Friday, 30 January 2009

Fish ARE wildlife, arent they?

Well I have heard it all now. Some amatuer bug catcher says that the fish in the side ponds at CAEN HILL are disturbing the wildlife. I have two words for him and the second one is OFF. Specialist kipper catchers are netting the sardines and manhandling the sharks to put them further down at the bottom of the flight for anglers to catch. Er I think there are enough kippers down the bottom of the flight already. Overstocking will kill fish who as it happens are also wildlife or did he forget that?

So why is this happening? The bug catchers want to keep the water in the side pond clear so that the once abundant Damselflies and Drasgon flies will breed there. Well I lived near the flight in the 80's and I can tell you I didn't see any bug catchers there trying to fill it with clear water when it was dry and deralict. The canal and its environs are NOT a clear water area.

Gerald Walker, a amateur ecologist, who was interviewed by Narrowboat World said:
"It is not only the fish that cause the problem that is killing these lovely creatures, but boats too with their revving propellers that stir everything up for yards around.

"You get one boat going down causing problems, then the silt is just settling and another will come along, so why can't they all be made to come at once on a day to be arranged, which would be suitable for all. And I don't see why they can't be stopped altogether when the holiday season stops, and these ponds have been there for hundreds of years."
This man is a bloody idiot he has no idea about boating and aparrently not much about bugs. The boats, he says, are causing problems. No they are not he is. He wants all boats to come down on a pre-arranged day at the same time and stopped altogether out of season. I dont know how many boats can go down the flight in a day but I bet there isnt enough space to park them all while they wait for the gates to open

The side ponds were built to conserve water and they still do. Putting a whole pile of boats down in one day will most likely drain the flight and take a week to refill. It's not like the side ponds were built for wildlife. If the water is not clear enough for the flies they will go else where , it's not like there isnt any other water around.

BW's own Oda Dijksterhuis, British Waterways Heritage and Environment Manager, was beside himself when he said:

“This is a very exciting project for us. By removing these larger fish we hope to see an improvement in the water clarity in the side ponds."
No they wont. 56,000 gallons of muddy water will put a stop to that. This will only happen if they stop the boats. A boat stirs up more silt than a few kippers. If BW are woried about the ecology then they shouldnt mess with it.

If Mr Bug catcher has his way I predict a whole bunch of continuous moorers arriving after the season closes and waiting for the flight to open the next year. I dont think BW have really tought this one out, but then do they ever.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Poor show Councillor

What ever you think about the situation in Afghanistan one has to feel for Royal Marine Joe Townsend. When his country called he gave his all and, as it happens, both his legs. All hail the hero!

His grandfather wants to build a wheelchair friendly bungalow on his own land for his injured grandson so the lad can be closer to his family. A very generous offer. However planning officers at Wealdon District Council (WDC) rejected the 'intrusive' plans even though not one neighbour has complained.

I wonder if the decision would have been different had the lad been the Local MPs son or god forbid the planning officers son.

A spokes man for the Council said, "The circumstances in this case are not considered sufficient to warrant an exception to the usual restraint policies". So Mr Councillor if you can't make an exception give Joe his legs back and we can call it quits, deal?


I recently recieved a couple of emails advertising 'pre-owned' cars. I have never met a pre-owned car before, lots of SECOND HAND ones but not pre-owned.

Are pre-owned cars better than second hand ones or are the sellers just trying to pull the wool over our eyes?

Surely pre-owned is a marketing hype to take your mind off the bad reputation the second hand car market often has. I would have thought it better to fix the reputation rather than fix the name.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Oh dear . . . .

. . . . gone are the days when Britannia ruled the waves, our leaders now waive the rules.

As chancellor of the exchequer, when Gordon Brown made numerous changes to our banking system he said, "The days of boom and bust are over". So why are we now in a recession with unemployment expected to reach 3 million in the near future.

What makes me mad and should make everyone mad is that this deceiver, this charlatan, this stranger to the truth is now the PM. We have not had the opportunity to vote him out. He just appears in our papers, on our TV with that smug look on his face, the one that says 'Up yours I'm OK'.

Of course he is OK he does not have to hold his hands up and say, 'I am sorry it was my fault'. He is after all the PM he can get one of the minions to do that for him. While on the subject of minions does Mandelson really think we have forgotten he was himself a bit iffy in the honesty department or does he really not give a shit what we think, probably the latter.

Is it any wonder that MP's are cheating on their allowances and seemingly voting to be allowed to keep cheating when their leaders are such scoundrels.


