Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Name dropping

Ok I can understand DKNY and FCUK NEXT D&G etc. but what I don’t understand is why the makers of my thermal hats think I would want to display these labels on the front for everyone to see. No sorry, but I don’t think ThinsulateTM is a fashion statement of any kind whatsoever. Its not cool (pun intended) its not Goochie and it is not staying on my hats!

I am not an advertising bill board


The Admiral Codrington

It is a shame that this pub has closed. There are three large tower blocks near by plus the houses in the area. One might have thought that there were enough locals to keep it open. Obviously not!

DSCF2176 (2)

DSCF2180 (2)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


This gets my goat. If they can sell it for 60% off they were charging too much for it in the first place. Don’t give me ‘loss leader’ the whole shop is like this.


Saturday, 26 November 2011

Through the side hatch



Blokes Christmas Tree


Dead in the water.

Its amazing how in the first four months of this year 10 people who were totally unable to walk a straight line thought it would be a good idea to walk down a towpath, this being the last journey they ever made. This is in comparison to 12 people in the whole of last year.

I suppose it could be a good idea to fence off the whole canal, but then we probably would see more deaths as inebriated punters tried to walk along the top of the fence. ‘Safety’ is not necessarily the best solution.

Once a person is three sheets to the wind his/her decision making process is shot. There is simply no stopping a drunk from doing as his/her drunken mind will want. Whilst the death of anybody is to be regretted neither boaters nor BW should feel in any way to blame. In life shit happens. Each individual is responsible for his own safety in the first instance.

The Missing Persons charity want emergency services to carry water scanners to find bodies sooner.  They wants new technology to be used so victims of water course tragedies can be found and identified sooner,  this would mean everyone carrying a bleeper of some sort showing where they were, but guys who are ‘not drunk’ would surely object.

No, the status quo has to be maintained, and that is for the individual to take responsibility for themselves. After that it has to be down to abdominal gas to bring them to the surface.

The Rat

If a cat does not have a pointed nose and a long thin tail then I have just seen the biggest rat ever! It was sitting on my rear button. Big brown and beady eyed. He sat cleaning his whiskers while he pondered how to get at my larder. Swims well, and so he should. He will need a plan to escape the Hebble Hand Spike should he ever venture inside the boat.


Friday, 25 November 2011

Edible or poisonous?


Muddy Waters Christmas Special

A new Santa experience for the little people. A Christmas canal boat ride from the peaceful village of Thrupp, with Oxfordshire Narrowboats and the child-friendly narrowboat Muddy Waters & Jolly Boatman.

Enjoy a short festive boat ride in the beautiful peaceful setting of Thrupp followed by a visit to our exclusive floating Grotto aboard the Marvellous Muddy Waters himself.

Cruises will be taking place on the 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th of December.

Avoid queuing in busy shopping centres to see Santa and enjoy his company in this magical setting instead.

There are limited places available and tickets must be pre-booked. When you book we will ask you a little about the children visiting Santa so that we can make this a truly personal occasion. We also encourage you to let the children write a letter to give to Santa on the day.

Tickets are an introductory price of just £7 per head, this will include a gift from Santa for the children and a tea and mince pie at the lovely Annie's Cafe for the grown ups.

Call 01865 356140 (office hours or email to discuss your booking.


£7. To book, call 01865 356140 in office hours, or email

Annie's Tearoom
Canal Road

Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Dog & Hedgehog

I had a very nice evening in the Dog & Hedgehog, Dadlington this evening. If you are coming up the Ashby Canal in the summer or any time, be sure to stop at Bridge 30. The D&H is just 1/2  mile up the road on the right.  Its a nice 200 year building very comfortable and  all the pumps are £3 a pint even the Guinness. Thursday night is locals night and it was heaving. Lots of very pleasant people from the village meeting up, drinking, dinning and talking.  Good atmosphere. This pub closed in 2008 and has only just recently re-opened. Gets my vote!

DogHedgehogBillReinkingRobertMarkoThe new owners, Bill Reinking and Robert Marko,

Some reviews

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Ashby Canal


What price freedom?

So there I was in the Gift Shop at the Bosworth Visitor Centre. They have some nice related stuff in there but I have enough ‘stuff’ on my boat so I wasn’t buying. In came two men and borrowed the counter assistants stool. One of the men climbed up on the stool and looked on a high shelf where the transformers for the Christmas lights were resting and read out the voltage and current consumption. Man No 2 wrote the figures down. "24 V .12 A X 4 sets of lights which for 9 hours a day for 39 days comes to about 4kw. Oh we had fun working that out.

