Sunday, 30 September 2012

Look . . . . .

. . . . . I’ve told him he’s not welcome on my chair. Now it’s your job to get him orf!



Astra Zenca, Aviva, Bell Pottinger , BMI Healthcare, Care Home, Care UK, Carillion, Circle Holdings, Clinic, Colgate/Pamolive, Computer Tech , Glaxo-Smith-Kline, Greenhills/Boots, HCA, Huntleigh, Huntsworth, Lobbying, Lobbyists, Lord Rowington, Medacs, Norbrook, Platon Medical, PWC , Randox, Rapiergroup, Serco, Skidmore, Skidmore, TLC Healthcare, Virgin Care, Zenith Hygeine,

What do all these have in common?

They are all medicare companies. Between them they have donated £14,000,000 to the Conservative party. Are the Conservatives the right group of people to be selling off our NHS when they are taking bribes from the Medical/Care industry?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

1981 & 2005

Two Interesting Years
Interesting Year 1981
1. Prince Charles got married.
2. Liverpool soccer Champions of Europe .
3. Australia lost the Ashes.
4. The Pope died.


Interesting Year 2005
1. Prince Charles got married.
2. Liverpool soccer Champions of Europe .
3. Australia lost the Ashes.
4. The Pope died.

Lesson to be learned:
The next time Charles gets married, someone should warn the Pope.

Bert the Gnome

AKA Ross has been having trouble with BlogSpot and he has not been allowed access and the page was closed down.

However there is good news he has now sold his house and will be looking for a boat.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Aardvarks & Maffi’s Boat

A couple of weeks ago I was asked, “Who is Aardvark?” Well I have been asked this many times before. The answer is no one. I haven’t mis-written the title. Aardvarks is a plural; not a someone. Were it a someone, it would be written Aardvark’s with a possessive apostrophe as in Maffi’s.

So this blog is about anteaters and also Maffi’s Boat. Anteaters do not write in my blog, only I do. Indeed I did, on two occasions, post about anteaters. Aardvark_bwThe reality of it is that alphabetically ‘Aardvark’ is first. If I am listed correctly I am at the top of the list. Many people don’t list me correctly, Yah boo! to them. So that’s that settled.

Giant_Anteater_by_A_WhittakerThanks to Alan Whittaker for this giant Anteater pic

Bert the Gnome

Does anyone know what has happened to Bert the Gnome his blog has gone?

Monday, 24 September 2012

Narrowboat Trust

Brighton and Nuneaton came through today had a little trouble parking in the wind.

It was nice to see the traditional way of mooring up.Confused smile

240920121254Nice to finally meet Barry and Maggie and of course Okie who I already knew.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


I was reading through a few reviews yesterday and came across this diatribe. I have underlined the bit I think is fake. I wish they asked me I could have written a more believable review than this.

On the spur of the moment and feeling peckish, we were driving through *****, and asked a local man to tell us where we could find a nice pub. He directed us to the ********. It was so pretty, with lots of lovely garden to relax in, right on the canal, with canal boats stopping off so the owners could stop and have something to eat. The host was really welcoming, sat us down, discussed the menu with us, and all the “specials”, We chose a prawn starter and steaks done rare and chips. The meal was promptly served exactly as we hoped, and the food was excellent. There was a good selection of wines and beers. The pub was very busy with visitors like us and locals, all sitting around at tables on the grass chatting happily, we met by chance some neighbours and made up a table together, and the whole experience was most enjoyable.
The recent review I noticed titled "I don't know what all the fuss is about" made me suspicious - I would guess was put there by a competitor, because it is a load of nonsense!
This is really nice clean friendly place and a great asset to the community.

This man travelled 25 miles to get to this pub, on the spur of the moment and met a neighbour, Oh really"!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Well Surprise Surprise!

No its not Cilla she is on the other channel.

Andrew Mitchell what a nob!!! Mitchell stands to gain a lot of money if the NHS bill goes through  (along with at least 50 other MPs). He must be one of the most arrogant bastards in the house. So the sooner he is not in the house the better!

A recent outburst, with police officers, at the gates to Downing Street went something like this.

Best you learn your f–––ing place. You don’t run this f–––ing government.

You’re f–––ing plebs.

If that is how he sees our police officers then what degenerated view does he have of the rest of us. There comes a time when such as Mitchell should be hung drawn and quartered. I don’t care what he is good at, he is an arse and should be terminated.

We all know David Cameron to be of little value to the country. If he doesn’t fire Mitchell we might just as well flush him down the toilet. Along with UK plc.

