I saw this while I was out walking the dogs Saturday morning. It looks convincing to me, might even be genuine.
And then you look close up.
I don’t think BW would have done that, would they? Maybe!
We have to write a poem of 6 - 6 line stanzas, that’s 36 lines plus three final lines. Not difficult so far after all remember the Orange?
Well there is a twist. The last word of each line of the first stanza have to be repeated in each verse as last words except the very last word on the last line becomes the last word of the first line of the second stanza, clear?
These are the last word for the first stanza. Its my choice but for now I will simply call them a number. So its
One two three four five six
six One two three four five
five six One two three four
four five six One two three
three four five six One two
two three four five six One
In the final stanza of only three lines all six last words must be used, but in any order. Simple! Yeah right! Now where do you start?
Well you could say if you were a craft master you could just change lines in stead of words so the sixth line of the first verse becomes the first line of the second verse. But it would have to make sense and that would be very difficult.
This used to be a fine upstanding sign post until a hire boater came along and decided to stop for tea using this as a strapping post and mooring bollard for his boat. He nearly pulled the post right out of the ground.Oh look there he is tied to it!Believe it or not this boat is tied to that post, not very well. Now I know the efforts the company goes to, to ensure the hirers know the rules and how to operate the boat they hire, but there is no accounting for blind stupidity or laziness.
This blindly obvious obstruction (my pun) is right in the middle of the towpath. The centre of the first picture is about 5’6”. If you are taking a walk with the kids and paying attention to them, as you should do, then you may not notice this until it sticks you in the eye. Of course you might have your head down trying to avoid all the doggie doo or God forbid be riding a bicycle in the dark. Either way it will be painful experience and carry a great personal cost.
I know BW doesn’t have the money it needs to do all the work it should, but every week or two a man in a BW uniform walks down this path taking boat numbers. He must have to step around this. Could his manager not ask him to report stuff like this? This has been here sometime. I really want to cut you some slack, so please BW help me here. Tomorrow I will ensure that this disappears along with another a short distance away. What I want from you is to ask the man in the BW uniform when he is on his walk to note such things as this and report it in to the necessary department. You could even give him a GPS so he can accurately pinpoint such hazards. He could carry some brightly coloured tape to tie on these obstructions so Joe Public stands a chance of seeing it. Please?
What is odd about this post? No? Well there are two things. Firstly the signs have not been taken off and put on the side, something that the doing of which has always bothered me. Moving the signs to the side means you need twice as many signs = more cost. And secondly. . . .
. . . there is a street lamp, well it was a street lamp. It has been ‘decommissioned’. I am not sure why. A new lamp has been installed just out of the top the picture. I am curious as to why they never, either refitted a cover or just took this out completely. It may well be that the electrical supply has been cut off, then in that case the post should be properly marked. However all this post is doing at the moment is doing a double act as a litter bin & as technical litter, that is not good. I have last night reported it to FIX MY STREET so by the time I get back from my sojourn, I rather hope it will be sorted.
I came to Northbrook Lock. I came to chill out and read. I came to hopefully write the last chapter of my book, Puddles. Which will be out in the shops later in the year (nah just kidding).
Northbrook Lock has to be just about the nicest lock on the Oxford. Situated in the middle of nowhere it is picturesque as well as quiet. It is between New Brighton Br 211 south and Northbrook Br 210 north. From 211 there are reed beds on the left and the canal curves very gently to the right. The curve culminates in a 300 yard straight stretch to the lock, which seem to be tucked away in the corner. There is plenty of room to moor for the lock and also space to stay, in this very pretty place, if you so chose.
The lock has two gate paddles on the bottom gate and two ground paddles at the top. Being south of Banbury they are single gates. Both leak profusely, but this doesn’t seem to affect the overall operation of the lock which rises or falls about 5 feet. This lock has trees on both sides. On the towpath side the River Cherwell is much in evidence. and what appears to be a by-wash at the top of the lock, is actually an odd designed weir into the river, or so it seems to me. The surrounds are a bit soggy in winter as is the tow path. I think the towpath would benefit from a few tons of sand. The spring and summer are when this lock comes into its own. It is very beautiful. The trees leave a dappled light as you exit the top gate. The sun shines from down the canal into what is a magical woodland.
Leaving the lock the canal curves to the left rather tight and inexperienced boaters in this area need to pay attention to the task in hand or you will end up hitting the bridge 210. Although the bridge is only 150 yards away is not visible from the lock. Grounding is another possibility. This bridge is not accessible from the towpath. It is however a very beautiful bridge and it spans both the canal and the Cherwell. Worth stopping to see it. The section over the Cherwell is very similar in appearance to the old bridge at Abingdon and you can get right down to the rivers edge.
If you are ‘doing’ the Oxford and you want a nice place to stay for a night or two, with no distractions. no pubs, then this is just an amazing place. I saw a Jay yesterday, and a Kingfisher. In the evening, shortly after the fox passed by, a Pheasant strutted its stuff along the way. Lucky old boy. I hope some of you come to visit, but please not this week.
