Sunday, 27 April 2014

Is this CRTs smallest bridge


A wide on the narrow!

I am a little worried about this. Read on!

We struggled to find enough deep water for 62', but managed to nose up to the towpath and power round. The manoeuvre enabled us to face the right direction

Now I don’t know about you, but surely you only nose up to a towpath at a winding hole if there is a towpath on both sides of the canal? The particular winding hole is on the North Oxford Canal past Barby.

The NOC is a narrow canal. The people on the 62’ were looking for a mooring for a 72’ x 13’ 6” live aboard who was let down on a mooring on the GU. I am sorry for them but the NOC is a narrow canal. I know why they built a boat that big, but the NOC is not a suitable canal for any wide beam boat, much less a 72 footer.

There are places where the canal ‘seems’ wide enough to pass, but it is not the width on the top that is the issue and although the wide beam has only an 18” draught (at present), other boats that they will be passing are up to 3’ 6” draught and will have to move further over across canal into shallower water and risk getting grounded. Add to this some marinas are not wide enough at the entrance to get in so it might have to be an online mooring and I would ask if it is fair to cut the canal that narrow on a permanent basis.

This boat ‘if it should come to the NOC’ will certainly present other boaters with some different boating experiences.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014


Dear Philip
It was a pleasure to meet your family and friends today at your Memorial service. Though we never got to talk to them all we are honoured that those we did speak to knew us because you spoke about us to them. I love the things you told them.

If you were watching you will know it was a great service, even if Elgar’s Lux Aeterna didn’t finish due to ‘technical’ reasons. I was a little sad that I had not known the Phil that every one else knew I bet you were a real character. The wine was excellent it’s a shame you missed it.

I loved the time we spent together and will remember you fondly as long as my memory lasts, which judging by current trends will be about three months.

Toodle pip Erm, whatsyaname, toodle pip.

good-bye my friend


PS If you see my Mum where you are going, say hello!




Saturday, 19 April 2014

And for my next piss take.


How feckin’ stupid

I have been having trouble getting online of late. Whilst I  do connect the connection is ‘limited’ that, I think, means I can send text messages which is not a whole lot of good, even though I have a 5 bar signal strength. The dialogue box gives the option for the computer to find the problem. I click on the link.

After a few seconds this message appears:-

You’re not connected to the Internet. To get online Help, which shows you the latest help content, you need to be connected to the Internet. Check your Internet connection.

Well I feckin’ know that but how do I get on line if the magic box in’t werkin’? How stupid can a provider be?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Belts continued…..

Good Morning Mr Maffi,

We  pride ourselves in quality Brands at Brammer and we only supply the top quality products we do not profiteer for selling high quality. I can not comment on what Brand you bought from you local Motor factors but there are several brands out on the market which are not as high quality as Gates.

If you are un happy and the belt has not been used you can return this item and we can do a credit but only if it hasn't been used.




I thank you for your email. Just so you understand the belt I got from the local motor factors was a Gates product the one I got from you wasn't as far as I am aware. Your ball!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Belt ‘n’ Belts

Last night my engine threw a belt. So no hot water for me then. This morning I went to the motor factors on the industrial estate to buy a 950 x 11.9 belt. They had one in stock which I bought And I ordered two more 950 x 13.  Total price £19.64 for the three. When it came time to fit the belt I could not find it. I searched high and low but to no avail. I retraced my steps all the way the the motor factors but no joy!

I had heard of another place where I duly went to get another belt.  They had a belt, in stock, and I bought it. Now I don’t mind paying the going price, but I do object to getting ripped off. The second company charged me £19.16 for one belt. I pointed out that that couldn’t be right as I had bought one earlier at the motor factors for £5.66 + VAT and that the total bill for three belts had been £19.64. He assured me it was. Given that I needed the belt I paid.

I decided on the way home to go to the co-op and whilst there an Eastern European chappie  who had seen the belt hanging on my bicycle asked me if I had lost a belt. There in his hand was the belt I bought this morning. I thanked him profusely! So now I had two belts and two on back order. I returned to the boat to fit the belt. The original one didn’t fit – too long. So I fitted the expensive one instead.

I can get a shower tonight.

EDIT: the company who charged excessively was BRAMMER

Monday, 14 April 2014

And this is?

You may never have seen one of these before it’s a baby Glibich. I had only ever seen a grown up one. Indeed I am writing a story about one. It is unusual to see one so prominent, they usually blend in with the hedgerow. Keep an eye out for them they are rare. I first saw one in Thrupp. The recent snow had highlighted its outline and made it easier to see. You are blessed if you see them . You must treat them with respect. They are cursed wizards and you can help them.


Saturday, 12 April 2014


Today I have managed to get as far as Northbrook Lock. Earlier this afternoon Sarah called and said to look out for the willow at Bridge 210. Apparently Mark had heard it crack as he passed and said it is going to come down today. Yeah! yeah!

I arrived at Allen’s Lock at the same time as Chris and Joy who were just returning from the shops. I stopped for a cup of tea. Can you believe they had just got back from the shops and had NO cake! It’s a scandal!!!

I stayed for an hour. When I stopped at Heyford I heard that the tree had in deed fallen across the canal. Had I not stopped at the Wren’s boat for tea & no cake it may well have fallen on me.

DSCF0871 DSCF0872 DSCF0873  DSCF0875  DSCF0877  DSCF0879

One of the many……

….things I have had wrapped around my propeller.