Theatre in the dock

Atmospheric theatre in an historic working dock

Tooley’s boatyard, Banbury

Oct 5th-7th 2012

The fourth Theatre in the Dock presents - 'A Night at Blackstone Hall' by Day Star theatre; a new play from Kate Saffin, 'Memories of Water'; and a film, ‘The Longest Narrow Boat Journey in the World’ including a dramatic sinking with live music - that's live music throughout, not just for the sinking! Tickets are £10/£8 for each show and there are some splendid special offers if you are coming to two or all three.

Muddy Waters will be taking over the dock on Saturday with three story and activity sessions at 11am, 1.30 and 3.30 – including some read by national treasure, actress Prunella Scales. Tickets are only £5 and include a Muddy book to take home and great news! Accompanying adults are free.

On Canal Day on Sunday 7th there will be lots of short pieces of theatre, storytelling and tours of the boat yard during the day. Just drop in and see what’s on the programme, there’ll be plenty of variety – each one long enough to take the weight of your feet but short enough not to miss any of the canalside fun and activity. Canal day events in the dock are FREE (although donations will be welcome to help us put it all on again next year!).

You can find full details of all the shows on our website or Facebook page.

And you can buy tickets online here, at Tooley’s during opening hours or on the door.

See you there!

Any queries email:

Molly and Boots

DSCF4957Can I come in there?




I’m not getting out!


DSCF4963She’s not getting out.


DSCF4954This is better

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

What is the common link

David Cameron, George Osborne, Ian Duncan-Smith, Andrew Lansley, William Hague, Phillip Hammond, Francis Maude, Liam Fox, Maria Miller, Michael Failon, Andrew Mitchell, Harriet Baldwin, Mike Freer, Gregory Barker, Jake Berry, Simon Burns, Nick de Bois, Andrew Brigden, Aidan Burley, David Davies, Jonathan Djanogly, Phillip Dunne, Mark Field, , George Freeman, Richard Fuller, Dominic Grieve, Margot James, Mark Lancaster, Oliver Letwin, Peter Lilley, Tim Loughton, Mary MacLeod, Priti Patel, Patrick Mercer, Penny Morduant, Brooks Newmark, Jesse Norman, Stephen O'Brien, Richard Ottaway, Jacob Rees-Mog, John Redwood, Malcolm Rifkind, David Ruffley, Mark Simmonds, Chris Skidmore, Nicolas Soames, Andrew Tyrie, David Willets, Rob Wilson, Nadim Zahawi.

All of these people are unconvicted fraudsters. Each and every one of them has financial interests in health companies and will profit from privatising the NHS. They are the very people who are legislating to privatise the NHS. How can the mother of all parliaments allow this to happen? Where is the fraud squad when you need them.

I wonder how many of these thieving bastards were tainted by the expenses scandal?

The NHS is to become a cash cow for a totally disreputable bunch of self-seeking ne’er-do-wells.

What is most annoying is that they will never be able to spend all the money they will make. So this is about vanity. “We are destroying the NHS because we can. We are making lots of money because we can.” They are doing this because they think we don’t have the impetus to stop them.

So it’s down to us then.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Mr Grey

Who is Mr Grey she said
And then she wrote a poem
And thousands came to read
The words she wrote at hoem

Monday, 17 September 2012


If you should venture to Thrupp sometime please take note of the nice Towpath. It is new and very good as towpaths go. I don't know how much it cost but I do know BW didn't pay for it. I had heard rumoured £80,000, but I don't know.

The thing about Thrupp is that from Sparrowgap Bridge to Shipton Bridge the whole lot is managed by The Thrupp Canal Cruising Club (TCCC). They cut the grass, they plant up the flower tubs and generally keep the place looking like you want to come back. Even though the waterpoint is not really their responsibility they even clean that up too.

Following the installation of the power/water stanchions from the wide down towards Shipton it was deemed that they should also repair the pathway. The TCCC paid for the job from the end of the fourteen day moorings at The Jolly Boatman all the way to the beginning of the fourteen day mooring near Shipton. A fabulous job was done over last Christmas at no cost to BW.

Now I am not a member of the TCCC so I have no trumpet to blow, but the work done here by the members is a credit to the club. Every one that comes here is very impressed with this lovely place and they usually return.

Sometimes boaters come and spoil it! Often bad boatmanship has a compound effect on the area. Excessive use of throttle near the bank is causing it to subside along the far edge of the Wide leaving invisible holes in the grass. Indeed a woman recently fell over down by the cottages, tripping in one of these holes dislocating her shoulder and breaking her hip.

