Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Liberty No 7

After I returned from my Thames trip I bought a bicycle. New! Nice bike. Bones liked it so much she wanted one. I bought her one for her birthday.

We are currently moored up near Shipton to get away from the noise of the road. I bought my bike with me. Bones left hers at the Wharf chained up to a large concrete post. There was also a sacrificial bike there her old one, rusty as hell.

This morning on the way to town we passed a lad on a bike that I thought was mine so we pulled in and let him pass to have another look. It wasn’t. Further along the road passing the wharf we noticed that neither bike was there. Some ass had broken the lock and stolen the new bike. We had been wondering why the old one had taken so long to get nicked and that was gone as well. She had owned the bike exactly one month and ridden it once.

Not only did they steal a new bike at Christmas so must have realised it could have been someone’s prezzie, but they broke a perfectly good lock (well not a good lock but it worked right up until 10 this morning). We really should bring back birching for these toe rags. “Tough on crime, tough on the cause of crime”, that's what Tony B Liar said and it has since been reiterated by the Scottish buffoon Brown. Had we been “TOUGH” these thieving little sods would be too scared to commit a crime.

The lad we had seen ‘may’ have been in the process of committing the crime.

Its a blooming liberty that’s what it is a blooming liberty

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Ice Boating

I travelled in the ice on Sunday from my mooring to Shipton Bridge collecting much needed water on  the way, but I didn’t hammer it, I never do through Thrupp, I just go fast enough to make headway.  I don’t suppose that it is at all possible to get boaters to slow down past moored boats, but I do find it impossible that people speed past moored boats when there are great plates of ice floating on the surface.

These idiots know they are doing wrong because, even though they know you are there, they wont make eye contact. The jutting chin and the stoic forward stare are sure signs that the body at the tiller is not a real boater, but an arse in a waterproof.

And relax . . . . . . .

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Ready or not here I come



In the old part of Kidlington

Whilst out with Molly yesterday I came across a pair of cottages being refurbished.

One had a well in the garden.DSCF0008 Interesting doors for small cottagesDSCF0010DSCF0009 








I have never seen copper drainpipes and guttering before.DSCF0007

Saturday, 26 December 2009

River Trip

What about  nice trip on the river Thames next year?

You can buy one of three licences.

1 day £33 per day

15 day £7.30 per day

31 day £4,70 per day

It certainly pays to buy in bulk

Friday, 25 December 2009

Lest you forget

In a land several thousand miles away from these shores The sons, husbands and fathers of many British families are currently having a hard time. They are hot and sticky, they are dusty, they are being shot at, blown up and lied to by our government. At this very moment one of our lads could be in the sights of an AK47, his adversary preparing to extinguish his life.

I dare say they are a bit pissed off at the whole fiasco, but they are there they are doing their job and for that we must be grateful. Irrespective of your thoughts on the war they are there on the line. Their sleeping conditions are wanting, their food is meagre and the working environment would not pass muster in our H&S world.

Give them a thought. When they get home give them a salute. Should you meet one of our veterans face to face say thank you.

Remember were it not for those who stand on the line you would not be allowed to read this. Enjoy your sleep.


Thursday, 24 December 2009

Christmas Card


Maffi’s Christmas Carol

Deck the trees with bags of dog poo Fah la la la la, fah la la la.

Let them hang there until next year Fah la la la la, fah la la la.

Hanging there in the middle of nowhere Fah la la, fah la la, la la la.

Will the owners never learn Fah la la la la fah la la la la-a-a-a-a-.


Boots looking good


Wednesday, 23 December 2009


Bones took the dogs out for their walk today, while I went out deer hunting. I do like to take the dogs out but with them around I cant get any pics of the deer. I had a good day I managed several photos of deer a couple of the local fox, a black bird, robin, bunting; some good landscapes, frosted plants etc and even a Peregrine Falcon. I went home feeling quite pleased with my days efforts.

I sat down at my computer cropped, deleted, adjusted, squared, trimmed and then when I was happy with the result formatted the SD card when I put it back in the camera. It was then that I realised that I had not downloaded the files off the SD card onto my computer. DOH!
Now I know someone is going to say you can download a freeware program off the net, but the truth of it is you can't. Loads of undelete SD or unformat HD, but not unformat SD, Lots of free download trials which lead to lots of try before you buy stuff but not free. What is the world coming to when you can't get a free utility off the net.

