Saturday, 28 March 2015

Fast food and bad service.

There I was in a well known fast food outlet. I had sat to ‘enjoy your  meal sir’ (I am not daft enough to believe this is a meal, its a hole filler). Any way a chap walked in with his bicycle. This is an odd thing to do, but it was a very expensive machine disc brakes and everything!

“Sorry sir you cant bring that in ‘ere,” said a 300 pound security guard.

“Sorry,” said the chap, “but I didn’t bring my lock,”

“You still can’t bring that in ‘ere.”

“It might get nicked outside.”

“Leave it outside the door.”

Now the security guy probably couldn’t have done anything to stop the chap if he chose to keep the bike with him. He was six foot seventeen, that was his thigh size.

Just thinking about running after a perp would have probably caused a severe bout of sitting down exhausted. I would hazard a guess he doesn’t have a direct visual relationship with his man bits and hasn’t for many years.

The chap took his bike outside and  watched painfully while waiting for the security guard’s doppelganger behind the counter to serve him.

The Security guy stood against a wall looking inwards paying no attention to the chaps bike.

Security people need to do a course on customer service. What man mountain should have done, given that it was a slack time, is to wait outside or very near the door being a guardian angel. But no after he stood for a bit he himself went to the counter  and ordered his lunch. The last thing he needed, at this point in time, was a Maccie D. A bottle of water would have done him more good!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Do what!!!

Last Sunday I walked with Molly down the road from the Elephant & Castle into the ‘village’. There is a One-Stop and a Chippy. On through the housing estates and eventually I found myself at The Greyhound where I had a lunchtime pint and and chatted to Caroline a photographer.

On my way I observed this patch of grass between two houses. Its nowhere special.DSCF2649The leaves have been allowed to lay on the grass too long in places causing bare patches. There is a bit of litter, not much, and dare I say the dogs have left their mark.

What is surprising is the sign . DSCF2648 What kind of a council would fine a kid £500 for playing footy on a patch of grass. Vehicles I can understand maybe even cycles, but ball games! And worse still they have a law! We live in a world where faceless bureaucrats make laws against kids having fun! Where will it end!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


There I was waiting at Great Haywood Lock waiting to take a picture. Before I could get the picture I wanted a green boat arrived, Tumbarumba, on board Julie and Brian who I last met at Great Heywood two years ago. Before that I met them at Newbold Tunnel down on the North Oxford and then 7 years ago at Brentford Reading Abingdon Thrupp. Cassie’s Dream. I met Smiffy and TG on Islonian at Atherstone, Fazeley. Fradley. Rugeley, GH. I met James nb Marquis at Fradley then again at Stone. I see Sue and Vic on No Problem in Thrupp and Gary and Della on nb Muleless and Del & Al on Derwent 6, Festina Liente, The Hunters nb Beefur. Tony and Jackie on Timewarp often appear as I am on my way around the canals. I saw nb Chalkhill Blue on the T&M at Fradely Nev on Percy. Mort Bones will be a lunch date in Brum. Barbara and Terry on nb Hakuna Matata invited me to dinner at the bottom of Atherstone. Ann and Keith on OAKFIELD are often visited in and around Braunston. 5G show up from time to time. Christine and Les and Jaq on VALERIE. These people and many, many more are friends.

Time for a cuppa or a beer or even dinner.  Its one of the joys of boating  you just never know who is around the next corner.

This is my Continuous Cruiser Community. We meet every so often be it days, weeks, months, or even years. As CCers this is what we like. To suggest that CRT are in any way trying to break up CCer communities is absolutely farcical. To do that they would have to catch us all together first and that never happens.

CCers move. We have a great life and enjoy our lives meeting old and new friends on our journey. If you want to stay where your ‘community’ is then you are not a CCer by any stretch of the imagination.To suggest you are is disrespectful to the rest of us. If you don’t move around then you are a Continuous Avoider. Live with that and stop fecking up every one else who will play by the rules.

And as for Regional CCers Pah!



Monday, 23 March 2015

Rubbish and Filth

For four years I have been collecting other peoples rubbish off the towpath. In that time I  reckon I have shifted between 12 and 14 tons of garbage.

Saturday at Hawkesbury Junction I picked up my EIGHTH porta-loo, FULL of sh*t.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE there is a rubbish point and elsan 150 yards away. Bloody bastards!!!

The Moon


and his friend Venus DSCF2689 I think

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The blocked path at the Elephant & Castle, North Oxford Canal.

The story is this. For some reason Mr Grumpy Guts (I have met him today and he most definitely is) decided to put a small concrete wall down the centre of the pathway. He filled the side along the bridge with soil. In this soil he has planted Blackthorn and Hawthorn. His reason for this is unknown, but I suspect he plans to let it grow to eventually block the path.

Enter the council who say sorry you cant do that be...cause the path has to be 1.8 mtrs wide under H&S regulations he has been told to re do the job and ensure the path is at the correct width. Because the path at it planted width was a H&S risk the path had to be locked off.

