Friday, 14 August 2009


Well well well here we are at the Cropredy Festival. There must be 100 boats south of the village and as many north. The atmosphere is, as usual, great. Herself is in the press tent interveiwing people she has never even heard of and I due to my leg am on the boat listening to the music. We will at least get chance for dinner together maybe! We have been able to moor near the village by hanging my poorly leg over the side and asking.

The village is manic with good music and throngs people. Various stalls selling ethnic stile goods proliferate around the village and food is everywhere. If you have never been make a date for next year and you too can dine on Buffalo Burgers.
Special guest appearance by Cat Stevens.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Today I saw the most stupid thing ever, nb King Arthur came up through the lock in Banbury and moored up opposite me. During his reversing he was standing beside the tiller. His mooring technique wasn't the best I have seen, but, what did amaze me was that during the whole time he had a toddler on his back in a papoose type thingy. A dumber thing I have yet to see.
I am all for people being new age fathers but putting you child at risk in that sort of situation is not big, is not funny and is certainly not clever. Had he fallen off the boat the child would have been crushed by him. Mooring a boat is not a game and children that small should play no part in it.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Gunnels are not for novices

So often on this stretch of the canal I see novice boaters standing and walking on the gunnels. When someone slips in off the gunnel it is quick and the time it takes the propellor to reach the place where someone has gone in is seconds. I can't think that being caught by the propellor is a particularly pleasant experience especially as it is most likely to cause a lot of pain end in demise.

Please, if you read this and are off on a hireboat holiday, do not walk on the gunnels neither you nor the tillerman are likely have the experience to react quick enough to prevent the inevitable.

Aylesbury Basin

As I understand it there is a proposal to build a marina near Aylesbury to replace the existing basin community. The proposed marina is to be built on Circus Field which is two locks up from the basin.

Aylesbury is a big town. It shows how small minded the planners are if they can't simply plan around the existing basin which has been there longer than most of the current town. I was there two years ago and the development was closing in around, seemingly forgetting that the basin was there at all.

The new Marina will be built in another area of housing development. This has problems of its own in that restrictions placed on marinas by housing development can be swingeing and restrict boaters rights. I cant believe the Aylesbury Canal Society are even countenancing the idea.

I suspect when built the marina will bear no relation to the plans I have seen that were surreptitiously marked "INDICATIVE ONLY".

A few questions.
1. Why can the basin not be included in the town development plan as it is? After all it has been there a long time.

2. Should the basin be moved to the new marina what will happen to the stretch of canal between the marina and the old basin? If there isn't a basin there will be no need for that part of the canal so just maybe it can be built on as well.

3. Will the marina be built before the basin closes or will the residents have to moor up the canal while the building work continues?

I get the impression that some towns are getting rid of all signs of the canal while others are realising their mistake and opening up old canal basins can't Aylesbury take a leaf out of others books and see that this is a folly that will, in 20/30 years, be reversed.

I am not sure where I heard it but I thought there was a law against eradicating old canal features.

Meanwhile there are proposals afoot to re-open the old basin in Oxford at Hythe Bridge.

Monday, 10 August 2009

It just jolly bad form.

I see that Cloggy from the CWDF was looking up my profile. I don't mind this, that why we have profiles, but I do think it is bad maners looking at other peoples profiles if you have no information on your own. One really sould get it sorted or stop looking!

It getting to that time again

Feast of Fiddles

Sunday saw us at Woodford Halse. We had sunday lunch at The Alnwicks, who live in the village then eveningtime we went off to the social club to enjoy the Feast Of Fiddles. Quite a fantastic night of top class music, led by a manic squeeze box player. The line up includes Dave Mattacks, Joe Broughton, Brian McNeill, Tom Leary, Ian Cutler, Phil Beer, Peter Knight, Chris Leslie, Dave Harding, Martin Vincent, John Underwood, Hugh Crabtree.
They will be appearing at the Cropredy Festival next weekend and did this show as a precursor to that.
A must see performance.
Thanks for lunch Jane


York Marine are working miracles. "New for Spring 2009 we have two fantastic new widebeam narrowboats available to hire."

