Friday, 30 November 2012


When I was moored at Hopwas I met a man who was a bigger idiot than I am. I walked Molly up the towpath and back to the boat. On arrival there was a man with a loaf of bread feeding the ducks. I asked him not to feed the ducks there but to go the other side of the bridge or the ducks would wake me up a 5 in the morning expecting to get fed. He was mildly amused and kept on feeding the ducks. TWAT!!!

I pointed out that he was killing the duck by feeding them bread. To which he said, “See that duck there, it has a gammy leg . I have watched that duck since it were born, four years now and feed it every week he’s not complaining. When the ice is on the canal where else is he going to feed?”

He’s a wild creature he will survive without you.

Bread in water causes botulism in Ducks. They die a slow painful death.

Bread eaten by ducks can cause a condition called ‘Angel Wings’ which affects their feathers and stops them from flying so keeping them in range of foxes, mink etc.

Bread has no nutrients for ducks and affects their immune system. This can make them very sickly and easy prey for foxes, mink etc.

Of course the last point that zoologists never mention is that feeding ducks bread makes them tame. They will come and take bread out of your hand at which point is is a simple task to grab a duck and wring its neck then prep it for the pot. A lot of boaters know this trick.

So even though that mans duck has up to now survived it was more luck, than his care, that had kept it away from me! I am sure we have all heard of people living to be 100+ despite smoking 40 fags a day. It doesn’t make smoking a clever thing to do.


The Leveson Report

Lord Justice Leveson at the behest of David Cameron investigated the newspapers. “We want answers,” said Cameron. “We want solutions,” said Cameron. So after a very long time LJL found the answers and made good suggestions for the solutions. And Cameron said, “Ahhhhggggg!!! I cant do that I will lose votes”. What a MUPPET.

Tonight on Radio 4 a programme discussing the implications of the Leveson Report had a number of invited guests (from the Newspaper industry) squirming in their seats, and coming up with all sorts of reasons why these solutions would be wrong. All suggestions seemed to me to be totally vacuous. Of no merit whatsoever.

Seven times in the last seventy years the Government has had to intervene and question the way the press operates and seven times they have taken the easy way out and settled for self regulation. In each case the accepted self regulation has failed miserably. Leveson has suggested that there should be a legal body that will keep an eye on what the papers are doing (not what they are saying).

The Leveson Enquiry has nothing to do with freedom of the press. Even if it had “the Press” has proven that having the responsibility that goes with such a freedom is totally beyond them. What the Leveson Report is advocating is that rather than letting the Press decide whether or not they have broken the law, (a bit like asking a turkey if he is ready for Christmas), that an independent commission decides with the full force of the law behind them. This will not affect their freedom of speech, this will not put the government in charge of what they say, this will not dilute their rights to report what is happening. What it will do is ensure that when they break the law they will be brought to book and if necessary jailed for such crimes as invading people’s privacy, buying Police Officers, phone hacking etc. etc. etc. These things are already legislated for, but it would seem that the Press Complaints Commission doesn’t have the teeth to make the Press answer. Had this been the case Leveson would have not been asked to Enquire into anything and would have had his feet up in front of the TV for the last year.

I will never agree that this report has anything to do with the freedom of the press. It will however curtail the press’ perceived freedom to break the law and damage peoples lives with impunity.

As for David Cameron, his comments in the house yesterday simply proved he is not up to the job of PM. A typical toff, full of hot air and bullshit. The sooner we get rid of him the better. Roll on 2015.



Thursday, 29 November 2012

Last Night

Moon and Jupiter in cloud.


Moon and Jupiter later, not in cloud


Fradely Junction

This has been a busy place. I arrived Tuesday and had tea and cake aboard nbEllen with Phil and Sally Bridger. They came to visit last year when I was at the top of the Ashby Canal before the had their boat.

Walking Molly Wednesday morning I happened across nbSeyella where I was plied with more tea (not complaining). Geoff had just recently fetched Margret from her friend’s house where she had been recovering since she came out of hospital. He had to take the hire car back so we set off to Tesco’s for shopping first. I love boating people!

nb5G has been a close neighbour off and on having passed them several times since Banbury. We had a chat this morning at the water point. While chatting nbDebdale came past but its not the same people. I walked on down past the lock and found Geoff watering up by the cafe. More tea was drunk and  Molly and I set off with a windlass to see Geoff down the next two locks. At the second lock we met Nev of nbWaterlilly. Nev was on my ‘yet to meet’ list and has now been promoted to my ‘bloggers I have met’ list. He is off to pick up his new boat this week from Braunston.

