Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Peace and quiet and sleep.

I was asked by a friendly boater, who was getting to be unfriendly by the night, if I would like to make a web page to help all those who are woken or kept awake by engine/generator noise.

The premise would be that people could report all those boaters who run their engines in the 8 pm 8 am curfew and wake others up or stop them from sleeping.

That way, a list could be compiled of ‘offenders’, which could be consulted before mooring up so boaters could see if they were likely to be disturbed in the night. This could be a very useful list which would help to preserve the sanity of sufferers.

It is such a shame that boaters feel the need to break this very social rule. My friendly boater was woken up at 10.45 the other night when his neighbour started his engine, for what ever reason, and he was unable to get back to sleep. I once had a neighbour that ran a very noisy generator every night ‘til midnight just so they could watch the TV? When I mentioned that this was not a very social thing so they started running the generator inside the boat, can you believe that!

Sometimes we moor in very special places. Only the footfall of a passing fox can be heard. The sound of the breeze through the trees and the hoot of an owl are relaxing and comforting. For most, it is why we are boaters. To have this relaxation and comfort raucously disturbed by an inconsiderate neighbour is an affront to common decency and sanity. Maybe all boaters need to dispose of their remaining connection to the land a get shot of power hungry TV’s. They could read a book, learn to paint or embroider. Learn a musical instrument (AGGGH not the Bagpipes). They could study (not politics coz you need a TV for that) invite the people in the next boat over for a glass of something and a chat, anything but stagnate in front of the ‘box’ when you could end up pissin’ the neighbours off. If you need to constantly run your engine after 8 then there is something wrong with your system or it is not big enough for your usage. GET IT SORTED

Unfortunately I am the wrong person to ask about getting this list together. I have been known, on occasion much to my neighbours displeasure, to fall asleep with my engine on and would have to put myself at the top of the list. That would never do!


I love Twitter it is so I am told a wonderful facility. It allows people to keep in touch (so does the phone). It allows kids to speak to Granny and Granny to speak to their own children. It allows people to tell everyone what events are coming up. It is a universal communication tool and that is its downfall.

It allows people to hide their true agenda. It allows people to lie to those they wish to hoodwink. Some people you find on Twitter are not who they want you to think they are. They would have you think they are doing something for the community when in truth they maybe preparing to milk the community for their own benefit.

It is a shame that Shylocks can so easily manipulate such a facility for nefarious means.

This is what I see.

I put an internet link to the poster because my computer is playing up and I am having trouble uploading anything.Getting this picture up is something of a triumph.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Knob tossing

If you want to impress the wife/girlfriend /boyfriend you could do worse than the Dorset Knob Throwing Festival. You can have the opportunity to throw your Knob in a bucket, that’ll certainly raise an eyebrow. You could put your knob on a spoon and run round a tree as a warm up exercise. The artists among you might like to paint your knob or to get the little lady involved there will be a knob eating contest.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Welcome to Oxford

This is the new floating boom placed to prevent illegal mooring past Sheepwash Channel. So if you chose to come to Oxford and spend a couple of days this is your view. Welcome to Oxford. I suppose it could be worse they could be bright orange . A lot of money was spent on the 'floating' pontoon to the left, yet the boom seems to be fixed. Maybe its just me!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Annie's Tea Room

Annie's Tea Room now has a website. It includes where to go, what to do, what's on the menu. Even how to find them. It always worth a visit for celeb spotting. Annie's Tea Room I have no financial interest in this venture but this post did earn me a deicious bacon butty . . . . do I pay tax on that?

You could also add to this, the Kayak and Canoe web site CANOE/KAYAK HIRE. For this I have not been offered a bacon butty . . .yet.

A hat trick!

Parked on a pedestrian footpath.

Parked on a double yellow line.

Parked on a cycle route.

Not to mention only about 25 feet from the traffic lights.

Flashing hazard lights do not give you immunity from obeying the law.

In all fairness I have done the hat trick myself.
But I never left the vehicle!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Ah! a charity.

