Wednesday, 31 October 2012


I don’t recall seeing a kingfisher for some time, yet Friday I saw two. One was down near Kings Sutton Lock and the other was ‘in’ Banbury  behind the Dulux paint shop.

Winter Traffic

I like to come away in the winter because there is less traffic, and less traffic means less waiting around at locks. I always seem to work harder when there are a lot of boats on the route.

Today while thinking about moving my boat to the water point there seemed to be an endless stream of hirers heading my way. Poo!

I counted 10 boats going up in the last hour and a half. I can’t see me getting on very well today. But I suppose at least if I get above Claydon top I won't have to worry about the closures there.

Oh shit! EXETER has just passed, (see previous post) fingers crossed. They have since beginning their holiday travelled over thirty miles passed through 19 locks and 5 lift bridges, not to mention hit several boats. They are still displaying rabbit caught  in the head lights mentality.

I suppose if I don’t go soon I will end up staying all night.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


My spares for the boat arrived today so I had no choice but to move on. Boo Hoo I do rather like Banbury. It seems that a certain hire boat named EXETER had a smashing time bouncing off boats above the  Town Lock. A lot of people were not very happy. One couple had only just got their boat out of Tooley’s.

When I cast off I didn’t notice the two boats behind me that had just come through the lift bridge. They trailed me all the way to Croppers but in fairness the only reason they were close was because I was trailing hire boats who seemed to take an interminably long time to do the locks. Ho hum! Not to worry I got to Cropredy before dark and moored up on a mooring near the bridge.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

New pic

Not so sure I like this pic but I think it needed a change.
I was a good looking lad, there is no god!
DSCF5132It’s funny but I still see me as a young lad
not this crusty old git.
Is it any wonder I am a grumpy bastard


So far this trip I have not been collecting rubbish other than a few bottles at locks and a traffic cone in a tree.

I will start again as soon as I feel my leg is good enough, but that is just not now.

CMers again

I have to wonder why some sections of the boating community are pushing to get boaters added to the Local Council’s Gypsy and Traveller strategy. We are not generally Gypsies (in the genuine sense of the word) and few of us are from tinker/traveller stock. Yes I am sure there are Gypsy/Travellers that live on boats, but not enough to warrant being discussed at G&T strategy meetings.

As soon as Councils start doing this then boating groups will start pulling the ‘ethnic’ card and CRT will lose their grip on mooring on the canals and Local Authorities will dictate who can and cannot moor within their authority, not the CRT.

Which of course will be just what the myriad boaters action groups, representing ‘CMers’, want. For them it’s a win-win situation.

It is just possible the best days of canal boating are over.

Busy, busy, busy.

Saturday, what a day!  I had a slow start this morning in Banbury. Completing a few little jobs around the boat. I sent a text to the Wrens enquiring when they would be setting off for the northern reaches of Cropredy (Broadmoor). ‘

“Soon,” was the reply, “When Joy gets back from shopping”.

“Can I catch a lift,” says I. (to meet up with Bones)

“Of course”

So sometime before noon I set off with Molly to walk to the main road bridge (we were on opposite sides of the canal). Chris cast off and followed. I got to the bridge well before Chris and waited for him to arrive. Me and Molly (yes I know) stepped on to the boat on the straight under the bridge and we were on our way. It took no time at all to make our way along the canal. Bones had sent a text that she was watering up and then about 12.40 another saying she was at Slat Mill Lock.

Those of you who are regular readers may remember when we were down on the K&A (2007). After heading off to visit a friend in Surrey Bones found herself, on her way back home, diverting to Theale on the K&A and cadging a lift on a boat in my direction. There was a wonderful recognition moment as I realised who was on the boat heading my way.

As we approached Slat Mill Lock Bones was coming out of the lock. I sent a simple text: ‘Remember the K&A’. I would like to think she was pleased to see me. I was, of course, on hand to take the boat down the next two locks. It was a fun day and bought back fond memories. Molly and Boots were very pleased to see each other.

We stopped behind my boat in Banbury for her to collect somethings and to have a cuppa before she set off south. Alec, a friend was following, he too needed tea and moored in front of me. When all the flapping of gums was over and time came to set off. I walked to the lift bridge and let them both through. There was a boat going down the lock and another waiting to come up. After that it was time for Bones to go down, by which time yet another was waiting to come up. While waiting for her to lock through another boat came under the lift bridge. By the time I left the lock we had locked seven boats up and down.

