Saturday, 31 March 2012

Vitamin D

Now the Winter has gone it is time to top up on one’s sun based vitamin. Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. In humans, vitamin D is unique both because it functions as a prohormone and because the body can synthesize it (as vitamin D3) when sun exposure is adequate (hence its nickname, the "sunshine vitamin").
The less you wear the more sunshine you will absorb. You don’t want to see the rest of these pictures, but it was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon and I finished reading my book.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

What’s this I found?


If at Bridge 79 you circumnavigate the left perimeter of the field to the old rail line and go through this farm access bridge . . . . .

DSCF3560. . . . you come across an ex Army helicopter sat on the edge of a field.DSCF3570

As you can see it has been stripped of mostly everything useful.DSCF3564

The nose has been ripped off . . . .

DSCF3569. . . . and all the cables torn out.

DSCF3576This is inside one of the fuel tanks I think that’s the low level float switch on the left, with the tank contents guaging in the middle. It still smells just like an opened fuel tank should or did I smell it because I expected it to smell that way?








Tail boom and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rear bulkhead

And the new tenants have moved in already.DSCF3573

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Morning observations


The morning mist lies silent on the water.
Captured moonlight awaits the dawn.
Soft as a baby’s breath comes the morning.
The sun is coming we must be gone.

Nervously the sun tips over the horizon.
The grey morning opens up to brilliance.
Once quiet rushes now alive with the breeze.
The dawn chorus reaches it’s crescendo.

Shadows falling soft along the towpath.
Lambs waking in the chilled early light.
Creatures drink at the waters edge.
A fox runs fast across the field.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Being Boycie

I am sure we all know John Challis, no, no, no, no, no, not my old school chum John Challis, but the John Challis who played Boycie in Only Fools and Horses. You must remember! Him that was married to Marlene. Are you with me now? Right good. It seems he has a book or two to promote Being Boycie is currently on sale in a book shop near you. If that has closed down then it can be found here Being Boycie

If you could take time from your busy schedule you may like to follow him on twitter @BeingBoycie. It would be nice for this legend of TV to have a few more followers after all Piers Morgan has 2m followers and he’s a twat.

Don’t forget you can get a copy of his excellent book here Being Boycie

Sunk again!

The old sunken barge that was impleading navigation near Braunston for a couple of years has been removed. Another sunken wreck has taken its place. Ho hum!DSCF3437

I suppose it is still tied to the bank thats one bonus!


What a very pretty tree.


Friday, 23 March 2012

Royalty Aboard

Today I had a visitor. Two in fact. The King and Queen of bloggers Vic and Sue from No Problem no less! They breasted up and came aboard for tea. (I am currently using Yorkshire tea specially blended for hard water. I think it is crap and Vic & Sue probably did too, but were to polite to say so).

I gave Sue her pressie, a wood block for standing he ash bucket on. She announced she didn’t have an ash bucket. After tea they cast off and I walked to the locks to help them up. It took us about an hour to get to the top. After bidding them good-bye I helped the next pair down to the bottom lock. A lovely day in the sun!

Stupid me left the camera back aboard Milly M Doh!


At the church in Braunston the Nurser family are well  represented.





Thursday, 22 March 2012

One Hundred and fifty

Today with the three bags of rubbish I collected before I left Napton, the two in the mile past Wigrams Turn Marina and not to forget the one in Braunston on my arrival, my total bin bags to date has exceeded 150.

In celebration I would like everybody who leaves the house/boat to take a bag with them and collect some rubbish. Please.

DSCF3427Two bags from last night plus three this morning all from Napton

Winning is all!

A small schoolboy at the sports day breaks the winning line with his egg still on his spoon. Overjoyed at his prowess as racing balancer of eggs he raises his arms in the air pronouncing for all present that he is the WINNER!

A teacher witnessing this takes the lad to one side and totally destroys his moment. "There are no winners its just a bit of fun", she says.

This does not make the slowcoach at the back feel any less last. Everyone knows he/she was last. All that has been achieved is one 5 year old's moment of glory has been dashed by some teacher with her PC head up her arse.

Its no wonder that our children are failing if we are teaching them that winning is not important.

Winning is the most important thing we have. It means that someone was the first to discover penicillin, it means that some one was first to discover X-rays, it means that someone was the first to find a cure for a cancer; it means that someone was first to invent anaesthetic . . need I go on.

Winning is important to me. Had someone not had the enthusiasm to say we can do this and discovered inert optical plastics I would be blind.

We don't speak German because we won the war. We will loose the peace if we don't win anymore.