Apparently someone had made a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request to the Leicester County Council asking how much power was being used to illuminate the Christmas lights through the county. So consequently every local government department had to come up with a figure so HQ could add them all up. What a waste of resources. The cost of answering that question must be phenomenal and to what end?

The Battle of Bosworth

Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond wanted to be King of England.


Richard 111 the current king was happy having the big job in town, he had after all iced his 12 year old nephew to get the job and was miffed that a mere Tudor wanted what, he thought, rightfully belonged to the Plantagenent’s.DSCF1923

They had a rumble in the heartlands of England on 22 August 1485 The Battle of Bosworth. DSCF1862
King Richard met his demise funnily enough at Richard’s Field. What a coincidence!


Richard was the last English monarch to be killed in battle. Not really a good career move!
Since then we have been ruled over by a broken line of inbreeds very few of whom were English. We had the Romans, the Danes, the French, by the time the Germans came to play we were used to being raped and pillaged  it not like the Scots and Germans were not going to make a lot of difference were they?

The Bosworth Visitor Centre has easy access from the canal. There is a 48 hour mooring  which will take 5/6 boats. Steps lead down into King Richard’s Field. Its a good walk down hill to Shenton Station rail line and uphill along the side of a field with talking boxes along the route. As you come up the hill you see the Royal standard flying above the King’s crown mounted on a sundial.DSCF1886

DSCF1898There is lots to see and do. Including helping to workout the power consumption of the christmas lights in the Olde Gifte Shoppe to answer an FOI request.










There are lots of buttons to press to hear the story from different peoples point of view. Children are catered for in the secret questions all around. There is even a long bow rigged up to a meter for us to test our pull and expected distance. I managed 220 meters which is over 240 yards









There is a fine display of weaponry, but I think very little original stuff.

And for Bones, bones.



Monday, 21 November 2011

Molly not happy

Molly poking her tongue out while Boots is inspecting his cover on the floor. I have seen her look like this before. She is one pissed puppy!DSCF1807

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Today at Sutton

This morning I took Molly walking. It is easy walking with me. I spend most of my time filling bin liners. Molly forages around and hunts mice and things. She never seems to catch anything, wouldn’t know what to do with it if she did. I filled two bin liners today, That is in addition to the one I filled yesterday.

Apart from the usual sweetie wrappers, ‘Christmas’ poo bags, fast food containers, cans, bottles et al I have noticed a new litter. Stuff that you would not have seen a few years ago.

In some places ‘Wet Wipes’ hang like paper chains in the trees and hedgerows of our country lanes. Where do they come from? Do those that hang the poo baubles also hang the paper chains? I don’t know, but whoever it is could they please stop?

Teachers Pensions

We have of late been bombarded with information about teachers pensions. About how it cannot continue as before. I must say I have to agree.

Since 1923 46.4 billion more has been paid in to the TPS than has ever been paid out. To my way of thinking the government are making a pretty hefty profit out of the teachers and they should be grateful that their ‘creative’ accounting hasn’t been called in to question.

If the government were to give back the 46.4 bn then the teachers could pay themselves whatever pension they wanted and it would have no effect on the economy, local or national.

"There is no £46.4 billion to hand. The fact is, however, that the Government has accepted a long series of cheap loans from teachers’ pension contributions before complaining about paying the pensions promised in return."

So in fact the government is reneging on past agreements. No changes there then!

Visitors, how lovely!

Today I had a visit from Dave & Angie Culley. Dave & Angie have a boat, nb Lady Esther, at Trinity Marina, Hinckley. They follow my blog (well doesn’t everyone). They came to give me a gift, for which I am most grateful. They gave me socks! The most fantastic socks, 2 pairs. I am lucky.
The socks were recycled. No not someone’s old skanky socks that have been washed and darned. The were new socks made from Sainsbury’s bags. “Nah we have all done that ,” I hear you say, but no we haven’t, not like this anyway.
DSCF1829Angie cuts the bags into strips to make a sort of yarn out of them. She then crochets the ‘yarn’ into socks and gives them to boaters for their mooring pins. Being bright orange they are easy to see at night and save the bags being placed into landfill sites.