When they were all gone I took Molly home and went off to buy sand paper (of which more later)  I popped into Tooley’s on the way, had a cuppa. I ordered an oil filter because I think the oil should be changed before I get much further. I had a Maccie D. Surprisingly enough I am still alive. My thumb is almost pain free which is a good thing, but my leg is very tired. That will teach me to be busy.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Friday, 26 October 2012

I finally got away.

I left Thrupp after two in the afternoon on Wednesday. I made it to Lower Heyford. I expected to moor up near Kate up by the church, but a drifting boat impeded my way. After towing it back to its mooring and securing it I ended up mooring in the dark below bridge 206.

Kate said she would meet me in Kizzie’s in the morning for brekkers. In the morning it turned out that Kizzie’s is shut for the winter. I told Kate she said, “I can offer excellent coffee and some very nice homemade marmalade, but lack anything to toast and put under same……”

I went for coffee taking with me the last of my bread. The Marmalade was nice.

It was nearly two when I set off. The Mill lift bridge ably operated by Kate. At Aynho Weir Lock I fell and thought I had broken my thumb. The pain was almost unbearable. It was very difficult doing Nell Lock one handed and then mooring up at Kings Sutton for the night. The thumb though still painful was useable this morning. I still don’t know exactly how I did it given that I fell on my back. Ho hum!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Oh for FS!!!

I don’t know John Dale. but I will tell you this I don’t think he is very bright.

I am glad to see that *************** has been involved in the consultation on the continuous cruiser situation (some that move and some that do not).

John Dale Shareboat owner

So for John Dale and anybody else who is confused about CCers let me say hopefully for the last time. Continuous Cruisers cruise, a lot.  If you don’t move you are NOT a Continuous Cruiser. It doesn’t matter if a boater has signed the CC declaration, if he isn’t moving he isn’t a CCer.

Monday, 22 October 2012

The End

Well it seems Pamela Smith has teeth. Or at least her legal team has. She/They have offered to remove the said defamatory remarks from the K&ABC in return for what amounts to a re write of the rule book for the benefit of Continuous Moorers Boats Without a Home Mooring guidance. A re-write that in my opinion will totally f**k up every other boater on the water way, by this I mean Marina moored boaters, hire boats, and genuine CCers.

We will still be able to go where ever we like on the system but when we get there moorings will be full of Boats Without a Home Mooring. I have said many times in the past that eventually the CMers BWHM would eventually screw it up for everyone and now, because of the incompetence of the CRT, it seems they  have succeeded.

BW should have sorted out this 17 years ago instead of pretending they were Genghis Kahn and his army. They should have played fairly then the CMers BWHM would not have got the foothold they now have. And for this they will probably get another bonus when what they should be doing is giving back their salary.

If I was working for CRT I would be looking for another job because I couldn't live with the embarrassment of this debacle.

We titter at the silliest of things


Life Jackets

I don’t know who Dennis O’Connor is but he has started a petition at epetitions asking it to be made law that we all have to wear life jackets on the water. Of course he is entitled to his opinion but who is he? Why has he started this petition?

I would have expected to find a story about his child drowning or something similar. I couldn’t find anything in google.

His petition reads:-

Each year Her Majesty’s Coastguard and the RNLI are requested to respond to incidents where fatalities occur on UK coasts and waterways. Many of these fatalities could have been avoided if the adult or child had been wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.

Research indicates that wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid significantly increases the potential to prolong life and a person’s chances of surviving in the water, therefore we call upon Her Majesty’s Government to make the wearing of a lifejacket or buoyancy aid compulsory for everyone using UK waters, including (but not limited to) coastal areas, lakes, Lochs and other in-land waterways for commercial or leisure purposes.

One cannot deny that the wearing of a life jacket saves lives, but I think they would stand a better chance of getting the law through if they just went for coastal and tidal waters to start with and then it might be easier to add inland waters at a later date.

However having said that I wonder who is going to do the policing? You can place no responsibility on hire companies, I know full well that as soon as hirers get around the corner they take them off. Is it just so we can be told “I told you so” if we meet our demise without one? I am a great one for rules but making rules and not policing them is just a waste of time. And where do you draw the line? Would it be just water craft users? Or include fishermen, walkers, joggers, dogs, all children near water? Such a blanket request will surely be counter productive.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Our little place.

