Monday, 29 April 2013

Just Look. . . .

. . . .at the problems caused by inconsideration.


Blame everyone else!

I am sure that we all feel sorry for the two year old toddler that was found face down in the canal at Burnley on the Leeds and Liverpool. He is stable and expected to recover. So three cheers for the Emergency Services.

The child’s mother wants the waterway ‘fenced off’ to prevent other mothers from going through the same anguish as she did. She wants the council to make it happen.

This is going to sound heartless, but if she had been paying more attention to the whereabouts of her child when in the vicinity of the canal that child would never have fallen in, in the first place.

Short of committing The Council and CRT to a very costly fencing program maybe the relevant authorities should start proceedings to recover the costs of the emergency services which were only required due to HER negligence as a parent.

Too often today, when a problem occurs, ill-informed people demand measures are taken to stop other ill-informed people (negligent with their lives and the lives of those for whom they are responsible) from being stupid. Well I am sorry but the community pays enough for other people as it is without paying for fencing for parents that cant be arsed to look after their children.

Fencing has, in the past, been erected around a lock to prevent children falling in. A child climbing on the fence fell in and drowned. Fencing is not the answer!

Spam emails

I get emails like this all the time. Of course Jonathan Gascoigne is just a scumbag who spends his day sending out emails to all and sundry. @He has no connection with FaceBook whatsoever!imageIf I click on the link I get the TORONTO DRUG COMPANY. They sell among other things Viagra and Calais. Clicking on that button that says ‘go to facebook’ doesn’t take you there. By right clicking on the button and selecting ‘properties’ you will find a link that, again, has no connection to facebook at all. which in turn takes you to Toronto Drugs.

Toronto Drugs are not the only ones who do this sort of thing Express Pharmacy, Pharmacy Express, Online Pharmacy, Canadian Pharmacy et al. It is all a big con trick. It is not salesmanship of any kind. It is simply a bunch of corporate sanctioned scumbags filling up your email service.

I always put them in the blocked senders list. My list has a 1000 or more of these people. Block one and ten more appear. What I really would like is for my email service to have a basket that I can just drop these emails into instead of having to cut and paste the addy into a page that is three clicks way.

Despite companies (drug and email) saying they are committed to stopping spam it would seem they are really putting in very little effort.

“My Autobiography”

Some things just niggle. If I see one more celebrity write “My Autobiography” I shall commit untold mayhem.

Who else would write your autobiography, idiots!!!

Why on earth would you be on the cover of someone else’s autobiography? Bloody muppets!!!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

I Love Hirers

If you take the hose off the drum then surely you can remember where you got it from a few minutes later when you have finished with it?

Or am I being too simplistic?Photo0083

This was a hire boater, nb Trinity. He used it to fill his water tank. We cant be too angry coz this hose is the hose that me and other people, with a shit tank, stuff down the hole into the tank to rinse it out.  The last few inches of this hose is highly toxic, which is why the sign says:-


I trust College Cruisers have a few buckets around the yard because they are going to need them.

Ya haf ter larf!

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Continuous Avoider

According to a boater in the london area, “the CRT are randomly picking up boaters in the London area for not being on a ‘genuine journey’ despite them moving every two weeks.

Well I am sorry for them, but you could move everyday and still not be on a genuine journey. Continuous Cruising is not about moving every two weeks, it’s about being on a ‘Continuous’ journey around the system, not up and down the Regents canal

They go on to say:- However CRT are also unable to tell them how far they need to move to be on a genuine journey (because they are actually not allowed to specify).

I don’t have a problem with that. If they are not allowed to tell you that’s fine, but if you want to know read the rules that you signed for. I take it you are claiming to be CCers.

Further more:- (snip), but I am worried those targeted will be those with local jobs and low incomes.

Well thinks I. The news papers will love that. The trouble is the papers will report what the london boaters say, they will not understand why they say it.

