Monday, 2 May 2016

I genuinely do not know what to think .....

I have just watched this film for action Youtube video. It is about the families and others who are being taken off the system for not cruising enough and not having a home mooring.

Click here for the video ....

Their lifestyle is so far removed from the conformity of my approach to life I do not even know if I should be using my life as a guide to having an opinion on the issue of live aboards who do not engage in a 'bona fide' journey around the system.

I was going to type I have the luxury of a home mooring, but then it occurred to me I also have a job that pays for that luxury. My job also pays for the luxury of a mortgage and a home and an asset. But that makes me more confused.

I did feel for the little boy called Cub who was selling his toys and having to live in a van....(which I doubt)  but then I have brought up my sons and in doing so had an absolute responsibility to do the best for and by them.

I guess that is the real difference - I conform(d) to the normal approach to living.
  • Should I be critical of those that do not ?
  • Am I envious of the those that do not ?
  • Is there anything I can learn from my reaction to the issues in the video?
  • How do I feel about the C&RT response and or actions to reduce/remove those moorers who use the canal just as a home.
On reflection there are people who pay for a linear mooring or marina mooring and live aboard unmolested by C&RT. The difference is the group being pursued do not pay for a mooring but as evidenced in the video do pay for a license. 

So I guess the question is are C&RT social landlords with all that comes to support the less advantaged - well the (my) answer is no they are not. So I am rounding on the idea those who cannot pay and abide by the rules to keep moving should not be on the canals. How harsh is that? In making that call I concern myself with the issue of where does the discretion start and stop? If discretion is used then do C&RT not become that social landlord?

I feel for C&RT,  as a parallel they are like the hospitals being forced to hold onto social care cases because the social system is so dysfunctional. But the comparison is not quite the same as these people have choices I guess and the health care people have not the same choices.

So on the balance of review I feel for the people who want to live an a boat but not cruise a bona fide route and will not/cannot pay for a home mooring. But I support C&RT in their endeavor to enforce the  principals of living (and working) on the canals. I support them as this is the principal for how the canals are used and C&RT are doing the right job, however hard that is.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Work lawns tiling , repeat locking info

It's my record to look back on of course, but that is what I have been doing. The lawns bit is a boating lawn - or grass on a mooring that saw me over to Percy to clear off this job.

I picked up some interesting info from NB Valerie - the C&RT locking report. Click here  

It shows how busy my stretch of the canal is  - with Woodend lock being the 6th busiest on the system. However it also shows the impact of the ceasing of the Shakespeare fleet out of Mercia and the running down of the CanalTime out of Sawley that both targeted Fradley as a destination. Locks such as Wychnor  and Stenson are down 8% on use showing the reduction in holiday boating in my areas.

This time last year of course I was resident on the boat and planning for an imminent return to bricks and mortar prior to taking Percy to be painted.... where did that year go ? Now I am planning the reverse move .... even got my rod license sorted.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Hard slog....stove and CART complain updates

Missing the boat at the moment. Not helped by reading all of your blogging adventures. A combination of extreme studying and lots of work on the house to get it ready for someone else.... means at the moment there is little Percy Action.

I will be there next week as the grass will need a cut and this weekend sees me back on Watery Lane  - literally. Boy did it rain on Friday.

A real contrast to last Sunday morning when I did get out on the Pan for a coffee and a wander around all sorts of P&J's at the bike shop in Chesterfield.

I have drawn a blank on my stove search.... I have an option, someone in the railway 'scene' who may know someone .... And the CART complaint is still ongoing... I'll update on that in a separate email as once again it is getting tedious.

Keep the blogs coming I need my canal fix for the next few weeks  !  

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Back on the boat is getting closer - one back four away

The target is the Middle of May, which will be about 6 weeks earlier that the year before when I recall it was the beginning of July that I took residency of the boat for 10 months whilst my son and his wife took residency of the house. The publishable plans are very loose at the moment for numerous reasons.

As to this weekend it has been down south but not before a stop by the boat to pass on a card and drink for my neighbour Mandy who is off on her adventure of an early retirement cruise of the system. Other moorers Jan and Graham have returned to land after 11 years living afloat. Two more boats have or will be moving on shortly - watch the mooring auctions for some decent moorings if you want an off grid off line mooring with some great cruising routes?

Back to this weekend I was spannering on the bike mainly then 'test riding'  - over to Portsdown Hill

Sunday and it was a ride into the Surry hills to meet up with friends for a Sunday 'salad' of eggs, bacon sausage  - etc ! A decent 120 mile catch up with like minded bikers. 

