Wednesday, 14 May 2008

CC Licencing (again)

NABO seem to be grasping the same nettle as the APCO have previously. Constant cruisers really are the most hated people in the world. Even more so than Gorge Bush. But not as much as bridge hoppers. Well I think paying £2500 a year is a brilliant idea.

It will drive off the waterways the only people that use them in winter so BW can get on with those repairs they can’t afford. We’ll all be tucked away in those vast marinas we all love so much. I for one will get myself a little mooring and sub-let it to others, at no cost of course, well possibly a secret donation to a charitable cause (Pete’s summer beer drinking fund) to the cost of the mooring or more since most constant cruisers will be doing the same thing hence moorings will be scarcer and more expensive. I'll then continue cruising as normal or bridge hop, as is my want. Mooring prices will rise and I will be paying no more than I am now but the people that have voted to increase my licence fees will be paying more. In fact these same people could easily be paying me for a mooring I don’t want in order to retain my lifestyle as a free citizen. Ohh the irony. In the words of some moron (probably dubbia), “Bring it on”.

These proposed increases for constant cruisers are designed to appeal to those who despise minorities of all kinds, immigrants for getting fully fitted brand new five bedroom homes off the state, students for sponging from the tax payer and never giving anything back, teenagers for wearing hoods and hanging around in groups, gypsies/travellers for not paying taxes and moving a lot, constant cruisers for not paying their way and moving a lot or mot very much (delete as appropriate). They’re not like us, they’re different, we don’t want them here amongst us. We pay more than them.

These proposed increases will leave the waterways for the part time boaters and the hire people who, as we all know never cause any damage by hitting bridges, etc. Oh, I’ve just seen another hirer hit the bridge I’m near. That’s the third one this week. Well they didn’t do very much damage I suppose.

It will prevent the use of all those facilities that we constant cruisers misuse throughout the year. All that pumping out of septic tanks and emptying of those skips that BW have to do (all that rubbish and shit is all down to CCer's you know) and, aaaahhm, I can’t think of anything else. Washing away the banks. No constant cruisers go slowly. It’s hirers and part time boaters who speed. No, I’m stumped. This wouldn’t have anything to do with the politics of envy by any chance. Surely not.

Paint job and things

These blog entries are becoming a little sporadic to say the least. Once a ever ten days just isn’t good enough but I have an excuse, however pathetic. Despite my previous rant about quasi-sine wave verses sine-wave the internal mouse on the laptop is the only thing that I have found that doesn’t work with the quasi version. The internal mouse software seems to conflict with the electricity form and the pointer tends to do it’s own thing. It works perfectly with mains but not through the inverter. We must try a usb mouse as that may solve the problem.

Last weekend our friends Steve and Jill and their offspring Cloe and Macauley arrived to take over the boat for the day. We took them on a short trip and ended up in a wooded mooring for lunch, unusually cooked by Lisa, before depositing them at their car at the end of the day. A good time was had by all. Well that’s what they said. Heaven knows what people really think.
This week I have been painting the boat on the outside, putting up the headlining and fitting the internal illumination thus hiding the exposed wiring. It all looks very impressive and I’m hoping to get both finished by next weekend.

Terri is has been visiting for the last couple of days after finishing uni for a week with her fancy London ways. Do they ever do any work at uni these days. In my day it was constant essays and exams, we never had any time off and when we did we had to work all the hours just to keep up. Used to live in a cardboard box in’t middle of road...etc etc

The Ashby is very busy at present and I suppose it will be the same until the end of the summer season. It was much nicer when it was ‘our’ (constant cruisers and bridge hoppers) canal as we now have to keep permanent smiles on and wave cheerfully at all and sundry otherwise we will get the reputation of being grumpy old goats. On this boat I already have that reputation so it shouldn’t really bother me.

Lisa thinks she’s on holiday with the advent of the good weather and as such finds it difficult to get out of bed to go to work during the week. She also finds it difficult to stop drinking beer at the weekends. I, on the other hand, have never found either difficult and Lisa says that my whole life is a holiday. I’ve never heard the like.

The dog has cut the top of her ear off. She was limping around, couln't make the jump and fell into the alternator belt. Blood everywhere, a visit to the vet beckened and much money changed hands. Bloody dog.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Wet dog and house bricks

This week has been relatively uneventful. Firstly there was a problem with the electricity as it seemed to run out very quickly from the inverter. I eventually tracked it down to a cheap battery isolator switch which had melted internally. It was not letting through all the power that it should and the inverter started working solely from the starter battery. Seems a little strange as the Sterling inverter is supposed to prevent this. All sorted now but Charles Sterling was in my bad books for a while.

The other item we are very happy with is a 240 volt fridge running from the inverter. Yes I know that everybody says that you should buy a 12 volt fridge for a variety of reasonable reasons but as usual I ignored all advice and went the other way. It all works perfectly and uses very little electricity and only cost £100.

Our new mooring has new neighbours, as you would expect and indeed is why we own a boat in the first place. Dave is eighteen months down the line of a self fit out and I eye his boat up jealously. Glynn plays the accordion and in the evenings whilst running his engine and his French cafe music drifts over the canal. In fact, if I close my eyes I can imagine sipping a petit cafe in our favourite piano bar in Montmartre. Unfortunately the dead badger drifting by on opening my eyes brings reality back with a start. Play us another one Glynn.

The dog fell overboard the other day. One minute she was lying in the sun on the counter at my feet and the next she was swimming for her life. A passing boat ran her over before I could call out but she emerged from the depths again and made her way towards the bank. Unfortunately this was piled, as was the other. She then decided to swim towards the steerer of the boat that had ran her over but the women couldn’t reach her. I reversed to within several feet, clapped my hands and shouted her name. She turned mid stream and swam to me. I lay on the counter and picked her little bedraggled body from the filthy water. It’s more than my life’s worth letting anything happen to her. Bloody dog. Ten minutes later she was back outside again, this time a little more cautious.
At the moment we are again down at the Rising Sun at Shackerstone waiting to meet some friends for lunch tomorrow. The outlaws were down last week at the same place and time. Pearl had a little too much red wine much to all our amusements. Except Ken of course who had to drive her home. While we were eating, there was a thunderstorm and hail stones the size of golf balls. No they were the size of house bricks. There or thereabouts. Maybe.