This is the elsan at Thrupp. It came early last year. It is, as you can see, very posh. Heaven and the CRT know how much it cost.

Because it is so nice one would think that people would look after it. Well you can think all you like but it don’t happen. There is a brush provided on the window sill to help wash it down should you have a spill. A lot of people don’t use it (the brush). I assume they think it’s someone else’s job which of course is correct, however, you should always leave it as you would like to find it.

I don’t blame people for not doing it because sometimes it is left in a right state. I have been in there several times and the s**t had been splashed 6 feet up the wall. How is it possible to do this? And a more important question is what are their boats like?

This is a fabulous facility and it annoys me that people simply will not use it properly. I have visited some god awful toilets around the world and trust me this is a palace. We should look after it.DSCF5097

Friday, 19 October 2012


This weekend about 200 people will be executed in Iran. Some of them will be for murder. Some will be for adultery and some for offences against the Koran. None of these people would die for their offences in this country, most would walk free. Indeed we don’t have most of these crimes on the books here.

Think how lucky we are. Enjoy your weekend boating.

iran_execution-thumb-510x446-460x402There are those that say we should have Sharia Law here. Over my dead body!

Rubbish and Poo!

Earlier this year I was standing at the stable yard gate talking to Martin. We often do this. Martin knows everybody. Along comes a car and Martin says “That’s the guy that has the Manor house in Shipton”.

Oh,” say I, “I wonder what he is doing here?”

The man parks up. Get out of his car, opens the boot and lifts out a few bin liners full of rubbish. Then he finds the disposal compound is locked and now he looks around kind of sheepish.

So I said, “Er excuse me sir, are you a boater?”

To which his response was “No I’m from the Manor house, but I always put my rubbish in here when my bins are full”.

Well Sir,” I said, “These bins are paid for by the boaters. When our bins are full would you mind if we come and fill up your bins?”

Well he looks rather ‘guilty’ and says “Well no“, in a very embarrassed tone.

So Sir,” I ask, “Where do we go from here?”

I understand,” he said very humbly. And with that he put the bags back in the car and drove off.

Poor old Martin was pissing himself. I thought his ticker was going to give out.

This is the same man whose lady friend has five dogs. She walks them along the tow path nearly every day. She is always on the phone and the dogs are invariably behind her so she can never see when they dump. She is told repeatedly to clear up. She never has bags, but you can bet we are only too pleased to help out. She is always indignant, like she shouldn’t have to pick up shit. Often denies it not her dogs, but does capitulate in the end.

There must be a dozen boats around here with a dog on board and we always manage to clear up. So you can understand that we get a bit miffed when non boaters come here and let their dogs mess everywhere.

Oh but it is on the grass.” cuts no leeway with me, especially if it is outside my boat. On the grass means I could step on it getting into one of the boats here. Or my customers could do! The important thing is it is in a public place and owners have a duty to remove it.

No ifs, ands or buts.
Take it away!

Autherley Junction,

This is the scene at the bottom of the Shroppie at Autherley Junction. Sue nb No Problem reported it to the CRT and they promised to have it removed tomorrow. And that is a good thing. 10/10 for Sue and the CRT.
My question is how did it get like that? This didn’t just happen yesterday. Either the collections times on the contract are not regular enough or maybe locals are using it. Maybe we need to have a new addition to the boating culture in that when ever we see bins starting to over-flow we call CRT so they sort it before it gets this bad.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

What a souper place. Hic!

proxyBorrowed from Facebook, but I cant remember who from.
Let me know if it was you and I will credit.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


I am pleased to see that the K&ABC have now included CRT contact details on their contact page. This makes a lot of sense if only because the omission tended to make them appear aggressive towards CRT

Daniel Oakley is for Sale


Daniel Oakley a 55ft Jonathan Wilson Trad with a Vintage Gardner is for sale. More info and pictures here

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

You can rely on a Professional

Would you stand up like this for your mates?


What’s in a name?

For longer than I have been boating, six years now, the terms Continuous Cruiser (CCer), Continuous Moorer (CMer) have been used to define, or label a particular group of boaters, well two groups actually. But now since the ‘invention’ of the CRT we (they) have been renamed and are now called Boaters Without a Home Mooring (BWHM). I wonder if you all spotted that? It doesn’t run off the tongue does it? I kinda suspect that this is mainly aimed at CMers rather than CCers. It crops up a lot in CRT’s paperwork. In fact it is probably one of the only ways boaters ever get a mention with the new order.

