Thursday, 30 March 2006


Today I went shopping for ............. essentials.

KENWOOD car stereo unit Double din Tape/CD/DVD/Tuner for the back of the boat
KENWOOD Speakers for Stereo Unit
LCD TV/Monitor 17"

All for less than the cost of the Stereo Unit in the UK.


I'm gonna miss the prices here.

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Well now ............

The boat is coming along very nicely the Port cabin side is on and the Stbd cabin side is ready to go on. Despite my reservations about the finish time it looks like it might be ready before I get away from here.
Having been looking around at other boats I have seen a little something that I would like the boys to add to the bow. Just about a inch or so back from the outside edge of the bow profile. Would look good in brass, but whatever is to hand will do.
It is not a great addition and can be knocked up out of workshop scrap but I would be happier to have these than brass fairleads as first planned.

Click for a larger image

Monday, 27 March 2006

A request and a joke

Being out here in the middle of ********. People seem to think I need to be kept happy. I get no end of emails full of cartoons, funny pictures, jokes etc etc. About 20 a day!

Funny as they may be and appreciated as they are, I do get a little irked that to get to the point of the email I have to scroll through endles lists of who it was sent to before me, all totally unimportant. If I forward emails I try to edit out all the dross. It would be nice if all of you could try this. Thank you.
A joke, thank you Malcom of the SUNSET HOTEL Blackpool

This one is for all who:
a) have kids
b) had kids
c) was a kid
d) know a kid!

As I was packing for my business trip, my 3-year old daughter was having a wonderful time playing on the bed. At one point, she said, "Daddy,look at this," and stuck out two of her fingers.

Trying to keep her entertained, I reached out and stuck her tiny fingers In my mouth and said, "Daddy's gonna eat your fingers!" pretending to eat them before I rushed out of the room again.

When I returned, my daughter was standing on the bed staring at her fingers with a devastated look on her face.

I said, "What's wrong, honey?"

She replied, "What happened to my booger?"

Saturday, 25 March 2006

Progress Report

The boat is coming on well. The front end looks like a real bow with the gas locker installed. Gas locker hinges look very Gothic. Front gunnels welded in position and polished (I think that means all the crud ground off).

At the stern work has progressed apace with the stern being formed, dual fuel tanks, and weed hatch.

The characteristic 'flaring in'? of the stern is next maybe Monday.

The fabricated bow post welded in position, a very nice job.

So far so good now for the rest of the boat.

Click for larger image
All Photos courtesy of Gary at Ledgard Bridge

Latest visitors to the Build Site:
Wheathampstead Norfolk UK/ Atherstone Coventry UK/ Cottingham North Lincolnshire UK/ Whitley Bay Northshields UK/ Embleton Hertlepool UK/ Cornholme Rochdale UK/ Middleton Oldham UK/ Stretton Manchester UK/ Jlich Westfalen Germany/ Sproughton Suffolk/ Stanmer Sussex/ Upper Farringdon Hampshire/ Sutton Courtney/ Windsor and Maidenhead/ Halton Runcorn/ Winwick Warrington/ Nokia Western Finland/ Hyden Western Aus/ Pyrford Bracknell/ Harlesden/ Kingston-upon-Thames/ Peterbourgh Cambridge/ Hemmingbourgh York/ Robert Town Kirklees/ Oldham Lancs/ Turton Bolton/ Mildenhall Wiltshire/ Nailsea North Somerset UK/ Bertzdorf Luxemborg/ Isle Pierre British Columbia Canada/ Auldenham UK/ Calgary Alberta Canada/ Wellington Somerset UK/ Modesto California USA/ Lacey Springs Alabama USA/ Stamford Connecticut USA

