Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The garden pest

Molie has moved up to new territory.  Andy our pest controller visits every other day to re position the traps.  It usually takes about a week to resolve the problem.
 The Winter Jasmine is turning yellow with its flowers.  A welcome sight from our front window.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Un welcome Pest

They appeared in our garden several months ago.  Mole hills.
At first I just flattened them and spread the earth thinly over the ground. Just one or two in the flower bed.  Then they were in the lawn!  The ground became soft with tunnels below the surface.  Having spent many an hour digging out the weeds and reseeding patches it is sad to see the state of  the lawn now.

A mole catcher has set a few traps.  He said there could be only one mole in our garden.  It is surprising how such a little molie can do so much damage!  It may take a week to catch the little beast.

Monday, October 31, 2016

A walk in the Forest

As my mum would say, to see the autumn tints.
 At Dibden
and Kings Hat
But even at the end of October we are a bit early down south!  The leaves are falling and no doubt clogging your prop!

Monday, October 24, 2016

A visit to Portsmouth

 The big grey boats have been active escorting that Russian convoy through the English channel.
 The Mary Rose was built for Henry VIII in Portsmouth.  She was heavily modernised and sank outside the harbour during a battle with the invading French.
Here we are on the deck of HMS Victory.

The historic Dockyard is very well worth a visit.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Waterway finance?

I am a member of NABO.  A group of volunteers who represent boat owners at meetings with CRT.
Their latest News booklet includes a report by Stella Ridgway about the CRT Annual Report.  I wonder what the charity is doing with their income.

Apparently the total income was £188.7m.  Some of that comes from DEFRA, Boating and Property Investment.  Us boaters paid £42.4m.

Strangely it cost the charity £39.4m to raise funds!   Charitable giving alone cost 1.1m.  Apparently it cost £7.20 for every £5 given! What is the point of that?

Trustees do not get paid but get expenses to the tune of £19,897.  Richard Parry was paid £189,847, Stuart Mills got £207,161 and redundancy payments were a whopping £870,000.

Rubbish disposal costs CRT £1.2m every year!  Not all rubbish provided by boaters.

Finance it seems is a subject that can pull wool over ones eyes!  However the proof is in the pudding.  The charity has to maintain Navigation of the waterways.  That is their task.  As we boaters know the system is falling apart rapidly.  Vegetation is growing faster than contractors can cut it back!  The lock equipment is not being repaired quickly enough.

It is no wonder that that there has been less boat movement on various canals.  The Oxford canal in particular has become overgrown in many places.  I wonder if I will be able to get the boat out of the marina next year!

The latest news is that local councils are considering charging rates if your boat is your only residence if you stay too long in one place.  Even if you are in a marina.  CRT are considering relaxing the 'Continuous Cruising' rules if you have children going to school!  What then about going to work!

Sadly our boat is closed down for the winter.  Diesel tank filled and water tank emptied.  We hope to visit at least once a month to stay 'rough camping' for a few days during the winter months.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Winter works

While my brother was on board he went with Ann to see the Morris Men and Women dancing in the Banbury street.
This paddle at Broadmoor lock has been broken for many months. We saw it again while walking round with Molly.
October has been kind to us while on the move but it has been a bit cold in the mornings and evenings.  Now it is time to prepare for the winter months.  Just filled the diesel tank @ 70 pence a litre, zero rate.  Moore To Life only needs 0.7 litres an hour for the engine or heater so we are pleased with that.  Next thing to do is empty the water tank and get air in the pipes.

Then it is short visits each month till the spring.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

On the boat again

This time Brod met us on the boat at Cropredy.
Heading south and stopped below Bourton lock
As you see we found the 'Fine Lady' by Banbury Cross and Brod spotted the frog!