Saturday, 21 February 2009


Its a wonderful day here at Thrupp. The sun is shining gloriously and the road traffic noise is deafening. Time to move methinks! Bones and I set off about nine to Shipton picking up PJ on the way. She towed me all the way back to Thrupp lift bridge where I slipped cross straps and moored to help PJ through the bridge. Where upon I deposited rubbish in the bins and reversed to the wide to turn around.

Bones had gone on ahead and was moored at the Shipton lift bridge where she was waiting with the bridge open for me. The plan was I would moor up and open the bridge for her and PJ and we would decide, over a cuppa, what we were going to do for the weekend, this almost went to plan.

As I returned to the bridge having tied Milly M on the centre rope, Two walkers happened by.

Said he, "Aren't you Mortimer Bones the Journalist?"

Said Mrs the walker, "I have just been reading your article about the side hatch".

Well Bones, firmly convinced now that she is a 'famous journalist', went into her 'my public loves me' mode. Explaining to Mrs the walker about the side hatch and I chatted to Mr the walker and explained, in response to his question, how one would get through the bridge solo should the need arise.

PJ duly arrived and I raised the bridge and he breasted up to me. After many, many minutes milking the 'fame' situation Bones bought her boat through and moored in front. Passing me holding the bridge she said,"If you want me I will be the famous one". I was oh sooooo tempted to drop the bridge. Methinks she may become insufferable by the time we get back tomorrow.

After coffee we carried on to Shipton Lock, all three boats in together. PJ sped off up the river to blow some soot out of his engine while Bones and I turned around a re-entered the lock to moor up down by the lift bridge. Before leaving the Lock I back set it for PJ who was only going to Bakers lock and back.

Here we all are moored just north of Shipton Lift Bridge to spend a quiet weekend away from the road noise. Bones is down in her bilges, I am doing my washing up and PJ is doing something with a bit of wood. All is quiet. I have a good view of the chimney of the cement works, which is on the quarry where I shall be working from Monday. If anyone knows a bulldozer driver and a 360 operator who need a job I think I can help.

So now to continue with the weekend.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009


Tuesday night is quiz night at the BOAT INN. Me, Bones and PJ unfailingly good at answering question that haven't been asked, were joined by a trio of friends Adam, Lucy and James. So we had a doctor of divinity, a doctor of brains, a doctor of golf, an areoplane doctor and of course the lovely Ms Traves and PJ.


Bones even got a question right!

Didn't get the JACKPOT question but we had the beer.

Monday, 16 February 2009

They are going to what?

I was absolutely horrified to read on BOBCATS BLOG that a new bypass is set to destroy 7 years work carried out by the local restoration group on the Mill Green part of the Chesterfield Canal. Which apparently is against the planning permits the road company have.

I have to wonder where is the planning officer who is overlooking the work to ensure it conforms to the permissions set out. You can bet your old boots if Joe down the road was to put up a small garage without consent the PO would be there like a rocket.

Where are the petty bureaucrats when you need them.

Mort's Side Hatch

Canal Boat Magazine ran a feature on Mort's new side hatch recently. Buy the magazine for all the words and lots of lovely pictures - you can get it in WHSmiths, Borders or anywhere like that. Mort is absolutely thrilled with the new addition to her boat. If you want to cut a hole in the side of your boat and add a hatch, then Martin Kedian, of Kedian engineering is the man you need to talk to! He doesn't just do side hatches, and you don't even have to cut a hole in the side of the boat - you can turn an existing window into one. Not only that, you don't even have to weld anything! What can be so simple!

Fitting it in having cut the hole:

The finish is very good, and since I put up the new walls it is quite stunning!

Martin is easy to contact, and you just give him a ring, discuss what you might want, and he does the rest! BRILLIANT

Here is the advert - click on the pictures to make them bigger!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Climate change Nah!

This picture represents just 4% of the junk in our space. We are not being troubled by climate change more I think just being in the shade.