There is absolutely no reason to put up a three foot plume of water behind your boat EVER! All you achieve is to wash away a perfectly good towpath and gain the ire of the local boaters, many of whom paid for the towpath.
160920121236This is a disgrace. Totally unnecessary. All it achieves is to wash the towpath surface into the canal. And this wasn’t done by a hirer either, although I have seen many do the same. Boaters pay no attention to where people are on the path and many have been soaked because of inconsiderate boaters. If this is the level of your skill get off the waterways we can’t afford the damage you do!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

At Last

170920121238Well it took a while. I first applied last October then again in about May and after complaining on Twitter last week a kind lady asked me to resubmit my application. I sent it directly to her and she walked it down to the badge office and took it through the process. It arrived yesterday morning.

Towpath farewell.


This was taken seven weeks ago on the River Cherwell. Bones was at Enslow and I at Thrupp. We met in the middle(ish).



Friday, 14 September 2012

Scottish Canals

It’s amazing. Katie Hughes, who is the Director of Estates at Scottish Canals, must have been receiving lessons from BW/CRT. Lesson’s in ‘Exaggeration’. According to her Scottish Canals have 25 million visits a year to their 135 miles of canal. I don’t think maths is her strong point?  25 million divided by 135 is 185,185 visits per mile. Divide this by days in a year and you will see that on average 510 people travel each mile of towpath every day. If you work on a 10 hour day a Scottish boater has 51 people walk past their boat every hour. Their towpaths must be getting a hammering.

What is even more amazing is that they have lost 65 miles of canal in the short time they have had control. BW always quoted 2,200 miles CRT now quote 2,000 miles Scottish Canals should have 200, but say they have 135. It not like the Scots to lose something.

They should do what CRT does and tie it all up with red tape to make sure it doesn’t wander off and get lost. At the current loss rate they will have no canals left by the end of 2014.

One question:

What happened to British Waterways Scotland?

Thursday, 13 September 2012


I have been putting of my big clean up for some time. Now I don’t have any excuse, other than it is difficult to get on ones hands and knees when one leg is in a brace and kneeling would be painful anyway.

However it is, for the most part, done now; just the office to tidy up. That’s always the last thing to do so I am saving that for tomorrow.

Just need more bookcases now.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


I was very impressed with Geoff Smith when he said recently on NBW:

No, Simon, let's not look at this problem other than as what it really is! (The mooring problem—8/9/12.) Some people in some boats (where is not relevant) not complying with the rules! Deliberately! Simon might not like it, and he may have heard the arguments about them for 15 years but his thinking indicates serious wriggling in his acceptance of the rules. And they are rules! I, at least, will never put up with those who sometimes seem to want everyone else to accept that two wrongs do make a right!

Read the whole article at Narrowboat World

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Life’s Philosophy

In this world there are only two things to worry about either you are well or you are sick.
If you are well
there is nothing to worry about.
If you are sick
there are two things to worry about.
Either you get well or you will die
If you get well
there is nothing to worry about
If you die
there are two things to worry about
Either you will go to heaven or go to hell
If you go to heaven
there is nothing to worry about
But if you go to hell
you will be so busy shaking hands
with all your friends
You wont have time to worry

Nicked from the Irish

Just a reminder.


Monday, 10 September 2012

Help wanted

Would anyone like to take me to the CRT meeting in Milton Keynes on Friday. Traveling under my own steam at this time will be very tiring and time consuming.

Please. . . .


London Boaters. Pah!

The London Boaters have said: Boater's internment on the outer edges of London is over as of today. We are now "free" to roam in Central London

Of course, Maffi said: Is that roam or moor?

I kind of  suspect that ‘roam’ is a euphemism for continuous mooring on visitors spots.

Friday, 7 September 2012


Having said that it is exactly 6 years to the day since I first stepped on my boat.

From the CRT

Hi Maffi

I’m Jonathan in the Canal & River Trust media team. We haven’t met, but I’ve had the pleasure on Twitter.

Anyway, I am arranging a briefing next week to go through the results of the bi-annual Boat Owners Survey. It’ll be an opportunity to take stock and go through boater demographics, what they think about waterway upkeep and maintenance, value for money, customer service and lots more.

Importantly, Vince Moran (operations director) will also be there to take questions and discuss what this can mean going forward for budgets, spending priorities and other boating-related issues.

The meeting is at the Trust’s new office in Milton Keynes (above the train station) at 11am on Friday 14 September. I see from your Blog that you’ll not be boating far for the time being. However, I wanted to invite you nonetheless on the off chance you can make it. Please let me know.

Kind regards


I have been on my boat 6 years now that means there have been at least 3 maybe 4 bi-annual surveys. I have never been asked to take part in one that I can recall. So now they want to talk to me!!!

Thursday, 6 September 2012


Just a simple turn getting off one boat and on to another and POP!!!