So BW is going to become a chraity. This is a simple method of absolving the government of proper responsibitily for the hertige of this country. It stinks! However we are stuck with it. What now remains is the name. It makes sense to continue to call it British Waterways, that will of course incur no extra cost vis a vis sinage. However it could be called The British Waterways Trust which will require a small stick on label on most of the signs around the system. This is already done on signs around here, without detriment, to change telephone numbers. The logo is iconic and certainly doesn't need changing. But those that think they know best will no doubt call it something completely different. This will cost many millions of pounds that would be better spent fixing the canals that the new charity is charged with doing.
I know the argument for the high salaries of the senior execs and directors but with a smaller budget and a smaller workforce the new charity cannot afford to go along with with this capitalist idiom. It always amazes me that when things get tight staff and salaries suffer yet the top brass seem to get richer and richer. I have to ask the question why do those that receive the most money not fund their own pension its not like they cant afford it, but now its part of the 'package'.
See my post Gravy Train
I would have thought that salaries would change, but TUPE ensures they wont. Maybe if all execs and directors were going to have their income cut in half (which would still leave them very well off) they might have fought harder against this proposal. I notice TUPE is not working for the bloke who comes out on a freezing morning to fix a paddle mechanism or clear a gate. I wonder where they will find a volunteer to do that? No the easiest way to limit the effects of TUPE to the lower levels is to kick them out. Then replace them with sad gits that will work for nothing. This whole charity thing is a fucking lash up. Now BW put that in your next meeting!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Bloody Cheek!

I normally pay £2.00 from the other side of the bridge to the city centre. Recently I managed to catch the bus at the wharf. I offered £2 and was told it was £2.80. I only had £2.50 in shrapnel on me. The driver accepted that because he had already printed the ticket. I said to myself, "self, that is a kind person."

This evening Bones went to town to meet a friend and caught a bus from the same stop she only paid £2. I didn't realise that the fare for a journey was different for the sexes. Had I known I would have gone to college in me best frock.

Saturday, 19 March 2011


Over on Twitter there is a #TT (trending topic) #whitepeoplestink. the majority of those getting bent out of shape over this are black. Those 'white people' who object are in the minority and over reacting to what could be a poor understanding of English. White people may very well stink, I suppose some do but then so do other people. I have travelled around a bit and lots of people stink no matter what their nationality or race.

The peeps at Twitter are now not allowing the #hashtag but it is still trending.

White people do stink . . .at singing the blues.
White people do stink . . .at dancing.
White people do stink . . .at running.
White people do stink . . .at being black.
White people do stink . . .at rap.
White people do stink . . .at a whole host of stuff.

That we White people cant do stuff aint racist its just a fact of life We excel at other stuff like not rising to the bait.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Down in the basement

Ok so here is a scenario. I work at home and at school when I have finished working in either area I email my self the files I have been working on so I can pick them up later. At work no problem all files I download from an email go to my docs. But on my lap top they go somewhere else. Like its miles away down in the sub-sub-sub-basement

Now you could go and get these downloaded files but every sub/dir after 'windows' has hidden attribs set. Unless you actually know this there is no way to know how to get here. Question Why would MS do something so absolutely stupid and second how/where do I change the default.

These last 4 files are only a sample, but they are randomly named so if you do find this treasure trove you might have to search through 50 or 60 of these sub/dirs to find what you have just downloaded.

I would just love one day to sit down with a MS program designer and ask why they do all these shit things. There can be no logical reason for this.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Census 2011

If one doesnt have a TV or read newspapers how are we supposed to know about this? There is no legal requirement to own a TV or to read newspapers so how can it be a legal reqirement to fill in the form. Surely if you have no knowledge of this legal requirement how can it be a legal requirement? Simply saying 'Ignorance of the law is no excuse' really is not enough. I heard about this only because I am at college, my neighbour had no idea.
If you live on a boat, resident or continuous cruising you must complete the 2011 Census, it is a legal requirement.
Its a legal requirement thats fine I can live with that. The next statement is kinda screwed up though, it is only vital because some one says it is. If couple of thousand boaters dont fill in the form it aint gonna make any difference. If they do fill in the form it aint gonna make any difference. I very much doubt all the illegal aliens, of which there are millions, will be filling in forms.
It is vital that the census counts everyone. If you live on a boat, you should receive, complete and return a questionnaire.
"You should recieve" Well thats all very good but how will you recieve a form. Is there someone coming along the towpath handing them out? I doubt it. Important might be a better word or necessary

Adj vital - urgently needed; absolutely necessary; "a critical element of the plan"; "critical medical supplies"; "vital for a healthy society"; "of vital interest"
We live in a broken society that no one wants to fix so why once a decade is it now vital to get this info.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Tat, tat an' more tat

So it has started the endless pile of tacky trinkets for sale to commemorate the Royal Wedding. Tell me who it is that Kate is marrying? Certainly not the ginger boy, and that 'ornate detailing' a gold stripe, wow I cant wait to get mine.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Traffic Survey

This is the only crossing for several hundred yards in each direction and this Traffic Survey vehicle had to park right on it. What a tosser.