Why don't they call them Mooring Challenged (MCer) or  Mooring Free Boaters (MFers) Ah I see a problem! Or maybe Mooring Dodgers MDers, er nah! or combine the two MDFers. Oh no. No one in their right mind would put MDF in a boat.

I don’t mind being called a CCer it does roll off the tongue. I definitely don’t want to be a MFer and I wouldn’t want to be a CMer because with the help of all the Boaters Action Groups (BAGs) it has come to be a derogative term. Not because it is a derogative term but because the BAGs have taken it on board as a derogative term to cloud the issues. When they have nothing else to complain about they seem to complain about the use of the ‘derogative’ term, it’s all so very tiresome.

Well it makes sense that if you call a genuine cruiser a CCer then those that sign the CC declaration and move only a few miles and spend most of their time moored up are called CMers. Its not derogatory, its descriptive. If you do find it derogatory you might be paranoid. You have to stop listening to the little voices.

I did predict a long time ago that genuine CCers would be eventually be lumped in with the those that call them selves CCers but are in fact CMers. Now with the new definition BWHM it seems my prophecy has come true.
All hail the Maffster!!!

Oooo the CRT!

It would appear that the newly formed Canal & River Trust (CRT) is flexing its muscles and threatening to sue people who exercise their right to free speech in an effort to expose their perceived ideas of flaws in the CRT.

It seems that the CRT is ‘trying’ to sue Pamela Smith who edits the K&A boaters website. The CRT are demanding an apology and a suitable (undisclosed) charitable donation because of alleged defamatory statements made in an article published on the website.

The CRT is also miffed because of a cartoon style CRT logo published on the K&A Boaters Community site and has accused Pamela Smith of ‘malicious mockery of its logo calculated to put the CRT in a bad light' (Darkness would be my guess). It included an adjustment to the script under the CRT logo which looked something like this,


Well excuse me, but this seems to be a case of corporate bullying. If someone doesn’t agree with you, you can’t just turn them upside-down, give them a good hard slap and see how much money falls out of their pockets. Of course this would save the CRT from sending out the chuggers for a while, but it's a bit extreme that they are behaving in a manner likely to bring themselves (CRT) into disrepute, just to prove a point that, apparently, they don't actually have anyway.

According to law they are on a sticky wicket. You can defame and libel a ‘someone’, but apparently not a ‘something’. CRT is a something and as such is, I have heard said, acting illegally in threatening Pamela Smith with legal proceedings for her alleged ‘defamation’. Were I Pamela Smith, I would pop down to the local police station and make a formal complaint, because it is just possible that the CRT are ‘demanding money with menaces’ given that they probably don't have a legal leg to stand on, and that would never do from such a revered entity as the CRT.

Does the Derbyshire Principle apply to the CRT?

The long established 'Derbyshire' principle says that a public authority cannot sue for defamation. It further says, however that if the reputation of an officer of the organisation suffers because of a publication that attacks the activities of the authority, that officer can bring a case for defamation as an individual.

Whether CRT would dare try to fund such a case remains to be seen, but I think the backlash for any such decision would then make the continued employment of the involved director(s) totally untenable and resignation(s) would have to be offered . . . . the members of the Trust board would be derelict in the performance of their duties if they were not accepted. This would be a very inauspicious start for the new charity board, who I am sure want the best for everybody.

The last thing we want to see is the CRT acting in an illegal manner. Should this be the case, and I am not saying it is, then the CRT needs to be appraised by their lawyer on their legal standing in this situation. Then hopefully they will stay on the right side of the law, so saving valuable resources for the intended purpose of maintaining the canals and rivers . . . . . . . trust me, with boats!

Kennet and Avon Boating Community Website

I was a bit disappointed with the Kennet and Avon Boating Community Website, like the London Boaters and the Lee and Stort Boaters group they seem to have arisen to take up the mantle of the continuous moorer to justify signing the CCers declaration but not honouring that declaration.