And what is sad is that there's no system of tracking this junk to prevent it crashing, hence its raining down on Texas.

Saturday, 14 February 2009


Well Saturday arrived and the open water beckoned. breakfast was cooked aboard the good ship Bones. Claire who visited last night waived us good-bye as we set off. Whilst Milly M stayed put PJ brought 'nb OCELOT' down and we all (Bones me) set off with PJ to Wolvercote. Took us a while but we got there in the end. At Dukes Cut PJ turned round and was towed backwards down to Wolvercote Lock where he was left to fend for himself. Good job really or more than his coffee cup might have gone swimming. South of Wolvercote Bridge the bank is abysmal it is very difficult to get Bones in to the edge Ocelot is deeper drafted.
We all had dinner at the plough. If you ever come this way do stop and try it.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Forge locks get a winter makeover

10th Feb 2009

As part of its annual winter maintenance programme, British Waterways Yorkshire will be undertaking essential improvement works to Forge Locks on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

The three rise lock flight between Kirkstall and Newlay will have new lock gates fitted, which were made at the British Waterways’ Stanley Ferry Workshop in Wakefield, as well as repair work to the floor of the lower lock chamber and replacement of the cills and quoins.

British Waterways staff will be fitting all gates and flooring and a sub contractor will be used for lifting in the new gates and removing the old gates which will have been operational for over 25 years. The old lock gates will be transported on a barge down to Rodley to the wharf where they will be unloaded, recycled and reused for other projects. The return journey will bring the new lock gates back to be installed.

Picture from Waterscape

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Pump out kit

Today after a sucessful session at the water point I decided to buy my own pump out kit. The pump I borrowed was ok but it had short pipes and had to be pumped into a 25 ltr container then emptied down the elsan point.

This is more than the Midland Chandlers one (£120) the difference being a rigid pipe from the boat to the pump and better fitings and the pump unit is mounted on a board. This one is from Mailspeed and at £190 is a bargain. The exact same item from Leesan is £260. In fact it is so much the same they both use the same picture.

Of course at 190 sovs it will take longer to recoup the outlay but by the middle of next year I will be in credit profit.

Pump out

Today is the day. I have borrowed a manual pump and I will be going to use it at the water point this morning, if I feel up to it. I hope I do because the Good Ship is listing quite a bit.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009


Give your name
THERE are no few people registering with the narrowboatworld Forum that are failing to give their names, so are not being accepted.

It is the policy that anonymity is not allowed, as this more than anything gives rise to unacceptable postings. Though once registered a nickname can be used.

People thus not accepted can still view the posting but are unable to post. Of the people not giving their names, we have not noticed any of them re-registering, so perhaps it was a wise precaution. 11/02

I signed on and was rejected for just this reason but not because I wanted to make unacceptable postings as NBW suggests but I wanted to talk about canals without the 'Maffi' title I have. It would be nice to talk canals sometimes anonomously. Victor should be one to understand this as if he were to sign on at CWDF he would be inundateded with unacceptable replies and abuse.

The reason I have not re-registered is simple, I don't want to! Perhaps TC's 'wise precaution' wasn't. What does amaze me is that people who not so long ago 'didn't' do forums are suddenly so up on what forums do and dont do. I suspect they (at NBW) have all ben secret lurkers at CWDF for years.

Monday, 9 February 2009


If you have recieved an e mail from me recently and it was empty, I apologise.

One of the drawbacks of having a big computer is that it is so f***ing clever it decides what I should and should not send in my emails.

It decides which printer it is going to use.

It decides if it wants to download the pictures from my camera.

It decides if I am allowed to talk to my family and friends.

It decides when it needs a rest and switches off as it wishes.

In f act the only thing it hasn't decided yet is whether or not I am going to throw it out of the window.

Shhhhhhhhh I'm trying to creep up on it.

Friday, 6 February 2009


Well last weekend I installed one of the gas struts under Bones' bed. It seems to be doing the job as intended.

We do however have a problem, the other strut has gone on holiday and didnt tell us where!


