Calling all boaters between Keadby and Braunston. I have a canoe in Keadby and I need to get it to Oxford. Is any one likely to be coming south this season who can help relay a canoe in steps down to Oxford? If the timing is right Braunston will see it meet up with Bones. If you would like to participate drop me a line with location and possible distance or location you can move it to.
Thursday, 29 May 2014
Wednesday, 28 May 2014
It is 18.45 in the evening of a wet Wednesday. A boat has just arrived at the Wide in Thrupp. The driver says “Do you know where there are any overnight moorings round here?
What a stupid question he had just come past a 72 and a 60 foot space (14 days) at Shipton. He is the sort of boater who will be telling CRT he can’t moor up when he is on his travels.
I don’t know about you, but when I am near where I want to be I take the first available space, moor up and go and have a look further along to see if there is anywhere closer to my ‘best stopping place’ then move up. If I try to get where I want without stopping to check then I may, just may, have to continue past that place until I find somewhere else.
What is more annoying is that the particular boat in question has been here several times and knows how the system works.
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
This is the view you get as you come south into Thrupp. You need to make a choice Left Right or Straight on. There is no left, straight on is a steel reinforced concrete curb over a foot deep, the only real option is to turn right, under the lift bridge. You would be surprised how many people go for the straight on option.I often ask people if they drive their car into concrete blocks. You can believe me when I say their response is “I didn’t know where to go”. My usual reply is, “Well you could stop”, and it is not all hire boaters, owners and sharers hit the end the most often.
This is called the Wide. To do this turn and not look like a nob you need to be in the middle and going slow. (I always think that lots of reverse will show who is not driving his boat properly). Remember the fish you have just past who are not expecting you to come back. There is a water point on your right and another half a mile away if you miss this one.
Don’t leave turning too late especially if there is a wind. What happens is if you leave it late your bow will shave a layer of concrete off the curb. If you leave it far too late you will take a sizable chunk out of the curb. The curb will eventually collapse into the canal and the canal will make its way through Annie’s Tearoom which is about 5 feet below canal level. On a good day you could kill 50-60 people.
There are two reasons why you will hit the curb. You are travelling too fast and you are not driving the boat. Pay attention!
You need to moor to let your crew off to operate the bridge and you moor along the end rather than drive straight at it.
Please come to visit Thrupp it really is a fab place, but if you cant pay attention to what you are doing then stay away. The last thing we need is a high body count!
What we seem to forget is speeding is not just about rocking boats. Its about the canal and the wild life.
High speed (breaking wash) causes a disproportionate amount of damage (bank erosion) than slower speeds (no breaking wash) (I read 4x but don't ask me to give a link). 4 mph is an absolute maximum not a must. On wider canals that may be fine, but on narrower canals 3 mph or less, along a pound, should be the order of the day.
Whether or not your wash breaks is not jus down to the speed you normally do. As you travel along the width varies as does the depth. The narrower/shallower the canal the lower the speed at which your wash will break.
You may be travelling at a speed that doesn't break wash if you travel in the centre of the canal but if you meander to the side then your wash will break when it didn't in the centre. This is because by moving closer to the bank you have effectively narrowed the canal on that side of the boat and of course the water is shallower closer to the edge.
Now there you are driving your boat keeping a good look out forward how can you be expected to see what is going on behind you? Well if you stopped steering your boat with your bum you might position your self in such a way that you can easily look back from time to time to see what is happening with your wash and adjust accordingly Being aware of your wash is part of being a good boater.
More especially at this time of year many birds are nesting often at the waters edge. 4 mph can swamp a nest of eggs or drown chicks. You , therefore, are a murderer. Yes I know the canals were here before the wildlife, but then the birds were here before you.
Not all fish manage to get out of the way of your propeller. I often see fish with a prop gash floating on the water. Some fish are shredded so finely by morons using too much power to move off or stop that the remains never get to float.
Now when tied up my boat rarely moves (fore & aft) anyone wanting to see how this is done is welcome to stop on their way past and ask. But there are times when rings, bollards, or firm ground are not available. You can argue all you like about mooring on soft ground but at the end of the day some visitor moorings are posted where the towpath is soft (the 14 day moorings at Shipton are along a soft towpath). I don't give a monkeys what you think, or what common sense says, people moor where they feel its nice, where they feel they can enjoy the canal or the local pub or, provided you haven drowned them, the chicks.
The canals have changed their use, they are no longer a trade route, but a leisure park. They will never ever return to being a trade route however much the Greenies might want it. People come to the water for the peace and quiet. They come to slow down and chill. If you want to go racing around might I suggest you get a bus or hire a car. If you have to get somewhere in a hurry might I also suggest you get out of bed earlier (lets call it better planning). Whilst you are entitled to be on the water it would be much better if you paid attention to the environment and inhabitants of the canals and stopped abusing yourself with the tiller handle. Who knows you might even start to enjoy it!
