Sunday, 27 September 2015

To Leicester and a surprise visitor

So there I was making my way to Leicester. I set off from Lock 26 about 11.30. I stopped at the Navigation pub at Kilby bridge for a roast Sunday lunch. I left there about 2.00. The locks here are hard work for the single hander.

At lock 36 along came a lady who said “Hello”. So I replied as I do “Hello how are you?”

“It is Maffi?”

“Yes of course.”

I know this lady but it took me a while to bring her to mind, I know who I am speaking to but the grey matter doesn’t come forward with the labels

She said, “It’s Nessa.”

I almost shed a tear. “I have something for you,” I said and gave her a big hug. We spoke of Mo.

Mo and Nessa moved back into their house when Mo became ill. Balmaha is up for sale.

We discussed where I was going to stay tonight. I thought above Kings  Lock. Nessa helped me with the lock gate which didn’t want to open. We said goodbye.

It was later as I was nearing Kings it occurred to me that was the first time we ever met, but only in passing. Balmaha was coming out of the lock and I was going in. The last time we met was the time I was stuck in Loughborough two years ago.

I hope we get to meet again sometime soon.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Wide Sargasso Sea

A while ago 2011 I wrote this post Wide Sargasso Sea as part of my course at Ruskin. I am amazed that it keeps on getting  views, 76 this week. Then it occurs to me that it is that time again. Students are back at school and the Wide Sargasso Sea is obviously on the curriculum again.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Bridge Numbering

I really don’t understand this. Why did BW ever place these signs at many of the bridges on the Leicester Arm.  DSCF4317

For one it cost money and secondly the number is on the other side in most cases.


Does anyone really need to know a bridge number so importantly that he/she cant wait until they get through the bridge.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Mo nb Balmaha

It is with great saddness that I tell you of the death of Mo of NB Balmaha. He passed away passed last night after a long fight with cancer.

Mo who I last saw at Loughborough was a really nice guy.

Condolences to  Nessa. 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Milly M……

……from the top of Crack Hill on Monday.


Through the side hatch tonight


Can you guess where it is yet? Of course you can!

Whilst this sculpture looks bronze it is either fibre glass or a phrenolic material. I felt quite cheated, but I suppose like CRT it is only temporary anyway.


It always struck me as odd that anyone, when building a boat, would varnish such things as externally opening doors with water-based varnish. It stands to reason that this varnish would wear easily and be subjected to the rain. Of course when the varnish begins to wear off the wood itself is susceptible to the rain.

My stern doors are folded steel, filled with Ash faced ply. The Ash veneer has over time peeled. Whilst at Braunston I gave thought to what I would do with the doors. I  finished peeling the last of the veneer and prepping the surface for a) waterproofing and b) aesthetic finish.

DOORS This is not yet the finished design, but is well on its way. I didn’t want the tradition roses and castles, I don’t think they really fit with modern narrow boats, The red, white, and blue ceramic tiles are only to fill the space. What I want there is either one single tile 9x9 or 9 3x3 tiles with one design over the 9 tiles. Maybe something like this:-trialThe black panels might just stay black. The vent grills proved to be very time consuming to polish so I bought new ones. 

So far the doors look like this:-



Of course as you can see the inside, which is exposed to  the rain as well and needs some attention.

Monday, 14 September 2015

On the move again.

Sunday arrived with a visit from the one and only Mortimer Bones. I have been at Braunston for over a week now and I have to move. Bones came to help. We set off up the Braunston Locks. At the top Bones got on her bicycle and rode of to her car. The plan was that she would drive to Watford Locks and help me there also. We had a great day. Bones cooked lunch!





Housing? No problem.

It is a Labour party policy that they will, if they ever get back in power, place a cap on rent rises in the private sector; give people three year tenures and stop them having to pay the agent extortionate fees. I can’t help but argue that this is a good policy. There are enough people robbing the less well off among us without small time property investors wringing the last pennies out of people who are in absolutely no position to argue.

However the opponents of the policy say that such measures will only reduce the supply of houses to rent. Woah! Just a minute. I don’t mind people commenting on what is happening, but to openly lie to the public at large is totally reprehensible.