On their contact page they list:-  National Association of Boat Owners, Residential Boat Owners Association, National Bargee Travellers Association, Travellers Advice Team, Friends, Families and Travellers, London Boaters, River Lea and Stort Boaters Group, Calderdale Boaters, Oxford Boaters, Cam Boaters, Bona Fide Navigators, Organisation of PLA Customers, Low Impact Living On board, Roving Canal Traders, Liveaboard Forum, K&A Canal Times, Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, What Do They Know, Electoral Commission, Shelter, Citizens Advice, Crisis.

They do not list the CRT, the very people whose water they sit on and whose rules they abuse. This I consider to be a grave error. The CRT are the enemy only if you want them to be. Talk to them!

I shall write a post here shortly in support of Pamela Smith who runs the site. I will do this not because I agree with anything on the site but because CRT are giving her a hard time and I said I would stand by her side while this continues.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

I rather like this

How many zeros in a billion? This is too true to be funny.
The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of it's releases.

A  billion seconds ago it was 1980.

A  billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

A  billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone  Age.

A  billion days ago no-one walked the earth on two feet.

A  billion Pounds ago was only 13 hours and 12 minutes, at  the rate our government is spending it.

Interesting don’t you think?

Secret Places

These Secret Places are in Cornwall. They lie within the grounds of a property owned by Robert Gray. You only get to visit if you are a friend of Robert Gray. So it’s very secret. I love the glimpse of the inviting bench seat.


This next picture reminds me of the pond I built in my Wiltshire home, which I sadly no longer own., neither the pond nor the home! I do have lots of water now which you would expect living on a boat, but it can be so impersonal. Don’t get me wrong I love having visitors, but it can be a bit unnerving to be greeted by someone (on the towpath or knocking on your roof)  who knows you, and may have travelled some considerable distance to say hello, but you have no idea who they are. Of course by the time they leave you have made new friends. Sometimes I miss my Wiltshire home and my Secret Places, but I wouldn’t change anything other than to have kept my house as a getaway.A5CQLg0CEAIU51EPhoto’s courtesy of Robert Gray.

More knitting

DSCF5065The rhyme reads

is a crap diagnosis.
In time you will find
that your child will go blind.
So if your dog knits a poo
Please take it with you.

Halloween is coming. . . .

. . . . so I should have expected the phantom knitters to strike again, and they did!


What a joyful little quintet these are. Thank you PKs

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Oh for God’s sake

I know where the asylum is but who let these lunatics out. Some goof ball is proposing to have a swimming lane in the Regents Canal. Oh great more people using the canal and not paying for it. In the winter it can be frozen and used as a skating lane.

"The canals used to be functional routes for industry, but now they've become purely recreational," says Smith. "We thought, why not turn the waterways back into something useful, connecting people with the places they work?"(the inference here being that boating isn’t useful. Swimming is?)

That’s strange that because I thought why don't you leave the waterways alone and leave it to the boats. The swimming lane will be along the towpath side oh wonderful. I don’t see them wanting a swimming lane up the Thames.

"The really exciting bit would be the Islington tunnel," says Smith, referring to the 900m stretch where the canal burrows beneath the streets of Angel. "It could be filled with disco lights and take on a whole life of its own."

No it wont the whole tunnel will become a ganga club and every pill popping pot head in London will turn up there and think it’s funny to throw their beer cans at the passing boats, who will be bouncing of the walls of the tunnel because they are blinded by the flashing lights. What is this muppet smoking?

"We were inspired by watching the Olympic triathlon, seeing people swimming in the Serpentine," says Smith. "We were picturing a kind of James Bond businessman, swimming all the way to work in Canary Wharf."

Shouldn't these boys be in school have their heads f**ked with like everyone else. I’m all for innovation but these people are away with the fairies.

The overall winner was Pop Down by Fletcher Priest architects, which proposed to transform the disused Mail Rail tunnel under Oxford Street into an urban mushroom garden.

I wonder why they needed architects to come up with that one? Although I suppose this has some merits if only because it’s somewhere to store the bull shit these people generate.

Why do these people never say “Oh here’s a good idea why don’t we build silt processing plants (like the French have) and then we can dredge the canals.”

I have only two words to say to these people and the second one is ‘off’.

Friday, 12 October 2012


I wrote to the Serious Fraud Office today. I thought it was about time I said something that has been bothering me.