10 points if you can guess who this is.

Monday, 14 March 2011


I am getting better at this community spirit stuff. I only had to think about reporting this leaking hydrant last week at the bus stop and the next day the engineers had been around to mark it up for repair. How cool is that!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Kevin Ivison GM

I have just read this book. Red One is a true story of extreme courage and  bravery above and beyond the call of duty. Kevin Ivison GM is a rare man. Unlike many heroes, who act on impulse, he carefully assessed a situation, decided what had to be done and realised that he will die during the operation that he alone could carry out. He left messages for his family; donned his protective kit and took the longest walk, past the body of his friend, to what he saw as certain death. His team acted with incredible professionalism that is only ever seen on the battlefield.

This book is a profound read and I can heartily recommend it. We should all be very proud that this country can still produce men of this, the  very highest, calibre. After reading this you will understand why, when you meet a serviceman ex or otherwise, you should at the very least say, "Thank you."

Nuff said, now go out and buy a copy. You will not regret it!


Friday, 11 March 2011

Canoes and Kayaks in Oxford

Have you thought you might like to take out a canoe or kayak on to Oxfords waterways for the afternoon now that Spring is near?
Where would you go to languish on the calm waters of the Oxford Canal or paddle along the more challenging river?
Where would you go in Oxford to hire a canoe or kayak?
Canoe & Kayak Hire
Thrupp Oxford
Canoe Clip Art2 & 3 seat Canadian canoes
single seat Kayaks
In Thrupp, 8 miles north of Oxford, at the old BW yard on the OXFORD CANAL you can hire a canoe or kayak by the hour or by the day/half day. You can set off in tree lined shade along the canal and then on to the river for an enjoyable paddle ‘up the creek’ so to speak.
If you can’t be bothered to make lunch we can provide a picnic lunch for £8 pp. You can have lunch in Annie’s Tea Rooms or finish your day with a fabulous dinner at the near by Boat Inn
North from Thrupp will take you by way of Shipton Weir Lock onto the River Cherwell where you can go north again to Bakers lock and The Rock of Gibraltar or south down towards the old paper mill at Hampton Gaye.
South from Thrupp to the Jolly Boatman then onward you will pass the outskirts of Kidlington and if you are fit down to the River Thames.
Phone 01865842708
The phone will be answered by a garden landscaping company but it is all the same people so leave a message. If you want to turn up on spec ask in the tea rooms for me, Maffi, and we will get your boat out onto the water.
Set your Tom Tom to OX5 1JZ Look forward to seeing you soon.

Thursday, 10 March 2011


For as long as I have been at Ruskin the library has sported these signs. They are short and to the point. and you understand the message implied at a glance.

09032011232These new signs went up Wednesday absolutely pointless. The poster is busy and you would actually have to read them. I suspect I know who has been complaining in fact I am certain I know. The people who a) are always shushing every one b) those self same people who always forget the rules when they want to speak to another shusher.

09032011231Ruskin can be fun simply because these people are sooooo easy to wind up.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Somethings are important

The Gravy Train

Like it or not the Prime minister is paid £142.500. For this he is the man in charge of the WHOLE country.

So how come Robin Evans Chief Exec of BW receives £566,354 for this he is in charge of a mere 2000 miles of poorly maintained muddy ditch and a few rivers. He has domain over a dwindling paid workforce and an ever reducing budget. Where is the logic?
Other BW seniors who are bleeding the system dry are:_
Mark Bensted Regeneration Director £672,850
Steve Dunlop Director Scotland £170,764
Nigel Johnson Corporate Services Director £331,987
Stuart Mills Director of Property £308,154
Vince Moran Operations Director £327,824
Philip Ridal Finance Director £330,561
Simon Salem Marketing Director £413,584
Jim Stirling Technical Director £382,104
Total £3,504182
All of whom ‘earn’ more than the PM.