Let’s understand it if we can. If you need to be in one place for work, school etc  you are NOT a Continuous Cruiser. You may have signed the Continuous Cruiser Declaration but you know in your own heart that was bullshit. You signed it probably because some other boater said “yeah you can do XYZ no one ever checks”. So what you are is a twat for listening to a chancer who will not be there where the shit hits the fan.

Don’t blame the system because it doesn’t work like you want it to. If you need to be in one place you can call your self a Continuous Avoider. Do not tarnish the name of the Genuine CCer.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

M&S at Langford Lane

M&S sent a band of volunteers to clean up down at Langford Lane. I helped out for an hour during which time we collected 20 bags of litter. Well done M&S!

Langford Lane M&S Litter Pick 003

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Adrift in a tin box.

Today as I rode my bicycle down the tow path I happened across nb Vega 70777 across the canal. Both sets of pins pulled out (total 4) two of which were lost in the water. the bow was touching the other bank. Several boats had passed this way today and between them they had pulled out the pins. At least one of them had seen the boat adrift and pushed past it.

I have on several occasions been warned about a drifting boat by a passing boater and wonder why they told me. Why didn’t they just secure the boat. I am guessing to f***ing lazy or too f***ing important to waste time on someone else’s boat.

Economics aside, we are all in this together, if your(our) boat is pulled off its moorings by some speeding bastard then you(we) would probably like someone to secure it. That being the case then it is only fair that you(we) should all do the same when we come across a drifting boat.

If we/you cant manage to do this for each other then we/you might as well piss of home and fill in the canals. It’s all about camaraderie! Come on people get a grip. If we/you don’t have time to secure a boat we/you shouldn't be on the water, get a bus!!!

If you are mooring your boat spare a thought for the chap who may find it adrift. He will need a centre line (a proper one) and he will need a club hammer to reinsert your pins. Put them in your gas locker if you are worried about getting them nicked. I hate trying to moor up a boat with no centre line and pissy little bits of string at each end and no way of putting the pins in. It is damned inconsiderate.

And relax…………………………

Monday, 22 April 2013


This is the proposed route of the High Speed Rail Link. Unlike the continental rail link which we are seeking to emulate (they run side by side with existing rail links) our HSRL will cut through virgin countryside, ancient woodland, farmers fields and cut up canals. Our ‘leaders’ such as they are are not fit to play with toy trains let alone be allowed to order up such a destructive plan as this.uk_rail_highspeed_226mapWhat amazes me is that they think the market value for a house is enough compensation for the destruction of the individual world of everyone affected.

They say it will help the economy, well given that it is not expected to be finished before 2026 I am appalled that they think the economy is going to take that long to sort out, another reason why they should not be allowed to be in charge.

Churchill looked like he was in charge, Maggie looked like she was in charge. David Cameron looks like he is about to piss in his trousers.

God save us from this buffoon and Eton old boys.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Is it me?

Or am I just getting overwhelmed with people complaining.


Some facts . . . .

. . . . are just hard to believe.

“Over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in the USA since John Lennon was shot and killed on 8 Dec 1980.”

That's over 32000 people every year?

That’s nearly nine people every day for thirty three years?

If this is true then the USA has a bigger problem than they think yet they are still voting down laws designed to rectify this situation.


Source for quote

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Maggie’s Bar-B-Q

I have been untouched by the funeral today other than by reading comments on twitter. I did find some amusing words there which if you missed them you can see below.

"Thatcher is reviled in parts of the country that are less important" - yes, Charles Moore actually just said that on Five Live.

Carol Thatcher - Beloved mother always in our thoughts, yeah right died alone in a hotel room  buried by the state, socialism WINS  Bye Bye

What do you mean where's the respect & decency!?! THIS IS THATCHERS BRITAIN!

George Osborne wipes a tear from his eye as he realises he is now the most hated politician alive.