How they do that then? IT must be a TARDIS effect.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

A Trip Out

I took a trip with Bones on Friday night. I was deposited at Allen's bridge just north of Heyford with all my/our bags, by Lucy. It was either that or hobble on crutches from the station. Bones bought the boat up to the bridge mooring and I hobbled on board while she herself carried the bags on.

We set off with her opening the lift bridge and me sitting on the roof of nb Bones steering. Once through Allen's Lock I went in to prep dinner while Bones took the boat the rest of the way to Somerton where we moored on the edge of a field for the night. The mutts loved it and Boots unsuspectingly found a nice patch of green grass that turned out to be a puddle.

Saturday saw us on our way again, in bright sunshine, with me steering and Bones pottering. We were to meet Adam and Lucy at Kings Sutton, unfortunately the fields were flooded by the rain so a new place was designated, Twyford. A&L bought food, such clever people.

We moored eventually in Banbury where after sorting the boat we popped into the General Foods Sports and Social Club for a much needed cold beer. Oh joy.

If you are in Banbury please do stop by.

Friday, 7 August 2009


I have added Towpath Townie to my blog roll for no other reason than it is a very arty looking blog. The owner hasn't moved on board yet but she has sold her house and put down a deposit.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

GCC rules again

I am surprised to see how many visitors are coming to this blog by googling "GCC states new rules" or "electronic devices in GCC". They seem to be mostly from Muslim states.

I have checked back with Bill who gave me the information in the first instance and he says as far as he knows it is good info. It is not like him not to check these things.

I doubt the Saudis would check every one going in or out just the seedy looking ones, of which there are many.

If people need to get this stuff into Saudi I suppose they could just zip and email it to themselves, the Saudis don't have a gadget for checking that . . . yet!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Latest News

Earlier today Stephen Fry had a hair cut. You can email any coments to stephenfryhadahaircut@stephenfry.cem

Photo courtesy of TwitPic

Art for art sake pt 2

My good friends Derek and Dot nb Gipsy Rover sent me this picture of the skip, er sorry 'art' work. I must say it looks jolly good fun, but I still ask, "Is it art," and still answer, "No, its a skip".

I fail to see how this is going to regenerate anything let alone Liverpool.

Bristol Zoo Carpark attendant

You may have heard through email or friends recently about the Car park attendant at Bristol Zoo who had been collecting fees for 25 years then suddenly disappeared with all the loot. Both the Council and the Zoo thought the other was responsible for his employment.

My manager at work told me, he was taken by it as was I.

It's a nice story but totally fabricated.

New Airport Rules GCC

I recieved this gem from my ex Saudi manager if you should be traveling to the Middle East be aware. You might like to claim infringement of you human rights, but rights especially Human, are in short supply in the Gulf states. Once you step off that aeroplane you WILL play by their rules.

Please be advised that all Airports in Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) have new rules regarding arriving and departing of Overseas workers carrying electronic devices. This has not been published to the public,but please advise all our workers who are traveling GCC airports.

All Electronic devices will be submitted for check up before immigration section. Devices includes Cellular phones with camera and memory card, flash disks, external hard drive, Laptops/notebooks/pc, ipod, itouch, mp3 players with memory cards.

A special USB device will be inserted to the electonic devices that you are carrying. This special device can scan all videos and pictures, jpg, bmp, avi, etc, contents of your laptap/cellphones, and will be recorded to their main computer.

All devices with nude pictures in it will be confiscated immediately.There will be no fines, and refusal will send you to jail and deportation. Laptops with pirated software’s will also be confiscated. This rule has been applied already and is being practice in Saudi, Kuwait , Oman , Qatar , Abudhabi, Jeddah Airports. This is excluding Bahrain airport.