Saturday, 24 May 2014
This is Lama, she was 5. Her Saudi father divorced her Egyptian mother then took Lama to live with him. (Children are their fathers property). Lama died 10 months after he father attacked and tortured her . According to his testimony Fayhan al-Ghamdihe said he was worried about the girls virginity, and took her to a medical examiner to have it checked (although you can’t really check for ”virginity”. He suspected his 5-year-old daughter had brought shame upon the family by somehow losing her virginity.
His response, was a most brutal attack on his child:
What I want I know How did he get his information? What made him ‘suspect’ his five year old child?
Wednesday, 21 May 2014
The council get a bit shitty about people who put stuff in for recycling that they are not supposed to put in the bin! Today I thought I would mark the bins clearly with a broad felt tip marker.
This is Molly’s bag I take it everywhere. Bones bought it for me, for Christmas, as I had lost my other one at my late mothers house last year. It contains Molly’s poo bags, two leads (one ordinary one extender), treats, two thick marker pens (red & black) and sometimes my notebook and pen.It has been a week now since my keys disappeared. I had hoped that by advertising the loss on the net I would embarrass the perpetrator of this ‘heinous’ crime to come forward and return my keys to me but it was not to be. The reason for this being that all week the keys have never left my side.
As I reached into Molly’s bag to find a felt tipped pen (you will remember from earlier that I was going to mark the bin), I was surprised to feel that the pens were not there. This is most unusual! I rummaged around at the bottom for some time before I realised that a familiar group of objects were nestling in the mix of bags therein. I cannot tell you the joy I felt at the finding of my keys , this was quickly followed by a ‘How the feck am I going to explain this’ moment!
Well there is only one way to go about it. Just fess up! I am a grade A twat.! (I know I didn’t need to tell most you that, but some of you will be shocked at this revelation) I never looked in the bag because it never occurred to me to look in the bag. The bag is for specifics and keys are not on that list; they always go in pockets.
If you feel I have unnecessarily slandered your birth parents or intimated that you might just be the thieving moron that stole my keys then I do so humbly apologise for the suggestion.
This apology is not as long as Maria Millers 54 second apology, to the House of Commons, because she is a thief and I merely a misguided ass.
Tuesday, 20 May 2014
I do get annoyed when councils and various other groups in London talk about the canal towpath being a traffic free zone. It is not! Part of the traffic that should use the roads (cyclists) are now using the towpath. Cyclist ARE Traffic! Not only are they traffic many of them can be inconsiderate bastards into the bargin. If they drove their car the way they ride their bikes they would almost certainly lose their licence ‘Driving without due care and attention’.
No pedestrian should be placed in danger on a footpath. If cyclists can not show due respect for the vulnerable then they should get back on the road.
Yes I know the road is not always a suitable place for cyclists, but that is no reason to put pedestrians in danger. Riding to work at speed along a pedestrian populated towpath is at best a folly and at worst downright dangerous.
If a person needs a daily fix of adrenalin then he should get up earlier and go to the gym. A racing cycle is not the right equipment to use on a crowded towpath.
I met an American lady and her English husband today who mentioned they had heard about a famous boater at Thrupp.
“Oh.” I said jokingly, “that will be me then.
“And who are you,” she said.
“Maffi”, says I.
“That’s the name”, she says, “I keep reading it on the internet”.
Friday, 16 May 2014
Years ago you would write a story then hawk it around the publishers and you would find one who wanted to make it into a saleable book ie edit, design and produce a finished article, the publisher would earn his ‘cut’.
Today you write a book, you edit it, you get the graphics, you do the design and the publisher doesn’t earn his cut. Why do publishers exist? Certainly not for my benefit. I could publish my own book, but to do that one needs money.
However there is an online system where if you do all the work they will print on demand. I think I might try this avenue.
Thursday, 15 May 2014
So there you are at the lift bridge in Thrupp. There in the keyswitch on the bridge console is a bunch of keys, about twelve, hanging on a chain. You use the keys to operate the lift bridge, After your boat is through you lower the bridge. Now, what do you do with the keys?
Well there are options:
1, There is a Welcome Boat on which resides the Mooring Warden. They might not be in.
2. There is an office across the bridge you could take them there.
3. Oh dear the door is locked, but wait there is Annie’s Tearooms. Nah
4. You could seek out a local boater and give the keys to him.
5. You could leave them where they are, after all ,12 keys is probably important to someone. They’re bound to miss them and come back!
6. Oh wait there is a boaters post box nearby on the water point Nah! What’s the point of being so obvious.
7. You could steal the BWB key and chuck the others in the water. Well its worth a fiver!
8. Or take them with you on your journey in the hope that you will meet up with the owner.
The first six options are obvious but none of them have worked for me. I am still keyless. I can’t work, I can’t get into my boat in short I am F***ed,
Who would be so dumb as to take someone else’s keys away from where they were found. Damn it, its as bad as losing your mobile phone, and that is no picnic.
So its two bunches of keys connected by a coppery looking chain. It would be nice to have them back this tent is getting cold.