Dennis Skinner: When I worked down the pit & somebody died 4 people wheeled them out and rest of us kept working

David Dimbleby: "Now one of Lady Thatcher's favourite FILMS... er hymns"

Ed Miliband looks about as comfortable as a girl guide outside Jimmy Savile’s House.”

I'm sure some of the folk watching have been there since Diana's funeral in '97 and they've been too scared to move in case they miss summat

I am very proud that some British people have not forgotten our proud rich, history of dissent and booed her funeral.

Thatcher's Funeral: Please can this be over now?


It seems to me the CRT will soon have the dredging problem sorted. They will not have to do a thing except sit back and let the internet do its stuff. It is getting to a point where there is a new group for boaters opening every week. If one can get an ‘internet browsing’ licence for their boat then they can claim to be Continuous Browsers thereby never moving so the canal can be allowed to silt up so reducing the maintenance cost. Silted canals mean people wont be going through any locks. They can be painted nice and pretty and never need to change the gates.

Keeping up with all the information about boating on the net I am surprised anyone has the time to go boating. I wonder what happened to the adventure of it all! What ever happened to just casting off and going. I am sorry but I do not believe that all that planning makes the journey anymore enjoyable than my trips, in fact I would think less so because there are no surprises.

When I set off for my winter journey I am often asked where I am going to. My reply is usually along the lines “I have to travel 50 miles north before I need to make a decision. I will worry about it when I get there.”

Last year I set off for the Macclesfield Canal to take a picture of Milly M in Bridge 77 I had no idea how to get there I did no planning other than filling up with diesel and topping up the fridge and wine rack. I had no idea where the stoppages were. I was held up for only one day at Stoke-on-Trent on the way back.

I do have Nicholson's maps and some GEO Project maps but I use them for daily travel and more importantly to find night stops otherwise known as pubs. To paw over them prior to leaving would be totally alien to me.

DSCF7097Macclesfield Canal Bridge 77

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A temporary repair. . . .

. . . . on my cratch cover. This is the second time I have done this. This is Gaffer tape. If I could get hold of what we in the RAF called Bodge tape I would never have to do this again It would last longer than the cover. Getting good quality tape is so difficult these days.

Oh yes this is where the tunnel wall came out and bit me on my way through Harecastle.


Sunday, 14 April 2013

David Cameron

What a parasite. Living off the state. Lying hypocritical bastard. He would make a good MP. Where is Lee Harvey Oswald when you need him?



I am sorry about the ads in the text. As soon as I work out how to stop it, I will stop it!

In the Poo!

Photo0015The sign in the knitted poo talks about toxicara and its effects on children's wellbeing

The reason this happens is because people walk well in front of their dogs and never know what is happening behind them.

Only the other day I saw a dog have a dump and the chap was only a few feet in front. When I asked if he was going to pick it up he immediately turned on me and and said, “There is no need to take that attitude”.

“Yes there is! You people come around here and treat this place like a toilet. Don’t lecture me about my attitude to your law breaking. If you didn’t break the law I would not even have had cause to speak to you.”


As for the second picture, the law is quite straight forward. It is the responsibility of the owner to remove all doggie doo doo from public places or places where the public has access to. (This includes footpaths out in the country). Not having a bag is not an excuse, not seeing is not an excuse. Now how much clearer can it be? I don’t think leaving it near a bin is quite the same as putting it in the bin!

Leaving doggie doo doo in a farmers field can leave you in a bigger mess (sic) because the micro organisms therein can cause ewes to abort their lambs. The farmer has recourse to the law but how does he find  who’s dog did the deed?

I pick up after Molly because I have too. I don’t particularly like doing it and I certainly don’t see why I should pick up after other peoples dogs. Thrupp is a lovey place spoiled by inconsiderate dog owners.


I wish it were possible to guard against this but how do you explain to intelligent people to keep the bridge up until the boat is clear. To have done this they must have come near to taking someone’s head off. They never thought to mention it when they returned.


