Friday, 29 July 2011

It gets worse!!!

Today I went to Heyford to top up on supplies for the day boats. I spoke to an aquaintance who I learned knew this bully. Whilst discussing what had happened another employee, who I knew vaguely as Jamie, at the yard said "I would call you fucking names too'. It was then that I recognised him as Mr Grumpy son. I asked what I had done wrong? His words 'Run your engine all day. He said words to the effect that he would throw me in the canal too if I ran my engine near him. It would appear Mr Grumpy has cloned a copy of himself, his son being an abusive bully as well. Yet another obnoxious bully worthy of the bird. My day will come!

So as far as I can gather the old duffer has been on the water 30 years he used to build boats. Does anyone have a name? I got the impression that they were scared of the boy at the yard.
Has anyone else had trouble with this bunch of bullies? Email me.

Very Bad Man! BE AWARE!

This is nb PERSIA. It belongs to a bully and his insulting wife. When I moored up on Tuesday I did ask if he would mind if I ran my engine. He said he would mind. So I conceded and said I would run it while he was down the pub later. He didn’t go out till nearly 7. He came back to make sure I shut it off at 8. He then said he was going to visit the doctor in the morning at 09.30 so I could run after he had gone. I turned my engine on at 9. Today I ran my engine to charge my batteries and do my washing 09.45-12.30. He took great delight in calling me names telling me I was a F***ING C**T for running my engine in the morning spoiling his stay. He said I was a dosser who should be thrown off the canal. The canal will be a better place without dossers like me. He slagged me off for several minutes. I hadn’t actually done anything wrong other than not kau tau to his bullying.
I said, "The problem here is you. You are just a bully. Well you aint gonna bully me!" I slipped him the bird and turned my back on him.
I am not going to let this man bother me. His boat says penis extension.
This is him with his wife. Don’t they look a nice sweet old couple. She has a nice line in insults too. He walks with a stick and that is the only reason he didn’t end up on his arse. He is more than disabled he is crippled inside.
If you come across this old duffer in his boat don’t appease him, stand up to him. Appeasement is cowardice, he expects you do do that!
I thought I was a grumpy old git, but this old duffer leaves me at the starting gate. I appear to be a bit of a saint by comparison.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Wart

Everything in life has a purpose, except maybe wasps. Well that was how I used to think until today. Today I saw an elderly woman with two warts on her upper lip. This is odd I thought, what is the purpose of them? I am sure they do have a purpose even if it is only to compound your loathing of the unfair ageing process.

What I don’t understand is the need for a wart to produce hair. I mean its not like it needs to keep warm is it? A wart can appear on your face or your bum and any area in between, but why oh why do they have to grow hair(s). It’s as if the put down of a wart isn’t enough of a put down on its own, it has to become totally unsightly and grow a beard no less. I do find it odd that people allow them to grow without trimming them, or maybe they do and the hair grows really fast.

If God made everything his sense of humour was way off base when this was made, what was he thinking making warts, hairy warts at that!

nb Waiouru

The recent debacle at the Ben Harp Narrowboats company beggars belief. That this company can do this to anyone is an indication that they are only fit to clean toilets for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t matter how many nice boats he has built nb Waiouru is the current boat and their treatment is criminal.

The waterways have been plagued with this type of rogue for many years and it is about time that the government stepped in to regulate the people in the business.

That such people are not pursued and gaoled is an indication that not enough members of the government own narrowboats, because you can bet your sweet ass if this had happened to a couple of MPs or senior civil servants there would have been questions asked in the house.

The Harps should be answering questions in a police station for having the audacity to defy four high court orders. Who the hell do they think they are?

From the Ben Harp web site :-                                            Our Boats Speak for themselves,


I don't know about you but I would call this screaming at the top of its voice!

I had an idea 5 years ago …

… to try and prevent builders from screwing people over after several builders went bust owing people lots of money. It could still work

The idea being that people who had trouble with their builder would send the story to the site the builders in question would be given an opportunity to answer the allegations so both sides of the problem could be seen together. Then the site would be advertised on all the blogs and hopefully people searching for information could make a better informed choice. Anyone still up for this?

EDIT: Seems Trudy Ann had the same sort of problem

Monday, 25 July 2011


The Government plan to have superfast broadband for everyone. What a joke! There are places in this country where you cant get a phone signal let alone broadband superfast or otherwise. I wonder if they have stopped to think how they are going to get a fibre optic cable to our boats?