Have heard nothing about Gertrude Banks for a week so I think I can assume that I wont be having trouble from her anymore.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Phyllis May

I was rather surprised to read that Phillis May is "Britians best known Narrowboat". Personally I had never heard the name before, but then I never followed the madcap antics of Terry and Monica Darlington, no telly you see and I have never read their books . . . . well they've never read mine!

Taps and sinks

The trouble with modern stuff like sinks and taps is there is no standard. The base of her new tap unit and the hole in her sink were too similar in size so that, though the tap unit did not go through the hole, it would not tighten up without the tap tilting oddly.

I set myself to whittling this morning. Not that I particularly like whittling but it was a matter of necessity. A half round block of wood was required to stop the taps from moving when the screw was tightened in the base. After about an hour or so I had made the said necessity and was able to install the taps firmly. Job done.

I then set off to see a man about a job. Seems like I might have got it, fingers crossed

In the afternoon I set about the job of plumbing the new sink in to the boat after Plumber Bones had ripped out the old one. Once again we found the standard fittings wern't! All manner of plumbing bits were utilised to get the waste pipe to connect and still it had a leak!

That vacation seems like a good option.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Ouch that hurts!

Once again Bones is in the wars. Sunday whilst trying to drill a hole she banged her head on the door frame. Now that hurts! Those of you who are regular readers will remember that we both seem to be good at this, having both been banged and bloodied last year by doors on boats.

This boating malarky needs a nelf 'n' safetee warning!


With the boudoir still incomplete the good lady started on the bathroom. We had picked up a nice bathroom sink from IKEA and stand/cupboard. A tap unit was purchased from HOMEBASE and assembly began late Sunday morning.

By mid afternoon we had still not fitted the tap, which seemed not to want to be attached to the sink. Maybe it was a fashion problem the tap was having, not wanting to be stuck on a rectangular sink, I don't know but today the tap is back in its box waiting for a better idea.

I feel a vacation to sunnier climes coming.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Minion -v- Tesco

Tescos have decided to build a huge store on the outskirts of Blackburn. There is also a plan to build a new bridge over the Leeds & Liverpool to access the site. Must be a good site coz Tesco paid £5.5 million for it. I am not overwhelmed by this but I would be sure the local council have the best interests of the local economy in mind. Well I would be sure, but Blackburn with Darwen Council have laid a proviso on the new store which will ask Tesco to only use 60% of the store when it is built, to protect town centre shops.

Tesco have been land grabbing for a very long time, they have been around the block. Tesco will build the store and I kinda think that any restrictions put on the planning permissions will be swept away with a visit to the Planing Inspectorate. These councillors really don't know with whom they are dealing.

One councillor was adamant that the council was confident a complex planning arrangement would prevent Tesco from expanding fully without the council’s permission, and that safeguards were in place.

You have to laugh at these little minions who really seem to think that they wield power. Like it or not I think Tesco will win this one as the often seem to do.

Of course the boaters will be affected by the bridge. The last time I was there the canal was being used as a landfill site by the locals. The bridge will provide a dumping ramp for the locals so they don't get wet when the rubbish splashes in the water.

While I am on the subject of the Bridge, how much are BW getting out of this deal? The Bridge will be in BW's airspace!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Oh dear!

What is it with people? So I had a rant about the pumpout and the man that sells the cards. Seems community harmony has been broken. As long as I don't names manes and tell the truth it's OK, isn't it?

I f the person concerned feels agrieved I'm sorry but I was having a bad day and your attitude didn't help. Live with it or stop talking to me like I am stupid.

And relax . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Who is . . .

. . . Gertrude Banks that's what I would like to know. She phoned me tonight and said I should move off my mooring because it was hers and I hadn't paid for it. Strange woman then said I should call in office hours which I thought was a cheek as she called me out of hours.

Not wanting to let this get out of hand I called the police who are going to investgate her for demanding money with menaces. That should wipe the smile off her face.

And he is in charge?

I was alarmed today to read an article about David Milliband. In it he is quoted as saying that war on terror was a big mistake.

The foreign secretary argues that the use of the 'war on terror' as a western rallying cry since the September 11 attacks has been a mistake that may have caused "more harm than good".

When a senior british politician starts spouting off like its time to get the boys out before any more are killed!

He also says "Terrorism is a deadly tactic, not an institution or an ideology". ~I doubt he has ever met an arab that believes in the ideology of Islam so much he would kill his brother for it and not bat an eyelid in the process.

Yes he is entitled to his opinion, but not while our troops are still out there protecting his right to flap his gums and put our boys in greater danger. He should be supporting the troops what ever his beliefs until the last of our boys are back home. Then, and only then, can he shoot his mouth off.