Steve Dunlop 12.5% more than the PM. How many canals are there in Scotland?
Simon Salem £413,584. What is he marketing? Only 3 or 4% of his ‘customers’ actually put their hand in their pocket, those that don’t pay will still come. They could fire his ass no problem. His highly paid hobby could be shared between Nigel Johnson and Stuart Mills then next year fire one of them.
Mark Bensted only a director gets more than the Chief Exec! Question:- what is he regenerating?
I am a tax payer I cannot afford to pay these people such salaries and I don’t suppose you can. Don’t they know there is a recession on.
This is one big Gravy Train. Giz-a-job.

salary figures from NBW

Monday, 7 March 2011

In reply to Dai Jones

I once went to a party in the north of the Principality of Wales (I have never heard so many scouse accents). It was at the home of an English girl who, as it happens, was born in the south of the Principality. One of the invited guests (Welsh) was explaining to her 6 year old daughter why they didn’t like the English, and worse getting her daughter to repeat it. Apart from being very bad mannered to her English hostess and down right rude to the other English visitors there, it was very racist and educationally abusive to her child! Had it not been for the fact that I knew the English girl very well I would have made remonstrations both there and then and at the school and Social Services the next morning.

People in glass houses . . . . . .

End of term project

I was feeling a bit short in the ‘line department’ of my end of term poetry project. We are supposed to be producing 125 lines of poetry. It can be one single poem or a series on a theme.

I have somehow started my project with a war poem it wasn’t intentional and the poem was not written for this project. The main theme is the canal including titles such as The Lock, Locking, Northbrook Lock, Thrupp Wide not of course forgetting War! My tutor said it would look good if my project showed what my life was and what it became. Pah! Who was I to argue?

Today I sat in the library and set about upping the line count. A couple of years ago BW started installing three bollards down the off side of all locks. ‘The Mooring Bollard’ spewed out onto the page in about 15 minutes flat.

Now if the computer system at Ruskin worked properly I could display my musing here, but such isn’t the case so you will have to wait.

The Welsh Question

Recently the people of the Principality of Wales had a referendum. The Question was:- Should laws that affect the Principality of Wales only be made in the Principality of Wales.

The result was Yes 517,132 - No 297,380 So that’s a total of 814512 voted out of a population of over *3.000,000 that’s somewhere around *27/28% ish actually voted. Roughly *9.5% of the population said NO! and somewhere around *74% didn’t care enough to get off their assess. So only *16.5% of the population want this. How is this democracy?

Given that those who run the Principality of Wales take the *16.5% ‘win’ as a roaring success, should we not now prevent those from the Principality of Wales from voting in the lower house on issues that only affect England and likewise the members from north of the border?

(*These figures are only approximate quickly worked out in my head please feel free to do the maths and correct me.)

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Bend over this wont hurt

Ever the suckers we are about to be ripped off yet again. This is the £5 commemorative coin issued by the Royal Mint in ‘honour’ of the wedding of William and Catherine. It is a £5 coin and if you were to take it to a shop and spend it you would get £5 worth of goods. With VAT at 20% the actual value would be £4 minus another 20% RAT (Retailer Added Tax) to take account of excessive local business taxes. It probably has a real value of about £3.20. You can own one of these fine specimens for the princely (did you see the pun there) sum of £9.99.

£9.99 for a £5 coin. Genius another tax and we will all think it is a bargain!article-1362801-0D753870000005DC-661_233x237

And of course there will be a band of of old duffers out there that will buy them. This surprises me because a mint is supposed to ‘make’ money, not make ‘money’. Who are those two people in the picture anyway it looks like Beavis and Butthead,

Friday, 4 March 2011

Poetry again

I am back reading poetry again. A glutten for punishment thats me.

Google are carp

There are two obvious bad programing errors in this picture and a third that you wont see.
1. Look at the top right hand corner of the picture. I am already signed in.
2. Once this box is open and you decide you didn't ask for it there is no close button.
3. I didn't ask for this box in the first place
Now just suppose I wanted to talk to google about this who do I email.. I'll be stuffed if I can find a propper address. This is a multi-billion dollar company and they can't get something as simple as this right.

Trust Maffi’s rellies

This is a group of oil company workers in Libya. Circled is my sisters husband Derek Laws a cartographer. He is holed up inside an oil company compound in Al Brega, about 550 miles east of Tripoli. No one told me! [Edit he's home now]

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Blooming Liberty

Someone who has no respect for others dumped this bag of rubbish on the wharf. All neatly tied up full of BBQ rubbish. I am surprised it hasn’t been demolished by a fox.
There are five official BW rubbish disposal points and between Oxford and Heyford with a boat yard at either end so that’s seven skip areas yet these morons have to fly tip here. Its a Blooming Liberty that’s what I call it a Blooming Liberty! Maybe I should send it back to Charlie on one of his boats.