There could be other applications of this ‘technology. How about a sock for your tiller arm. Or a willy warmer. A bag to store mooring chains, piling hooks etc. This could become a new cottage industry in the boating fraternity.

I would give Angie a Maffi Award for innovative recycling but there isn’t one.
You meet such nice people on the canal.


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Ashby Canal

So my long sojourn at Hinckley has come to an end. The people in the houses have shouting matches at 4 in the morning. I have been on the canal since Tuesday and travelled less than 6 miles. Taking in two stops. Boots was suitably exercised and has been returned to Mort who arrived at 10. I set of after 11, stopping at the marina for my first fuel since I set off only six weeks ago. I was heading for Stoke Golding. On arrival I found no where to moor with any depth in it, and a whole load of hire boats along any good edge. In fact in the whole journey I had to keep bang in the centre. At Bridge 31 trying to round a right hand bend with the tiller hard over the boat went straight and landed me on the bottom next to the towpath. I have always thought I was 30” in the water but when I had the boat blacked, back in September, it was measured at 24”. Why this canal is so shallow I don’t know. Its no wonder Keith and Jo on Hadar are having trouble up in front. Anyway I finally found a place to moor at Sutton Cheney, through Bridge 34 on the right past the water point, which is very pleasant. I have now travelled 155 miles Which is over 25 miles a week. Or averaging 3.6 miles a day.

The mooring is a 48 given over to Winter moorings, ‘Permit holders only’ Pah! There was space for probably four sixty footers and there was only one 35 foot boat there. I kinda figured if no one was there they were not very good as winter moorings. It will do me for the rest of the weekend.

Needless to say I picked up a bag full of rubbish in the area.


Friday, 18 November 2011

Water points!

I complained to BW about the three over stayers on the water point at Hawkesbury Junction. Yesterday I received a phone call from the ‘over stayers department’, who are going to investigate.

They went to great lengths to explain  what the procedure was and I felt like I was being given the option to withdraw the complaint.

The chap went on to point out that there was another water point just past Hawkesbury Junction as if that was a reason for people over staying on water points. Water points should only be used for filling with water and not full time mooring. I suspect that these itinerants were waiting for the ice to set in so they didn’t have to move all winter.

Anyway thank you BW!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Coventry Clock

Plain, uninspiring, ordinary. Just a few of the words that come to mind

DSCF1797On the hour every one stops to watch. Parents even point it out to their children, who often giggle.


All Oaks Wood


From Coventry

I set off from Coventry about lunch time. I dont like the canal from Hawkesbury to Coventry, its dirty and abused. I cleaned up no litter on the canal apart from at Longford Bridge, but I did do the Basin. On arrival back at Hawkesbury the same three boats were on the water point that were there Friday. So I have no water, there being no water in the basin. I did go up the lock but was reluctant to get water from there so I came back down again, collecting a bag of rubbish from around the lock including a disposable nappy. Some people are disgusting!

It was getting dark when I arrived at Marston Junction  and turned on to the Ashby just one more mile and I moored up at bridge 5.

After dinner I went to the Corner House for a Guinness the price list says £3.15 but the girl said said its gone up. “But that’s the advertised price you have to sell it at that price,” I told her. She was adamant. Even at £3.20 I think its the cheapest pint I have had since I set off.



raf-long-service-medal-lrgI took out my medal on Saturday and polished it for the service on Sunday. This was probably only the second time I’ve polished it since I left the RAF, 14 years ago.

It is the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal known in the service as the Undetected Crime Medal. Winking smile
This medal can only be held by an Officer if he earned it as an OR hence relatively few Officers hold it.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Remember this?

I posted this back in July. I also wrote to the council about It. I have just received a reply four months later!.
(see below the picture)


Thank you for contacting us about the Priority signing in Walton Well Road. The sign appear to be left over from a vehicle priory marking which seems to have been removed when William Lucy Way was constructed. Since the change in the road layout makes it impossible to reinstate the original priority arrangement. Consequently the signs’ removal has now been ordered.

S****** A***** B Eng
Senior Technician (Traffic)
Traffic Advice & Design

I am left wondering did he actually understand why I wrote in the first place?

At least the hazard will now go away yet another triumph for the Maffster. It will be interesting to see if they remove the signs and leave the post.