Thursday, 23 March 2006

Funeral services

Funeral services increasing on the Soar

IT would appear that funeral services are being carried out at an alarming rate on the River Soar. The scattering of ashes on the river seems to be the in thing these days. Both Environmental Services and boaters are expressing their concern.
While the scattering of a few ashes might not be likely to cause a problem per se, it does seem that up to 4 services a day is going to cause problems long term, especially where the river is shallow, including floral tributes and coconuts? which are also ceremoniously thrown into the river. I don’t think that there is a history of such goings on in the traditions of the waterways system so why now? People from Europe, Asia and America now come specifically to scatter the ashes of their relatives in increasing numbers.
During the heyday of the system the ashes of a few deceased boaters would not have caused a problem, If indeed this was the norm for the boating community, but where do people get off coming from other countries, to our waterways to off load the remains of their dear departed.
Personally I do not want to cruise down the river/canal over the remains of dead people. If you scatter the ashes to the four winds, you do not throw floral tributes in the air at the same time. What other people do in other countries is their affair but this is England and we don’t do it here!
It is time that local governments review their policy of allowing this to happen. I don’t give a tinkers cuss about multicultural whatever, it is not in the traditions or religion of this fair land to have this happen.
Listen to me Local Councils; I am offended that you allow this to happen.
The Environment Agency it seems is none too happy about it either, spokesperson Lyn Fraley said:"The agency does not want to unnecessarily obstruct traditions”.

Tell that to the boater who has spent a wet afternoon down the weed hatch disgorging wire frames from his propeller. I say there is no tradition in this country to do this.
"But we are concerned that other aspects of these practices, such as casting tributes and other objects into the water, could harm the environment or upset other river users."

Too bloody right! So why don’t we nip it in the bud and put a stop to this act NOW! We have places to do this!

The guidelines specifically express that no organic items should be put in the river.

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Ho Hum!

Those of you that have been following my stay here in Saudi Arabia will know that I work for the most inept company in the world, DIFA O&M.
Today is, in Julian terms, 6081. 6= 2006 081 = the 81st day of the year. The last days work I was paid for was 5366. This means I have not been paid this YEAR.
Back in mid-February a 'NEW' regime was temporarily put in place to ensure that DIFA employees were paid to date and on time in the future. This responsibility was given to RSAF. Today was the fifth time (week) they had said we will pay you today, and fair dues pay cheques were issued at the unit finance department.
However 50 employees were left off the list so they got nowt. Many of the cheques were corrected with Tippex fluid so those cheques were not honoured at the bank. Some people have no work permit so their cheques were not honoured at the bank. For some strange reason the bank had a list of employees and some names that were on the finance department list were not on the bank list, their cheques were not honoured at the bank.
Some did not get the two months salary owed so they were unhappy. A few got more than their entitlement, they were happy. All the lists and all the cheques were written in Arabic so many don't know if they recieved what they were entitled to.
I am writing this at 8 pm. Some of the people that were at the bank when I left at 3 pm have only just arrived back at the compound, after having to drive the 1½ hour back from the unit bank following a 5 hour wait in line.
The competence of RSAF to complete a simple task seems to be as difficult as it was for DIFA. Though in fairness it should not have been left to them to pick up the pieces that DIFA allowed to occur. Something I do find strange is that those Saudi's employed by DIFA were paid two weeks ago.
Oh I was not on any list, I am still waiting.

Sunday, 19 March 2006

And so it continues...

This being the Weekend there is no work going on in the workshop, but Gary has been busy uploading pictures in the gallery.

Latest visitors to the build site:
Brighouse Calderdale UK/ Chesterfeild Sheffeild UK/ Brook Hampshire UK/ Burstow UK/ Attiki Athens Greece/ Chung Sam Wai HK/ Lacey Springs Alabama USA/ Theale Reading UK/ Grendon Coventry UK/ Ashington Northumberland UK/ City of Edinburgh UK/ Camberley Surrey UK/ Burstow Birmingham UK/ Leigh-on-Sea Southend UK/ Somewhere in Israel/ Chatswood NSW AUS/ Coventry UK/

I see that on this site I have an interested reader from The Republic of Iran. As'salam Alaykum.

Friday, 17 March 2006

On the boat front

At the workshop nothing much gets done on Fridays. Don't ask, I just pay the bill. The counter is now welded in place and the 'modified' stern is marked out on said counter. The stern tube appears also to be fitted. Things are indeed moving on, ....... but not today.:-)



Oh and I just found this font. That's very Mumsey

Do I get a medal?

If you noticed the little logo at the bottom of the right hand column you will see that Maffi's Boat is now ranked 96 in the top 100 boat sites.

Thursday, 16 March 2006

From America....

An article in the 'Washington Post', says that the government has spent $1.8 billion (just a tad over £1 billion) on restoring and beautifying the canals in the last six years. I know the government have put a lot of money into the canal system in recent years, but I would have thought $1.8 billion was a bit of an over estimate. Quite a large chunk of the money for the canals system restoration comes from the Lottery Fund (that 'other' non tax) surely?

Oh two more then

A Lass mentioned at Canal Interactive that she couldn't have a boat unless it was purple, well that got me to thinking (it doesn't take much).

