Tuesday, 14 January 2020


If you are coming to Banbury, just a small piece of useful advice. The Lift bridge is low at the hinge side. there are several chimneys in the water because of the "It'll fit" attitude of many boaters. It probably wont fit and if it is stainless it will stay in the murky depths of the canal forever!


This arsehole is Kanye West. 
He thinks he is the Messiah!

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Winter Mooring?`

I spent most of the summer painting my roof and other stuff, with an interlude in the house in France. However, as summer faded into autumn I needed to search out somewhere to hibernate or at least make my way to Brum, I haven't been for some years. With the latter getting further away with the stoppages due at various places. I was going to go with the 'lets stay around the Oxford area' scenario.

You may imagine my surprise when, out of the blue, I was offered a mooring at the famous Tooley's. I love Tooley's because it has such wonderful history. Here on the wharf I feel visited by the spirits of bygone boaters. Only yesterday I 'imagined' seeing a young girl standing near the end of my boat when I let Molly out for a pee! It was a fleeting glance that disappeared as I stepped down off the stern, changing my viewing angle. Trick of the light?

I am moored about 30 feet from the lift bridge. After being here just a few days I learned why the previous incumbent had moved on. It seems the operation of the bridge is quite a problem for some. Now I can understand single handers struggling to get the bridge open and they may have to nudge me in the process What I do find unacceptable is crewed boats 'whacking' me, quite unnecessarily. There are bollards opposite to tie up, let off the crew who can then cross the bridge to lift it to let the boat through, but No! Stupidity reigns! I wont complain. 

And why is it that having just passed several moored boat there is a need to throw the engine into reverse at max chat to slow down so they don't hit the bridge. I might complain. 

Susan has been to see the mooring. She says the terrace garden needs attention. Well that's not going to happen!

Sunday, 22 December 2019

The Election

Well, well, well! How did you like them apples? This is now the fourth time we (as in country) have set out our stall for Brexit 2015 2016 2017 2019. We had over three years discussing the 'way out' and still couldn't come to a conclusion. Thousands of people took to the streets to protest the result, democracy at its worst!

I said at the time 'what ever way you voted we must all get behind this result and make this work'. Well that didn't happen!

But now we have another opportunity to do just that, What's the betting as soon as the weather warms up the protesters will be back out on the street.

Will Brexit work? I honestly don't know, but having seen the way the senior EU statesmen have behaved since the referendum and are still behaving even now I do not think we can stay in. We would be punished for having the temerity to say we wanted out. EU members have said on many occasions that they are going to fuck us up big time. Germany has never forgiven us for WW1 WW2, France cannot accept that we kicked their arse several times and saved their ass a couple of times too. I think it was Guy Verhofstadt who said the EU army will march on the UK!

Lets be honest all they want is our money. 19 of the 28 EU states do not contribute. Of the 28 we get the least out.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Open Live Writer

Ok so now I have the answer. It is not the answer I wanted but it is the right answer. Blogger is Google based. Google currently do not recognise OPL. End of story!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019


I spent several weeks under the Langford Locks Bridge during the summer as mentioned earlier in a previous post. While I was there I took a dislike to the god awful graffiti on the walls. However I made an effort to change the scrawl. NO its not  da Vinci or Picasso or even Dahli, but it is different and more important it covers up some of the crap!

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Ooo er!

All this having a woman around is taking its toll. I made a herb box in the summer. Even Molly is disgusted with me!

Saturday, 16 November 2019

New for old!

I found this table all old, battered, and dejected at Annie's. It belonged to Gilly. I swapped it for a bottle of Prosecco. While I was doing my roof it was my paint table. It got a bit more messy, but never mind an hour with the sanding block and a couple of coats of varnish and it came up proper nice. This is now the summer dining table.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Fake Shit!

This graph was shown on TV by Professor Brian Cox during a programme about Climate Change. He put it forward as proof of Climate Change. It is a well known NASA graph (its on their site). It is well known for being fake shit. To Climate Change protesters this is part of the Holy Grail of ‘facts’. It was produced sometime after 2008.

This is the ‘original’ also on the NASA site. It was produced before 2008. Don't just believe me look it up!

