Saturday, 30 April 2011


There is rather a large hole where I am moored just at the edge of Shipton Bridge. It is large enough to hurt someone should they not notice it is there and after all why should they. So I set about finding a solution. The problem is the bank is being washed away underneath. Every once in a while BW arrive and insert some ballast and it all looks good for another few months. What is really needed is a digger and about 10 tons of concrete. Faffing about is not the answer. The whole bank at this point is moving towards the canal and will, in the fullness of time I feel sure, fall in. Anyway I set about finding something with which to fill it. I tried ash from the fire, not good so I tried fishing for silt off the bed of the canal (with a bucket). There isn’t much, but I put a bucket and a half into the hole to no avail. I did fish out a kiddies bicycle in the process.


However hard I tried it would not fill the hole!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

MS must try harder.

It is simple I select attachment, I find the file I want to send to my editor and ‘click’ it attaches itself to the email. I have tried this three times now and each time it says it cannot attach the file because I may not be connected to the internet.

Couple of things here first I am just writing an email not sending it (yet). Second I have been reading blogs FB and Twitter during this stupidity so either Windoze knows I am connected or it doesn't there really is no room for ‘may not be’.

I have more computing power here on this laptop than they had to execute the f******g moon landings and all Windoze can say is ‘may not be’ are they serious or are they just taking the p*ss. ‘May not be’, is just not good enough.

If Microsoft was a school child its report card would say “Must try harder”. “MS sets itself a low standard and consistently fails to achieve it’.

I wish I could afford a Mac!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Bugger off!

I am currently moored on an official BW 14 day mooring at Shipton. It is very close to a bridgehole, but does not in any way obstruct it. I wish the locals would stop telling me I can't moor here. What they should be doing is telling BW who, in turn, can tell them that it is an official BW mooring and that they can bugger off and mind their own Ef'in business.
Another local, the pseudo head of the local mafia, commented on my mooring in a winding hole on Friday. He said "You wouldn't like it if someone else did it." I couldn't help myself and said "Well of course not." However I was not moored in a winding hole, the winding hole is further along (according to Nicholsons) which only goes to prove that the locals don't know jack shit about the area!

I find the whole concept of this place a cross between Acorn Antiques and Ever Decreasing Circles

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Silly B'stard

A BW senior came to Thrupp to discuss moorings at a nearby hostelery. On arrival he surveyed the location and pronounced, " What a lovely location you have here situated right by the river.'
"Its a canal"
'Well you know what I mean.'

If a man is going to leave his office to visit a part of the world for which he has no small measure of responsibility, we tax payers should at least be able to expect him to do just a few minuets home work so he doesn't make an arse of himself. Is there no end to the bottom level to which BW has sunk.


I haven't been blogging a lot in the last few weeks mainly because my dongle is not as it should be. It doesn't seem to like uploading pictures. I take a lot of pictures. I also seem to be very busy working, getting ready for college etc. I meet a lot of people. Some come from a long way off. Some don't, but there is still the need to stop and connect with them. Today I met the crew of Pickles No 2 who I found were working their way down the canal only a few days ago. It was nice to meet Pete and Mrs Pete and a friend whose name escapes me, but she had all the right equipment, even had blonde hair under the dark colour, so she said. I did not make a formal inspection to confirm that.

It is nice that people should want to stop by and say hello, though I do declare that people are stopping more Molly's sake than mine.

The Canal is solid with people today and will continue to be so for the whole week end. Pete told me that because BW did not expect there to be many people on the canal this weekend then they would do some long awaited repaires to a lock they passed through. How on God's earth can BW think that there would be few boats around this weekend! Are they MAD!!! I can think of a few 5 yearolds that could have forseen that. What manager came up with that one?