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Blast from the past

This picture was taken in 95 I played the gig by the river in the middle of Chippenham. It was the weekend after the Folk Festival. The stage had been left up all week.

Can you believe I was a Sergeant in The Royal Air Force with that hair cut. It was a bone of contention for my Flight Sergeant who would take great exception to my ‘lack of military bearing’. He was a pompous git. He only gained his bearing from the broom handle shoved up his arse that he used for a back bone (think Fulton McKay in Porridge).

I still have that guitar, but the one in the background was traded in so my daughter could get a bass guitar for when she played in a band. That was a good thing because as well as it played it was very heavy and after 30 mins had to be changed for the lighter ‘STRAT’
Happy days

MT and Social housing

I know Margret Thatcher is blamed for all our ills, but I cannot reconcile the idea that selling off social housing caused a housing shortage. OK selling one million houses would have meant another one million people owned their homes and other people wanting homes would be denied. However had those one million not bought their homes they would still be living in them. It doesn’t matter if the one million were renters or owners those houses would not have been available to anyone else.

The whole point of right to buy started off to sell houses to people who had paid for the house in which they lived,  in the rent they had paid; my parents bought the house that they had rented for over thirty years. People who bought under the ‘right to buy’ scheme would simply not have had the resources to go to an estate agent and buy a house, and so would have ended their lives as renters. Where the scheme got silly was when they started selling houses to people who had only been tenants for 2 years (they had barely paid enough rent to cover the stamp duty) and I think that didn’t start happening until after Maggie got the boot.

Love her or hate her Maggie is not responsible for all that we attribute to her. Lots of it yeah, but not all of it. We should cut the old dear some slack after all its Old Nick who has the problem now!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

New Blog

I have started yet another blog called Poetry & Prose. I have often put my P&P on here, but here is not really the place for it as it disappears off down into the depths of bloggerdom where it is lost forever. So I thought if I put it all in the one place it would serve as warning to children to pay attention in class lest they end up like me.

Poetry is fun from “The boy stood on the burning deck” to “What evil doth conspire to break my bleeding heart”. It is what you want it to be. It doesn’t have to rhyme. It can be as short as:-

This is a poem
You can take it hoem

Or as long as you like (here pretend I have just poetised War and Peace).

It can be funny, sad, serious. Laconic, lazy, slothful.

Try it! Get out a pen and paper and write……write something, anything.

Its a good way of passing time or getting things off your chest or just have a bit of fun with words.

You don't need to be a posh git to write stuff I’m not.


PS Don't forget the link at the top.

Janet E. Cameron



When it comes to writing hotties Janet E Cameron must come close to the top of the list, she certainly tops my list. I think I am in love.

Canadian born Janet lives in Dublin Ireland. That can only be good for Dublin…… Now then, I need to find a copy of her book…… I wonder if she reads me?

Theft on a boat

An avid reader of my blog, Keith, is on holiday on a narrow boat. He is currently at Cropredy where, after a pleasant evening in the pub, he and his friends returned to their boats to find one had been broken into. The thieves had jimmied the padlock off nb Farnborough and stolen two cameras this happened between 8 & 9 on Tuesday night. Police were called to the scene

I find it extremely annoying that people think they can mooch around your belongings like they are at Tesco’s. Having been robbed twice myself  and vandalised I am pig sick of this. I think the spinning swords activated when the perp is in the middle of the boat might be effective. I had contemplated a ripple flash and an ear drum splitting siren. This might have a very confusing effect when as the swords begin to spin as the thief stumbles blindly around and is shredded to pulp.

There is nothing like a bit of self protection for dissuading a thief from repeat offending.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Oh dear

Canal World Forum is a bit haywire it seems that the server or IP has changed and the rat shit has taken over. It has been running for about 9 years now and this is the worst it has ever been.

Found ont’ net

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, of hundreds of thousands of cows, born in Appleby almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the county of Cumbria? And, they could even track her calves to their stalls.