Wild Birds

Thrush and Goldfinch braving the coldDSCF2457










Long tailed Tit and sparrow or bunting?






Cottage Gardens

Near the cottages are three gardens that once belonged to the occupants.DSCF2463I went there today looking for a picture.DSCF2464 DSCF2465 I don’t think I found what I was looking for ‘in’ the garden, but I think I found something looking ‘from’ the garden.


Or maybe not. Maybe this piece of defiled history is more the picture I wanted.

Nice pieces of old lock gates.



Monday, 21 December 2009

I feel cheated


I bought these last week for our tea. We hadn’t had chicken for a while so I thought good choice it’ll do me, one each. Surprise surprise the pack contained only one and a half. Doh!

To make life easy for themselves they work to 250 gram packs, which might make adding up for them easier but it don’t make dividing up so easy for us. This really makes a mockery of marketing. Markets should be selling us what we want not what makes life easy for them. Of course the solution is simple cut both pieces in half and place on half of each on each plate. That’s fine, but then I find myself asking, ‘What was wrong with the missing half?’DSCF2272

I suppose these packs are great for single parents with one child, but a bit late for me though.

Jesus is alive and well . . . . .

. . . . . in Thrupp doing duck impersonations.DSCF2399


You do all know I was joking about the important update . . don’t you?

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Christmas Carols

Friday night was Christmas Carol night at the Boat Inn. Music was provided by Dave Clarke of the Dave Clarke Five, no not that Dave Clarke Five the other one.DSCF2339

DSCF2340Some sang, some thought about singing and some didn’t want to end up on here.


The Vicar was there and for once singing from the same hymn sheet. That will be the same one since I were a ladDSCF2357.DSCF2355

Some were clearly having fun and some were notDSCF2361 DSCF2359

PJ does a good 'face like a slapped arse' impression



Just about every one joined in it was a bit of a laugh. Sam said same time next year . . . . . . .but not here. Spoilsport!

Leaking pipe

So there I was filling up with water on a slow pipe when I heard a trickle of water. As I looked up the trickle became a gush spraying all over the floor.DSCF2391

DSCF2394Well that should be suitably treacherous in the morning

DSCF2393In all fairness Mike Hunter came out shut off the water after I had finished filling then swept the water away and applied rock salt. Top Man.


Under this ‘ere coverin’ there be a stop valve. You don’t need me to tell you which side of that there valve parted from its olive, does ya?Nah fort not, you is all to cleva for dat.

Public Kitchen

Can you imagine riding a contraption that is also your tea table? No? Well neither could I until I met up with these two guys.


This is constructed from 5 inch steel tubing in a hexagon form. There are 6 seats and each seat has a pair of pedals. The steering is by a steering wheel accessible to the centre seat at the back.DSCF2319

All the pedals drive a vertically mounted shaft that drives the back wheels. The chain on top of the shaft has in this picture jumped off it’s cog.DSCF2320

This whole thing is part of a public art project. Stop for a cuppa and feel free to leave a story.DSCF2321

Ya just have to love Oxford!

Friday, 18 December 2009

And in Cambridge.

Cambridge Council appear to have shot themselves in the foot.

On one hand they say:- “The council is investing heavily in getting more people on their bikes. Encouraging cycling is not only good for people and the environment but also for reducing congestion.”

But recently when asked about gritting a road that is used predominantly by cyclists County Cllr Kevin Wilkins responded to the question. He said that as far as he knew Riverside will not be gritted this winter.

He went on to explain that his answer was ‘based on information from the letters page of the Cambridge News’. It is shocking that a County councillor could not quote a more authoritative source.

Cambridge News reported that “As many as 1,900 cyclists a day are using Cambridge’s new bridge, which connects Riverside to Chesterton.”

Thursday, 17 December 2009

BW wasting money again

I love this

Bones beat me to it this morning.

Liberty No 6

This is Anapai the owner is an inconsiderate boater who thinks it is OK to run his engine at 7 in the morning. He runs a greasy spoon near the station in Oxford.DSCF2334 On Monday at quarter past seven I told him that the time to run engines was after eight, to which he replied we are just running it to  have a shower. I re-iterated 8 o’clock. Well now I may not be the sharpest tool in the box but nowhere does it say in your licence conditions that you can run your engine to have a shower before eight o’clock [first wrong].