I helped the coal boat up the locks, and later bought coal before I set off aboard nbMilly M down the lock to get rid of several bags of collected rubbish at the disposal. Well shiver me timbers if a chap on a bike didn’t stop for a chat. nbNo Direction. Ray you been promoted.

So much happening I am worn out. I moored on the 48s opposite the cafe. I think I will stay fro a day or two I have a few jobs to do not least replacing a skin fitting I had sheared the top off a week or so ago. Ho hum!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

On getting old.

There is no God of this I’m sure
for were there any higher being
why would he make
so many mistakes
at our expense!
When I was a child
I had potential
I was supposed to be
‘His’ creation.
I was a beautiful child,
but my ears stuck out
Nonetheless I grew into
a handsome young man
and ’til I was in my thirties
handsome I stayed.
At thirty something I
all of a sudden,
started to spread
. . . out.
Before I was forty
my teeth fell
. . . out,
though I cleaned them
every single day.
’Twas in my genes.
My hair started to turn grey,
though not so fast.
I had lots of it
and still have
Though now it is nearly all grey
except when I come
out of the shower.
My face now has lines
I would rather hide
on my bum
if that's ok.
The nose on my face
is twice the size
it was at a third
of my current age.
My eyes are better since
I became a Bionic see’er
My ears still stick out,
but are larger and the weight
tends to hold them back
As long as I hold my head
slightly behind
the perpendicular.
My spread has reversed
I am a shadow of my former self.
However! the moobs are still there!
My once pert arse sags and
I am sure this applies pressure
to whatever it is that gives
muscle cramps in my legs.
These cramps bring tears
usually in the middle
of spine shattering sex. Oh
and that's another thing
that's not the same anymore.
My ‘manhood’,
though still stands
magnificent, is redundant
on this creaking
frame of mine.
Oh what I wouldn’t give
for one last joyous orgasm
that wasn’t self induced.
My hips are good
for about the first half hour
then in sets the pain
And knees of which
no care was given
now groan of their own accord.
Feet so carefully tended,
once good feet
look like old mans feet.
Skin that wrinkles
more every day
My hands no longer
able to play the guitar
as I used to.
My head no longer
remembers the words
as I used to.
Why did God do this to me
Is he a bad designer?
Does he care?
A caring God
cannot be so uncaring.
An omnipotent God
would not be such
a bad designer.
Given that I have gone
from handsome youth
to wizened old man yet
I am only sixty
I must conclude
that there is no God!
Why would an omnipotent
God do this to me?
What pleasure does he get
from seeing my demise.
God! Where are you
now I need
to feel the passion
I once felt?
To feel the potential
I once had
to be the young man
I was back then.
This is an unfair plan
for which I say
Damn you God!
You have no place in my life.
You are made up
to keep the proles in check.
You are a figment
of a mortal mind.
and offer no salvation
to the masses
just wrinkles . . .
. . . and saggy asses.
No God would destroy
his once beautiful creation,
Yet I am to continue to decay
and die a scraggy old man.
Again I say
damn you God!!!

:) :) :) :)

Happy Birthday
Mortimer Bones
Sorry I am not there. XXXXXXX

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The non-offending boat!

MillyMPic from Jo Hadar

Bottom picture by Jo on Hadar

Title picture.

Just so we all know and understand this. Several people asked me about this, some while I was standing on my green boat.

DSCF5099 (2)

This is not my boat. The Milly M is green. This is a hire boat from College Cruisers. It is a cruiser stern, mine is a trad.  It is blue, mine is green. It’s name is up there towards the front, mine is on the rear side panel in letters about two foot high. Probably taken 2009-2010 just south of the Jolly Boatman. I saw this because my boat was legally moored out of the top of the picture and I was on my way to Annie’s.

I am a lot of things, but that stupid is not one of them.

Oh dear!

