Tuesday, 28 February 2012


DSCF9601 (2)

A thief is afoot

The thievery done by T-mobile knows no bounds. A small window appears and tells me

You are about to connect to a Roaming network outside the UK. Roaming charges apply as per the text message T-mobile sent you when you arrived. Do you want to connect (I don’t recall that).

I don’t understand why I can connect to a network outside the UK when I can’t connect to one inside. This has me very confused. I am roughly 90 miles away from the sea, so where about is the network outside the UK and why can T-mobile not provide me with a signal closer than ‘outside’. For crying out loud I am probably closer to the satellite than I am to the sea. What is it that networks outside the UK are doing that we in the UK are not doing (the signal is still crap).

Now I obviously don’t know that much about the law or I wouldn’t be letting these bastards screw me, but my understanding is that a contract has to be beneficial to both parties to be legal. (Lord Denning). I am having trouble understanding where the benefit is for me.

I pay for a service that they don’t have to provide. I can cancel any time I like as long as I pay the full outstanding amount. (that is theft not a cancelation fee) and if I get on line via a third party, because T-mobile cannot supply what I have paid for, I have to pay extra.

I would love to hear Lord Denning’s take on this. It’s a shame he is dead.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Oh what a treat!

Found this yesterday in Morrisons. Looks delicious!


And it doesn’t have a large head on it!

Oooo look a Heron


Grants Lock to Banbury

This is typical of the scene at a lot of locks. Contractors cut down the rushes and morons dump their shit it all ends up at the locks and is pulled out and dumped there. Will it be removed? Who knows?

I just hate seeing this rubbish around. Had I a landing net available I would have been able to take a lot more rubbish out to the water point. It seems to be the local pastime ‘chuck it in the canal’.

This is the winding hole at the end of the tramway. That blue thing to the left is a wheelie bin split in half. It has been there some time, certainly back in October and I am sure it was there the time before when I came to Banbury, but no one who has turned here has thought to move it to the rubbish point. Well don’t bother its not there any more.


The problem is caused by those that dump the rubbish, boaters and locals. It is exacerbated by BW, contractors and local councils. It will not take much to make a big improvement if we all get  involved. “It’s not my job,” is no longer an acceptable response to the problem.

If we don’t do it IT WILL NOT GET DONE.

BIn-liners are a £ at the pound shops a pair of gardening gloves likewise. So 2quid will set you up as a volunteer. Every where you stop walk a couple of hundred yards up and down the canal and pick up everything you see that isn’t natural. Then take it with you to the waste point. At locks have a good look in the hedgerows it is surprising what’s in there. Rummage through the piles of rushes and remove the rubbish.Take any prop foul you remove from your prop with you in a carrier bag. I reckon 90% of all the rubbish could be removed in the first year.

We have nothing to lose and a beautiful canal to gain.

Not again!

Here we have l-r Blackthorn – Hawthorn – some briar or bramble. On the Oxford canal you can find these all along the towpath. No I don’t mean along the side of the towpath I really do mean on the towpath. Right along the centre where you walk, where your dog walks, where you might ride your bicycle or your children might accidently trip and fall. BW have been told about this on many occasions (not just on the Oxford) and have always promised it will not happen again and it always does. DSCF3127These thorns are up to 3 inches long

Fountains are the contractors responsible for this state of affairs. I know for fact that they were working from Nell’s Bridge north, I saw them. 200220121004They passed me in Tyle Mil on their way to Banbury and I have it on the very best authority that they were cutting north of Banbury because Friday I met a Fountains employee who was repairing a puncture in his front tire, well several actually. His job was to check that the others did their job. I don’t mind telling you he was not a happy bunny.

The Fountains guys would have been better off picking up the litter of which there is so much.They could have even cut this Blackthorn which is right at the waters edge. 210220121020There are several patches some extend out into the water 3/4 feet

Or this tree could be cut back which overhangs the canal and stops boaters mooring. 210220121021In fact there are so many places where the canal is reduced to less that half its width (and some places only ten feet) by over growth, it would not have been difficult for a five year old child to manage these men better.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Government blocks Freedom of Information requests to protect the “goodwill” of workfare exploiters

Mandatory Work Activity and Work
Programmes in Norfolk


Extract of DWP response: (24 February 2012)

“In line with the Department’s transparency commitments, we have previously provided information about companies who participate in a number of our programmes that offer work experience, where we can collect this information without disproportionate cost. However, we are now invoking the exemption because it has become clear in recent weeks that there are a minority of people who appear to be seeking to undermine the goodwill of employers who are prepared to offer opportunities to unemployed people by attempting to harm those companies’ commercial interests.”


Is there no depth to which this government will not stoop?

Friday, 24 February 2012

Captcha . . .

. . . has a way with wordscaptcha

007 tee hee


The top box

Bones was good enough to give me some surplus wood she had hanging around in her lock-up. It has lain along the wall in my living room since October. Last week, before I set off, I cut it up to size and this week I screwed it together. I have some paint and will give it a coat or three. It has no bottom in it, but two small bread baskets fit nicely.It will fit under the low bridges around here, even the very little one into Coventry basin.There are those that it wont fit under, but, I will cross that bridge when I come to it.230220121027I think the next one might be bigger.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

T-mobile . . .

. . . agree that they are not giving me the service I am paying for so they will cancel the contract the termination fee will be £244. What a robbing bunch of bastards.


Dear T-mobile

I am at a loss as to what to do with my dongle. It is totally f**king useless but you have me locked into a contract for a further 21 months. Now I am quite happy to stay with T-mobile providing I get what I pay for “mobile broadband.” I don’t want it when you want me to have it, which at the moment is very in frequent, I want it all the time or at least when ever I chose.

