Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pebble-Dashed by the Dredgers...

Though they are friendly enough blokes and they offered to clean it off! They work all hours so I let them off.

The canal's a bit deeper now anyway!


But some clouds have silver linings.

Monday, January 28, 2008


This is absolutely fucking terrible and I'm sorry to say I've heard of similar stories before.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

No Virgins in Sandbach

My band are rehearsing here at the moment and I regularly moor in the area (including Wheelock of course) but as a Virgin Mobile customer it seems to be the only place on my usual circuits where I hardly ever get a signal.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Quote of the Day...

S'pose I ought to post a boat related blog at some point soon. Well seeing how I've managed to drain all my battery power (again) I might write about that soon if it doesn't bore me too much.

Meanwhile here's favourite quote (a chapter title from "Pip Pip" by Jay Griffiths)....

Life's too shor


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

...and no I'm not getting any at the moment


Storm in a Pooper-Scooper

I had hoped to avoid ever writing about dog poo as I'd prefer not to think about it, let alone encourage others to, but as Carrie suggests it's an English obsession so perhaps there's a certain national inevitability about it. There certainly appears to be more in letter's pages of some (e.g. local) newspapers about canine crap than say (off the top of my head)....the economic exploitation of the third world (sorry I think "LEDC's" is the PC term now) by the West or the mass imprisonment of people with learning difficulties in the UK.
Anyroadup Carrie was right in predicting that in writing about it she "...would bring the deepest British revulsion bubbling to the surface". I do agree with Bones and Maffi that treading in the stuff is disgusting and extremely annoying, as is seeing trees festooned with plastic bags full of the stuff which seems to be a common sight now (in a sort of alternative-universe anti-Christmas tree effect).
Other things in life annoy me like people in shops who give you your coinage-change wrapped in a note so that you have to put your wallet between your teeth and grip your shopping bag between your knees while you sort it out, or people who walk three abreast very slowly so that you have to walk in the road or people who never use their indicators so you wait like a gormless prick by the side of the road when they weren't coming past anyway or people who say "so therefore" or "PIN number" or "when you get to my age you'll realise I'm right" or listening to people who take great delight in "getting even" on call-centre workers because their little life has been disrupted by some poor fucker on the minimum wage who has had the misfortune to find themselves in a job where they have no choice but to ring them up or people who routinely boat past you at full tilt knocking everything off your shelves and then complain about "bloody hire-boaters" or people who wrap up in thousands of pounds worth of equipment to do a 5 mile "ramble" or people who tell you "I couldn't possibly live on less than.. (insert obscene amount of money) a year" or people who................well I think you get the idea by now.
However overall I'd have to side more with Carrie's comments as compared with GLOBAL HUMAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL CATASTROPHE these things somehow pale into insignificance!
There - sorry folks - had to get that off my chest.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rich - It was a Privilege to Know Him.

I am very, very sad to say that Rich (I don't think I ever asked about his surname) - Boat Painter with Heritage Narrowboats at Kent Green and Sherbourne Wharf in Birmingham, canal-man, musicologist, wit, writer of amusing ditties, lover of life and hater of all things pretentious and false has died.

Everybody is unique and a "one off" but Rich had really a very different outlook from anyone else I've ever met. Here's a little bit of what I know about him.

He was uneducated in the conventional sense having run away from school at 14 to live and work on boats (a canal-man through and through) but he could contribute to a conversation on any subject, his natural intelligence, love of learning (mainly from books and radio 4 from what I could tell) and knowledge of history and the (unofficial) lores and ettiquettes of the boating world made spending time with him fascinating and entertaining.

Rich had a deep love of nature and all animals (with the amusing exception of Canada Geese which he detested with equal passion!). His almost psychic relationship with Holly (pub-dog of The Rising Sun with the last tenants) was a pleasure to observe. He called her "Holly-Pop". He was a native of Birmingham but his recent years in Kent Green, with it's pastoral countryside and almost back-in-time magical feeling had made it a second home. His affinity with the land, nature and people enabled him to fit-in as a local with the born-&-breds of the area. In fact Rich mixed happily with anyone of any age or background, penniless or wealthy as long as they meant well and were true to themselves.

One thing we shared was a passion for music and Rich was always ready to swap recordings. For some reason which I find unfathomable (and irritating), most people seem to stop listening to new music when they are 25 or something but Rich was certainly, as always, unconventional in this respect, citing The Chemical Brothers among his favourite artists for instance along with those who adorned his extensive collection including a great deal of prog rock and psychedelia. A favourite band was the little-known Klangstorm and when I last saw him he was just getting into a very intense, Japanese genre of rock.

One thing that made many great nights out with him in The Sun or The Globe was his exceptionally sharp wit and sense of humour. If someone was getting slightly too big for their boots in the way they were talking about themselves he would often listen very quietly and then bring them down with a devastating and hilarious put-down that was somehow also delivered with the utmost affection. He was not averse to writing short poems and songs about local people and events to be unfolded and performed in a local hostelry in the evenings.

Rich had a very keen sense of right and wrong, was very forgiving of peoples mistakes and issues but had no time for pretentiousness or immorality. He once apparently, rather than walk into a busy road due to a car blocking the pavement, - marched straight over the top of the car as if it wasn't there. He eschewed conventional ideas of work having no truck with modern health and safety obsessions and working to his own clock rather than industry's - sometimes starting back to work on a boat at midnight or at 4 in the morning if that's when nature woke him up.

Rich was full of colourful and highly amusing stories about his friends, boats and boating, and his life in and around Birmingham. Ozzy Osbourne still owes him a fiver apparently and he once told me about a makeshift boat repair he made to one he was moving around the country which, as far as he knew, was still held together with a piece of chewing gum stamped into the floor.

I could go on (and on) and no doubt many of his other friends could talk about aspects of him which I know little about. Least to say he was a person who made life that bit much brighter, more meaningful and pleasurable. When I found myself in the Kent Green area I would always ask Phil or Tray at the Rising Sun "where's Rich at the moment ?" and there would always be a sinking feeling of disappointment if he was over in Brum. He will be greatly missed by many people around the canals and beyond.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Not to be Sneezed at...

A friend told me the other night that a sneeze gives you a sort of mild orgasm! I wonder if this is why you go " ahh, ahhh, ahhhh...." as it were, before the "...chooo"!


Boots for My Commute

I often walk a fair way along the towpath each morning before getting a bus or train to work but the towpath I've been on lately has now become so waterlogged it's even beyond the means of my walking boots to get along the route without getting wet feet, so thought I'd better move the boat quick before I would have to swim to work.

This involved reversing along to a winding hole in the night.....and of course, as is the way of these things, the boat did what it never normally does - stalled. But I got it's all part of the fun!


Party Season

Me and my friend Sam back at new year.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Stear From The Rear

Sarah from Warrior has done a review of the year here.

This is my rather less comprehensive review...

During National Boat Fire-Safety Week I nearly destroyed my boat in a very fierce grill-fire that soon almost went out of control.
...and on no-bullying day I was undermined by a colleague.

Lets just say I'm looking forward to Valentine's day!

Happy New Year! x