I have been blocked by MP @NadineDorries on Twitter. Could that be because I asked about her trip to Israel?

Monday, 26 November 2012

I’m a celebrity Win-Win!

Tory MP Nadine Dorries will be donating her MP’s salary, ‘earned’ while jungle trotting, to local nurseries. At Approx. £67,000  a year that means good old Mad Nad will give away £2400 ish of taxpayers money that most would say she has no entitlement to in the first place, she having buggered off to Aus when she should have been working. If you listen to the news papers she gained £40,000 for her ‘efforts’ in the jungle. So she not only slopes off work and gives our money away, but she makes £37,600 into the bargain. That’s more than half a years salary for her, not including expenses.

One could be forgiven for believing she is not an MP, rather that she is a shyster. Good job I am not a cynic.


Poles worth was wet. There was water every where. Fortunately the ground rises up to the canal.



Atherstone and beyond

Coming into Atherstone last week I met Pickles No2 coming out. Haven’t seen Pete since last years trip up the Ashby. I stayed over night above the locks then moved down to the King’s Head Where I spent a pleasant evening with Andy and Helen Tidy nbWandering Bark

Image1357I was moored between lock 5 and the main road so I didn’t notice the wind when I set off at lunch time. By the time I had dropped 4 locks I was beginning to wish I was back at the pub. I stopped of to visit with Sue and Dave on nbBEEFUR who were moored at Bridge 47. Sue was offering cake so that was a no brainer. After a pleasant hour with them I set off for Polesworth. Dave helped me down the last two locks.


Quite a pile of collected rubbish on the roof. I should have got rid of it at the top lock. However it wasn’t far to the next disposal point if only the wind would stop trying to blow it all off. I stopped at Bradley Green where there is a sanitary station which was good because Milly M was listing at an alarming angle and needed a pump out. Unfortunately pump out is not allowed in the elsan, but I did managed to half fill a dumpster with the contents of the roof.

It were bloody hard work getting to Polesworth. I moored just past Bridge 54. That is where, when trying to avoid one pile of do-do I manage to step into another. Pah!

The Floating Bike Shop

This is from Graham at Tiller Cycles

As of now (October 2012) it is looking likely that I will not be trading from the boat in 2013, due to the intolerance of the newly formed Canal & River Trust. They have advised I will face legal action unless I comply with the Cruising regulations of my Trading Licence. Over two years ago I let BW know that this licence was not suitable for me and was encouraged that they were looking at the possibility of a Roving mooring fee for trading boats, for which I would be happy to pay. I move almost weekly to several locations to cater for my customers and it is this continuous return that they are objecting to. Yesterday they told me they are not interested in treating me as an individual and there is no plan for a Roving mooring licence. I am looking at all my possibilities including selling my boat, my home of almost 20 years. Customers that know me realise that I have been so committed to keeping the “Floating bike shop” open that I have been starting work at 5am at the increasingly busy land workshop. This has not been ideal and not good for my health, just like living somewhere were I now feel harassed by bureaucracy. If you have any comments on this you can fill out my survey forms (you can call it a petition if you like) which are at the land base workshop, the boat, and Wigrams Marina, or email the boating trade manager I hope you will continue to support me at the land base workshop, thank you.

The canal system needs traders. How long before other traders are pushed to one side. Apart from providing a valuable service they are also NOT on the dole!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Fazeley Junction

When I arrived at Fazeley Junction I noticed the water level was almost up to the the bank top. This path was dry. It wasn't until I had set up my hose and was taking on water that it occurred to me that the path was getting wet.DSCF5668I stopped taking on water and left before it got too deep to paddle in. It had probably risen about 3 inches while I was there. Apparently the leisure parks/lakes, up the Birmingham Fazeley canal, were emptying their surplus into the canal, thereby flooding the junction.DSCF5671

It is difficult to see here but there is water running down the kerbstone, in between the top two rails you can see, which wasn’t there when I arrived. I did actually walk on to the estate to see if there were any drains. I think the first house, and probably the next, will be paddling tonight.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Lies and figures.

UKIP said that

When Labour took office in 97, youth unemployment was around 650,000 and when they left it was at 991,000. #LabourFail

So I said

That doesn't say how many young people had jobs in both instances. That really would be telling the whole truth.