Click for larger image

Artwork by ESSJAY Enterprises

A site specifically aimed at live aboards and CCer's.
It is small at this time, but Great Oaks from little acorns grow.
Why not pop along and have a browse.


This morning I see that there are additions to the Maffi Build site. I have a bows section. In the gallery are pictures of the bows being formed and welded. Progress is showing on the web cam. The swim has been constructed and the surplus base plate has been removed and repositioned as the counter. Meccano was never this good .....or was it?.

I have given up with the Artwork, too many choices. I have enough ideas and will be getting in contact with a painter about doing a professional job. It's one thing to draw it out on a computer screen, but the end task is best in the hands of an artisan


Latest Visitors:
Hu Yau Tin HK/ Leeds Point New Jersey USA/Barking & Dagenham UK/ Coventry UK/ Tamworth Walsall UK/ Havant Portsmouth Hants UK/ South Ockendon UK/ East Bergholt Suffolk UK/ Pattingham Wolverhampton UK/ Ashbury Wiltshire UK

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

Tuesday, 14 March 2006


The more I play the more choices I get and the harder it is to decide
Click for larger image

Artwork by ESSJAY Enterprises


Work yesterday moved at a pace. The gas locker was installed and so to the bow lockers (unless Gary is going to say different). Swim plates were added. The other boat was taken outside.

So what is it to be. My sister-in-law says dark blue, polished brass is 'classy' and I am inclined to agree but I still like the dark green. Whilst VisioTech 5 is a wysiwyg program, the conversion from .vsd to .jpg is not good both the green and the blue should be darker.

As usual click to enlarge

Artwork from ESSJAY Enterprises

Monday, 13 March 2006

And more

As usual click for larger image

Artwork courtesy of ESSJAY Enterprises

A few more otions

As usual click for a larger image

Artwork courtesy of ESSJAY Enterprises.

The Build

It would seem that some of the fabricators are deceased. The two that I can see on the cam haven't moved at all for 20 minutes. Gary really needs to ensure that if employees are to die on the job they must lie down so he can adjust wages accordingly. This concept of dying stand up must play havoc with the accounts department.

I have not listed the recent visitors to the Maffi Boat Build site for the last few days, lots of visits, but not new ones. Total different locations to the site 189. These are the new visitors to the since Friday.

Bishopsville Maryland USA/ Saint Petersburg Florida USA/ San Francisco California USA/ Fairfeild Iowa USA/ Dublin ROI/ Shoreham-by-Sea UK/ Bolton UK/ Shoreham by Sea UK/ Diggle Tamesside UK/ Upper Holloway UK/ Forest Hills Bromley UK/ Warrington MK/
Cadbury Somerset UK/ St Helens Stafford UK

I thank you all for stopping by and taking an interest. I am well aware that some of you stopped by thinking that a narrow boat is some reference to the male anatomy and were expecting something else, but hey I'm not judgmental.
Whatever floats your boat. :):):)

Sunday, 12 March 2006

Nearly there..........

Just waiting for two more opinions from family members, but I think this has the edge. All along I decided it was to be a dark green boat. Now I have introduced another choice, can I live in a blue boat? As you will no doubt know by now I am crap at making decisions. Doh!
As usual click for larger image

......Or this......

.....but not this.

Artwork from ESSJAY Enterprises

Friday, 10 March 2006

A rose by any other name .........

My dear old mum is a really nice person. Not just to us kids, but she would help anyone. Some times people she helped would let her down. All she ever wanted in life was to have a really good friend, which she only ever found once. My oldest brother's second M-in-L was her double. They were like two peas in a pod. She was a different person after they met. Sadly, though younger than Mum, she died prematurely during a 'routine op' on her knee. Mum was devastated.
At 82 she appears to the outside world to be not much more than 60. She has her aches and pains, don't we all, but she gets on with her life. She wont join a Senior Citizens Club because "they are all old people there". My father died about 17 years ago, not a marriage made in heaven, but she loved him.
Mum was born Millicent Marjory Ullet. Dad always called her Mill Dill, I have no idea why. So the name chase has nearly come to an end only two choices really. Still, I can't make up my mind.

Granny Buttons

Andrew Denny the skipper of GRANNY BUTTONS has given me a mention in his blog. He finishes that he is 'honoured' that I added him to my 'Boaty People'. It is only fair that I should reciprocate and say thank you. Andy has been blogging and boating for a lot longer than me and I would like to say that it is I who am honoured that he added me to his blogroll.