This is another reason to change all the management at BW. No  vision!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Wispy 11

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a boat, Wispy 11, whose 30 day roving licence had expired. Last weekend it was hoisted out of the water, at the wharf, to be taken who knows where. Well as sad as it is to to see a boat go this way it is only the owners fault. He may have had a good reason to leave his boat unlicenced but he either didnt tell BW or his reason wasnt good enough.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Kim ‘n’ Jim

Yesterday I took a day off to go down to Wiltshire for No 3 daughters wedding. What a wonderful day!


I scrubbed up quite well even if I was dressed a little hurriedly


Who was that?

This is a screen shot of my T-mobile connection. The left hand scale is 0-25500 Kb/sec. There is quite a lot of activity there. Activity I have not requested. The two little blips nearest the bottom right hand corner are me trying to upload a picture. What is it that allows this stuff to happen? And why is my ISP not ‘providing’ me with a program that can tell me what this invasion is and how I can stop it.


Friday, 15 April 2011

Oh B*ll*x

Oh Purleeeze

Mumbai: Bollywood actor star Ajay Devgn had a narrow escape when he lost the control of a watercraft, resulting in crashing and damaging the same.
Apparently, the accident took place in Birmingham, UK, where jet ski bumped into one of the canal walls of the River Thames.

Talking to a daily, a unit source said, “In the scene, Anil Kapoor plays a cop chasing Zayed Khan on the river. Ajay comes along on a jet ski and ZK jumps into AD`s jet ski and the two speed away. Ajay loves action, got caught up in the moment and sped too much. So when his watercraft took a sharp right turn, it smashed against the canal wall and both Zayed and Ajay crashed into the water! The two know to swim but the water was freezing cold. Producer Ratan Jain and director Priyadarshan were anxious that the two would catch a cold."

Pidgen English is great but this is shite

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Oh really!

And so it begins

March 30 2011 Defra announces the start of a three-month public consultation on the future of the waterways. Exciting times as British Waterways’ chairman Tony Hales says: “"I believe the proposals will build upon the recent waterway renaissance to ensure they never again revert to the dereliction and decline that saw part of the network abandoned and filled in during the 20th century.”

So says he when the K&A is close to impassable due to poor maintenance of locks. And the new HS2 railway crosses the T&M in two places at 1 m and 1.5 m above the water. And the Grantham Canal ha been effectively blocked by a bridge despite regulations that do not allow canal routes to be blocked for any reason. Information about the T&M had to be demanded under the FIA, BW it seems were sitting on it!

February 2011 The Government announces its intention to transfer British Waterways’ owned navigations in England and Wales to the New Waterways Charity in 2012.

So the public consultation will have no teeth. If every one says NO!  the change will still go ahead. Isn’t democracy wonderful

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Tim's Organ

We went to the HIGHWAYMAN a few weeks ago. It was folk music night. Very enjoyable. Tim as usual played an array of instruments. Including this . . .
. . . the like of which has never been seen. . .
. . . which he made himself. A small keyboard, a set of pipes and a hand bellows. I was dead impressed. So impressed I asked Tim, "What is it called? To which Tim replied, "What's what called." "Now Tim," says I , "You are sitting there with a 'something' on your lap, the like of which most people have never seen before and you ask me "What's what called? Are you taking the piss."


The latest Muddy Waters book in now on sale. There are many outlets or you can buy it on line.

The Blue Marble Shot

This iconic picture, taken during the outward journey of the Apollo 17 moon shot, is 40 years old. This was the first time any space crew had been able to see the whole world. To get this picture you have to be over 20,000 miles away, only 24 humans have ever travelled that far. All three of the crew claimed they took it. The claim has never been resolved.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Wispy 11