UKIP said

Well it rose from 14.5% to 19.4% under Labour.

Do you see the confusion? If you want to be clear when giving information each set of information MUST be in the same currency. If you want to confuse or hide  or pull the wool over ones eyes then you use different currency. This looks like you are answering the question, but in actuality you are NOT!

The 4.9% difference in their second set of figures could be 500 500,000 or 5million or any figure, but you will not guess it unless you know what 14.5% is in real money.

So UKIP seems just like any other political party really. Am I surprised? NO!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Lock Beam Poetry

When CRT came up with poetry on lock beams I imagined little plaques with poetry, but no we have bits of poetry routed deep into the lock beams. It will be interesting to see how much this costs. Not in installation but in early replacement of lock beams. I cannot believe that digging deep into the beam is not going to curtail the life of a beam.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Molly posing for posterity!


Molly in the heart of the canals James Brindley.
She kept trying to lick his face

Sir Frank Whittle

I don’t know who Faith Winter is but while I like her sculpture of Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle I would be happier if it had a greater accuracy. The Shoes are not right they really should be Oxfords The trousers are far too long and the rank braids on the cuff are far too wide. I have no idea how much she was paid for this but it was too much.DSCF5488DSCF5494DSCF5491DSCF5493

Monday, 19 November 2012

CMs and the Law

I am in love with Mrs Justice Cox DBE. She being the lady responsible for pointing out that in the case of certain K&A boaters their claims are of no merit, unarguable and will cost £15,000.

Her summation in the case of THE QUEEN on the application of NICK BROWN (Claimant) and CANAL & RIVER TRUST (Defendant) is here in PDF format. I have no legal training whatsoever, but I have always argued that the Mooring Guidance 2004 was to all intents and purposes easy to understand assuming one had Secondary School Education. I never thought the 2011 update was necessary.

Using the plain simple language that you and I  would use, she very carefully de-constructed his whole argument. She served up a 26 page document which you have to read as a legal document with a straight face or you may laugh at some of the Claimants erm ……claims.

He claims that a reason for overstaying, other than those listed, was ‘personal choice’ !!! He claimed that BW (as it was then)  should have conducted an ‘equality impact assessment’ under the Equality Act. Even his claim that his rights under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act had been violated were put aside by the judge.

Wholly irrelevant, No validity, unpersuasive, unsustainable, erroneous, unarguable,  without merit are all words used by Justice Cox to describe various parts of the Claimants case.

Have a read but don’t laugh!

The Cheryl Tweet

It would appear that even though the retweets reached 30,000 last night, no cash will be changing hands simply because the tweet was pulled at the last minute. Apparently it was a fake account. Anyone have a spare 3 grand they might like to donate?

Reading through the comments I was surprised at the caustic in the comments.

Who is Cheryl anyway?

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Wild Side


Helen and Andy Tidy at the Craft Fair in the Motor Museum Coventry. They were being deafened by the excessively loud war time music. I suppose the music was loud to be heard over the sound of exploding bombs, but that finished back in the forties. I must write to the museum and tell them that 40s music was never played that loud even in the 40s.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Cheryl Cole


Currently up to  9042 so that's £904 good girl!

from Twitter


To Hawkesbury

When I finally shifted my butt, I got another couple of bags of rubbish together and set off to Hawkesbury Junction. I was surprised to see the field clean and the Dog Bins emptied they must have known I was coming. However the bushes by the  lock were full of garbage.

Last year this water point/loading bay on the Coventry was full of of Over stayers/CMers this year none! Hooray CRT!


If any one would like to organise a small working party the wooded area behind the water point is full of rubbish.  I think it will take three or four people about an hour. Email me its on my profile.

Anyway I was able to unload my ‘cargo’ of litter and head off on my way.


Thursday, 15 November 2012

All Oaks Wood to Tusses Bridge

Just prior to leaving All Oaks Wood nbSaville Cut came steaming past at about Warp 9. Didn't think I would see him again that day. However at Stretton Stop he had pulled in for water. I managed to pass him. All the way to Ansty he was not too far behind until I saw a big green bin liner in the hedgerow. Well you know me I simply could not continue.  I had to stop and pick up that bag. nbSaville Cut passed me and steamed on to his night mooring which was right by Bridge 15. You may remember last year I took this picture.