I live on a boat which is why I thought ‘mobile broadband’ would be good for my needs. There are times when I am out in the country where the signal is weak, this is no excuse. Currently however I am moored right in the middle of Banbury. You can check with the security company at Castle Quay at present the security camera is pointing through my window and they have video evidence that the service you are providing is crap.

Now if you would just cancel my account I will go to those nice people at 3 and see if they can provide me with a proper service


I have never seen this box before. Yes I know what it means but it was wrong I was still connected. I am getting so pissed with spotty college idiots that waste their time f**king me about.

shitDear Mr MicroSoft you have been doing this windows shit for about 30 years, isn’t it about time you got it right. God knows you charge enough for this crap.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Still in Kings Sutton

Walking across the fields at the back of Kings Sutton you will come across this gem. It looks like the kind of feature you may find in a public park, but the second picture tells the story.



Back across the field near that big tree top middle is this sculpture.200220121009

Kings Sutton

Moored at Tyle Mill I took a walk into Kings Sutton across the water meadow which, because of the lack of wet stuff from the sky, was dry. KS is bigger than I thought and further away. It felt like many miles. I got lost there and was lucky to do so because I found the Old Post House. Now this is odd because the OPH, the smaller building here, has always been a stable. In fact the hayloft is still there. So what makes it a Post house?


Set in the wall behind the mini-skip is this George V post box made by W T Allen of London. It will have been there a little over 100 years. There is still a W T Allen in London. Examples of Allen’s castings can be found  all over the world.

200220121014There is an older version of this one in Odisha, India that is still in use today!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Somerton Deep Lock


Tonight I am moored above the lock. So quiet and a good view of the ISS.

Old Farm Gate

This Old Farm Gate is discarded in a hedgerow. The opening it once guarded several yards away


Friday, 17 February 2012

Rainbow 11

There are times I feel a right twat (no correspondence will be entered into). I made good time time to Enslow. Shipton Lift Bridge was chained up. I had help at Shipton Weir Lock. Bakers was in my favour. I manoeuvred under the road bridge nb Tadpole was moored between the two bridges , old and new, and just as I came out of the second bridge I bumped into nb Rainbow 11.  No not in a meeting kinda way but in a wasn’t concentrating kinda way. I pulled one of his piling hooks straight. It was a very stern Captain Birdseye dressed in a Popeye tee shirt that came to see WTF was going on. Well I was so embarrassed I hit him I couldn’t apologise enough. I am really gutted.

Trees felled

It is amazing how a few words from a coroner on the lines of ”you need to look at your tree management system and up you game,”can change the face of our canals. Trees are being felled all the way from Isis Lock north.I have not reached Lower Heyford yet, but have seen trees down all the way up including a very beautiful Poplar at Northbrook Lock.


Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Well I wasn’t the first one on the water point yesterday. I was woken by Rocket passing through, who himself would want to fill and empty so there was no rush. I turned over for another hour. I was reawakened by Dusty who invited me into the Jolly Boatman for breakfast. I said I would go for tea. He moored next to “It’ll never happen’ but in doing so passed my boat 5 times (back and forth pushing the ‘ice floes’ out of the way). He came back knocked on the door and said did I want a breakfast? Apparently Andy didn’t like the idea of me sitting drinking tea watching Dusty eat a full English and so provided for me also. The best Full English ever.

I walked Molly across the fields and stopped at Annie’s Tea Room to say hello. More tea. Going back to my boat I noticed that the other two boats had moved. I could  not put it off any longer. I moved at the slowest pace I could to the water point where I topped up my water and emptied my black tank then off I went. I moored on a friends mooring in Shipton where I will stay for a day or two while I construct a box to go on my roof. I should have done it at the pub where there are benches I could use for sawing.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Cuts so far,

17,000 Army,
11,000 Navy,
5,000 RAF,
56,000 NHS,
16,000 Police,
710,000 Public Sector,
0 Bankers.........

Nuff said

Monday, 13 February 2012

Hooray! Canal open

The Oxford canal was opened today with the arrival of two hire boats from Oxfords premier hire base Oxfordshire Narrowboats. Getting the boats around the corner under the bridge took some 20/30 minutes to cut through the 2.5+ cm thick ice. The hirers reported being threatened by a private boater with a pick axe handle and several who verbally abused them for navigating the canal. They were complaining about their blacking, but there comes a time when a mans right to navigate, something he has paid a lot of money to do, overrides another mans blacking.DSCF3074I shall be moving off in the morning unless the temperature plummets overnight. Hopefully I will be first to get to the water point so I can do my pump out before I travel on to my next mooring on the way to Stratford.

Local Venison

DSCF3067Sadly I missed the deer that Boots chased and passed me 15/20 feet away. DSCF3069DSCF3067a

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Crowded Spaces

Some time ago I visited an art exhibition and was amazed at the content. There seemed to be a lot of what I can only call ‘daubing’ on display. I thought that’s not art! I can do that. So I went to the art shop, well THE WORKS, and bought some small canvases and paints. This was my first effort. 06022012992
I called it Crowded Spaces. I don’t suppose it took more than about 20 mins, even allowing for  drying time, but I was very pleased with the end result. Bones liked it so much she ask for it as a birthday present, which I duly gave her. It is displayed on her boat.

I have done others, but none that I liked and felt pleased with as this one. This isn’t good, it’s a daub, but I really like it and other people like it too. Is it art? That’s not for me to say.

Edit: I have probably done this item before.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Oh . . .

DSCF3035you’re breaking my heart,
you’re shaking my confidence daily.
Oh, Cecilia, I'm down on my knees
I'm begging you please to come home.

Simon & Garfunkle

Dusty, the bringer of warm!

He might look, and probably is mad, but his arrival breaking ice in your area is a sight for cold toes.DSCF3016The office is almost always open.DSCF3021He doesn’t finish until late.