Those people that have lots of houses to rent will not keep those houses empty just because the rent is static. If they do find owning houses a trial (and it’s never been that) they will sell and add to the supply of available houses on the market. In fact if people stopped buying houses with the express idea of renting them for profit then there would be more houses on the market and that would suppress the cost of housing. This may have a beneficial effect on the housing market. People who have just one or two houses, for what ever reason, are renting out to pay the mortgage while they are getting on with their lives doing what ever it is they wish to do so that they are ‘on’ the housing ladder when they eventually decide to look for a house they wish to spend the rest of their lives in.

Of course there are those who having paid off their mortgage are buying to let, with the surplus cash they now have, to offset the cost of their future care in old age. Those people who are in a position to do this are using their financial position to fund their future care from those that are poorer than themselves. This brings to mind a rhyme I heard at school, “Little fleas have lesser fleas upon their backs to bite ‘em and lesser fleas have smaller fleas and so on, ad infinitum”. If the big investors in housing and the small ones release their stock back on to the market how many houses would flood the market? What would happen to the market value of a house? Would this allow more people to afford their own home?

If there was no such thing as buy to let what would the housing market be doing today? Is the intervetion of investors really a necessary part of the housing system? People get into rent to buy to make money. The opportunity to make money through savings has virtually collapsed unless you are prepared to take a big risk. Housing is virtually risk free! So it would seem that those who wantonly destroyed the economy have forced people into a feeding frenzy. Everybody is getting screwed over by those above them and more and more it the smaller people who are being screwed by the lesser people who are being screwed by the little people who are being screwed by the not so little people. The big people are encouraging the ordinary man in the street to do their dirty work for them.

Ten years ago I made £500 per month on £65K just in an ordinary bank savings account. Today I am making £15 on a similar amount. This is disgraceful. Now I don’t want to complain but did we really have an economic collapse or was it engineered because the ordinary folk, were for once, coming out on top. Personally I wouldn’t trust any government to do anything to benefit the common man!

There are over 600,000 properties currently empty in England. If any government wanted to sort out the housing situation proper legislation would stop this abomination. Why should any one keep houses empty when we have a housing shortage! Such owners are not patriots, they are not my ‘fellow’ countrymen.

When I bought my house, twenty years ago, I took out an endowment policy to pay the mortgage at the end of a fixed term. I paid a professional to ensure that, at the end of the fixed term that sufficient money was available to pay off the capital of the interest only mortgage. It was to produce £35,000. However, not long after I took out the policy the endowment policy business took a nose dive! Ever since the company have have been telling me that the policy is unlikely to meet the obligation and I should make ‘other arrangements’ to pay off the short fall when the policy becomes due. During all this time the CEO has been regularly taking a fat performance related bonus and I don’t doubt many of his subordinates too. The policy matures later this year. And is not expected to pay much more than I paid in over the 20 year run. I know there was a problem 15 years ago and again about 5 years ago but even so I cannot believe that a finance/insurance/assurance company couldn’t manage to double my money over twenty years. You can bet that during this time my ‘professional’ has been taking his cut from my policy payment.

It is my belief that the financial problems of the last twenty years are being used as an excuse for either incompetence or mass fraud.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Kanye West…..

…….said, “I’m a creative genius and there is no other way to word it”.

Well I couldn’t agree with that so I sent him a note!


Thursday, 10 September 2015


…. this is an ISIS soldier shagging a donkey. We don't have to worry about our loved ones they have the wrong DNA!


Bunch of perves! Sexual deviants!!!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Hip Hip Boo!

I am currently holed up in Braunston. Following my pelvic fracture back in July I brought my boat through 100 locks and across 100 miles to Oxford. Here I went to my doctor who said it was broken. An X-ray proved him right. He told me to rest up and take it easy. At least at this time the most of the pain had gone.

Anyway I moved up from Oxford to Thrupp to do some much needed painting to the roof and sliding hatch. From there I moved up here over the next couple of weeks. The hip/pelvis is still not right which is why I am staying for a bit. I have to walk Molly so this is all the exercise I am getting.

BooHoo I am getting bored. I need to move. I have things to do and words to write.

Saturday, 5 September 2015


There are some stupid people out there who seem to be unable to understand English. Sending anonymous post gets you nowhere. but threatening me gets you a trip to the police station. Now go away and play with yourself.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015



Speeding cyclists!

Try telling this lady (80ish) we should all share the towpath and be nice to cyclists, She wont listen!!! I don’t blame her!