Wednesday 30 September 2009

Oxford rail car park

Oxford railway station has a small car park, made even smaller by truckers.

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Cheeky sods!

This has to be the cheekiest Phishing Scam ever it blatantly asks straight out for your pin number passwords and secret answers. I wonder if the Bank of America knows about this? What really is surprising is that some poor sods will fall for this hook line and sinker.

Dunmill Lock Hungerford

Dunmill Lock 75 - Hungerford

Tuesday 29 September 2009 until further notice

Due to a boat hitting the gate heel post Dunmill Lock is closed until further notice.

An assessment of the damage is being undertaken and repairs will be actioned as soon as possible.

Enquiries: 01452 318000

Brighton University

This morning I got a response from Brighton University:-

Dear Maffi,

We can advise that we experienced a temporary security issue with Mr Shepherd's account; the matter was resolved promptly on Monday morning and you are unlikely to receive any further communication from him.

Fine, but 'temporary security issues' are bought about by disregard of the system which I suspect Mr Shepherd (David Stephens) didn't think about while surfing and dropping his email address where he shouldn't.

The good thing is they dealt with it quickly, but I do think their use of a semi-colon is suspect.

Class Act

I found nb ANONYMOUS TWO a while back and added it to my blogroll, but have only just looked at it. Its a good'un. I particularly like the old car wheel used as a spacer, good idea. I use wheelbarrow wheels. What I want now is flashy wheel trims for them like Jim has for his! Jim's got class!
Jim & Paula list as one of their many interests, "sampling the red wines of the world", what top people. I think I will keep my head down till I get my invite, maybe I should send them a CV, what do you think?

Monday 28 September 2009

Hospital today

Some how I ended up with two appointments at the JR on the same day 5 minutes apart and at different ends of the hospital. Not to be peturbed I arrived early for the eye appointment and tried to get seen early. No way Jose. So it had to be postponed until after my physio appointment. Not to worry I got a lot of exercise walking to and fro in the hospital.

Scattered around the hospital are relics and pictures of the old hospital.

This was one of the 'pews' from the waiting room as far as I can make out. There are several down the corridor.
Compare that to the modern equivelant which is stood next to the old ones.

I was discharged from the eye hospital (until the next bang on the head) and the leg is doing well.


We live in an extremely sterile place. Today there is little we can do where someone hasn't 'risked assessed' the situation first. There is little element of danger and we are all probably going to die never knowing stress. I was pleased to see that there is now a recognised, if only in fun, Royal Society of the Extremely Stupid. I haven't quite worked out whether its the 'risk assessors' or the people who they think they are trying to protect that are members of this esteemed society, but I suspect it's both.

In this day and age!

So there I was looking at the BW site looking to email Susie Mercer when I came across a page about the executive directors. I was surprised to see there are no women on the board. Tut! Tut!

Sunday 27 September 2009

Bradford on Avon Towpath

I was interested to read this article about the tow path at Bradford on Avon not least because I used to visit there a lot when I lived in Wiltshire. It is clear from the picture that the path is very narrow. So why are people trying to use electric scooters on the path? Why are people trying to walk such a narrow path with a small child in a push chair? Why are parents allowing their children to ride bicyles on that stretch? Why can people not see the difficulty and make a sensible decision not to walk that particular part of the path. Looking at the picture a sensible person would in all probability assess that walking this path is a single file activity. I fail to see why Mrs Boltons condition , pregnant, is of any relevance to this story.
However, local residents said,

“British Waterways need to sort the path out and stop boats mooring. The mooring is making it worse and eroding the bank. There is a sign, but it is very small.”

I think these people need to understand that if the licence paying boater were removed from the water the canals would be filled in and then no one would fall in the water.

I was ammused by BW's reaction to all this

Susie Mercer, a spokesman for British Waterways, said: “It isn’t possible to widen the towpath without impinging on the width of the navigation. “We cannot provide a wide level surface in all locations and it is important for people to make their own judgements about whether a surface or location is appropriate to their needs.”

What I find funny about that is when when someone gets injured using a lift bridge because of their own stupidity BW decide to spend £20,000 on each bridge on the Oxford making them idiot proof. Do I see a U turn here? Or could it be that no one in Bradford on Avon has sued them . . . . . yet!

Boat Fire Last Week

It is sad that in this day and age that vandals think that boats are 'good sport', but setting fire to a boat is surely tantamount to attemted murder. That no one was on board this boat when the yobs petrol bombed it is maybe just very lucky!

On the lighter side I can imagine those boating vandals the BSS amending the rules to ensure you do not keep petrol bombs on board your boat in case they go off.