Thursday, 14 November 2019

All in a days life on the South Oxford

The Cherwell is seriously flooded. Most fields bordering the canal are full of water. The stop lock at Shipton is locked shut, early for the time of year I think. Here at Lower Heyford the canal level is quite high. A boat past the lift bridge  ‘Humble Bumble’ has sunk. The river at Aynho Weir Lock is well high. And the river flooding into the fields is flooding back into the canal further down.  In Banbury there is an oil spill possibly coming from behind the Alcan factory and collecting in and below the town lock.
I forgot to mention, here at Heyford we have Otters. There are 4 pups and of course mum and dad.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

My Fault?

We all have our own ways of doing things, its what makes us who we are as a boater. As a single handed boater I find it easier to gently present myself at the bottom gate, very slow and just nudge the gate. I then leave the engine gear.

I go up and lift the paddles and when the lock is empty the boat pushes its way into the lock. As the gate opens I drop the paddles then go hop on the boat and bring it to a halt inside the lock resting against the Babby plate with the engine in gear.

After closing the gate I lift the top paddles, watching the front of the boat all the time, until the boat pushes its way out of the lock. Dropping the paddles while the boat is moving out I then jump on the boat and as the back end passes the gate I give it a blast of forward then select reverse tick-over.

I now have time to get off the boat close the gate and wait for the boat to come back before hopping aboard and going on with my journey.

It is simple. It is not dangerous. It is efficient.

And then along comes Joe Hirer. Joe knows all about boating. He's been doing it for a whole week. After working his boat through Northbrook lock he decided to open up the bottom paddles despite, on this occasion having my own crew,

Fortunately this wasn't a problem, but I did brief my crew that at the next lock she was to refuse his help. This she did by saying at the next lock, ”Its OK I have got this.” Macho man Joe ignored her and cranked up the paddle whilst my crew was crossing the lock gate, then walked off!

I was only a few feet from the gate going slowly. The effect of him banging up the paddle was to lift me up and I surfed ‘crash bang’ into the gate.

I was pissed as you may imagine. Once the boat settled down I stepped off the boat to have words. I started by saying, “I appreciate your help but…… When I explained what he had just done he first off tried to blame the crew. When that didn't pan out he said it was my fault because I was too close to the gate. Why is it my fault? I didn't ask him to interfere.

I left with an “In future worry about your own boat”, to his repeated echo that I should learn to drive a boat.

Why is his interference MY FAULT!

I wish all boaters would learn when they are out of the lock it is now my lock. More important it’s my boat!


In the past year or so I have been traveling to France for my holidays. Whilst there I have been enamoured by the system they have for recycling. Those of you who know me will be aware that I am an official womble having collected something like 14 tons of rubbish from the towpath in the last 8 years. So you can see I would be interested in more efficient ways of clearing up.

These boxes are the recycling centre for the streets where I holiday. They are only emptied every couple of months, which might seem not often enough given the size, but if you look they all stand on a 6 foot square.
Come emptying day the truck arrives and using a Hiab crane they lift the box by the ring on the top. This is connected to a 6x6x6 foot steel box under ground. This is then unloaded into the truck. What a neat idea. Its about time we had this system here in the UK.

Friday, 1 November 2019


Took this out of the 5.5 on the way from the Coventry basin. Nice but no use to me.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

It irks me!

I have spent a lot of my time in the last eight years collecting other peoples crap from the canals. the stuff I pick up varies from general litter to the disgusting.

There will always be sweet wrappers and dogends, but when you are in the middle of nowhere and you come across a 6x4 dining table leaning up against a tree, obviously left by a boater, you have to wonder why? Especially when you know there is a disposal point a few miles along the canal. It irks me.

I have in my time collected 8 full cassettes. (the disgusting). It irks me.

I once collected a full minifridge of of rotting food from an an island downstream of Sonning on the Thames. Not a mile or so from the disposal point at Shiplake Lock (equally as disgusting). It irks me.

It is somewhat annoying when, at  pretty spot on the canal, you find a bag for life with empty paint tins in it, unusual colours. What is more annoying is when you pass a boat with a same bag on the front deck and the boat has been recently painted with the colours you found before. How stupid some people are! It irks me.

Now I could name and shame, I have a boat name and I have a person name, but there are people out there who do not understand their place in the world. Who don’t understand I would put this information up to just embarrass the perpetrator. It would not be a signal to attack the said boat/person, much less condone such attacks. So now you will never know who it was and that irks me.