One more thing. The reason that the web cam appeared not to be working when he veiwed it is simple, the time stamp gives the time as 20:18. All good boat builders are wrapped up warm in bed at that time.
PS This could be something of an omen. My own 'Granny' is something of a dying breed (no pun intended). I had toyed with the idea of using her name for the boat. There are few Uletts left (or so I thought). How does NANNY ULETT sound for a boat name? Nah Maybe not.

Thursday, 9 March 2006

Maffi to Mirfield to Maffi

Hi Gary

Can you tell me what has been happening in the last few days?
Seems to me that not very much is going on since the second side went up.


Bows now pulled round and welded ( See pics attached) the rest of the bow plates were cut today and on Monday they will fit the gas locker and decks, next they will form the swim and cut off the excess base plate this will then form the swim plate (Counter) sitting on the swim.

Should be a bit more action on Monday now the plates are cut. I will have another gallery of them doing the bow ready soon.

Don't worry it's still on track we just lost a day this week due to a funeral but we will catch up.

Click for larger image

All pics courtesy of Gary Peacock Ledgard Bridge

Memories from Childhood

Seems to me nothing is happening at this time. One guy came in and took away the welding kit, then nothing . The ways of the boat builder are very strange. Methinks that the other boat is getting more attention than mine.

Not to worry. The handover is still scheduled for May 29. ;)

Interesting that most of the new visitors are from the USA and Canada. Some places that I have never heard of and many that are ensconced in my Psyche from childhood when, before TV, I survived on a diet of Cowboy Flicks (movies to you across the water). Tallahassee, Topeka, Greensboro, Pensacola, Michigan, St Louis, Massachusetts, Akansas, Texas.

Every Saturday morning. I would set off with my older brothers, and later my sister, to the Majestic Cinema (picture house) at the Fair Green in Mitcham. We were each given the princely sum of 1 shilling (12 pennies x 5, that was a lot of money to my father who was, at that time a low wage earner) That was to include 1 ½d each way for the bus fare, 6d to get in to the the cinema and 3d for a lucky bag at the sweet shop (what a let down if you got the same plastic whistle as last week). In the cinema we were treated to a diet of Bugs Bunny cartoons, 'B' movies and series pictures. John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and others in early pics, then there was the Cisco Kid, The Range Rider, The Lone Ranger, etc. Often a Andy Hardy movie (Is Mickey Rooney still with us?). Then Flash Gordon and a whole host of others. Added to that a string of British films about Highway robbers, Kings and Queens, Police, films from Norman Wisdom (he is still with us at 90+ and still working) and other British stars of the day. When the Baddies came on the screen everyone would stamp their feet in unison, the noise was incredible. Whenever the goodie appeared a loud cheer arose in the theatre. Remember, the goodies wore the white hats and the baddies black? Oh happy days.

Welcome America and Canada

Okotoks Alberta Canada/ Bay Village Ohio USA/ Tallahassee Florida USA/ Stoneham Massachusetts USA/ Winniepeg Manitoba Canada/ Vancouver British Columbia/ Leitrum Ontario Canada/ Huntingtown Maryland USA/ French Village Nova Scotia Canada/ Beaverton Oregon USA/ San Luis Obispo California USA/ Topeka Kansas USA/ Bay Village Ohio USA/ Michigan Detriot USA/ Arlington Heights Illinois USA/ Dayton Ohio USA/ Triangle Park North Carolina USA/ Greensboro North Carolina USA/ Abbeville South Carolina USA/ Norcross Georgia USA/ Riverview Florida USA/ Eufaula Alabama USA/ Pensecola Florida USA/ Biloxi Mississippi USA/ Bishopsville Maryland USA/ Saint Petersburg Florida USA

Upper Holloway/ Forest Hills Bromley/ Warrington MK/ Exeter Devon UK/Redbridge Ilford/ Harrow/ Shepshed Leicester/ Newcastle-upon-Tyne Up North/

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Did you see it?

Something happened, I don't know what but I did see a bit of welding going on.