Why not have one company whose job it is to cover the country with mobile phone signal. Much like the electric and rail. That way there will be no more sorry you cant use my phone mast unless you buy my phone. Sorry you cant use my phone mast unless you buy my dongle. It is preposterous that in this day and age of mass communication the prime objective, which should be mass communication. is stifled by childish stupidity. Grrrrrrrrr!


What a wonderful weekend and what a good start to the week. I (we) lead such a privileged life. I live in a beautiful village. People, many of whom I do not know gently nudge my life on their way past, say hello, and then go on to somewhere else in their lives. This leaves me stunned that they would even bother to even think of li’'l’ ol’ me when out on their trips.

Often people just appear that are the greatest surprise, take yesterday for example. After all the boats were put to bed I walked down the towpath (bicycle tyre flat). Molly stopped at every boat on the way as she usually does. I chatted to a number of boaters for a short while. At my boat I was pissed off because I left my boat key in the lock up. I returned to get the key chatting to one or two people on the way. With the keys in my hand I was off down the towpath and, yes you’ve guessed it, I chatted some more on the way back. One chap I chatted to briefly on all three occasions. On the way back reversing for water that particular chap stuck his head out of the back of the boat and asked, “Where is Maffi?”. (my name is on my boat)

I said, “That would be me I suppose”.

“Maffi, Aircraft Engineer, Saudi Arabia”.


“I’m Peter”.

Well there are many people who introduce themselves but this chap had done some homework. It transpired that we had emailed on a number of occasions while I was in Saudi (boating related). We were both in the first 100 members of the Canal World Forum. We had never met. I have never seen a picture of him. I thought that was quite a coincidence, but there is better than that. Friday I went to the Theatre in the Dock production of ‘Where the working boats went’ so did Peter. He sat in the third row I in the fourth with Bones. There are only 6 seats in each row. We were less than 6 feet apart. It never ceases to amaze me how small this world is.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Some things are wrong.

There are something's that are just not right. I am sure that many of you have one thing you hate to see. I of course have many as you all know, but tonight really hit the bottom of the barrel. I sat in the pub  listening to what can only be described as a screaming brat. I don’t know why people think it is ok to be in the dining room while their brat disturbs the other customers, but they do.

However what really got to me was the mother changed the brats nappy/diaper in the dining room then brought it out to dispose of it in the baby changing facility. Who is responsible for raising people who would do that. This is a classic example of the need to ‘fix’ some people in our community. They should not be allowed to proliferate.

If anyone thinks this is the right thing to do they are so seriously mistaken. This was a disgusting, unhygienic, antisocial, bad mannered, badly brought up, inconsiderate and moronic thing to do.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Solid brass plated

In all things guitars good quality fittings make all the difference. When you buy an acoustic guitar they are usually supplied with plastic string pegs. These work perfectly well, but if you want to improve the tone it is suggested that solid brass pegs are a worthwhile investment.

I am not sure when, but probably about 2004 when I bought my Yamaha  FG423s I bought solid brass pegs to up the tone. I think I paid about £20 for them. I was impressed. I thought it made a vast difference to the tone and the appearance with neat inlaid M-o-P tops on the pegs.

I notice recently that the pegs are changing colour. I’m sure the M-o-P used to be white and that brass seems to be rubbing off! The colour of the M-o-P doesn’t bother me, but brass is brass it doesn’t rub off unless it’s plated and these were sold as ‘solid’ brass. Doh!


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Oh Poor Bones!

Once again some poor person has had the temerity to suggest that Mortimer Bones’ column is a waste of  column inches and should be stopped. (Canal Boat Magazine Aug 2011 Letters pg 19). What this sad person fails to realise, as did the last complainer, is that it is not supposed to be serious. It’s Bones talking about Bones.  Methinks a bit of jealousy is showing. That’s fine, but, either show the CB editor you can do it better; or shut up.

I asked Bones if she had seen the letter, her reply? “I thought it was disappointingly short, though at least they hate me enough not to go on about it.”

Theatre in the Dock

This coming weekend from Thursday through to Sunday the will be a Theatre in the Dock production at Tooley’s Boat yard. The event will take place in the dry dock suitably pumped dry and with seats installed. You really must go. It will be a wonderful 4 day event.

We need to support local theatre or we will lose it.

Tickets Here.


Last night

Last night I made my way back towards home. Struggled to turn the boat halfway down the wide couldn't get away from the moored boats far enough to turn into the Winding Hole. Another boat coming the other way passed on his way to the lift bridge. Anyway I finally turned  round and headed to the lift bridge. On approaching the bridge the boat who had passed earlier was on the water point. His wife was dispatched to open the bridge and he hurriedly cast off and aimed his boat at the bridge, I think, trying to get through before me. This was a pointless effort because to start with he didn’t have the skill to make the turn and had to shunt back and forth. And he had to pick his wife up anyway so there was no point being in front of me. I followed him through the bridge and sailed on while he was picking up his crew.