Mr Grumpy has now completed the work required and is waiting for the council to come around and inspect hence the blocking fences are still in place.

I would want to know why the council didn't tell him to put it back as it was given that the path is not on his plan and as such he has no domain.

How do I know he is Grumpy Guts? Well today I moored outside his garden. I had a lot of crap on my prop. Whilst here I took some pictures of the offending path way and also one of the dog compound in his garden. He came out and started shouting and swearing at me. He never mentioned setting the dogs on me so I am assuming the police have had a word. I did explain why I took the picture, but he called me a "weird cunt" and told me to "fuck off". Needless to say I am still here.

Saturday, 21 March 2015


I set off from Fazeley yesterday and made my way to Bedworth Bridge 16. Nuneaton as usual was an absolute disgrace. I have never seen anywhere so badly covered with litter from  the general populace. Dog shit abounds from the hedgerow to the waters edge. People are so disgusting. Fly tipping is not a stranger to Nuneaton. Sorry Nuneaton but I will not help you cleaning up until you start helping yourselves. Can you believe some people in flats throw dirty nappies out of the window on to the grass!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Collision course!!!!!!!!

I travelled the Cudworth flight, and arrived at Fazeley Junction to moor our side the old mill. 

As I put the boat into reverse, to come alongside it went forward faster and nearly parked on the towpath. I switched off the engine and it was only by jumping off and flicking a centre line around a bollard that I managed to avoid a collision with the bridge. This method of stopping a boat is only for use in extreme circumstances. It is surprising how far over a boat will heel.

The problem was that the boat was staying in forward gear. Once tied up I looked at the controls and found the gear selector cable had become detached from the Morse controller. I remember the engineer having a bit of a problem when he changed the cable back in November. Anyway I just happened to have a circlip to hand and duly fitted the gear cable. In no time at all the cable was fixed and I was off to the chip shop. Result!

And away I go!

My day started at 9. Having had a very feverish night I woke with razors in my throat and a snot lined nose. I was feeling kinda shite. And the crowd cried out for more!

Still, Molly had to walk and dump so I got dressed and out we went. I was moored on Cambrian Wharf so we were able to walk across the gardens. After Molly had done her biz we returned to the boat I had breakfast and we reversed out to Farmers Bridge Locks. Passing Kirsten in her boat I called good bye, she waved out of the bathroom window. As I was working through lock 3 Kirsten came along with her windlass. Together we did the next 20 locks. That was a great relief given that I was feeling crap. I am very grateful Kirsten thank you very much.

Kirsten left at lock 10 on the Aston Flight because we thought that was the last one. 400 yards later I came across lock 11 which I had to do myself. With the lock empty I sat on the beam to open it and it snapped in the middle of the gate. I really must lose some weight.

I was still in the lock and the gate was shut. I couldn’t pull on the beam, it was all floppy, and so I crossed over via my roof and pushed the gate open from there. Driving the boat out I moored up and reported the gate to CRT who arrived in about half an hour. It was clearly evident that a bolt through the beam holding a strap onto the end post had allowed water in and this had started the rot.

Looking into the crack white mold was visible. The plan when I left was 4 bits of angle iron to support it and strap it all together. Should make a good job if they pull it off.

DSCF2551 DSCF2552 DSCF2553  DSCF2555    DSCF2559

Monday, 16 March 2015

Last Will and Testament

In English Law a man may dispose of his property as he chooses (‘testamentary freedom’). This is the law of the land and applies to all and sundry so everybody is equal. Unless, that is, you are a moslem.

The Sharia Law says that:-

‘Male heirs [should] in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir,’ it said, and ‘non-Muslims may not inherit at all’. Likewise ‘illegitimate and adopted children are not Sharia heirs’ and should not be left a penny.

Well you might think we are in England so that doesn’t apply here does it? Well The law society thinks different. In a practice note on Sharia-compliant wills, the Law Society advised the 125,000 solicitors in England and Wales to urge Muslim clients to discriminate against women, non-muslims, adopted and ‘illegitimate’ children.

So not only do we have one law for the rich and one law for the poor we also have yet another law for moslems.

Isn’t it amazing I am not allowed to discriminate against any moslem, yet a moslem can discriminate against women, childern and non moslems (me).

So will someone please tell me what freedom our ancestors fought for in the two great wars or was this just more government bullshit we were fed?

Allah truly is a piece of work. Allan Snackbar!!!


Today I was thinking of leaving when I had a knock at the window. A strangely dressed chap ask if I was a CCer and passed me a slip announcing that the National Bargee Travellers Association NBTA were having a meeting at the Victoria in John Bright Street at two. Well I am not a great fan of the NBTA. There are few if any Bargees left and what the Assoc wants to do seems not to involve travelling. However I put away my prejudices and decided to go along to see what they had to say. I put off leaving Brum until tomorrow-ish.

The Victoria is never going to win any medals for modernity but it is a nice pub. 50s I would say. Main downside NO GUINNESS!!!

