Regulations so this judgement also applies to claims for the boat licence fee as housing costs in Universal Credit.
Upper Tribunal Judge Mr E Mitchell found that the boat licence without a permanent mooring qualifies under this regulation because the boat dweller without a permanent mooring is required to make a payment in respect of a licence to occupy the land, including land covered with water, that while moored, comprises part of his houseboat dwelling. Although the decision was made in respect of a boat licensed without a home mooring, it also covers boat licences with a home mooring (Housing Benefit for mooring fees is already within the scope of the regulations in Regulation 12(1)(f) which is also transposed to the Universal Credit regulations).
In paragraph 69 of the judgement, Judge Mitchell said:
“…a ‘dwelling’ is comprised of more than simply the houseboat. It includes the land used for the purposes of mooring it. When a houseboat is moored, the dwelling is comprised for housing benefit purposes of the houseboat itself, the canal or river bank used for mooring and, probably, also the land beneath the vessel (given the Interpretation Act 1978 definition of land, which includes land covered by water). If someone other than the person dwelling in the houseboat owns the land comprised within the houseboat dwelling, the owner in principle is free to licence its use, for mooring purposes, to that person.”
He continued in paragraphs 82 and 83:
“I therefore conclude that payments made by Mr B to the Canal & River Trust were
payments in respect of a licence to occupy that part of his houseboat dwelling comprised of land owned or managed by the Trust. It is not disputed that the payments are periodical in nature nor that they are made in respect of a dwelling occupied by Mr B as his home. The payments therefore fall within regulation 12(1)(b) of the 2006 Regulations and constitute ‘rent’ for the purposes of that regulation.

It follows that the local authority, acting on 1 December 2016, did not establish a proper statutory ground for superseding Mr B’s award of housing benefit. The authority’s decision is set aside. For entitlement purposes, the result is that the authority’s actions on 1 December 2016 had no effect on Mr B’s existing housing benefit award. That is the effect of the decision given before the start of the reasons for this decision.”
Unfortunately the judge also decided that the costs of compulsory third party insurance and Boat Safety Scheme examination did not qualify for Housing Benefit under Regulation 12(1)(b) on the grounds that these payments “…were made in respect of services necessary in order for the conditions for grant of a licence to be satisfied” and were not payments in respect of the boat licence itself.
The Judge made it clear that he was not drawing a distinction between a boat licence without a home mooring, a boat licence with a home mooring or a houseboat certificate: the decision covers all three. He also used the word ‘houseboat’ in the everyday sense to mean a boat that is used as a home.
This welcome decision follows a difficult period for boat dwellers due to an adverse judgement in the Upper Tribunal in 2017 (Kirklees MBC v JM [2018] UKUT 219 (AAC)) which was undefended by the boater, and which had reversed a Social Security and Child Support Commissioners’ decision of 2002 (CH 884 2002) that boat licence fees, regardless of whether the boater had a mooring, were eligible for Housing Benefit. From 2017, many boat dwellers both with and without a home mooring saw the Housing Benefit for their boat licence either withdrawn on review or refused with a new claim.
If you have been refused Housing Benefit for the boat licence fee or if your Housing Benefit was stopped, you can now either make a new claim or seek permission to appeal out of time. The same applies to those who claimed Universal Credit for the boat licence fee and were refused.
If your Housing Benefit was refused or stopped and you did not appeal, you may be able to get permission to appeal out of time. If you did appeal, your appeal should have been stayed pending the outcome of this case and you should now contact the Tribunal with the judgement. If you appealed and your appeal was not stayed but was decided against you, then you should contact the Tribunal for permission to appeal out of time.
The boater was represented by barrister Justin Bates, instructed by the NBTA.
The full judgement is available here

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Blogger!

Inside Blogger I see this message:-

In July, the new Blogger interface will become the default for all users. The legacy interface will still be available as an option. We recommend trying the new interface by clicking 'Try the new Blogger' in the left-hand navigation. Please file any critical issues encountered. Read more.

Now I have looked at this new interface and have to wonder why they are bothering. It is not easy to use and the editor is just as crap as it has always been! If Blogger want to make changes they should be looking at the editor a substantial change to the editor. Windows Live Writer (LW) is, to me the perfect editor for Blogger and since Windows discontinued LW it is now open source.

Blogger should stop thinking about pissing off their million or more users and CHANGE THE EDITOR

Friday, 12 June 2020

Relief

Today I closed my Twitter account and one face book account. When I am allowed to post on the other acct I will close that also. Hoorah!

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Martin Thorne

Those of you who have passed through Thrupp on your boat may remember Martin Thorne. He was the farmer who stood at the 5-bar gate, by the disposal point, giving his judgement on the world of boating.

I am sad to say Martin passed away at the weekend suffering from C-19 complications.
You may have thought that Martin was a bit scruffy, but he refused to buy new clothes at his age 'because I won't get any wear out of them'. 😂
Martin had many wonderful stories to tell about his life as a farmer and as a young lad in Oxfordshire.

As a young lad his father told him on Friday night not to be late home. He turned up in the early hours of the morning. Confronted by his father about his late arrival he said "What are you gonna do about it". He woke up next morning in the coal shed with a black eye. 

His Swedish wife died from breast cancer many years ago before he came to live in Thrupp. You may remember he always wore a horse shoe shaped ear ring, that was his connection to his wife. After his wife's funeral he went in to his local pub in Woodstock where he had drank for many years and ordered a pint. He looked at the beer and thought to himself "this is not the answer". He left the beer on the bar and never took another drink in his life.

A truly knowledgeable man of all things countryside. He would rise at 5 every morning and walk with his springers loving the early morning light (his dogs always named after English cricketers, the last being Gough). Martin would often see the otters on the bridge on these walks when they returned to the area.
One very special evening we both stood on the lift bridge watching a family of foxes in the field. He had shot many foxes as a farmer, but in later life he had a real passion for them he loved nothing more than to just watch them. 

If you ever walked in the woods past Annie's and under the railway you will have walked in a wood Martin planted, 80,000 trees! The owner of the field left Martin to buy the trees. Martin ordered the trees in latin, the owner an arab was none the wiser. Consequently there are many fruit trees in the wood apples, pears, hazel, cherry.

Martin was a true Oxfordshire gentleman. RIP Martin my friend.