So now I am in front of someone who seems to want to hurry. My tick-over is very slow and I just pootled down the canal as I normally do. I expected him to be right on my tail, but no he was even slower than me and didn’t come anywhere near until I was moored outside the Jolly Boatman. I pointed him to my mooring being as I wasn’t using it.

I was just surprised that he wanted to get off the water point in such a hurry. Maybe his slowness coming down from the bridge was because he realised how petty he looked bouncing off the bridge, but my shrugging shoulders would have told him that.

While I was mooring up the chap moored behind, nb Marliner, came out and asked if I would like him to move. He had left a 30/40 foot gap. What I wanted to say was, ‘Had you moored back there in the first you wouldn’t be pissing me off right now’. What I did say was, ‘no thanks I got it covered’. Polite as always.

Why do small boats take up the most room? Is it penis envy?

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Poor Molly

This is Molly. She is an absolute darling. Never gets in a stress. Liked by everyone and usually very well behaved. Molly is the hero of my book Puddles and as soon as I can get someone to publish you can all read how clever she is.

Everyone loves Molly


So every morning she goes for a walk and I being a good owner go with her … on my bike. Well she needs more exercise than me. Yesterday as we made our way to the Bridge a Black Labrador showed some interest … in Molly. In fact he was so interested that when Molly went behind me he ran across in front of me I hit him with my bike. He yelped and limped a lot, but still he followed Molly around sniffing her and even trying to mount her.

The lady owner said she was sorry, “ I should have had him on a lead.” She said this a couple of times.

I asked if the dog was OK.

She said, “Yes.

Then she said, “Hold on your dog isn’t on a lead.”

Now this vexed me because this is a dangerous practice, (dog + lead + bicycle = dangerous) if I had had Molly on a lead when the rapist dog went for Molly, she would have ran behind me and between them they would have had me off my bike and I could have been quite seriously injured. Fancy thinking I should have a dog on a lead whilst riding a bicycle, how preposterous!

If you knew Molly the thought of putting her on a lead would be as alien to you as it is to me. And anyway Molly was behaving herself, unlike the rapist dog who had decided it was time for a legover and he didn’t care whose puppy he was going to roger.

I simply said, “She behaves herself,” then left.

Image103aThis incident was all down to bad pet ownership. If your dog is going to go about trying to shag every thing with legs you should have it on a lead or if he is a persistent offender get him fitted with an electric collar. Don't go insinuating it’s my fault! Pah!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Who allowed this?

I cannot believe that there is someone in public employment that is stupid enough to allow this to happen. What were they thinking? Why does the council employ Muppets? And at what salary? It just beggars belief!


Thursday, 14 July 2011

My perfect writing desk


The salt is for me chips.

Its been fixed and painted

A van arrived yesterday with two guys in it. They came to fix the bump stop which they did.


They also painted the bridge Hurrah!13072011526

No sanding


No filler13072011529

No undercoat13072011532

Just slapped on crap paint

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Of course some idjit thinks its funny to move the cone, placed to highlight the danger, right under the balance beam.12072011519

FUBs that’s all they are, FUB’s


Once again some blind old biddy has crashed into the bump stop for the lift bridge beam. Well not just one but two. One wrote her car off in the week damaging the wheel, steering, wishbone etc and the next lady just drove over it in a BMW (good job the old dear in the week had loosened it in the ground). They always seem to want to blame someone else. “It shouldn’t be there,” “I have never seen it before,” It’s not conspicuous enough.”

This stop has been here heavens knows how long and still they say it shouldn’t be there. Its not as if you need, or should, drive under the balance beam.

What is odd is the lady in the BMW is a local so she has no excuse.


Monday, 11 July 2011

Breaking wash.

A narrow boat comes past breaking wash. I suggest he should slow down. “It doesn’t go any slower,” he said.  I have to wonder if he should be allowed to travel on a narrow canal if he can’t do so without damaging the banks. If a boat cannot slow down enough to stop breaking wash then then it is breaking the speed requirements laid down.

Maybe it is time to have a ‘tickover’ speed check as part of the BSS.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Visitors aboard

Well, well, well, there I was just working through some last minute stuff on Thursday afternoon when a knock at the door produced Sue and the girls No problem. That was a pleasant surprise. Its odd how people just turn up to say hello. Then off they go again. Sue came back later with a book I let her read. It always nice to see her. Two visits in one day, lucky me. Of course Dr Bones was soooo jealous. Smile

Friday, 8 July 2011

ISIS debacle

New addition to the Mooring pontoon at Isis Lock. There is also one further along the back edge.There is a neat chain around it as well.