Well nbSaville Cut moored up there over night, except it now looks like this.


The poo box has been removed. I can only assume it is because the bridge has been removed and walking up from the next bridge was considered to difficult. Anyway it doesn’t matter now, it’s gone, and so it should be. Well done to the CRT.

I continued on until I got to Bridge 4 Tusses Bridge. I wanted to get there because I had never been to the Elephant and Castle. I never will. It has been closed down and is currently being converted into a rather large family home. Doh!

Rugby to All Oaks Wood

Sunday afternoon I made the two mile journey to Newbold. on the way I spotted three bags of rubbish on the path so I picked them up and delivered them to the disposal point a couple of hundred yards further down. 

Newbold is famous for its Diwali lights in the tunnel. Of the thirty lamps fitted (in ten groups of three) there are only five working which leaves the tunnel looking a bit sparse. Last year I think there were six lamps working. I have written to the council, again, to let them know. The lights are turned off when its dark because they disrupt the bats. I kid you not!DSCF1333

It was raining Monday, I thought I would stay put, but it cleared up in the afternoon so I moved on to All Oaks Wood. It really is nice out there, especially when dressed in all its autumnal finery.

I set to next day to clear the huge amount of litter that adorns the car parking area. I was on my third bag load when it occurred to me that I was picking up human doo-doo. I stopped. I thought my efforts might be better used on the tow path, where I was able to collect about forty bagged dog doo-doos. Most of these were in Morrison's carrier bags. It seems not only is ‘bag-it-and–chuck-it’ acceptable, it is also the done thing to clean your hands with a wet wipe and throw that into the hedge as well. I left after lunch with four very unsavoury bags on the roof.


Image1322 This sign doesn’t seem to be working


Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Lately Starbucks have been getting bad press from the media for not paying their taxes. Starbucks say:-

"The most important thing to understand is that Starbucks does pay tax in the UK. Indeed over the last three years we have paid over £160 million in various taxes including Pay As You Earn (PAYE) for our 8,500 UK employees, National Insurance and business rates”.

You have to larf. PAYE is tax paid by employees not Starbucks. NI is a joint tax paid by employees and employers. Business rates are an operating overhead.  They know that the taxes being referred to are the taxes on the companies ‘GROSS’ profit and that should be paid before hiving off an money to set up overseas business. The HMRC said to me once “We all must pay tax on any money earned in the UK’. That's fine, but that rule applies to everyone.

When all said and done, Starbucks lied to HMRC about their gross profit.

Starbucks COO told analysts in 2007 that the UK unit's profits were funding Starbucks' expansion overseas. The Starbucks CFO stated that they were enjoying an operating profit margin of almost 15% in the UK - nearly £50m in profit.

When they filed a £26m loss in the UK a year later the CEO told  Starbucks investors, the business here was so successful he planned to apply the lessons learned in the US too. Starbucks CFO referred to the UK business as "profitable" in 2009 after their accounts revealed a record £52m loss.

So not only do Starbucks evade THEIR taxes they lie as well.

Ok now should we boycott Starbucks? Not a good plan Stan. Lets assume Starbucks never sold another cup of coffee, who would suffer? 8,500 Eastern European immigrants who would no longer have a job and a £160 million pound deficit in the public purse because of the lost taxes of the 8,500 now unemployed people who will no longer pay PAYE or NI.

What’s the solution? Public pressure to ensure they pay up. Write to your MP. Write to David Cameron. And yes if you feel it might make a difference write to HMQ.

Message to Starbucks:-

Put your hand in your pocket and give us what you owe.

Monday, 12 November 2012


I don’t do TV but I picked this up on YouTube Wossi’s chat show. Damian Lewis what a cool dude. Danny Baker is such a funny man. Great personality. PSY is a very amiable Korean. My question is what is Wossi doing with a beard.


I am absolutely bemused. The government is to ‘look’ into this whole BBC Newsnight fiasco. It is like they are saying they have no idea what is happening at the BBC, and yet if you look at the BBC’s coverage of the NHS sell off it has been criminally non-existent. That is not a situation the BBC engineered on their own. I cannot believe that the government have not had an input to this.