Tomorrow is the early start and back to the work and home work  - tiling will be the evening entertainment now for the next couple weeks - joy !

That is what my bathroom looks like at the moment, good job we have an ensuite !

Monday, 28 March 2016

Stove update - hopefully

Well I spent a good hour and a half emptying an 8 ton skip I have been loading over the past couple of weeks  - the reason this.....

I have been trawling the internet for a suitable replacement for the damaged back cabin stove on Percy, most were not in keeping and/or expensive. Rachel suggested a direct replacement which I had not considered as the original was a stove from a railway guards van. So I googled guard van stoves and eventually found a site that seems to sell 'new' stoves. As it is the Bank Holiday I have not yet received a reply but I have my fingers crossed. Not sure if they are replicas or from a large batch that were never fitted, regardless it is a direct replacement (would need painting black of course) and the old one was perfect looking and performing.

Why the skip diving.....well I brought the old stove back home hoping I could repair it but on closer inspection the area where the pipe connects was thin and on trying to remove the pipe the stove cracked away leaving a very big hole. So it all went into the skip  - first followed by a lot of garden rubbish and a bathroom suit plus four walls of tiling ! When I found this ad I realised the plate at the bottom was a special 'made' part by Tony Redshaw for Percy as was the door to the ash pit that was effective on controlling the burn. Both had gone into the skip with the stove so they were the bits I was after.

I did recover them after an hour of skip emptying so I am just waiting on the vendor to hopefully get in touch.

Prior to my skip diving I went over to Percy to check I had not left the 'door' on the boat as it was a little like looking for a 'needle in a haystack' or a 'bit of metal in a skip'. I had only left a small brass infill for the cooking area or pot warmer at the top and the bolts to fit it. It did give me a chance for the second mow of the grass and a 120 mile ride to the boat on my bike via Derbyshire and Staffordshire moorlands. Just got to give the bike a clean now !

I am lucky in that we (in University land) get the Tuesday off as part of Easter so I have some options for tomorrow:-

  • Visit the boat and clear the fore cabin out...
  • Carry on tiling the bathroom (in the house)...
  • Clean and ride my motorbike...

What to do  !! - The tiles won !!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

No one would have believed ......

 .......that in the last years of the 19th century that 

human affairs where being watched from the 

timeless worlds of space

What a treat for us to have a break and drive over to Greenwich to stay with our youngest and his partner Emma for a special treat of a West End visit to  Jeff Wayne's Theatre version of War of the Worlds.

It was a theatre deal so we had a three course pre theatre mean at the Bloomsberry Hotel . Just an excellent evening. 

This album has been a central piece of music in my life and it was quite surreal to think of when I used to listen to it on vinyl on one of the first purchases of my young working life my 'HI FI - complete with built in tape deck. I still have the album in the loft at home on vinyl.

The cast and the set was truly brilliant and how Jeff Wayne conducted with enthusiasm all evening was just a marvel to watch. I closed my eyes on a few occasions and there was not differentiation from the recording - a real compliment.

David Essex and Jimmy Nail were truly brilliant with my vote to Jimmy for his acting and singing.

I only got one cheeky shot prior at the Dominion theatre view was much better I was trying not to be told off for taking the pic !

Prior to the theatre we took a walk onto Greenwich Park  which at the top of the hill near the observatory and the meridian line gives some great views of London 

A real privilege weekend. I might get a cheeky ride on the bike later this afternoon as I have fitted a new battery and a new indicator relay after the dog has been walked in the downs and the lawns mown. 

Then its another 200  mile trip to work in the morning to add to the 400 already done this weekend

Saturday, 12 March 2016

I wonder if this might catch on....

I went out with a good friend today to 'collect a tag' .... let me explain.

I ride out with a really good group of motorcyclist and have some good friendships from  the internet forum we arrange meets via.

There is always a reason to arrange a ride out or just ride out for your own pleasure.... those who have a passing interest in motorbikes will have noted a few bike posts on my blog.

The group operate a regional 'tagging' game. This involved posing your bike at a location  - ideally with a clue in the picture or in the words that describe the picture.... the game is set, so if you want to collect the tag (bike tagged in the picture) you do your homework, replicate the picture with your bike in it  then take another picture at another location wth your bike in it..... simple.

So today I rode 100 into deepest Kent odd miles and collected this tag...

Previous riders pic...

My bike my pic....

Then I ride to take this pic.....

I wonder if there is an appetite for those serious boaters walkers and cyclist to do the same for the canals ? I have a picture in mind ?? Post pending I think ......