Saturday 26 September 2009

How quaint


I recieved yest another phishing scam in an email today. I get several a week. I wonder how many people fall for these scams?

It's the return email addresses that get me. Todays was from a
Deputy Governor
Financial and Survilliance
Central Bank Of Nigeria(CBN).
Telephone Number :234-70-41804248

His email address you have to laugh.

I recently had one from a David Stephens his email was which for those not in the know is the domain for Brighton University I of course replied to David and cc'd my reply to every faculty member I could find on the website.

I know I am a rotten bastard but hey ho!

On the Thames



Wednesday 23 September 2009


I have temporarily removed the 'offending' post concerning Ubique. Not because I am feeling guilty or have pangs of remorse, but I thought it unsporting that I should be getting so many hits out of someone elses blog.

Outside Domino's but not theirs.

No bin near you see!

Tuesday 22 September 2009

New Canal Books

Question. What do McKinley Morganfield and canals have in common?

Answer. Muddy Waters.

McKinley Morganfield is better known as Muddy Waters. Post WW2 Chicago Blues guitarist.
Muddy Waters is also a new series of children's books about the canals and canal boats. Muddy Waters being the main character/title. The books, written by Kidlington man Dan Clacher, are the the culmination of many years of high quality story telling about canals and canal boats to his children and grandchildren. They tell tales of the adventures of several narrowboats with names like POPPY, DUDLEY, HAMISH, OLD BADGER, PENNY LANE, OWEN, JOLLYBOATMAN taking cargo to and fro on the canal and occasionally the river.

Dan says:-“We are all canals and boats mad in this family and I have been writing and telling the Muddy Waters stories for internal consumption only for years. Only recently have we thought about publishing . . .”

The stories centre on Thrupp and its environs but do move farther afield. Thrupp, Wolvercote, Dukes Cut, Kings Lock feature in the first book.muddy 2
The first book is on sale at various paces locally, Annie’s Tea Rooms and the Boat Inn both at Thrupp. The second book is now published. Three other are complete waiting to go to the publisher and 5 more are in the planning stage for the first series. There are other books on the way.
muddy 1
The stories are engaging and the graphics by Stephen Preedy are superb. I suspect children will love these books for years to come. Rosie and Jim look out you have some serious competition.
There is a website but it is not finished yet.

Flying Saucer

If you noticed a spot in the sky in the pic of the Teasel heads in the last post this is what it looks like zoomed in. Of course we are near Oxford Airport, but it doesn't look like a plane. Any guesses?

Monday 21 September 2009

Back to work today.

Oh did I need this today. I have slowly been going off my trolley sitting about on the wharf. Its been 8 weeks now. I am glad to be back.

At the quarry most of the flowers have gone though there are still a few small patches of Evening Primrose and a swathe of Daisies (Oxeye?).
The Evening Primrose gets its name from the habit of the flowers which open in the evening for the moths to pollinate them. At this time of the year they open most of the day for what ever is out there to pollinate them. A sort of slapper of the plant world. Almost all the rest are now well into seed with quite a large forest of Teasel heads and Thistles.
The flower boxes are still doing well.

The local Buzzard is much in view and the Crows have stop lunching on Newt Burgers. Our very own Little Ring Necked Plovers, despite the efforts made to preserve them, were all seemingly taken by one or the other of our Fox population.

As Autumn draws on the quarry is slowly going from green to grey via brown. The Deer has not been seen of late but will be back soon I am sure.


Here is a challenge for all those who think I am harsh and negative in my posts.

A boat comes past, not just fast past a moored boat but exceeding the 4 mph speed limit. You know he is exceeding the limit because his girlfriend is running along the towpath trying to catch him up.

You have a few words.

He says he can't go any slower.

100 yards further on he discards her jacket into the canal.

She continues on her way and he speeds away.

Now the challenge is, you have had a hard day at work, write a blog about this

Sunday 20 September 2009


Its quite a simple question really. Why moor here on a nice hard edge . . . .

. . . . when you can moor here . . . .

. . . . and half block of the bridge hole?

Coz he's a twat!


I found out today that the Saudi company I used to work for, and who owed me shed loads of money, has gone out of business. So I thought I would write to a Senior official in their Ministry of Defence to ask why these charlatans were nor punished for misappropriation of government funds and gross misconduct in the management of this government contract and corporate manslaughter (6 or more paks and flips died because they could not get medical care). Reasonable question!

Well according to this site this url will get me the Ministry of Defence.

What it did get me was a blank page. Maybe you may have better luck.