D**** C****** and the government are selling off large slices of the NHS. 50 Members of the two houses are set to gain a lot of money by this sell off.
Many of those that have donated to Tory party funds over the last 10 years have interests in the health care industry. Lord A******* himself, who has a big interest in MEDACS, has donated £5.5 million.
Can it be right for public servants to sell off sections of the family jewels when they stand to gain so much. Is this not a fraudulent situation?

Now to await an answer which I am sure will be no, but it can’t hurt to ask.

Everybody could write then maybe it will be looked into.


Apparently I have won an award. A poem of mine is to be printed in this book. Looks all very special doesn’t it. I was quite pleased. There is apparently money involved, I get some cash. Cool I hear you say.

It’s called Vanity Press. I get one of these every year I always send in something but at a cost of about £50 a book I have no idea if I am ever actually printed. If you have ever been sent this request to submit a new poem for the latest anthology then please read this:-
its illuminating.

Happy Writing!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Winter Moorings

The winter mooring system this year is a farce. The online booking page at CRT is not working and the man responsible for it “has had to take unexpected leave” and “there is no-one who can take up the task”


I have left the blank lines so that those of you who know me can fill in as you see fit. It saves me getting stressed.

Just like you.

Today is International Day of the Girl. Today we are supposed to be aware of what it means to be a girl in parts of the world where they have nothing, are treated as property. Something like 63% of the worlds non readers are young girls. They don't read because it is deemed unnecessary for their role in life. I wrote this poem because I often wondered about the girls I saw in the Middle East what their lives were like.


I am a human just like you.
I like to laugh just like you.
I often cry just like you.

I can read just like you.
I can walk just like you.
I smile at the sun just like you.

I have many dreams just like you.
I have my needs just like you.
I have some desires just like you

I do most things just like you.
Just like you I have sex.
Except, I’m a girl of 10, so not like you at all.

Help Me!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


I received an email from a contact today that carried the subject line:-


Things like this come around regularly and rarely contain a grain of truth‏ but it doesn't matter how often I tell people to google the subject line they never do. They continue to spread this crap. The worst ones are the virus hoaxes because spreading such a rumour this way could just possibly be spreading a virus. So it makes sense not to send this shit on.

It took me just a few minutes to come up with this list today
All of which indicate you are wasting you time sending these on.

SO if this is the highlight of your day you might consider suicide or alternatively switch your computer off and find something better to occupy your time.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Not acceptable!

Oxford Canal, Hedge cutting South East Waterway
Monday 8 October 2012 - Friday 1 March 2013
We have commenced the annual hedge cutting round, starting on the 1st October running until 1st March. Please be aware this work will result in thorns on towpaths. The specification includes the clearing of cut thorns from the tow path following a cut of the previous year’s growth, our contractors will blow/ sweep/ rake/ clear the thorns off the path, however there will be areas where some thorns remain on the towpath or blow from the hedge onto the towpath following windy conditions. If you are planning a cycling trip please follow link for helpful tips. If you have a pet be mindful of tender paws picking up thorns on the path and under the hedgerows following this work.

For the next six months don’t ride your bike or walk your dog on the tow path this is just not acceptable.

My experience of this is they only ever blow. They never sweep rake or clear, certainly not around here.


From Waterscape (the link):-

Thorny hedge trimmings can cause a puncture at some times of year, particularly spring. When cycling in rural areas, always take a spare inner tube or puncture repair kit, and consider plastic-reinforced tyres.

Prunella at the Dock

Saturday was the last day of Theatre in the Dock. I read some Muddy Waters stories in the morning and again in the afternoon which was the bread that sandwiched Prunella Scales who also read Muddy Waters to a group of parents and children. Pru admitted to being a bit nervous but went on to give a fine performance.DSCF5003Despite her time spent playing opposite the socially disconnected Basil Fawlty she is still a lovely looking lady and very composed, one of the greats.

I think Kate was star struck I know Dan was.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Earlier this year I discussed with various organisations the merits of using the centre line to moor a boat. There was a resounding Non! from the RYA BMF and BW. I was somewhat surprised to see today that despite it being written in the BW Boat Handling Handbook that this BW powered workboat is moored not only using the centre line, but ONLY using the centre line.  Ooooo!

031020121262Other ropes are present but left laying on the decks.


Pay attention

One of my readers commented:-
If that is your boat moored across the towpath on your top page, then the words pot and kettle spring to mind.