It’s a about 15 feet long.


Thursday, 10 April 2014


Some one did a good job of tidying up on the Birmingham & Worcester but the effort has been spoiled by the piles of  bags left awaiting collection. It looked to me to have been there some time.


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

No! This is so wrong

Along the Birmingham and Worcester and the Stratford Canal contractors are dredging the canal. There is a problem these days when doing such a task, in as much as, much of the canal is contaminated. A number of the toxins are long term and have built up during the working days of the canals. Cadmium and sulphur to name just two. Of course modern day farming techniques use a lot of nitrates and these are washed into the canal. EU regulations control where the dredge can be put. Years ago it was put back on farm land as that saves the farmer buying the stuff the best place for nitrates. However now that that is not an option the contractors are putting the dredged silt on the bank, mostly on the off side but some on the towpath side.

Unfortunately everything they take off the bottom goes on the side. Cans, bottles, plastic bags, scrap metal, mobile phones, murder weapons, bicycles, car tyres, hypodermic needles and every other kind on scrap you can imagine. This is not good! DSCF0779

Since October I have met Richard Parry three times. The last time was on the Hatton Flight a few weeks ago. I explained to him about the dredging problem and he agreed with me that it was not good. Hopefully in the not too distant future a solution will be found to sieve the dredged silt before it is put on the side of the canal. Then the only problem will be how to stop the dredged silt being washed back into the canal because……(pause for effect)……. that is how it got there in the first place!

The Dishonourable PM

I am sure we are all well aware that the Right Dishonourable David Cameron is not a suitable man to be the political leader of our once great nation. His recent support of Maria Miller is simply a reiteration of his dishonesty and of his contempt for the people of the United Kingdom.

The people who he has in his cabinet are hatchet men who, in these times of austerity, are nothing short of Nazis in their concern for the very people who they are pledged to represent. They thieve, and lie, and cheat expecting to be protected by their friend Cameron.

Maria Miller has not only stolen £90,000 from the tax payer. She has lied and she has tried to bully the Committee about procedure, the Committee who in her case are the law. This is the equivalent to me committing a crime then bullying the arresting officer and telling him he is not interviewing me properly and that his line of question is outside his remit. She has been known on numerous occasions to utter “Don’t you know who I am?” I will now ask “Who does she think she is?” Like David Cameron she is an employee nothing more. If her employers, us, were to carry out an ACR she would at best be demoted at worst fired.

What our political leaders seem not to understand is they are public servants. We, the taxpayer, pay their salaries, their vast salaries! They are employees, they are not bosses. In much the same way as I can fire my lawyer if I think he is not doing his job, we the citizens should be able to fire the PM because he clearly isn’t doing his job. He works with criminals, he shelters criminals. He lies to his employers. He is truly a dishonourable man.

The good thing about this episode is the Conservatives, specifically Cameron, have sealed their fate. They will not get elected in 2015.

Edit: Hurrah she has gone!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

I wandered lonely……


Taken in Braunston.

Safer Ladders!

On the Stockton Flight CRT are addressing the problem highlighted a while back about not having enough room behind lock ladders it get a safe foothold when climbing  out of a lock.DSCF0794DSCF0792Much safer than before.

Molly likes it 


At Marston Doles


Monday, 7 April 2014

Around the prop!

I seem to have spent more time down the weed hatch this year than I have in the last eight. This was yesterdays pile of prop foul. One thing you can be certain of is this and all the other stuff I have had around my prop, which since Leicester has been enough to fill a wheelie bin, has all been disposed of at the proper places and not just tossed on to the towpath as others are apt to do.


Can we all make an effort this season to not throw away our prop foul willy nilly but save it in a carrier bag to dispose of at the proper place. Your roof will not rot away if you put a bag of rubbish on it for a few miles.

Sunday, 6 April 2014


After leaving Braunston, where I unloaded five bags of rubbish, I collected all this before I arrived at Napton.DSCF0817

After leaving Napton I collected all this before arriving at CropredyDSCF0867 And believe me I wasn’t really trying I could have doubled this if I was able to get into the side to collect all.

Indeed this container part filled with oil was dumped near a bridge where I couldn’t get close enough.DSCF0868By Banbury I had collected a further two large bags of trash. there is no end!


Friday, 4 April 2014


I was up early on Monday morning. I crossed the canal for water. At about 9.30  Carpe Diem was ready to leave so we once again set off up the locks together.

We did OK arriving at the top of the Calcutt flight at about 12.00. It is then short of a mile to Wigrams and five miles to Braunston. We arrived mid-afternoon. I moored behind Oakfield they were not at home.

Text: You’re not home!

Oakfield: True we are in Rugby for they day with Del and Al.

Me: Well in the absence of any friends to commune with I will do the next best thing……….PUMP OUT!!!!!!

Oakfield: Shit happens! :)

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Bob Crow

Bob Crow was buried last week at the City of London Cemetery in east London. Mr Crow died from a suspected heart attack at the age of 52.

Hold it! A man of 52 dies and they only suspect he had a heart attack? What about a post mortem examination to determine the actual cause? Its not like he was Jo Public is it. He may well have had a heart attack but what caused it.

He wasn’t the first powerful union leader in the world to die young, I doubt he will be the last. Who or what killed him? That’s what I want to know!