I don’t suppose I really expected anything else.

Indeed the brothers who ran this company now have lucrative UK government contracts in this country. Now why doesn’t that surprise me?

Saturday 19 September 2009

Godfrey Banga

You meet the nicest people on the cut. This is Godfrey, a Zimbabwean he is walking to Banbury today and back in time for the morning service tomorrow.


I am one of those people who 'never ceases to be amazed'. Today my amazement is at the stupidity of some people who hire boats. This is not a boating thing this is just stupidity. These boats are issued with mooring pins, in fact the stern rope is tied to a pin that was placed next to a mooring ring.
The hire boat in front is moored on two pins I just cant understand why this lot made no effort to to use some common sense. Like I said this is not a boating thing its should be perfectly clear to any one, including the perps, that this is wrong.

Friday 18 September 2009


I found this site today, rather interesting, worth a view. BRIDGES It lists all movable bridges or places where moveable bridges have been, and includes history of each bridge if known.

There are several search modes which allow you to search by map, canal, county, but not surprisingly enough by bridge number! Each bridge has its own page most have pictures and all have a clickable OS link.

This link will bring you to this bridge which is now just about under the A34 south of Dukes cut

Bridge 233 looks to be in good condtion in 2008
© Copyright Tim Lewis 14/06/2008

Thursday 17 September 2009

Dumb as a box of frogs!

Despite there being a plethora of these signs on the canal there are still people who fish right under the power lines.

Wednesday 16 September 2009


Sometimes I even surprise myself. The other day, Monday I think, I came back to the boat from the tea room and found 4 cans of the black stuff and a thank you card on my chair outside the boat. The card said 'With thanks for being so thoughtful'. Well I can tell you I was Flabberghasted in fact my ghast had never been so flabbered.

What had I done? I havent a clue! There was no name, no boat name, nothing. I really must be slipping. I thank the perpetrators from the bottom of my beer belly but cannot for the life of me think what it was I did to deserve this.

Well enough of this self deprecating bullshit best I drink up before they come and ask for them back. Cheers dudes. Click Ssssssssss Gulp!

Thank you whoever you are!

Eddie Izzard

What would it take to get you to run one marathon? Think about it then go here. I am particularly impressed with the end of the 11th video.


I understand that things need to be done to make the waterways better, but I find the new TROLLEY REPORT FORM a bit OTT. Assuming you can answer all the questions on the form then your boat hook should be able to assist you in getting the trolley out.

BW should be encouraging us to help our selves on things like this not setting up web pages which will direct manpower away from more important tasks.

If a boater cant be assed to pull a trolley out of the water does he really deserve to be allowed on the water in the first place?

With a 14.9% cut in funding a this coming financial year we should all be out there helping to keep the waterway clear.

Are Braunston boaters crap?

nb MALTEZER arrived a couple of nights ago and moored behind Mort's mooring.. The bank is soft and boats are subject to losing their grip on the hard floating across the canal causing a block.

nb JOLA NO6 had a problem with the blockage and in the process of mooring behind me to secure MALTEZER gave Milly M a bit of a bang mainly due to the fact that instead of mooring and then eating his bacon sarnie he was consentrating more on the sarnie. A stupid thing to do when one is mooring up let alone when the wind is blowing a gale. Their traveling companion on nb CHARLOTTE hit me too, twice and not gently either.

Not one of them apologised for the bumps.

Both these old dodderers were from Braunston. Am I to assume that Braunston Boaters are crap at boating?

Tuesday 15 September 2009

Why does this happen today

This is Fawziya Abdullah Youssef she was 12. I say was 12 because unfortunately she is dead. Read why here

What is the world coming to?

Who do they think they are these lock keepers? Fancy making GODSTOW LOCK look all nice and beautiful! Blooming cheek of it!


Where is the camera when you need it

This is not another rant about speeding. Read on. Last night nb FEROZA past me at a speed that should have been slower. What tickled me was in his window was a sign which said:-

What part of
do you not


This morning on my way to the tea rooms I passed him on my bike. The sign had gone (probably moved to the water side). I am trying to think why it was on my side and can only think the last place he had it on display on the correct side would have been on the river, possibly at Abingdon, where the slow down rule doesn't apply.

I resent these people coming up here with there hypocritical ideas, that's my bloody job!

Tuesday 8 September 2009

I saw this ATM at the John Radcliffe Hospital today. Try as I might I couldn't get a brass farthing out of it for free. Misleading I call it.

Sunday 6 September 2009

Aylesbury Basin

This is from the minutes of a council meet in Aylesbury reference the Aylesbury Canal Basin. Sorry but its not doing it for me. I think there is something wrong.