The meeting, upstairs, was a bit disorganised and they really need to get Public Speaking training or Amplification! What I could hear was seemingly good info, but I had to work so hard to listen I didn’t take too much in.

James ‘n’ Debbie were there as was Dan Manville. Of course Nick Brown from NBTA was there. All Of who I knew from Face Book.


Thursday, 12 March 2015

Down the weed hatch!

I left Wolverhampton around 10ish and made my way to the New Mainline. I have been to Brum three times before today and have always used the Old Line so the NML looked interesting. A chap stepped out onto the towpath and said, “You look to be having a better day than I am”. Bloody bastard! I had nearly got to Spon Lane Bridge when I stopped to pick up a couple of dozen bottles of the old toll house island.

I heard the dreaded stalling as the prop picked up some rubbish. Opening up the weed hatch I was surprised that hatch was full I couldn’t get my boat hook down past the fouling.

I had to take this off the prop……DSCF2532 …..but before I could take that off, I had to take this off first.DSCF2533

That’s a 9 foot boat hook for comparison. There is about 80 feet of it 1 3/4 inches in diameter. It was industrial heavy duty 3 core and the smaller stuff was the quadrant that made the filler. Needless to say the copper cores had gone. It took about an hour and a half laid on my chest. Fortunately  I was able to hook the ends out from under the boat and slowly unknot it.

I blame the bloke on the towpath!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Oh god!

I received an email today, you know the kind. It began;

It is comprehensible for you to nurture apprehension reading from me on the premise that I am unknown to you.

These people really have to stop taking the drugs.

Martin Thorne

Martin loves Fly-fishing. He is a member of an exclusive lakeside club and often used to bring me home a fresh Trout. So fresh, from hook to pan 1 hour. Unfortunately Martin lost the use of his right arm and so can no longer cast. No more fish! :( but I am very please to hear he is still alive. We have spent a lot of time talking over the farm gate and on this bench. Martin has been a farmer all his life, sadly he has worn his body out, literally, but he still gets up at 5 in the morning to walk his dog

Friday, 6 March 2015


I walked Molly on Thursday North on the canal. I crossed at Bridge 98 and we walked around what is apparently a gifted grassy knoll, for want of a better word. There is a stone bench that tells the story. A family donated the land to the community in memory of their Mum and Dad. I was just coming back across the bridge When I saw a boat coming northwards, so I stopped to watch. I waved when it became apparent that it was NO PROBLEM. Sue pulled NP over to the bank and we all moored her up. They had passed my boat and left a message. Vic was dispatched to brew up and Sue gave me all the good news I gave her all my news. Then we discussed the shenanigans going on in London with the Continuous Avoiders.

Once we had caught up and put the world to rights they were off on their way. That’s the way of Continuous Cruisers we meet up for a few minutes or a few hours then off again.


Wednesday, 4 March 2015


The National Gallery is under threat. The staffing is to be contracted out. This is being done in the interest of reducing costs. So how will this affect the Gallery? Well just assume it costs £500,000 for staffing. A private contractor bids £400,000 and wins. There is now a 20% reduction in available money for staff. The contractor will want their cut another 20%. So the money available is £320,000. Staff will be reduced. Salaries will be reduced. As the new MD of the gallery you can bet your sweet bippy one of Cameron’s ‘friends’ will be being paid hundreds of thousands to do feck all.

In a couple of years another company will put in a cheaper bid and they will want their 20%. More staff will go. Salaries will fall again. But before we get to that stage they will start charging for entry. Not everyone will get charged just the least well off.

Even if the Gallery put in a smaller bid they wouldn’t get the contract because the corruption that is endemic in this government will put a stop to that happening. David Cameron is a hard line criminal. More corrupt than most. He is a thief and a fraud. The most corrupt PM in the last 100 years. What really surprises me is that he is still alive.

The country at the moment is being trashed by the greedy. If someone wrote a book with this scenario no one would believe it. Too far fetched! Contracting out cannot maintain the service. It will make people unemployed. It will probably end up with valuable art works being stolen or damaged. Well at least Cameron wont be in the hot seat when the shit hits the fan!


So there I was at Great Haywood Lock waiting to get a picture of Andy from working boat Victoria driving the flat that is part of the  dredging team when along came Brian and Julie on Tumbarumba. I last saw them two years ago here. We tend to bump into each other on our journeys.

DSCF2415 Tumbarumba has a new coat of paint.

Oh and Andy’s pic didn’t turn out so good.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015


You receive a letter from CRT  telling you - you are not complying with the terms of your licence.  If your response is to seek legal advice then can I ask what are you doing on the water?

“I have had one of those psychologically bullying letters from CRT and want to engage a solicitor to fight them. Has anyone else found a solicitor who is good in this area?”

I wonder if CRT responded to you “Oh bloody hell another whiny complaint from one of those miserable boaters,” I feel quite sure you would get upset.

Has spring sprung?