FYI, the special device was invented by a Filipino.

Kindly include this in your orientation with the workers and tell them not to bring any pirated softwares, movies, or nude pictures. Even datas that are hidden can be found by this device, so tell them not to bring any at all.The laptap of one of my friend, a Sony Viao, which cost around 8T SR, was confiscated a few days ago, because of 1 semi nude picture that he forgot to erase.

Thank you.

I hope they apply this rule to Saudi nationals as well, they can be among the worst offenders.

This from Windows Vista

Windows Mail is the successor to Outlook Express
Windows Mail builds on the foundation of Outlook Express, adding a variety of new features designed to make your e-mail experience more productive and fun, while helping to reduce risks and annoyances such as phishing and junk e-mail

What they dont tell you is that HOTMAIL AOL YAHOO & GMAIL will not be accessable through the new 'OUTLOOK EXPRESS'. Yes of course they have reduced the risks of junk email and phishing they reduced it by whatever percentage of email users use HOTMAIL AOL YAHOO & GMAIL at least half I would think.


DUTCH artist Lambert Kamps has transformed a hackney cab into a water taxi as part of a project that aims to use art to help regenerate some of Merseyside’s most deprived areas.

The sculptor, whose work often features recycled materials, turned the vehicle upside down and cut off the bottom to create a floating vessel powered by outboard motor.

It will run on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until September 20, carrying passengers between three stops.

His creation is part of the three-year Art for Places initiative, co-ordinated by the Liverpool Biennial, housing market renewal organisation New Heartlands, British Waterways and the Arts Council North West.

Maffi thinks . . .Art isn’t art because the artist says it is. Turning a car upside down cutting the bottom off and adding an outboard makes this a different kind of skip not art. We have enough of our own ‘different thinkers’ without importing them for vast sums of dosh.


David Dale, a Kentish man by birth moved to Sheffield 32 years ago looking for work. He has a boat in the basin and has been moored there for nine years.

The basin was owned by BW but they leased it to Paul ------ things have changed. Of the 15/16 moorings only 5 are occupied (dont ever tell me there are no moorings up north) the others are currently filled with broker boats.

Says David, "Something needs to be done about the canal it is not maintained, the gates and paddles are all very stiff and dredging is a distant memory for the older generation".

The once easy cityscape view from the basin is now blocked by student accommodation. The Market which got its charter in 1200 and something (didn't they all) has been in the same part of the city since. Now the council want to move it to the other end of the city centre. This will change the whole character of the market and many traders are threatening to shut up shop if the move takes place.

Quite a lot of information considering I have never been to Sheffield, thank you David.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Stupid is as stupid does

Last week a woman was knocked off her boat into the lock and died. POLICE VIDEO This was a terrible tragedy and lessons need to be learned.

Tonight I watched as an Anglo Welsh boat came past with 6/7 men women and children on the cruiser stern deck. All very busy enjoying the trip. This is just asking for trouble.

Location of the Milly M

Map picture

There we are right by the lift bridge.

Search engines

Oh Joy! Microsoft are going to produce yet another search engine. Just what the world needs another search engine to search all the other search engines.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Measuring things

When we write measurements down we start with the largest division and end with smallest, or visa versa, as in linear imperial measure we may write 1 mile 450 yards 2 feet 6 inches or time we may write 1 hour 15 minutes 27 seconds. We wouldn't write a weight as 1cwt 3lb 4st 2oz simply because in size order, which is the norm 4st should come before 3lbs.

Likewise when we write the date we start with the day then the month then the year. So why oh why oh why do our American cousins insist on writing the month first, mm/dd/yyyy instead of dd/mm/yyyy. After all the date is a measure of the passage of time is it not?

I blame the boston tea party, I mean fancy having a party in the middle of a harbour then tipping the goddies overboard. Dumb dumb dumb! That would have set them back a hundred years in education.