Something went and now I have to be trussed up for weeks. Woe is me!


At least when I did my Achilles tendon I could ride a bike.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Happy Anniversary

This is my good friend Andy Wilson pictured here with his wife Wendy. We and a few others had a great time in the seventies while we were in the RAF at RAF Wittering.  Andy could milk any gambling machine for beer money and frequently did. Andy and Wendy have been married  31 years today. They live in Cairns in Australia where they both run their own businesses. Congratulations to them.74523_172277976131577_88797_n

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Paint the Bridge

OH joy of joys CRT sent men to paint the bridge a week or two ago. It certainly needed doing, but properly would have been nice. I wonder if the painters stopped to think that it was not only the people that stood on the bridge that saw it? Its just possible that boaters would see it as they passed under.

However things will not change, contracted in labourers will do the barest minimum then pollute the water ways. Oh did I say pollute the waterways! Sorry I must be thinking of something else. No, no, no, no, no, I am right.

This man here used the near empty paint tin to bail out the nearby BW/CRT tug. You can see the residue of the white paint around the boat.


He seemed  upset that I took his photograph and made a point of telling me that the paint was environmentally safe and would do no harm the wild life. That’s fair enough I have no reason to believe he would lie to me. In all fairness he probably didn’t know he wasn’t telling me the whole truth because one has to be able to read to see the truth.

Well I can read. I could read before I ever set foot in any seat of learning. I am not saying that because I think I am clever it just the way it is. So I went to find the paint tin that the man was using which he foolishly left on the skip/tug. This is it. SADOLIN Opaque Wood Protection.

DSCF4908 (2)And of course the tin contains instructions and warnings written all over the back of the tin.
DSCF4909 (2)And in close up it says,

Do no empty into watercourses or access routes to septic tanks. Local authorities have special facilities for the disposal of waste paint. Waste paint and emptied containers should be disposed of using authorised routes and sites.

Well that is pretty clear and if I may say unambiguous.

DSCF4911 (2)

Nowhere does it say it is safe for the environment, nowhere does it say it is safe for wildlife, nowhere does it say it is OK to bail out a BW/CRT tug. So one has to assume that the man who spoke to me either couldn’t read or thought that I was so stupid and would accept his bullshit because he was ‘the man’.

One would think that the people at the yard , who are well aware of who I am and what I write would inform their staff/contractors to play the game by the rules while at Thrupp, but even then it begs the question; Why don’t they do it all the time? They are after all the guardians of our waterways and shouldn’t be putting toxic paint residue in the canal, anywhere!

CRT if you want us boaters on your side you need to earn our respect. You must stop doing poetry and flags and bunting and planting trees in barges and start thinking about your responsibility towards the waterways.You must stop chucking toxic waste in ‘our’ canal. Being a bunch of namby pamby arses is all well and good but that is not what the waterways are about. You need to get your act together, and you need to do it now! Forget the trees in a barge come down and fix Shipton Weir Lock. It wont take £41000 to do it.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Steel Dragons

Steel Dragons

Manly Ferry

Many people come to say hello down here at Thrupp. Sue and Vic nb No Problem are becoming regulars. People passing along the Thames come up the Oxford and try as they may cant avoid me. At the weekend Paul and Elaine form The Manley Ferry, but currently named Caxton because Paul liked the paint job and didn't feel the need to change it, were on the water point. I thought theirs was one of the blogs I read regularly, but obviously not or I would have know about Caxton. Moored  behind them aboard nb Nexten was Terry who as it happens is normally moored next to Tom Crossley. As soon as Terry heard Paul mention my name he knew who I was. So we all had an good hours chat while water filled the tanks. You can expect a picture of me and Paul on the Manly Ferry site soon.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Pah! Programmers!!!!!

I can’t help wondering what qualifications you need to be a MicroSoft programmer. Smart is obviously not something that MicroSoft sees as a necessity. I can say this because after sending an email I am presented with this


Of course I want to return to the inbox there are still emails in it, but even if I want to go somewhere else I can work that out for myself I don’t need prompting ……..yet.

Saturday, 1 September 2012


I had long been troubled with emails from PAYPAL requesting more details for my account. I say troubled because I don’t have a PAYPAL account. This is not difficult for any one to understand unless of course they employ Martians. About six months ago I sent them this email:-

Dear sir

I have told you on no fewer than 10 occasions that I do not have a Paypal account yet still you harass me with this crap. Now can you please furnish me with the address of your CEO because I want to send people to his house to shove his head up his ass. And while I am at it yours too.

Disgruntled non-client

Surprisingly enough I haven’t heard from them sinceWinking smile