The Aylesbury Canal formed a key element of the Waterside retail development scheme. The Council had completed a 200 year lease of the Basin with British Waterways Board in order to bring the site within the development footprint. The Aylesbury Canal Society currently held a lease of part of the Canal, and unless the lease was brought to an end and the site vacated, the Canal could not be offered to the developer.

Negotiations were continuing with the Aylesbury Canal Society and, indeed a meeting had been held recently which suggested that an agreement was imminent, although a final decision had not yet been made. Cabinet received a report on the current position and explaining the steps that needed to be taken in the event that it was necessary to acquire compulsorily the areas occupied by the Aylesbury Canal Society. The report also referred to financial information in relation to rent levels and possible levels of compensation, the details of which were included within the confidential part of the Cabinet agenda.

Whilst Cabinet felt that approval should be given to the compulsory purchase process, it was considered that in the light of the ongoing discussions, implementation of the Cabinet’s decisions should be delayed for a period of 6 weeks from the date of this meeting. Accordingly, it was RESOLVED – That subject to implementation of those matters specifically related to the CPO being delayed for a period of six weeks from the date of this meeting, in the light of ongoing negotiations:-

(1)authority be given to the making of a Compulsory Purchase Order under Section 226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1990, and Section 13 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1976, if required, for the acquisition of the Aylesbury Canal Society interest in the land shown edged red on the Plan attached to the Cabinet report and described generally as “the ACS Land” together with any subsidiary interests of which the Council is not currently aware, but which may become apparent as preparation for making the CPO progresses, for the purposes of securing mixed use development of the Aylesbury Canal Basin; and

(2)that the Director of Environment and Planning be authorised to:-

(a)take all necessary steps to secure the making, confirmation and implementation of the CPO;

(b)acquire the Aylesbury Canal Society or any other subsidiary interest in the Aylesbury Canal Society land whether by agreement or compulsorily;

(c)negotiate with the Aylesbury Canal Society and any other land owner or occupier;

(d)set out the terms for withdrawal of objections to the CPO;

(e)make arrangements to assist with the relocation of the Aylesbury Canal Society and/or another land owner or occupier;

(f)make arrangements for the presentation of the Council’s case for confirmation of the CPO at any public inquiry; and

(g)exercise the compulsory purchase powers authorised by the CPO by way of general vesting declaration and/or notice to treat.



That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the Paragraph indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act:-

Aylesbury Canal Society – CPO – Financial Information. (Paragraph 3).

The public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information because the report contained commercially sensitive information about ongoing contract negotiations.

In connection with item 3 above, Cabinet considered financial issues associated with rent levels and estimated compensation payments based upon advice received from the Council’s consultants.

Saturday 5 September 2009


A while ago I posted a picture of Stephen Fry's new hair cut. One could be forgiven for thinking that he has gone down hill since, but according to him he doesn't shave when he is writing . . . . . must have been a long letter.

Friday 4 September 2009

Oh and about my foot!

Following a little step off the boat rupturing my Achilles tendon I am, I'm pleased to say, on the mend. I had the op 5 days after the incident and kept the plaster on for 19 days. Then I was given this little number. Not exactly Gucci but under the circumstances it will do. I have had this nearly 4 weeks. It is not the nicest but without it I would be screwed. At least now I can sleep without it which makes a great difference not only to my sleep but also my hips. The whole job could take 9 month before I am A4 G4 Z1 fit but hey ho!

If I am lucky I may be able to leave it off in a week or two.


And of course STANLEY

And that other dog


'Tis plain to see why I say Molly is a cross between
a Staffie, Jack Russell and a Basking Shark.

Granny's Grump

Good Grief I thought I was a grumpy old git until I looked at Andy Denny's blog today. I think he must have been stung by a wasp or somat.

This is so on the mark

The Urine test

(This was written by a rig worker in the North Sea - What he says makes a lot of sense!)

I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to earn that pay cheque, I work on a rig for a drilling contractor. I am required to pass a random urine test for drugs and alcohol, with which I have no problem.

What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test.

Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a benefits cheque because I have to pass one to earn it for them?

Please understand that I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do on the other hand have a problem with helping someone sit on their arse drinking beer and smoking dope.
Could you imagine how much money the government would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a benefit cheque?

Please pass this along if you agree or simply delete it if you don't.

Hope you will pass it along though, because something has to change in the UK , and soon

Wednesday 2 September 2009

Bloody computer

Yes I know it been a while again but the new Dell Inspiron broke. It may be a while longer.