Well I nearly fell off my chair laughing.

Empty vessels springs to my to mind.

I said

***, Your not a regular reader or you would have seen that top picture in yet another post. The picture is there as an illustration of how stupid boaters can be. If it were my boat do you really think I would be silly enough to own up to that let alone put it in so prominent a place.
Give me some credit.

FYI it is a hire boat from the city of Oxford. In the original post IIRC they said something like 'we wont be long we are having lunch'.

Oh come on could she really have thought that blue boat looks like my green boat, Nah!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012


When the HS2 rail project has finally been completed, 21 ancient woodlands will have been destroyed, disappeared forever. A further 27 ancient woodlands will be adversely affected (divided, reduced, broken connecting corridors etc). Wildlife will diminish, some species may even die out.

DSCF4906 (2)The Governments plan to plant 2 million trees will not even begin to repair the damage. You simply cannot plant ancient woodland.


Ancient woodland in the UK only covers 2% of our land. Are you surprised, I was. Trees are the lungs of our environment. This governments promise to protect our ancient woodland is as empty as empty can be. No more than them just flapping gums to stop people asking awkward questions and making them feel uncomfortable.

Green transport needs to be efficient and in order to do that it needs to benefit the majority of our people, which HS2 does not. In this day and age any programme of this magnitude should surely not just benefit the few.

Who is going to profit from this project? Not you and me certainly. I will hazard a guess they will be wearing Sable and Ermine trimmed gowns.

The Woodland Trust is campaigning to stop the destruction of our ancient woodland.

A Victor moment. . . .

. . . . I don’t believe it! I have no idea who this boat belongs to, but I surely hope he has pissed off back down-under. We have enough idiots on the water as it is without importing them. You can find this picture on GO-FOR-IT’s blog. It was taken by Colin. A very well captured piece of boating stupidity. Colin you are to be applauded for your keen eye.

P1070460Apologies to the vast majority of safe antipodean boaters.

Monday, 1 October 2012


Of the £14,000,000 donated to the Conservative Party by companies involved in the medical/care industry, 185 separate donations averaging £456,462 per year totalling:- 


                                                          were made by Lord Ashcroft between 2001 & 2011. What a generous man he is, a pillar of the community. A stalwart of the parliamentary system. Lord Ashcroft is involved with Medacs. I feel sure he would not have influenced the NHS bill in any way whatsoever, but just in case he did I shall put him on the list for when we take over.

Having said that should I ever have five and a half million to give away to any bunch of crooked bastards (there is just the possibility that I could) I’m gonna want something in return. Now what should I ask for? Oh yes I know . . . . . . .

T&M Breach

The CRT has said of the recent breaches on the Trent & Mersey Canal “200 year old system not being set-up for heavy rainfall' .

I am sorry, but I cannot believe in the last 200 years that this is the first time that this recent level of rain has appeared on the canal system. I may be wrong, I often am, but I think CRT is simply trying to flim-flam everybody.

When this happened on the Mon and Brec a few years ago I said then that such major problems should not be financed by BW (as it was then), but by the government (the day to day funding of the system was not able to cope with a breach of this magnitude).

Yet here we are several years down the line, the negotiated settlement with the CRT has not been forthright enough to have foreseen such a catastrophe occurring again!

This breach occurred last week, but I very much doubt that the heavy rainfall was the only contributing factor. IIRC the Mon & Brec was built on a poor base and had in the past been subject to breaches. And today I find out that this is not the first time this has happened on the T&M.

Historically that part of the T&M has breached a number of times. Brine pumping in the area has caused subsidence. A whole section of the canal had to be rebuilt in the seventies at Marbury and there was a major breach at Preston Brook.

Before CRT issue any more press releases I think they should properly investigate the breach and determine whether or not this breach has been slowly deteriorating for many years. Until they do I honestly don’t think they can do a proper repair.

The CRT do have a contingency fund for this sort of thing, but (you will laugh at this) “that money is needed for maintenance”. Well how about you guys at the CRT maintain this bloody hole! A contingency fund is just that, a contingency against the unexpected. The maintenance budget is something else.

If you guys at the CRT need funding for this project then I will donate the £820 I paid for my licence for this year and the £865 I will pay for my licence next year, but please don’t ask me via Twitter to text a fiver because like Polar Bears eating Penguins it aint gonna happen!