The Folly Pie in Napton has a new owner since I went in last. I don’t remember all the Bric-a-Brac there. A quantity of hats adorn all the ‘exhibits’ which include a windup grammarphone with a wonderful brass sound horn. Unfortunately the speed control is iffy and the landlord is looking for someone who has knowledge of the mechanics of these machines.

On the bar sits this beauty. I don’t know if it is an original or repro but it does work. Chico Marks used to call it a statue as in ‘is dat you’.


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

And so to Napton

BW are supposed to open the gates at ten so I thought It would be fine to get up at 9.30 have a cuppa and away. I woke at 9.30 as planned only to find the gates already opened and a bloody Black Prince hire boat going in, bastards! BW where is the consistency?

Despite my being marooned on the bank after I left Fenny Compton I did collect a lot of rubbish on my way to Napton. When I arrived at the waste disposal point at the bottom of Napton Lock I half filled one of the newly emptied dumpsters with the contents of my roof. That didn’t include the bag and a half of domestic rubbish I have in the boat. Two 25 litre plastic drums I retrieved from the hedgerow by bridge 126 still seemed to have some of the original contents in them FORMALDEHYDE!!

Locking locks

Seven o’clock I was up on Tuesday! Seven o’clock!!! Well I suppose if one is up the only thing you can do is womble. This has the added function of getting the dog walked at the same time. I collected 2 full bin bags of rubbish from between Bridge 125 and 124. After lunch I took a leisurely cruise up to Marston Doles. The water level is down. Its like running with a plastic bag around your prop. I arrived 15 minutes after the gates were locked, damn it!!!

Lock 16 is empty. If you have wondered what the holes are at the top of the ground paddle post that’s where the bolt goes to stop you lifting the paddle.

I don’t really have a problem with these restrictions as long as there is a benefit. However there is a serious leak in the gates. I don’t know much about flow rates but there is an awful lot of water going to waste. I would think there is more water going through the locked gates than is being pumped in back down at Claydon. To my knowledge this lock has for a long time been a problem. I would have thought that if they wish to preserve levels, both Claydon Top and Napton Top should be solid and not behaving like a sieve.

The five locks that make up the Claydon Flight also leak so badly that everyone locking down has to fill the lock irrespective of when the last boat came up, unless you are on the lock mooring as the boat comes out of the chamber.

What these restriction do is not easy to understand at first. Yes it does give the summit pound a longer time to recuperate its level (though not as much as it could if the integrity of the gates was addressed), but the bother factor reduces the number of boats on the flight. Some people just can’t be assed to wait so they turn around and go back. Irrespective of  why it is done, its two steps forward one step back all the time the gates leak.

I do find it odd that the sign on the lock saying LOCK CLOSED is green and not red.


In my fervour to clear the canals of litter I stopped to pick up a full bin bag and a sheet of plastic. I reversed up the the bank and grounded the boat in the shallow water. It should have stayed there while I collected the litter. Not so! Stepping off the back of the boat allowed the boat to float free and drift across the canal. Doh!
With the canal being short of water it did not float all the way across but was stopped by the depth, or lack of it, and a hawthorn bush. The boat was not far enough across to warrant going to the bridge, along the other bank and trying to board her, so I waited . . . . and waited . . . . and waited.

It was an hour before another boat came along to deposit me back on the Milly M. Thank you sir, most appreciated.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Tut Tut Tut

Dear Boater,
I am very sorry you got this rubbish wrapped around your propeller. I do hope it didn’t take long to remove. I am writing to ask you to consider the possibility that the next time this happens instead of just dumping it on the towpath, you take it away with you and dispose of it properly. At the end of the day this is not the proper place to dispose of it however angry you are that it curtailed your journey. You may have ben stressed that you had to waste time removing it but think about the environment and the wild life, and the general pleasant surrounding, which I strive to keep nice on my way around the canals. It doesn’t take much to place this litter in a carrier bag and deposit it on your roof until you come to a proper disposal point. There was one less than two miles away.

Sorry to hear your brain operation went so badly what  goes around comes around.



Monday, 19 March 2012

The Bill of Rights 1689

It is amazing what you find on the internet.

The Bill of Rights 1689 Item 12. All grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction, are illegal and void.

In short Item 12 means you cannot be threatened with the consequences of your actions before you are convicted, doing so invalidates the crime.

What this means is if the Council people say ‘you will be fined £1000 if you do not clear up after your  dog’ the Judge must throw the case out because you have been threatened before being convicted.

Like wise TV licence, ‘If you do not have a TV Licence you will be fined £1000’ or ‘we know where you live’ thrown out

BW ‘licence it or lose it’, not legal.

So if you are arrested by a police officer and he says “You’ll get ten years for this” you can laugh at his expense because he has just invoked the 1689 Bill.