Resign you fraud, resign!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


So far this year we have had lots of visitors to the mooring. Colin and Joy nb SLEEPY OTTER came NYD, Alan and Frances nb LAZY DAYS, Reg and Sandra nb MOONSHADOW, Keith an old RAF mate came to feed our stomachs. John and Fi nb EPIPHANY came to feed our souls, yesterday Keith and Jo nb HADAR came to feed our stove but Dusty beat them to it, oh and last Friday a visit from Sam Lashbrooke @ Just Canals who is currently on a training course at the airport just up the road.

Last month ((January) Daughter Kim came with Jim and brought my post somewhere near my birthday. Alan and Debbie nb KEEPING UP just after Bones' birthday. Dominic and Helen nb RAVANSPUR were in Thrupp Boxing day.

We know some really nice people yet this lot turned up (giggle)

BW or BS

What four word phrase could replace the following?

Our Commitment
British Waterways offers the opportunity to work for a company that is proud to manage and care for a unique public asset on behalf of the people of Britain.

We aim to have a workforce that represents Britain's diverse population and reflects the local communities in which we operate. We are committed to the principles of equal opportunity and social inclusion, and have policies and procedures to ensure continuous improvement.

We fully recognise our responsibilities under employment legislation, including those related to gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability and parental status.

Answer: We obey the law!

So why do they make it seem like it was their idea?

Monday, 19 January 2009


The good ship Milly M taken at Thrupp by Nick Wall editor of Canal Boat magazine.

Traditionalists will gasp in horror when they see the rope on the tiller. I say this now beause it will save them blocking up the internet with trivia. Yes I know the old boaters wouldn't do it but then the old boaters would never have owned a boat that couldn't carry cargo . . . . . and lots of it.

I could coil it and put it on the roof, but I don't use it on the roof I use it on the dollies. It doesnt seem very logical to me to have to keep putting it on and off the dollies so on the tiller pin it stays.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Pump out problem 'edited'

I have been sticking cards in slots now for many years bank cards, credit cards and more recently pump out cards. It is not difficult there is an arrow on it and you place it face up with the arrow pointing into the slot, simple! Sso why recently does that not work for me? Today after reversing up to the facilities for water and a pumpout, a journey of half a mile that took me over an hour breaking ice all the way, I purchased a card from the local card supplier. Four times I put it in the slot and four times it said card error. Thinking that maybe it was printed the wrong way round I tried it backwards. Still no joy. The last card I bought was the same.

Off to No 1 warden, "Sorry to bother you the card doesn't work"

"OK", says he, "I'll come down", which he did. He placed the card in the slot and the pumpout machine whirred into action. "Works for me", he says, "You must have put it in the wrong way round".

Err, well no I put it in four times and each time it said 'CARD ERROR' so I tried it the wrong way just in case".

"Well it worked for me"

Personally I don't care if it worked for him, it didn't work for me!

I am not stupid. I know how to put a card in a slot.

Monday, 5 January 2009

La Boudoir

The bed has been constructed over the weekend and all that is left now is the trim and finish.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Years Eve

Oh what fun we had on New Years Eve. Rather than go to the pub as we originally planed we decided to go off to Kirtlington Quarry for the night.

Bones came with me on the MillyM, PJ went with Charlie (dau) on the nb OCELOT and Mark and Sarah came on WOODRUFF.

I had collected some wood the day before and PJ & C, M & S foraged for wood when they got there. I also collected lots on the way. By the time we arrived there must have been a ton of wood already. My meagre collection seemed small by comparision.

We also found a dead Heron at Bakers Lock and a dead something else which as yet has not been identified, both now on my roof. The good news is they were already well rotted so they don't smell.

Bones went away and hid and I spent nearly an hour finding her and then only because she was texting me and I saw her mobile glowing.

At about 7.30 pm the fire was lit the food was laid out and a glorious time was had by all. M & S had all sorts of instruments Guitar Mandolin Uke Penny Whistles etc I had my guitar. We all sat around the fire singing songs it was great.

M & S are very good and sang some great songs S plays a mean Mandolin. I went through my set of song that I can remember C played along where she could, Bones also gave us a fine rendition of Rikkety Tickety Tin and others that I dont know the names of.

At midnight PJ did the fireworks. I got the best out of that because my eyes without my glasses see snowflake like images around every point of light. Like a real trip man!

The best NYE I have ever had! COOL!!!!!!
The fire was still alight the next morning!