This is Wispy 11 she has been moored here on the same spot since she arrived in the area late September/early October last year. Nice looking boat. Needs some TLC.
You will notice that the thirty day Explorer licence ended August 28. (Correction it endsAug 28 this year 2011, however it had spent its thirty days on the canal by the time it arrived here). Someone has been to visit it at east twice to start the engine and ensure the bilges were empty. It has been a bit of an annoyance to those of us that were caught in the ice. When the ice was thin both before and after the big freeze we risked sinking this boat when we were about those tasks that we all need to sort namely water and pumpout. When Dusty came barging his way through, to supply us all with diesel and coal, we were sure it would end up sitting on the bottom, but it survived. It still survives it has not moved. Whoever visits did hammer in the 2 foot of re-bar it was moored to that was dangerously sticking up out of the bank. Had someone tripped they could have been impaled on it. But never mind the owner has had 6/7 months free mooring.
Imagine my surprise, and dare I say joy, when I noticed last week that at long last it has had a patrol notice attached to it, the first I have seen on this boat. So it will soon leave us, lets hope BW can sell it and retrieve the mooring fee that is due.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Moored where!

I just love the way people cruise all day, arrive at dusk, then expect to moor up in a prime spot. Usually right outside a pub but in the absense of that spot why not moor on the bridge mooring. This has certainly been a weekend for strange aplication of the rules. Still at least they didn't take up a valuable mooring spot needed by a PROPER BOATER!

Crack an egg

Take a sneaky peek at this.

Very very clever!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Born stupid

It is strange how people who are doing something very wrong and dangerous get all indignant when you tell them to ‘fuck off’.
Today a private boater moored up with his bow on a mooring ring and his centre line tied right across the towpath to a telegraph pole, no stern rope. I don’t care why, I don’t care who told him he could, you simply do not cross the towpath with a mooring rope. If you don’t have the proper means to moor your boat then it is not a safe boat.
Any problem you have with your dog/mother/car/tide/or any other excuse is not valid. “It’s 22 tons,” is not a valid reason. If you are stupid enough to think it is then get off the water. Your boat, your problem, make it safe.
I wouldn’t have been so pissed of with the chap if it wasn’t for the fact that he passed mooring rings 50 yards back.
Some people are just born stupid. When I want lessons in my command of the English language then I will certainly not ask a half wit.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Fish relocated from CAEN HILL again!

British Waterways is relocating over half a tonne of fish from the side ponds pounds of the Caen Hill Flight of Locks on the Kennet & Avon Canal. The purpose is to improve conditions for aquatic wildlife including dragonflies.

Excuse me Sherlock, but are fish not aquatic wildlife? More so than Dragonflies!

The relocation follows a successful trial project in 2009, which saw a tonne of fish removed from the ponds pounds.

Amazing the trial project was larger than the end project.

Large fish stir up silt causing the growth of algae due to the subsequent release of nutrients in the water. (otherwise known as Dragonfly shit. Maffi)

So the fish are not going to do that in their new home? Its not really like a carp is acting as a food mixer is it?

Over recent years, the water in the side ponds pounds has become less suitable for invertebrates such as dragonflies and damselflies, as well as scarce aquatic plants that rely on clear-water environments.

Prior to the restoration there was little or no water in the side pounds ergo no dragonflies etc. But even if there was water in the side pounds the canal was NOT designed to be a clear water environment So these creatures are not indigenous to the area, yet other species are being removed to make them welcome. This is a metaphor for the multicultural society we now live in. The needs of the outsiders take precedence over the ‘local’ populations. And in more ways than one. Caen Hill is very popular and in effect is a security system all by its self. Where these carp are going to is not such a secure place and makes them liable to poaching by our East European visitors who only see the fish as lunch, therefore giving no credence to our culture or laws whatsoever. Such is the problem that signs are going up to ask members of the public to report ‘Crime in progress’ to the local police if they see fish being taken out of the water. BW is effectively condemning these fish to death. It’s carp-nic cleansing on the cheap by a stealth contractor whose payment is the fish they murder cleanse from the canal/lake/river. All BW has to do to keep their hands clean is relocate the fish to a quieter area.

By removing the large fish a more natural balance will be created in the ponds pounds.

