Monday, 30 September 2013
Last year one of my office windows started leaking profusely. The problem was due to some poor construction. When my boat was built many of you will remember it was shown on the WWW due to the fact that I was in Saudi and could not visit. Well whilst watching the camera one day I noticed the windows had been cut out, but the wrong shape, square at the top as apposed to curved as per the windows which annoyingly were there in the workshop at the time of cutting. This was just one of several balls ups that the builder managed to commit.
Well fillets had to be fixed in to re-shape the window hole. This is where, last year, rust first appeared and fortunately this is the only window to cause a problem so far. The fillets can be clearly seen on all the windows, despite assurances that this would not be the case.
Anyway despite all the shall I, shan’t I dithering I did over the summer I finally set to to stop the leak. I removed the window. This revealed more rust than I first thought. I then removed the rust as much as I could then treated it. The thing I noticed was the thickness of the original paintwork was phenomenal. I put on two coats of primer then 4 coats of International TOPLAC that I originally bought for the gunnels. It wasn't a bad match for colour given that I bought it because it was the ‘blackest’ green I had seen.
I used roofing sealant to re-fix the window and now have a very good looking repair. I need to work on my painting technique a bit, but I can practice when I do the gunnels.
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Monday, 23 September 2013
Sunday, 22 September 2013
Godfrey Bloom made a bit of a faux par when he used the word slut in a joke last week but not because of the reasons banded about by the other political parties or the press. What he said was only offensive if your education is lacking and you have a propensity to be offended at everything.
Slut may have one meaning today that may offend, but it has several meanings and was completely in context with what Godfrey Bloom was asked last week.
If you look at the etymology of the word you will see my point.
slut (n.) c.1400, "a dirty, slovenly, or untidy woman," probably cognate with dialectal German Schlutt "slovenly woman," dialectal Swedish slata "idle woman, slut," and Dutch slodder "slut," but the ultimate origin is doubtful. Chaucer uses sluttish (late 14c.) in reference to the appearance of an untidy man. Also "a kitchen maid, a drudge" (mid-15c.; hard pieces in a bread loaf from imperfect kneading were called slut's pennies, 18c.). Meaning "woman of loose character, bold hussy" is attested from mid-15c.; playful use of the word, without implication of loose morals, is attested from 1660s.
Our little girl Susan is a most admirable slut, and pleases us mightily. [Pepys, diary, Feb. 21, 1664]
Sometimes used 19c. as a euphemism for bitch to describe a female dog. There is a group of North Sea Germanic words in sl- that mean "sloppy," and also "slovenly woman," and that tend to evolve toward "woman of loose morals" (cf. slattern, also English dialectal slummock "a dirty, untidy, or slovenly person," 1861; Middle Dutch slore "a sluttish woman").
Overall what can be gained from this is Godfrey Bloom was in context and not offensive. He has been wrongly punished for nothing. What happened last week was a victory for political bias bought about by the Government and the press to slur UKIP probably because these Tory twats could see their position being challenged by better people than they are.
What is sad is that Nigel Farange fell for it and played right into the Tory hands. What a sucker. Oh wait a minute that word ‘sucker’ could that be misconstrued as some sexual deviation? Yes if you want it to but check up on the etymology first before you go shouting the odds.
Saturday, 21 September 2013
However, if you were the leader of a group of rebels who were having their ass kicked by a tyrannical thug, wouldn’t you want the west to come in and bomb the crap out of the tyrant and his forces? Of course you would. How would you achieve that? Well you could ask for your friends to intervene, but if they are apprehensive about that then you have to make them want to help.
Setting off a chemical weapon and killing women and children, in the most barbarous way, would certainly tend to push your friends into action. Many people both here and abroad are horrified that the west is not going to stop the tyrant from committing further atrocities, but if you are not sure who the ‘tyrant’ is then, surely, it is right to hold back.
Yes a thug is killing women and children, and ‘he’ needs to be stopped. As soon as we know who ‘he’ is then I think we will probably go in to help.
I can hear you ask why would the rebels kill their own people. I will quote my own second paragraph, “Arabs have a different psyche to us in the ‘west’. . . .”. Now I can hear you saying ‘that’s a very racist thing to say’, but my experience of the Middle East is that this is the case. Life in the ME is cheap. Women and children are commodities, to be used as the men see fit. If killing a few hundred, or a few thousand achieves the objective then so be it.
I do not say this lightly. I have received a few emails in the past that I have felt the need to report to the police. I have written about the M E on many occasions, I know that there are those who would rather I didn’t. I have lived in three M E countries for a total of five years and whilst I would not say I am an expert I at least have a greater knowledge than some politicos who might only visit for a few days.