DSCF0218There are also new instructions at the short winding hole above the lock explaining how to wind below the lock. I had to do some clever finagling to get these pictures so I could blow them up on the computer to read the diagram0407201150204072011503







Now these two signs are mounted on the railings facing into the winding hole so you have to stand in the canal to read them. Yes I know you could try to read them as you go past but the feint lines on the right hand picture make that impossible. Any boater can read on the Nicholson’s that you can’t turn there so why would you bother reading a sign on a winding hole which you know you are not going to use. And if you were going to use the WH you couldn't see either them from 52 ft away on the tiller anyway.

A term BW does not understand Adequate Signage These are pathetic. Yet another example of non boaters telling us how to pilot our boats. They never learn!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Mother and baby.

Mum looking very good.DSCF0225

Mum will never find shoes for feet that big.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Lewis Piper

I arrived in Oxford yesterday and poled my way backwards down the Arm to take up the last mooring at Hythe Bridge. nb Maris Piper was here. I spent an odd half hour chatting with Mr Piper and Grandson Lewis in the evening. Young Lewis is a thoroughly engaging nine year old who, is set to be a writer. Very much into Transformers and Transporters 3 and Vampires. He already writes his own stories about Zombies.

We were talking about writers and writing when who should come along but Mark Davis who among other things wrote Alice in Waterland. Its about the role of the Thames in the creation of Alice in Wonderland. Mark had just come back from a speaking engagement and, as it happened, had a few copies in his bag. Lewis is now the proud owner of a personally signed copy of Alice in Waterland. Granddad is, of course, now short in the cash department.

I would love to see Lewis’ face when he see this.


I watched with feigned interest as a young man went about his job emptying rubbish bins and picking up litter. He opened the bins to remove what little rubbish was there and put it in a larger bag. He crossed the pavement and picked up a paper cup (litter), that some lazy punter had left there on the wall of the Randolph Hotel, and then he carried on up the road to the next bin. Within seconds of him leaving a girl put a paper cup on the wall. Apart from giving the man employment what else was gained today? We as citizens have a responsibility to look after the city ourselves. It is pointless paying someone to empty the rubbish bins if he has to spend half his time picking up litter that should be in the bins. I would have said thank you had he been close enough. We don’t appreciate those among us who do thankless tasks, but really I should have pointed out to the girl where the rubbish bin was. Rubbish bins are for rubbish. Rubbish becomes litter when we cant be bothered to put it in the bin.
We have come a long way in our civilization but we still can’t get this one thing right. Maybe we need Mayor Koch from NYC who instigated a zero tolerance policy.
And finally will you smokers stop throwing your cigarettes on the pavement there is a £70 fine in Oxford for this.

City Noise

I was wakened this morning by the tones of the infernal 2-stroke engine. This is the pocket park at the end of the Hythe Bridge Arm. It is a small expanse of grass in the city. What ever happened to the lawnmower? These things turn up totally unannounced at stupid o’clock in the morning and destroy the peace and tranquillity of what is a very nice part of the city.DSCF0177
When they have finished stripping the grass out comes the blower, an equally raucous noise generator, to blow the strimmings off the path and on to what was the grass, covering over the evidence.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Maris Piper

Maris Piper came through Thrupp today. I was on the water point.

He said, “Are you ‘the’ Maffi.”

I said “Yes I think I must be.”

He said, “I read your blog. I like what you write.”

I said, “Thank you,” as I usually do.

As he went under the bridge I said, “Er I think there is only one Maffi.”

He said, “Now I can say I have met the famous Maffi.”

To which I replied, “Infamous more like!”

He said, “Mention us on your blog. The Spud Boat”

So I just did.

Thieving git.

I have a two wheeled trolley at the bridge that helps me to get canoes to the waterside single handed. Same as this.1303825820-52636200 On Saturday it disappeared. I assumed that some yob with a canoe who came through in the afternoon took it, but I was wrong. I am now certain the tea leaf was a boater. I say this because  Sunday morning I found the frame in a skip at the water point minus its wheels. Had it been a canoeist they would have disappeared with it, not hung around to take the wheels off and dump the rest in the skip. No I am sure it was a boater and if I ever find a boat with those wheels being used as fenders I will seriously damage the thieving bastard.
If you took my wheels please bring them back, they are not yours. This act makes you nothing more than a cheap scumbag criminal. If you are going south I shall be moored in Oxford in the morning just drop them on the roof.