Isn't it odd they are unable to locate one single illegal immigrant of the 125,000 wandering around our country.

The solution to this is simple issue every illegal immigrant with a cow.

Money wasted

So I wrote to CRT about the man from Fountains. Jeff Whyatt replied

We do plan to litter pick at key destinations (only) so that we can be assured they have some attention. Thrupp is clearly a key contender for this in it’s own right – I think we do c 15 locations across 256 miles of canal so it’s not such a big commitment.

This means that on average in every 17 miles of canal there is only one place worthy of litter picking. Such a shame that the one place (in the case of Thrupp) is already kept clean by the locals. Money wasted, Ho hum!


£43 for three bent screw drivers. OUCH!!!



I have sat listening to the news about Thatcher this evening. I have heard many of her famous sound bites…….

“You turn if you want to”
“The Lady’s not for turning”
”Where there is despair let there be hope”
”Rejoice! Rejoice!
etc etc

…….which today sound so totally condescending.

She was a great exponent of the saying:-

Political speak is designed to make lies sound truthful, murder respectable and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind.

I won’t weep at her passing, but I will weep for the mothers who cried for their children that they struggled to feed when thousands of workers were tossed on to the scrap heap of life in the interests of making more money.

A nice little earner!

Today I watched as an employee of Fountains, who you may recall are contracted to CRT for certain aspects of waterways maintenance, parked his van donned his self inflating life jacket and went to work. His tools? A bin liner and a litter picker. Thrupp has to be one of the cleanest places on the cut. We all pick up litter. Mr Fountain walked up the steps from the car park and walked down to Shipton bridge and back. I didn’t see him return. but his van wasn’t at Thrupp very long. I would guess he didn’t find enough litter to fill a pocket. I know for fact he did not litter pick the area around the benches near the lift bridge because after he had gone I picked up the litter there.

I would like to know how much this ‘nice little earner’ is taking away from the  maintenance budget? How much money, which would be better spent on dredging the canal, was wasted getting this lone man out to pick up a couple of dog-ends and an empty fag packet? (He missed a number of dog-ends, maybe his pocket was full).

If CRT want Fountains to litter pick on the canal I can show them where to go to get the best value for money.  Recently traveling from Hillmorton to Braunston I collected 9 large bags of litter from the canal.

I would hazard a guess if I walked that stretch of the canal in the morning I could pick up more rubbish than Fountain did, but I think Flick and Adam, who normally do it most days, will beat me to it.


Monday, 8 April 2013

The LASIK Vision Institute

I keep getting emails from the LASIK Vision Institute it pisses me off. They say I am a valued customer, I cant even spell Lasik and if they didn’t keep sending me emails I wouldn’t have a clue who they were!

Ah you might say so if you ever need eye surgery then this is the place to go to. Well no because when I needed my eye sight corrected I went and had it done. I had new silicone lenses put inside my eyes.

So I unsubscribed and it said

Your privacy is taken seriously. If you have received email from this organization after unsubscribing, forward the message to It will be investigated.

If my privacy was so important to them as they say they wouldn’t keep sending unsolicited emails in the first place.

You have to marvel at the email address that is such a f****ing dooozey.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

The voice of the waterways

I have had an input to Narrowboat World (NBW) as a regular contributor for a while now. I recently wrote the Aylesbury Lock 12 piece you see below for NBW. They wrote to me and asked my real name before they would publish the article. I have refused. A quick search of NBW shows Maffi appears no les than 19 times. It is a pointless thing to by-line my writing with my given name (I have never liked it). No body that knows me on the water knows me as anything else but Maffi! A few friends know my given name but never use it. Any one asking for P….. R…… would be met with blank stares.