By all means have an opposing view but do not tell me I am wrong, only history will be able to do that.
Thursday, 19 September 2013
If you don’t want me to tell you what I think don’t ask. I watched a boat do something very stupid today. (Apart from standing on the gunwale ten feet forward of the prop in a high wind). With two boats breasted up on the water point the Anglo Welsh decided to moor up behind them. This meant that their bow was touching the bank on the other side of the bridge completely blocking boats traveling through the said bridge.
The chaps at the water point told them that they couldn’t moor like they were, blocking the bridge. “Well how long are you going to be?” We’ve got two tanks to fill up says the man on the water point. They, AW, told them, water point, they were not being very helpful. Well they were filling up with water, they were moored as far up as they could be (which is unusual here). So the AW boat tried to move elsewhere and bounced off the edge with his stem post several times, all the while the wind was blowing him sideways. One of his crew started pulling hard on the bow rope instead of just tying it to a bollard and letting the wind blow the boat around. Well they are ‘hirers’ they cant be expected to think of this stuff.
But as I walked past on the towpath the man on the rope said , “There’s a lot of windage on these boats isn’t there!” Just there that word ‘windage’ should have been the clue. A normal hirer wouldn’t have said that.
Well I just said, “It takes a bit of forward planning,” as I would have said to anybody on any boat having a problem.
He took umbrage and proved me wrong. He wasn't just a ‘hirer’ “I’ve sailed boats all over the world,” he said, “Not just on these canals. I don’t need blah . . . blah . . . blah.” So there you have it an expert who wasn’t.
Sorry but if I was an ‘expert’, which I’m not, and making a balls up; which I often do, I would not admit to my experience. If I didn’t want a smart-arse like me to state the bleedin’ obvious I wouldn’t say ‘owt in the first place. And I certainly wouldn’t return with how good I was.
Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Its that time of year when talk of ‘budgets’ and ‘bonuses’ is all the rage. To be completely accurate any time of year is time to talk about bonuses, especially those of the CRT.
Alan Richards seems to be of the understanding that CRT directors and other workers (by that I am assuming managers) received in the region of £800,000 bonus collectively.
CRT being a charity aside, I am having trouble with the concept of ‘rewarding’ people, on sky high incomes, if they do their job properly.
Surely the better motivation would be to cut their salary if they didn’t perform. Tie a man down to a long term contract (that he cant wriggle out of) and cut his salary every time he fails to produce the goods. If his salary reduces below 75% then fire his arse. No pension. No Golden handshake.
It is preposterous that people are rewarded again for doing what they have already been paid handsomely to do. Especially in a charity organisation. More especially if they have fucked up elsewhere.
We are in a recession. We can not afford to pay workers a living wage, and yet across industry the double reward scheme for the higher echelon is epidemic.
You never hear of a Street sweeper or a toilet cleaner getting a bonus or the guy who drives your bus to work.
Yes it takes men of vision to build up an industry, but they cant do it without the workers.
One thing you can be sure of is we are NOT all in this together.
Last week I mentioned that the CRT were spending £25,000 softening the banks of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal to make it easier for water voles to burrow into the bank.
This week I see that:-
The Leeds & Liverpool Canal in Rishton, Lancashire, has been hit by an emergency closure after a length of towpath collapsed.
It would seem to me odd that while at one place they were softening the bank and at another they were having to repair it because it was too soft.
Let’s hope CRT learn something this week. Hopefully how to save £25,000
Monday, 16 September 2013
Saturday, 14 September 2013
Every once in a while I go to my junk mail box and sort through clicking on the unsubscribe buttons to stop them dumping their sh!t on my PC.
It varies how long it takes to put a stop on. Sometimes its immediate, sometimes one or two days, it can be as much as 14 days.
I unsubscribed from HYDROLYSE today and received this message:-
Your privacy is taken seriously. If you have received email from this organization after unsubscribing, forward the message to
It will be investigated.
Well that is on hell of an email address
PS Hydrolyse is an anti-wrinkle formula so why do they advertise with teens modelling the product effect? The closest a teen has ever got to a wrinkle is kissing grandma.
Marianne and Steve are both hard working people. Marianne used to drive the OXFORD TUBE buses. Steve, ex-Royal Navy, drives for a local coach firm, two weeks on days then two weeks on nights. Marianne now runs Annie’s Tearoom taking a 50% pay cut to do something she had always wanted to do (bake cakes). She works about 12 hours a day.