This joker is just displaying very, very poor adherence to the bye-laws of the waterways and extremely bad manners to boot.

This morning after moving his boat back up the canal a few hundred yards (he is a continuous cruiser and had spent the last 5 days on a 48 hour mooring [second wrong]) he came and accused me of tampering with his car, which is illegally parked on the grass verge [third wrong]

DSCF2287 (his ‘girlfriend’ also parks there) at the wharf and between them are partly responsible for the mess I mentioned here earlier in the week.

I argued that I was a grown up and didn’t resort to such stupidity. He said “I know it was you” [there is no evidence to support this accusation I am not as stupid as he is, his fourth wrong]. Well he don’t know Jack Sh*t. If I had wanted to take any action against him for his inconsiderate behaviour I would have painted his boat green with one part twopac, the continuously sticky part. Prior to the 48 hour mooring he was just three boats up on a private mooring that wasn’t his to moor on [fifth wrong].

I don’t know about you but if I park my car in a way that it blocks a pedestrian foot path then I cannot complain if a pedestrian scratches the paint work, folds in the mirrors, snaps the ariel or what ever else might have been done (I have made all these up because he wasn’t at all explicit about what tampering he was complaining about. He just said if I did it again there would be trouble). Personally I take a dim view of foreigners coming here breaking our laws and threatening me in the security of my space that I pay for!!! [his sixth wrong].

So this man, an habitual law breaker and wrong doer, a Ned Kelly of the waterways, who breaks his licence agreement, overstays on 48 hour mooring, parks his car illegally, slanders innocent people  and threatens them on their own boat, is accusing ME of wrong doing.

It’s a blooming liberty!

Does any one know what a trade licence looks like because Anapai is for hire and I don’t think this is a trade licence, but then what do I know I am recovering from a very serious slandering!


. . . to kill a cyclist.

I am going to kill a cyclist. It wont be my choice. I will try not to, but there maybe no way I can avoid it. There will be nothing I can do about it. I may even end up in prison because of it.

I often go in to Oxford and it is difficult negotiating the hoards of negligent cyclists that adorn the roads of the city. They seem to think that because they are on a bike I am solely responsible for their safety. Their incompetence riding a bicycle is superseded only by their total stupidity and disregard for their own safety.

I have to run the gauntlet of idiots riding through red lights, bigger idiots riding straight out into the road and turning right across my path without notice, not one wearing his ‘I am an invulnerable dickhead’ cloak. I have to contend with trick cyclists who are trying to show everyone how clever they are riding with no hands and carrying piles of papers. I have to negotiate around some who insist on riding and drinking coffee at one and the same time and on one occasion (twice in 60 seconds on the same 200 yards of road) Oriental cyclists riding with one hand and holding an umbrella with the other in a high wind. Yesterday one chap was happily riding along carrying, on the handlebars, the biggest suitcase I have ever seen.

Now it is dark in the mornings and evenings the hapless cyclist has a whole plethora of other devices with which to risk his neck. Yes they may have a set of lights but one would think being at Oxford they would have the smarts to change the batteries once in a while, but no, it would seem being clever is not the same as being smart. It’s not that they are trying to save the planet by not buying new batteries, I think they are waiting for Aunty Gladys to buy them some for Christmas since they lost the ones she bought last year. They have the audacity to wear the latest fashion, black being the new black. They wear BLACK/GREY clothing giving the poor motorist no chance of seeing them whatsoever.

I will kill a cyclist one day so I will apologise now in advance because when they are dead they will not be able to hear my apology, or smell the flowers or smile, or fall in love or have children or any of the things that live people do, but its their choice. If their safety is of no importance to them then I for one will not shed a tear when that day comes life is too short, for them shorter still.


Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Mean while I am still waiting for a return from the council about this. This is done by boat people who cant be assed to park in the proper place a couple of hundred yards away. The sign says 'Welcome to Kidlington' at this rate you are welcome to it. It used to be properly grassed over now it looks like a dump.


Fix My Street

Last week I raised an issue on FIX MY STREET about the lorries ripping up the grass outside the local Co-op (one of many I have bought to the attention of the council). This is on the road coming into Kidlington from the north and the airport. It is an eyesore.