Of course that is not the only thing I would take into a court room, a slick brief would be handy as well!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Wizard of US

We here in the UK have extradited Christopher Tippin to the US for crimes he supposedly committed by conspiring to sell missile parts to Iran. In order to trade with a country such as Iran you need to have a permit from the government. So given that we haven’t charged him can we assume he as not committed a crime here in the UK? So why are we allowing the US to have him.

Well the Americans think if he broke American laws he should be tried in the US. Taking that to its logical conclusion why was an American soldier , who murdered 16 Afghanis in Afghanistan (this is against the law in Afghanistan) spirited away to Kansas for trial in the States. Are all American soldiers issued with ruby slippers so they can just click their heels and magically find themselves back in the homeland.

Surely the act of taking a criminal out of a country to escape their justice is, in itself, a criminal act? This makes the American military including their Commander in Chief, the POTUS, criminals for their complicity in this crime. So why are we giving this British citizen to this Band of ‘criminal’ Brothers to be tried for committing a ‘crime’, when they themselves are criminals.

International CriminalPOTUSWANTED
For crimes against the Afghan State Judiciary

What is the point of having a British passport if those we elect to look after our interests hand us over to the first bunch of crooks that ask?

It’s about time we told these criminal upstarts that we want our colonies back, after all they didn’t win the war of  independence we simply needed to go and sort out the French.

In Memorium

I found this yesterday while I was doing a bit of litter picking down near Fenny Tunnel. along side the railway. A beloved cat or dog maybe?




Saturday, 17 March 2012

Spring has sprung

The grass has riz
I wonder the birdiz iz



This guy has more front than Brighton. He has two signs like this in his windows this is the tame one. Fortunately not everyone in Cropredy is an arse!


Not a picture of cows


Cropredy Marina

This is the site of the larger of the two new marinas being built in North Oxford. The planning consent was granted on January 5th this year. It appears that not one spade of soil has been turned to date.


In their web site they say:

Presently, there is only one small offline marina on the Oxford Canal in the 44 miles between Oxford and Napton, which is reflected in the large numbers of boats moored along the banks of the canal.

I am not quite sure why they brought that up. Whist what they say is true, it is not an accurate account of the situation. There are also 3 online marinas Enslow, Heyford, Soverign plus the Engine Arm on the Napton flight, the Arm at the top of Banbury. You could even include the Hythe Bridge arm given that there are permanently 13 residential moorings.

In reality it doesn’t matter if they put a million boat marina at Cropredy it will not change the situation at the bottom of the canal.

At the Barby Marina, which had such bad press last year, Mooring fees range from £2,200/50 foot to £3,200/72 foot and that is for a pontoon mooring. Bankside moorings range from £3,800 to £5,500. I can’t imagine Cropredy prices will be much different. A lot of online boaters will not be able to afford that.

EDIT: I forgot Fenny Compton. Oh! and there are 491/2 miles to Napton

Friday, 16 March 2012

Dear Readers

I really love it that you come here to read what I write and see the pictures I post or try to work out just how much of an arse I am being today. Can you please try to make an effort to post your comments in the right post. My brain is not very well. It just cannot deal with trying to work out where you really meant to post your comment. Thank you for your co-operation and may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your neighbour from hell.

Hugs ‘n’ cuddles, Maffi

PS failure to comply will result in a home visit from some very, very, nasty Oompah lumpahs.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Armed police in stand-off at canal

Armed officers have been deployed to a section of the canal at Long Eaton in Derbyshire. This is part of an on going incident involving a man on a boat thought to be armed.

Derbyshire Police said they were talking to the man at the scene of the stand-off in Sandiacre, near Long Eaton.

The incident is taking place just off Town Street. No one has been injured and no shots have been fired a police spokesman said.


Edit:The soft northern Jessie gave up this morning.

Canal Textovation

I arrived in Cropredy late yesterday. I didn’t leave Banbury ‘til the afternoon and I can’t refuse the opportunity to clear up around the locks (7 bin liners full and that didn’t include the two I picked up along the tramway when I went to turn around). Anyway I arrived wanting to take the rubbish off my roof only to find Dusty moored in the way. Dusty was not very well at all looking very much the worse for wear. After I had discharged my ‘load’ I enquired if I could get him Lemsip/paracetamol or something which he declined. I wished him well and left him to suffer. This morning I received this rather nice text

To a good man who cares for his fellow man
thank you Maffi

to which I replied

Oh No I was just worried if you karked it how was
I going to get on the water  point this morning

And Dusty came back with

That almost made me laugh.