The BBC have consistently failed to highlight the government selling off the NHS to its mates. They have given scant coverage of this whole debacle. Had Newsnight put some effort into the NHS scandal we might still have a NHS to be proud of, but their coverage has been scant, next to non-existent. Please don't tell me that no one at No 10 has had any influence on that, that no one in the House of Lords has had any influence on that, because I just won’t believe you. Members of all three sections of our democracy will become unbelievably rich at the expense of the NHS.

Not reporting a story that affects the whole nation is equally as negligent as erroneously reporting a story that effects one individual.

Our government should be ashamed of themselves, not because they are manipulating the venerated BBC, but because they think we will believe they are not.

Eton College is a plague on our democracy. The sooner David Cameron and his school mates are ejected form the Mother of all Parliaments the better. I don’t care how good they are, they do not have the best interests of this once great country foremost in their hearts.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

First things first

When ever you moor up it most important to get the urgent jobs done straight away. This couple have just pulled into the side. The lady is holding the boat on the centre line and her husband/partner is putting up the TV aerial. The bow and stern ropes are yet to be secured. I often wonder why some people come boating. You can watch TV at home.



The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, two minutes silence and no excuses.


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Oh My God!!!

With all that space to make a right turn, this hapless boater hit the end mooring. In a similar situation in a motor car this would never have happened, so why do these Muppets drive a 15 ton boat straight into a concrete edge. This is a regular occurrence.


The Fishermen

This out of focus picture could be a reasonable impressionist watercolour painting.


Boots deciding on Breakfast


Braunston to Rugby

I arrived in Braunston Saturday afternoon where I spent two days. Sue 1946 came to visit on Sunday. I met Chris and Jenni with the dogs. 8ch and Tilley moored behind on Sunday night. We had brekkers at Gongoozlers in the morning. Monday afternoon my 48 hours was up and I set off. Past the repaired bridges. Passing bridge 80 I thanked the man on the scaffold for his efforts.DSCF5243I moored just past 79 (which has been completed)DSCF5252In the morning when walking Molly I noticed a suspect Ash tree which was duly reported to the Trust. I set off late and moored at Hillmorton . I was there three days on a 14 day mooring, now I am in Rugby. I was overtaken by a snail at lunch time.

There didn't seem to be many pontoons at the BARBY Marina.DSCF5268

Friday, 9 November 2012


Lincoln  moored in Hillmorton for a day or two.


I think it has a hydraulic propeller mounted on the rudder


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Gay marriage.

There are six states in America where Gay marriage is legal. Good! you might think, it’s a start. And it is, but there are 23 states where it is legal to have sex with a horse; so I have heard. Can you see the problem?


Let me explain. There are only six states where a chap can marry a stallion. Smile

To coin a phrase!

Just so you know ‘To coin a phrase’

Meaning: To create/invent a new phrase.

It does not mean to quote someone else’s phrase.
To do so is just lazy.

So now you know can you please get it right

(Courtesy of

Clicky, you will like this


Monday, 5 November 2012

My trip

Just filling in the log for this years travel and spotted that last trip out from October 4 to April 1 Milly M travelled a total of 487 miles. Worked 37 Lift bridges and 203 locks. and collected 160 bags of rubbish along the way. I have a lot of catching up to do.

Ash tree disease

Ash Die Back is a serious problem. Be aware of what it is and report it. See this video and take note.


So after breakfast on Friday I set off again past the iconic Windmill at Napton.
I hadn’t gone much more than a mile or so when I encountered nbValerie moored not far from the junction. This was one year and two weeks since I last saw them at Prison Bend. A kettle was waved in the window  by Les and I stopped. Lunch was offered by Jaq and accepted. They are off to the states again this morning (Mon).

DSCF5179After a long chat about this and that I set off again heading for Braunston. I had last year cleaned up quite a large part of that stretch and was surprised to see that it was still reasonably clear. Except, that is, for this:-DSCF5180One bag full of  domestic waste. I can only think it was a boater. I continued on and stopped at bridge 100 for the night. Saturday morning I met Kiwidad on nbAshdown whilst I was walking Molly and then, after I got my head sorted I headed off to Braunston arriving early afternoon and mooring just past the Gongoozler’s Rest as always.