I will not include a picture, it is best to see it first hand.
I just don’t believe it. All my life I have attracted a certain sort of ‘odd’ people. If I stand at the bus stop the person that wants to tell you their whole life story is standing next to me. If I walk down the street and someone is having a personal moment you can bet it is just as I am passing. And now it seems if I moor somewhere and a hire boater is going to be an arse he is moored next to me. They bloody follow me around.
Last night a boat load of ‘pirates’ passed me at the Rock of Gibraltar 17:15 they were intent on going to Thrupp 2 hours away. I told them they should stop or they would have to moor up in the dark nowhere near a pub so they stopped (it transpires that they were told, because they arrived late, they would not reach Thrupp that night and should stop at The Rock). They spent the night in the Rock. At half past twelve they continued their party on the stern of the boat. It’s raining and its cold but still they persist. At 01:30 they untie the boat and push it off the pub mooring and across the other side to the towpath. Just prior to 2 o’clock the engine is started. At this point I tackled them.
“We are just going to move to the other side of the bridge.”
“No your not.”
“Yeah we wanna move down a bit.”
“Turn the engine off.”
“We’re not going far.”
“There is nowhere for a mile.”
“We don’t wanna go far.”
“Turn the engine off or I will call a police officer.” (‘What was I thinking?’)
They eventually turned the engine off! A South African, seemingly the most drunk, nearly fell in the water.
The noise went on for another hour. I eventually got to sleep at 3. The morons were up at the crack of a sparrows fart, making just as much noise as earlier. So the very long sleep I had the day before that was to set me up for reading week away at Northbrook Lock was totally bloody wasted by a bunch of morons who had no consideration for anybody but themselves.
I finally pull pins at 11. I cruise up three locks to Heyford to have lunch. What gets me is there is another hire boat behind me, despite having to spend ten minutes getting up the lock after I have left (they don’t walk up to the lock until after I have left), still manage to arrive at the lock at the same time as me! I was going at a reasonable speed, paying attention behind watching my wash did not break, so what speed were they doing?
After lunch I turned the boat around and moored down past the water point. I will go back down to Northbrook tomorrow. I sit down to read a book (Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness) and promptly fall asleep. I am woken at quarter to seven, a hire boat is passing head light on heading to moor up in front of me, (another night of noisy Eberspacher.) Why did they arrive in the near dark and fill with water before mooring. When they should have moored up and filled in the morning. And another thing their engine was running up to about 9pm/
WHAT IS IT WITH THESE PEOPLE! ARRRGGGGGGHHH!
Oh dear! I see BW has taken to clearing the vegetation around bridges. I am sure there is a good reason for this latest effort to waste good money but I wonder if they have stopped to think about safety.
There are some quite steep banks at the sides of bridges which could result in some very dodgy accidents. I mean can you imagine being a 12 year old who slips on the now exposed bank just as a boat comes through the bridge and the only thing to stop him as he tumbles arse over tit down the slope is his face/skull smashing into the thick steel hull. Then, unconscious, he slides into the water to be shredded by the propeller.
Nice move BW what’s next bungee jumping off the ponty unpronounceable aqueduct. I wait with abated breath to see what you ‘good old boys’ are gonna f*** up next.
Right you lot I am Richard Head I am the head of this organisation and due to financial restraints we are going to have to make some cuts. The cuts will be across the board. No department will be exempt.
20% of all jobs will be given over to the volunteer sector. "20% of all remaining staff will be made part time workers. This will have the effect of increasing our budget by 25% and your work load by 30%, but never mind we live in difficult times, we all have to make sacrifices.
I will, for the effort I put in to make this work, receive £100,000 bonus but rest assured this is really a token of appreciation for your hard work and I accept it on your behalf.
The Central Library in Oxford is closed for restoration (bit of a pointless exercise if they are going to close it), but people still need to get their books back. Today I took a book back for a friend to post through the book box only to find it was locked. Doh!Yes I know it’s sad having a photo of the returning book, but Minnie the Moocher wanted proof I had posted in case it got lost in the . . er . . . post.
I first informed BW about this tree over two years ago. It was up until last year a hazard to navigation, barely possible to get one boat past it and you would have had difficulty seeing if another boat was coming the other way. BW’s answer was just to widen the hole. As you can see the tree still blocks two thirds of the canal and a lot of the crap that falls off lays on the bottom in the vicinity bringing the bottom closer to the top. Oh and it’s a willow so it is only a matter of time before it falls in the water anyway. The only reason it is still standing is a more testament to the wonders of nature than BW’s monitoring and management systems. Given the size, if it should fall on a boat, I doubt there will be any survivors. That BW can equate the life of a boater to a couple of days with a chainsaw puts their managers in the realms of ‘levels of incompetence never before attained’. BW may not own it, but it wouldn’t take long to find out who does (its growing in an allotment, probably council owned). Surely they are missing a great opportunity here and in other places to offer a ‘felling service’ at a premium. A kind of get it sorted or we will do it for you at an extortionate rate. I have called this post the Lemon Tree because if it falls there will be a lot of sour faces at HQ.