They own a car and two big motorcycles and they live on a narrow boat. They are not by any stretch of the imagination continuous moorers. In fact they can’t abide continuous moorers. They do have a winter mooring, November to March, but the rest of the year they are on the move. Oxford canal, on the Grand union, the Thames and the Regent. Even at times when they have been ill I have known them to move their boat because they wont over stay. They are both respectable members of a variable community, Steve does the Santa bit at Crimbo time, Marianne helps out with charitable causes where she can. Indeed they are two very nice people who care about the canal and boating and their friends.
So you will probably be able to understand that Steve was a bit miffed when on one occasion as a boat sped by their boat and he asked the boater to slow down the boater said “At least I move my boat you old soap dodger.” Steve was in fact not a bit miffed, he was ‘head tearing off’ furious.
We all judge people wrongly. I do it a lot. Just because a chap wears a red bandana on his bald head, to stop it burning in the sun, we should not make the assumption that he is a ‘skankey soap dodger’. Steve may not be your idea of a svelte drain pipe cleaner, but when the canal breeches he could single handed stop the flow by sitting in the gap! In short he is the sort of chap you always want on your side.
I know a lot of people don't particularly like me to the point of lying to others and making up stories on blogs/FB etc. I am fortunate I have many good friends who see the ‘me’ in me and know I am essentially a decent sort of chap. I am also thick skinned and I don’t care what people say. While they are talking about me they are leaving some poor unfortunate, who would suffer the ignominy, alone.
Of course if your name is Norman I am coming for a chat.
Friday, 13 September 2013
I do on occasion look into face book. I have an account where I can see how my old mates from Saudi are getting on. I get to see their families grow up who I knew, their new homes, cars, motorcycles etc.
Just lately they have been using PIXER for uploading pictures. Why they changed I don’t know maybe it the big thing in the Philippines. I no longer see those things as I used to see them because PIXER says when I click on a picture
Pixer would like to access your public profile, friend list, email address and your friends' photos.
So they are asking me to turn over all my contacts details just so I can see my mates new car or his son playing football. Sorry but I will not be harvested by such people. Why do they need this access so I can see one friends pictures. One can only assume that they are not a reputable company as in deed many are not.
When we set out on a journey we should always be as prepared as we can. Water tank full, fuel tank full, Maps, food, change of clothes, BWB key. Yep you heard that right BWB key. It is pointless setting off on your journey without all of these things. Without water how are you going to wash? Without fuel how are you going to travel? Without clothes how are you going to smell nice? Without maps how will you know where you are?
If you come up the Thames onto the Oxford Canal you will need a BWB key. Without it you cannot get water so you will end up stinking. Without it you cannot operate the lift bridges so you will have to wait for someone to come along. Further up the system shower blocks and laundry require one and some locks.
The canal has a rhythm that is governed by the locks. If the rhythm is broken by a lift bridge key then the next lock has an automatic queue when the two boats from the bridge arrive. That affects both up and down traffic.
If you are coming onto the canals make sure you are properly prepared including the BWB key. If you cant be bothered to sort it don’t be surprised if we cant be bothered to help.
Sunday, 8 September 2013
I am absolutely amazed at the antics of the CRT. I read that the CRT are planning to spend £25,000 on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal softening the banks so that water voles can burrow easier into the sides of the canal.
Now I may be wrong, and often am, but if you soften the canal banks to allow such creatures to burrow is the bank likely to collapse? If the bank collapses will it not cost a fortune to repair it? If the collapse takes place in an embankment will the canal flood the surrounding area. costing more in compensation? Do the waterways authorities in this country not understand a thing about the system they are paid to protect.
In 1700 there was not a water vole living in a canal because we had no canals, ergo they are not a native species. To introduce or encourage non native species in the canal is tantamount to vandalism. Those who support this practise should be fired for failing to protect the waterways they are paid to protect.
Such schemes, whether it be voles or reed margins or any of the other plethora of hair brained ideas, are a hazard to canal users boater, walkers, fishermen etc. Collapsing banks, narrowed navigation, over hanging trees, all add to the dangers met on the canals.
Either CRT stops this corporate vandalism or maybe we the people will have to stop them!
Tuesday, 3 September 2013
Funny things happen at Thrupp. It was just a week or two ago that I had a visit from Mark. He sat on one of my rear seats. Gilly came out to talk and Mark turned to face her sitting precariously on the seat. An OXNB customer came and asked if they could moor on the bridge mooring. Gilly said, “No!” I said, “No!” Mark had other ideas and said for all he cares he could park where he likes. Mark rarely helps the situation. I nudged him in the shoulder and told him to “Shut up.“ At which point he lost his balance and fell off the seat, straight into the water. I hadn’t intended to push him in the water but Hey ho!
The customer said, “Nah it’s alright I think we will move!”