Monday, June 25, 2007

Talking of being "at one with the birds"

Here's Harvey trying to hunt the easy way!


Mammon Rules the Waves

Read about one boater's (Mortimer Bones) anguish (both practical and moral) caused by the new tender-for moorings experiment here .

I lived in a marina for 3 years and don't want to again (this is partly what BW is trying to encourage). My boat is self sufficient and I don't want to pay for the upkeep of a massive car park which I won't use. I also don't want to look out of the window every morning in my A.M. semi-conscious state...and see my next door neighbor, centimeters away, looking back at me! Hardly the point of living on a boat if you ask me when I can be at one with the fish and the birds.

A typical canal boat in 10 years time?


Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Summer Solstice

...and talking of boat businesses (see below)...moored nearby at the moment is the Willowmoor Art Workshop on which artist/boater Michelle Martin allows you to go inside and look around - but do the right thing and buy a lovely piece of artwork.


Monday, June 18, 2007

A Mirage?

In the

heat of the day and my lacking-in-sleep hungover state this needed a 2nd look...

It really is an Ice-Cream Boat!


Colin & Si

Break back mountain springs to mind...

Lil' chief Murkey-Waters

(Sorry about my stereotypical depiction of a native American)


My cute little Niece is doing fine.

Friday, June 15, 2007

What is a Lock?

A lock.

Be afraid – be very afraid. A lock is a watery tomb. Here the dominant life forms are slime-based - enthusing in their multitudes across surfaces, awaiting a faltering foot.

Then there’s the ghosts. Every lock has a dark story – victims swallowed whole. The tortured souls of working boat boat-people, some of whom slipped into sleep from toiling night and day, then dropped into this gushing grave. Modern boaters fetishize their hard lives with high-tech paint jobs costing thousands and boastful talk of the system covered so far, lives lived with time to spare, they know nothing of their freezing toil and torment – another victim perhaps?

Those locks without one dark story have many. The young woman who died here 200 years ago, lovelorn, lonely – not for her the bright lights of clubland, the constant party preparation of MSN and myspace, fighting the boys off. For her a chance encounter maybe once a year, a chance to chat while unloading or exhausted smiles exchanged as craft literally slip past in the night. Then, just a couple of years ago…a whole party of happy holiday boaters , drunk and brash – all drowned as quickly as kittens in a weighted bag.

There are tricks and knacks to this sedate ride - but get it wrong and the world tips up quickly the pleasant splashing becoming a murderous torrent. The lock’s next victims are those who worry least - too flash, too complacent.
So pay respect to the knacks and the mechanisms, the ghosts and their toil reinvented as leisure, to the slimes who live light and dark far quicker than any rock-pool goby - and who await the next slip. A lock can open a gate into the next world, or is it the eternal void?

So look after yourself – and be afraid.


Monday, June 04, 2007

A Gaggle

Lock Work

Most of the UK canals don't havelock keepers these days so if you can- bring one with you!
...Hack Green on the Shropshire Union

Destination Rainbow's End!


Merlin and the Moon

Newcastle Under Lyme Music Fest

Enjoyed bits of this event with H and Si


Last Chance to Smoke!

Less than a month to go before smoking is banned in all "enclosed spaces" in the UK. A bit of social history then.... a smoking party in Sandbach (at the Lion if you're that desperate) while you can!


Spot the Signet

Can you spot the 4th signet?
Click on the photo to enlarge and take a peek!


Venetian Marina (Not miserable gits like most)

Felt a bit guilty the other day...was sitting in the venetian marina cafe with a couple of friends saying how marina staff are notoriously grumpy know-alls who generally charge massively inflated prices to their largely "captive" audience of customers...

I needed their services - a friendly bloke from RCR informed me some of my batteries are in terminal (ha haaa) decline and have only had the appearance of some life though constant stroking from my solar panels...

Anyroadup (I was born in Yorkshire so I'm allowed to use the phrase) - the staff were very friendly and helpful and even insisted on delivering the said batteries themselves personally, there and then (this was after usual opening hours and were only still there because they'd been unloading all day from Crick). So I can't recommend them highly enough....Hats off etc...

It's all a bit confusing because I think there are two separate chandleries there - the one I'm referring to used to be Aqafax I think. The "other" one, facing the canal is also well worth a look as upstairs is a cornucopia of 2nd hand boating gear.



I'm not dead just haven't posted for a bit - done lots of boating and a few pics coming soon...

I love boating in the winter too but at this time of year it's an utter joy and privilege :) :) :)