NBW say it is policy to use authors full names to follow articles. This is surprising because Victor Swift is not a real name neither is Richard Swan. So I wonder why is it so important for my name to be my real name. Would it not be better to publish my stuff as Maffi (as I publish everything I write on line) so people know who wrote it,  The editor of Canal Boat doesn't seem to have a problem with it.  A lot of writers use  a pseudonym it is common practice it is not illegal, indeed George Elliot was one Mary Anne Evans. It was a common practice after the war for German writers to use English names.

I like Maffi, I am comfortable with it. If you walk into my local and callout James maybe a half dozen guys will answer, but if you call out Maffi a number of people may ask Oh is he here? There is only one Maffi, me and if I told you my given name was Jonathan Deveraux what would be gained? Nothing, absolutely nothing! If you want to find me google Maffi and you will find me. If you don’t want to find me google Marcus Donovan and you will not find me. I do have a habit of letting the family down so to protect their privacy Maffi detaches me for any ‘connections’ I may have.

I cant help wondering what their agenda is at NBW. There is nothing to gain from this knowledge. The fact that the editor and a columnist write under assumed names only makes their request totally hypocritical.

Besides when you write as badly as I do its best not to use your real name, you never know who’s out there reading. Winking smile

Friday, 5 April 2013

And again

Oooo two mention in the April Tillergraph Page 11

Aylesbury Arm Lock 12

The catastrophic collapse of Lock 12 on the Aylesbury arm of the Grand Union Canal will, as do all failures on the system, generate copious quantities of speculation as to what actually caused it. It may be difficult to determine exactly how this happened but you can be sure of this, many of the suggested reasons will be totally wrong! I very much doubt Badgers, Rabbits, Water Voles or Crayfish caused it. I can’t see ice being the culprit other than in causing the mortar to break up thereby letting in water to slowly erode the soil behind the walls. Recently I see there has been a new dairy built there and of course the surrounding soil was, not so long ago disturbed by the provisioning of the innocuous bollards, bollards that a lot of boaters agreed were a total waste of time and money. And if these turn out to be the cause there will be a lot of hand wringing and many “I told you sos.” In all things speculative we will have to wait and see what the boy from Marks and Spencer’s comes up with.
I am reminded of an incident which happened at RAF Halton some years ago following the big storm in the 80s. Kermode Hall, the education block, had its roof borne rainfall piped off to a soak-away. At some time in its history a magnificent shrub was planted in the lawn beside the Hall. After the storm the shrub, which had been blown over, was removed. The lawn was made good and no one thought anymore of it until about a year or so later the ground under that very spot collapsed leaving a 12 foot deep hole about 10 foot across which had been eroded by the rain water from the roof over 60 or 70 years. The roots of the shrub had held the topsoil together so forming a secure cap over the hole whilst the rain eroded away underneath. I feel sure that this is going on all over the system behind lock walls. It is my thinking that soil exerts little or no pressure on the lock walls. Once that soil is eroded water in that space does press against the walls and puts undue pressure on the walls from the constant filling and refilling of our locks the walls are possibly flexing in and out and over time this will cause failure. A lot depends on the rate at which the soil is eroded and how big the space actually is. The CRT need to find that out soonest. The next time this happens there may well be a boat in the lock and lives could be lost.
Lock 10 on the Napton flight has two small sink holes on the off side (about 4 x 4) the soil is cracked and, I think, slowly subsiding. CRT are aware of this and I hope are preparing to fix it.
There are many locks all over the system that have caverns, some small, some big; filled with water behind the walls. This water leaks out when the locks are emptied and seeps back in when they are refilled. Many of us have realized only to late that closing windows is a must in some of the leakier locks. Going up the Bosley flight on the Macclesfield Canal one of the locks spews water out of a crack in the fishtail wall before you even get into the lock. I have often thought that these ‘caverns’ should be filled. Whether it is with cement of some synthetic substance I don’t know, but now even more than before they should be filled. Until this is carried out we will all worry every time we lock through. Yes this may well be a one off problem, but in our hearts we know it will happen again. It’s just a matter of time.


WOW I got a mention in Waterways World