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
I am a little concerned about the Association of Continuous Cruisers ACC. It seems to have lost its engine (committee). there are currently no elections planned and no volunteers anyway. I found this on another blog, Skippy’s Ramblings, and am Guest posting it here.
Will this be the Downfall of the ACC?
The Association of Continues Cruisers is, now operating outside its constitutional remit. this is not opinion, this is a fact, where my opinion is present in this post it will be written as such.
The Constitution was the central document for the ACC, it was front and centre on the website at
Steve Jenkins seems to have deleted it (my back up here, wayback machine here, and PDF). It was originally placed in the public domain so that members, and non members alike could see what the ACC was about, and what its aims were (§4).
With the mass resignation recently, leaving only Steve Jay on the committee of the ACC, the association no longer has quorum. In accordance with §4.1 of the aforementioned ACC constitution) Steve can not invite new members to the council (§4.1, §6.3), can not edit the constitution (§4.1, §6.3, §8.1). Steve can not revoke anyones membership of the ACC (see §3.5.2), and can not exclude anyone under §6.7.
It is my considered opinion that Steve Jenkins is now running the ACC as his own private club. He has manipulated, bullied, and forced out other committee members, unilaterally made decisions, and shouted down those who disagree with him. It is for these reason that I think he should resign immediately for being in breach of §6.7, and continuing to misrepresent the ACC to CaRT.
At the moment there are two options for the ACC:
- Immediate appointment of an interim council (7 members), whose immediate task shall be the setting up of full and open elections (I do not wish to see Steve Jenkins on this).
- The winding up of the ACC in accordance with §8.3.
I am not a huge fan of #2, so i would prefer to see #1 as the course of action to be carried out, and before you wonder, no I shall not be looking to stand, This is the start of a letter that I hope will be signed by at least 30 full time members of the ACC (§5.2).
Monday, 12 May 2014
If you look at my time line on Facebook you will see a picture of my boat (it’s the same picture you will see at the top here). The boat name is very clear, Milly M. It even says Maffi's Boat. Most people don't put their boat name on their FB page. That's OK, your choice! But please don't expect me to know who you are or recognise your boat when I am out travelling. I am not clairvoyant. My pregnant daughter and her husband came to visit last year while I was working. I said hello but had no idea who they were even though I was expecting them!!!
If you see me please make yourself known to me. I like the randomness of that, but don’t expect me to come visit if we have never met and I don’t know the name of your boat. I don’t bite, though some will tell you I do. I am well housetrained I don’t scratch the furniture, wont try to hump your leg and I promise I will never ask to use your porta-potti.
If you are the sort to get upset that I didn't visit when I was in your area remember its a two way street if I didn't visit you, you could have visited me, after all you did recognised who I was.
Above all if I don’t connect with you don’t slag me off to the world and his sister it is not nice and may be illegal.
Saturday, 10 May 2014
I just dont believe people can be so fecking stupid! A boater in London (who will remain nameless) a newbie I believe asked if he should sound his horn when entering Islington Tunnel (he didn’t want to upset the neighbours). The answer came back ‘yes it’s one of the rules’. So, feeling very pleased with himself after he made his way through the tunnel he announced:
Will have to practice going in a straight line though, as I kept on veering towards one side then the other. Maybe it's coz my headlights at front not working………..
What is it about the water that attracts moths of this calibre?
The time is coming when boaters will need to be licensed as car drivers are licensed and for me that time cant come soon enough.
Friday, 9 May 2014
Last night at Bow Locks on the London waterways a couple of crooks locked the occupants of a narrowboat inside their water based home while they stole a generator off their boat.
PLEASE can everyone keep an eye open for anyone selling a Honda generator. 2KW red with 2 holes drilled in the bottom of the front panel.
Politicians are saying that the NHS is costly and inefficient. It is overburdened with bureaucracy. I am wondering how many really believe that. The people who drive the bureaucracy in the NHS are the politicians, many of whom have shares in private medical companies, too many. Funding is governed by politicians who keep the NHS short of money this in turn makes the NHS appear inefficient.
If the government give a private company money to run a section of the health service the very first thing the company will do is deduct 20% for their profit. Next they will cut staffing levels followed by equipment costs. At the end of the first year after the death toll has reached an unprecedented level they will give themselves a big fat bonus for saving so much money. More of our money will then be in the hands of people who don’t deserve it just because they are mates with the chief crook.
The NHS will descend in to a pile of crap and the government will blame the last lot.
Can we really allow a group of self-seeking individuals who pay no price for being wrong/incompetent/crooked to be in charge of our NHS?
Thursday, 8 May 2014
This blog is my blog. Of course its opinionated, its my opinion. If you dont like it Feck off. Before you go tell ME you don’t like it. Don’t go slagging me off to the world and his sister.
There are two things you can expect from me, 1. straight talking no pussy footing around. 2. If you need help and I can help I will. If you don’t know these things then you are no friend of mine!