I took this picture last October it is taken at the water point just south of Drinkwater’s Lift Bridge. (The water point is a good ‘un as water points go. It has a good flow on it.) I had planned to fill my tank there but ended up waiting until I got to Oxford. So why am I writing this? Well if you look at the picture between the towpath side of the cabin and the white chimney the is the post that says this is a water point, so this boat is moored on it 100% The purple boat behind it is even a few feet the wrong side of the post. Now I am not about to tell you that he shouldn’t be moored there, we all know the rules, that is a decision he has made, irrespective of the inconvenience to other boaters, his choice. I know I overstayed at Hythe Bridge by a few days and I am not arguing about BW asking me to move on, but what I want to know is why haven’t they asked this chap to move. This picture was taken on the twelfth of February five months after the first picture. My question is:- Why is BW not applying the rules fairly across the system?
Or is it just that BW have my phone number and not his.
This is not official and is written on the top gate balance beam at Wolvercote Lock. This is not something that is easy for a single handed boater to do as I am sure you can understand especially when I tell you the lift bridge mentioned is probably 300 yards away. So why is this deemed necessary? Well there is less than 60 foot of proper mooring at the lift bridge and even less . . . . .
. . . . with this Agenda 21 boat encroaching on it. Yes it is only by a few feet, probably 6-8 including his fender, but a 60 or 70 foot trad boat wanting to go through the bridge would have to walk down this boats gunnels to get on to the bank. BW are aware of the problem. They have known for two years!
Further down the way at St Edwards Lift Bridge there are three boats illegally moored two are on the bridge moorings (on the south side of the bridge a boat takes up the whole bridge mooring, he has been there to my knowledge a year), another you would think is Agenda 21 but isn’t close enough to the marker post to even say he has a rope in the A21’s.
I am now allowed back in the Boat Inn. Not because the management has had a change of heart but more because the ‘heart’ has had a change of management. However, on my first night back I still popped in to the Jolly Boatman. Only to find that there had been a few alterations. Two Squirrel stoves have been installed to add fill in heat, a carpet has been added to the old cravery and to the old Boaters bar and the furniture has been shuffled around to give an overall much cosier feel than before.
After our sudden eviction from Hythe Bridge we came home today. What a lovely day to go boating. I stopped twice on the way to do some tree pruning. Some quite substantial small branches were broken and left sticking out about head height, so I took out my trusty saw and took a few feet off. To get stuck in the eye now you need to be 9 feet tall at least. Why aren’t BW doing this?
I was a bit miffed to see this sign at Kidlington Green Lock. It’s nailed to a tree in someone’s back garden. It says “NOTICE Concealed CCTV camera operates on these premises” It kind of intimates that boaters are the sort of people that would break in to this chaps house. There probably are boaters who would break into his house but I would hazard a guess that there are more people in his own community that would break-in, but I bet he hasn’t got a sign on his front door.
What ever you build in Oxford it doesn’t take long before someone comes along and chains up a bicycle. This one hasn’t moved since we got here.
If BW don’t nip this in the bud now how long before others arrive and, as is the case in town where many broken frames and wheels inhabit even official cycle stands, we end up with a graveyard of bicycles.And of course this ramp is a wheelchair access, according to BW.
(Think Cadbury’s smash advert)
You are a Martian,
enemy of me.
You are as nothing
until I need you.
Then you wink away.
Then you f**k with me
I need to contact
my world to see if
its alright. I need to
get online, blue light!
But no when it says
connect, you go green
green does not mean go.
Martians are green men,
ergo, you are not
a dongle at all
merely my Martian.
You are not much use
you will never go
home to the planet
Mars. Blue lite, not now!
If you saw a boater throwing his rubbish in the hedgerow you would rightly be miffed. As you would at the sight of someone throwing litter in the street or emptying their ashtray out of a car window. These are all considered to be anti-social acts and all carry a fine. So I cant quite get my head round why boaters insist on emptying their ash-pans along the edge of the towpath. Certainly in this neck of the woods it happens. I have on occasion had to use my ash bucket to put out hedgerow fires caused by unthinking boaters.
Even within yards of the city road you can see ash deposited. Some people put it in the canal which only adds to the problem of the bottom getting to close to the top. Others put it in puddles this is of no use at all apart from making a mess in your boat. For ash to be any good as a puddle filler it has to be weathered for a long time. A year or so.
Stove ash is really no different to any other litter. It is a waste product of human life and should be disposed of properly as all other waste is disposed of. It’s quite simple you empty your ash pan into a bucket and stand it on the bank and then when it has had more than enough time to cool it is emptied into a suitable bag then taken to the waste disposal area. A suitable bag is alwiz ‘andy coz ya got ya fuel out ov it. Spread out or piled up its’ not nice, bag it and bin it.