We awoke on Thursday to snow! More snow than I have seen in a long time. Even that early in the morning someone had set foot in 'our' snow. A thin layer of ice topped with snow shrouded the canal so thin the ducks could swim through it, leaving tracks that reminded me of contrails in the sky.

Photo by Mortimer Bones

The roads were clear so I drove Bones to work. Have you noticed that girls alway seem to wear inapropriate foot wear in snow, not Bones but others that we passed on the way.

The thaw had started by the afternoon and 'our' snow became slush, boo hoo!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

On being angry

A very good friend once told me, "When writing a letter of complaint, write two".

The first one is the one that says what you really want to say and gets it out of your system. The second is the one you send which is a lot more controlled and will be read and if you are lucky get acted on.

The same applies to blog posts. A venomous blog post just gets peoples back up and does nothing for community harmony. I am still very angry at the way I was spoken to but I have changed the post I wrote about my pump out problem because it was a 'first' post when it really should have been a 'second'.

When living in a small community venom provokes harsh reactions. Harmony is broken and that has a knock on effect on ones nearest and dearest.

I am still angry, but I recognise that my anger has made it difficult for my friends and I am sorry for that. I apologise to the 'club' unreservedly if they feel I was having a pop at them, which of course I wasn't.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Bugs & Beasties . . . .

. . . . . on Britain’s Waterways BW’s fifth annual wildlife survey revealed that despite a year of unusually wet weather, more than 3,000 sightings of wildlife were recorded by visitors to Britain’s canals, rivers, docks and reservoirs.

To say I am gobsmacked would be an understatement. There were 11,000,000 visitors to the canals last year (BW figures) and the best they could do was 3000 sightings of wildlife. That equates to only 1 in 3666 people saw any wildlife during their visit. One can only assume that picking ones nose is vastly more interesting than one's surrounding. BW seem to be spending a lot of money on visitors who not only don't pay to visit the waterways, but don't take any notice when they get there.

. . . . This year’s survey, supported by the British Dragonfly Society, focused on dragonflies and damselflies and more than 350 were spotted across the country, particularly in the North West. BW’s ecologists say that the presence of these much loved and colourful insects is a key indicator of good water quality and a healthy local ecosystem, as they need to lay their eggs in or near water.

This little gem relates to 1 in 31,428 visitors seeing a flying stick based bug. I have to wonder if BW are having an H&S moment here. Perhaps they are hiding all the bugs in case the visitors get bitten, while they are pulling the wings off sticks, and sue BW for not taking proper care to safeguard their 'pleasant walk' in the country!

Damn it chaps I can take a 2 hour cruise and see 300 flying sticks, and I have crap eyes!

Caen Hill pt 2

From British Waterways:-

In addition to relocating the fish (some to the Grand Union), silt curtains will be put in place across the entrance to one of the side ponds at Caen Hill in a trial to further improve water quality. The curtain will prevent silt stirred up by boats navigating the locks, from entering the ponds.

Now call me skeptic, but the correct working of the flight is based on the ponds, so these ponds are not and never were clear water envronments. It would be impossible to move 56,000 gallons of water between the locks without these ponds. Why are BW wasting their pitiful small budget on such a pointless scheme.

If the Damselfly and Dragonfly dont breed there it is because it is not suitable. As long as these crazy bug catchers say there is a problem BW will do all in their power to accommodate them. There is lots of other water in the area dispite what BW are trying to imply.

If it is so important let the bug catchers pay the bill!

PS If you are reading this BW Caen Hill is not a staircase, you should know that. If it were you would probably need planning permission for ya daft curtains.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Midland Chandlers

Will someone tell what is happening at the Midland Chandlers site.There was me looking for a hand pump, with which to empty my dump tank on the cheap, and I can't read anything. With the exception of the front page all the product writing is minooote. Am I the only one to notice this? Is it my computer? Will the little writing readers take over the world?

Tune in for next weeks thrilling installment, or alternatively don't!