Today's new visits:-
Po Lo Shan HK/ Pormorskie Gdansk Poland/ Corte Madera Ca USA/ Botas Hatay Turkey/ Oppland Kjrem Norway/ Baden Wurttemburg Germany/ Wigan/ Burnley/ St Helens Weston-upon-Trent/ Stonewood Thurrock/ Woking Surrey/ Bracknell Surrey/ Carrington Trafford/ South Hinksey Oxford/ Newbury Berkshire/ Sunbury on Thames/ Stourbridge/ Hoveringham Notts/ Harefield

Back on the subject of boat names this comes to mind. Kinda fits the bill, unfortunately there are already 2 on the cut. Think again!

Monday, 6 March 2006

Busy day today

Lots has happened today. Both sides of the hull are up and in place. Braces are tacked in to support the vertical sides and keep the boat square. And the 2 x 2 across the base plate which will eventually support the floor and keep the ballast in place.
I think Abdul has gone on vacation or his flying carpet didn't float.
I have only 54 days left here in this 'place'. We still haven't been paid 'this year'. The end of this month, if paid up in full, will add very nicely to my 'buffer', which took a bit of a beating after all the 'extras' were added on. Whether I get away on time is dependent on my lords and masters and their general incompetence to get things done and done right. One would have thought that someone high up in the company would have got us all together and explained what the problem was and when it is likely to be resolved, but no I think that kind of thinking is beyond them.
I am glad my time is coming to an end here. Poor management, from both sides of the fence I sit on, is causing me more stress than I really need. If ever these dinosaurs get back into the real world they are in for a BIG shock. Still, within those 54 days, I have only 38 working days and I have 23 days vacation to take, so 15 working days then, unless they agree to pay me the rate for the vacation time.
Today’s visits:-
Troy Michigan USA/ Paris France/ Cappelle Aan Den Ijssel Holland/ Kingswood Dublin/ Brabant Belgium/ Ashford Kent/ Brook Hampshire/ Swindon/ Greenford Willesden/ Bermondsey Newham/ Freyerning Essex/ Kimpton Norfolk/ Telford and Wrekin/ Whittington Walsall/ Bradford/ Leeds/ Tameside Hyde/ Salford/ Rainham Medway/ Cliffe Medway/ Crewe/ Littlehampton West Sussex/ Antrim/ Edinburgh/ Upchurch Medway/ Hayes Middlesex/ Cartworth Kirklees/ Bracknell Forest Guilford/ Chelmsford Essex/ Swallowfield Reading/ Willoughby Warwickshire/ Moston/Kingston-upon-Hull/ Sunderland/ Valley Anglesey/ Hurstbourne Priors Wiltshire/ Moorthorpe Barnsley/ Willenhall Walsall
Just goes to show it pays to advertise.

Sunday, 5 March 2006

Lazy day

New visits today:-
Cupertino California
Ostfold Norway
Holbeck Rotherham
Chilcote Leicester
Anlaby North Lincolnshire
Fitzwilliam Wakefield
Cranford Nr Slough

Saturday, 4 March 2006


I've had my weekend Thursday and Friday so now its your turn. Nothing to see till Monday but there are more detailed pics in the Gallery, page 2.

New visits today:-
Queensland Australia

Friday, 3 March 2006

Vee welds.

I was very encouraged by Thursday's activity, but somewhat deflated today. I'm sure stuff is being done off screen. Gary tells me that not much ever gets done on a Friday. It would if I was paying the wages. Ho hum!

Today's new visits:-
Parow Western Cape South Africa
Trescott Wolverhampton
Another in Leicester

The Vee cut ready for welding Last Tuesday.

This is how the Vee weld should end up

Thursday, 2 March 2006

Site Counter

Site counters can be a good thing. They let you know how many visits there are to your page/blog/etc.

Thing to remember is that the free ones are not free. The ad that comes with them is compulsory. If you should edit it out then they will block your counter. Which is why my counter is not working at this time. Doh!

I am trying to get it reinstated but they can be fickle.

Well it is begining to take shape

Lots of activity this afternoon the left side was prepared ready for erection and then erected the right was prepared but not erected. It seems to me that the right side will have to be moved out of the workshop and turned around, but I may be wrong. All in all it is nice to see the progress.

New visits today:-
Ha Mei San Tsuen HK
Another from Germany
Mere Warrington
Another in Notts
Another in Slough
Kettering Northhants
Shirebrook Notts

Wednesday, 1 March 2006


Just me, I missed the morning bit so didn't see how or why the fork lift came to be where it is.

Today's new visits:
Foxboro Massachusetts

Ventura California
St Louis Missouri
Tseng Tau Wai HK

Solihull Brum

Harborne Brum
Pleasely Derbyshire
Warren Stockport