I felt quite sure he had found it funny so responded with

Be honest you roared

To which he countered

No –I may have let out a little unexpected gas


I know but its dark here Smile with tongue out 


A man who was trying to beat the world record for being buried alive, was dug up . . . . dead. Oh well put him back in the hole then.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Have we become so used to being screwed we no longer expect to be treated fairly. Do we all now sit by the side lines and let big corporations just walk all over us. It would seem so! I have a contract with T-mobile to provide me with mobile broadband service. I pay them every month so far this contract they have consistently failed to provide me with a satisfactory service. If I stay with this poor service to the end It will cost me £244 from last week to the end, If I terminate the contract now it will cost me £244 ‘cancelation fee’. This is not a cancellation fee it is daylight robbery and yet people of my acquaintance are saying that it is only right that I should pay this penalty because I want out of the contract.

What part of “stand and deliver” do we not understand here.

I cannot believe that this contract is legal because they are not keeping their side of the agreement. T-mobile are refusing to accept their failure and so to them it doesn’t exist.

I contend that T-mobile are not a competent company to be providing a broadband service because they simply refuse to accept that the service they provide to me is poor and they are in the wrong.

This is how good T-mobile are. Here are two pictures of the broadband manager software installed on my computer. The first picture says I am connected, but there is no signal shown. Yet for T-mobile that upload/download is in my experience very good. Often I am lucky to get 1 or 2 Kbps.

tmobile2You will see in the second picture all is not right. The layout has slipped. This is bad product engineering! It says I am connected HUSPA and there is a signal (you can just see it), but even though I am attempting to upload a blog post with 3/4 pictures there is no upload/download traffic.
One day last week I was ‘dropped off line’ 50/60 times in a day. It can be more, but this day was notable because 30 of those times were within the space of one hour. I was moored in the middle of Banbury. 

I was certain that an update of the firmware would solve the problem so I downloaded the firmware and clicked the install button. The firmware installation program told me (even though I had just used the dongle to download the program) that I didn’t have a dongle installed and that I should connect it before proceeding. Doh! This senario happened with the old style dongle I had last year so no effort has been made to correct this.

I have emailed them to tell them I want to terminate and they say they are not my provider and that I should talk to Virgin yet every month T-mobile take money out of my account.

Is it any wonder I feel psychopathic towards T-mobile. 

I suppose I could just cancel my DD and let the fookers take me to court but these people can really screw you up without much  effort. Of course the trouble is, getting back to my opening, we have become so used to being screwed we no longer expect to be treated fairly.

Monday, 12 March 2012


I am really pissed with some boaters. Coming through Slat Mill Lock this afternoon I was ignored. As I closed the bottom gates a psuedo proper boat came through the bridge. Rather than go to the lock mooring,which in my mind tells their intention to use the lock They pulled up about150 yards short along the bank. I assumed they were mooring up. But no it seems they didn’t want to talk or socialise in any way This is one of the reasons why you stop on the lock mooring and approach the lock. You get to chat to nice people. It’s not because there are nice bollards but because it makes it easier all round for other boaters.

A grumpier pair of boaters I am yet to see. Why go boating if it makes you miserable?

So if you own nb Rill and are reading this will you please use the lock moorings so that the rest of us know what the F**K is going on. Try being a bit more sociable, you are not special, well no more than me.  If you find this too complicated stay in the marina.


I will never understand why it is necessary to cut a chop short rather than leave it the way it is. It just beggars belief that it is supposedly better to do it this way.


I don’t want a chop and a half I want two chops. Morrison’s very cleverly put the label over the missing piece of chop. In my book that is fraud

Wont last 25 years

Lock gates are delicate structures considering their robust construction. Treated properly they will last 25/30 years. Treated badly they will be lucky to last 10. Today I watched as a boater (if you can call him that) opened the top paddles on an empty lock to close the open bottom gates. The first gate closed very easily the second gate slammed shut and shook the whole of the lock surround. This would be the same skankey boater who has been on the bottom lock mooring with his skankey mates for 5 f***ing days on unlicensed boats ‘shit tips’ is a better description. A third boat moved off this morning and was replaced by the red boat “nb Lady of the Lake”. Where is ‘Lisa the Rottweiler’ when she is needed. There are no boats in Banbury. From Tom Rolt bridge down to Morrison’s bridge there are only these two and one in front.There is no excuse for mooring here.

I must say they are suited to this canal which is full of crap!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Post boxes Hythe Bridge Arm

There are 13 residential moorings down the Hythe Bridge Arm.
They don't all have post boxes because they’re not all lived on.
Here are the 10 post-boxes that are there.
No 1 is near to Hyrthe Bridge

DSCF2678 DSCF2677
DSCF2675 DSCF2674
DSCF2673 DSCF2672
DSCF2671 DSCF2670
DSCF2669 DSCF2667