The fish are the natural balance. Do BW not understand the ‘food chain’. With the interference of man there is no natural balance it is simply engineered to fit a set of ideas and rules. Not natural at all.

The 2009 trial was successful with aquatic plants, such as the rare potamogetons and hornworts returning to the ponds pounds, together with an increase in dragon and damselfly populations and other invertebrates such as the water scorpion.

Did they ‘return’ or have they simply expanded into the side pounds from proper clear water environments in the area? How did they get there? More engineering from BW?

Some of the fish are being relocated to other parts of the K&A(otherwise known as Death Row in the Carp community) and a proportion will go to Toddbrook Reservoir in the Peak District that well known eatery in the north. McCarpburger anyone?

What really gets me is, I have been thinking up ways of wasting money all my life, I am something of a deity in the field and I don’t charge anywhere near as much a British Waste-R-US.

Sunday, 3 April 2011


One of the things I enjoyed whilst I was overseas was the varied status of the people I met who actually became friends. I recently received an email from Susanna Mubarak wife of deposed president of Egypt. (Impressed aren’t ya?) So was I because to forget that we had met I must have been very drunk in a country that doesn’t allow alcohol.

Any how as you may have guessed she wants me to help her to transfer $105 million dollars to the UK. Sound familiar? I thought so to. I am sure there are people out there in cyberspace that would fall for this lock stock and barrel, but they must have been drained dry by now.

I had to decline the offer. I am a bit flush right now and wouldn't know what to do with my share. Where are these people when you are broke. Ho hum.

Wall Street Journal

Granny Buttons writes about Jonathan Raban’s Wall Street Journal article, The Best Way Through England Is Wet. You have to admire the flow of language used in his descriptive writing. It is that which I aspire to achieve in my writing and you will, I hope, be able to judge for yourself in the not too distant future. However I do take point with Jonathan over a couple of things that I think GB might have commented on. When he says “I've glided noiselessly through great post-industrial cities . . . . “ I have to wonder if his boat is nuclear powered and “You travel at its pace (15 to 25 miles per hour, depending on how many locks you go through. . . . )“. Is it any wonder I get pissed off with speeding boaters if they are doing that sort of speed!

Now if only I can get away from the idea that my book is my baby then maybe I could let it go and present to my editor.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Continuous Cruisers

At long last the Continuous Cruiser situation has been taken to court. Article K&A Times No longer are itinerant boaters going to be able to say “Ah but it hasn’t been tested in court.” I dare say someone will insist it is taken to the High Court and waste even more of British Waterways (our) money trying to over turn this decision.

I have always maintained that BW’s Mooring Guidance was, to the vast majority of boaters, simple and that people place interpretations on the rules that simply were not there.

In the case of the K&A it is simply not possible to CC there full time. The Guidance say “ . . .and therefore requires progression around the network, or at least a significant part of it.

The K&A represents less than 2% of the system, which I think most right minded people would accept is not in any way ‘significant’. No single canal is ‘a significant part of the system’.

These are the rules:-


If a boat is licensed on a ‘continuous cruising’ basis it must move on a regular basis. This guidance seeks to explain in day to day terms the nature of the compulsory movement that must take place. [This is done because the actual Act of Parliament that allows CCing is difficult to understand. Maffi]

There are three key legal requirements :-

· the boat must genuinely be used for navigation throughout the period of the licence.

· unless a shorter time is specified by notice the boat must not stay in the same place for more than 14 days (or such longer period as is reasonable in the circumstances);


· it is the responsibility of the boater to satisfy BW that the above requirements are met.

Most of the rest of the document explains what is meant by certain words ‘Navigation’, ‘Place’ and the summary says in a nutshell

· Continuous cruisers must be engaged in a genuine progressive journey (a cruise) around the network, or a significant part of it.
· They must not stay moored in the same neighbourhood or locality for more than 14 days (unless special reasons prevent onward movement).
· It is the boater’s responsibility to satisfy BW that they keep to the rules.