I had a phone call today from the council telling me they were concerned about the problem and would be sorting it soon. The chap mentioned bollards as a possible solution. Another was railings. I thought sleepers upended and buried in the ground would sort it . My idea that it could be made into a proper parking bay was side stepped quoting ‘cost’. At least they are on the case and looking at how this can best be dealt with.


So today I made a difference.

Monday, 14 December 2009


I have received yet another email from the FBI today.  Much the same as before with a couple of minor changes

1. Website: Disregard any other FBI letter you receive without our oppression code (FBIYZT) . (oppression is good in the right places)

2. A new CC list. I love the deputy Directors name John S Pistole. Be sure to note the second to last entry


Deputy Director – John S. Pistole
Associate Deputy Director – Timothy P. Murphy
Chief of Staff – W. Lee Rawls (Acting)
Senior Counsel to the Director – W. Lee Rawls
Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Director – John Carlin
Office of the Director/Deputy Director/Associate Deputy Director
Office of Congressional Affairs – Richard C. Powers
Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Affairs – Veronica Venture
Office of the General Counsel – Valerie E. Caproni
Office of Integrity and Compliance – Patrick W. Kelley
Office of the Ombudsman – Sarah Zeigler 
Office of Professional Responsibility – Candice M. Will
Office of Public Affairs – John Miller
Inspection Division – Kevin L. Perkins
Facilities and Logistics Services Division – Patrick G. Findlay
Finance Division – Richard Lee Haley, II
Records Management Division – William L. Hooton
Resource Planning Office – Anthony M. Bladen
Security Division – Roland J. Corvington
CC: Canadian Police Association
CC: Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG)
CC: Egmont Group
CC: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
CC: Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
CC: International Monetary Fund (IMF)
CC: International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)
CC: International Banking Security Association (IBSA)
CC: International Air Transport Association (IATA)
CC: Institut de Formation Interbancaire (INSIG)
CC: World Customs Organization (WCO)
CC: Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
CC: Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors (OGBS)

Saturday, 12 December 2009


Have you heard about Project Kracken? No, neither had I till just a few minutes ago.

Police in North Surrey are urging river users and communities to work with local ‘safer neighbourhood teams’ (I assume that is newspeak for beat bobbies) and remain vigilant to help reduce the threat of criminality on rivers and waterways.

Project Kracken was officially launched by Surrey Police as part of a national initiative designed to raise awareness among river communities about the threat of terrorism and other criminal activity on rivers in the county.

Strange that, there’s more.

Many of the boats visiting the large marinas in the area, such as Shepperton and Penton Hook, have travelled from the coast or even abroad. Although there is currently no specific terrorist threat to Surrey or the river, the Thames could be a target for terrorists and other criminals looking to access London, or to smuggle people or materials into the country.

Sorry if I have this wrong, but that last bit “smuggle people or materials into the country”, the tidal Thames is not in Surrey. Teddington which is denotes the end of the tidal Thames is not in Surrey. Responsibility for preventing the smuggling of people or materials into the country up the Thames is surely the job of the Port of London Authority and the PLA Police. Doesn’t every boat have to book in with the PLA when they come into this country? If they don’t why not?

If terrorists and smugglers can get up the Thames past the Houses of Parliament to Surrey before they are detected then this country is in a sorry state.

F- - F- - F- -Flippin’ ‘eck!

So being a bit on the dumb side I forgot about the last post and rode my bicycle up to the tea rooms. After a suitable interval drinking tea and eating bacon sandwich and following that with cake. I left the tea room to go home. For just one instant it seemed to me that the bicycle had sunk into the tarmac about an inch, but then it dawned on me I should have left the bike at home. Both tyres were flat. Doh!

Not on!!!

When I returned from Oxford yesterday I took the pooches out for a walk along the towpath. Whoopie the contractors have been down and cut back some of the overhanging brambles and hawthorn. Unfortunately they didn’t clean up after and left this mess. BW have had complaints about this before. The number of punctures in bicycle tyres when this happens is beyond belief. They promised that it wouldn’t happen again. Well they were wrong!DSCF2260 DSCF2261 DSCF2262 DSCF2263 DSCF2264 DSCF2259DSCF2258DSCF2265DSCF2266     DSCF2267