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  1. The dominant group will always feel victimised by minorities doing things that don’t include them. Being pro gay isn’t anti straight. Just like being pro Black isn’t anti white. They feel left out. I call this a taste of their own medicine. A group of gays is seen as a slight to them in some way hence the need to say “why can’t you just do what the rest of us do” (aka conform and submit). We aren’t the rest of you. It is types like this who make us make a point of our differences. I recall once someone saying to me, as though I should take it as a compliment that “you’re not really super gay” as though being gay were a bad thing. I’d be happy never to mention who I sleep with or what I do behind closed doors ever again. I agree, I don’t think we are special. I have heterosexual friends and mix with them and never does who we sleep with come up in discussion (probably how many heterosexuals prefer it). But they understand and empathise with why I need to find others who are gay. Because guess what? Most people aren’t. I could misinterpret a situation with a man and end up in hospital or worse, dead. Attacks on gays are on the rise. I don’t attend Pride or get involved in the politics of the LGBT. But I don’t, continually, proclaim my lack of understanding of such things as though it contributes any value to the discussion which is being done in this very thread. Calls of “I don’t understand X, Y or Z” just highlights your ignorance. It is 2023. You have all the information at your finger tips. How about we drop the “I don’t understand why they congregate” façade and say what you really mean? Gays want to meet other gays and have sex, surprise surprise. Clutch your pearls elsewhere. It’s so bloody tiring. I hope OP does find other boat folk who are gay and gets a chance to connect with them. I know I’ve thought about it on my travels as a solo gay vagabond boater. Seeing a rainbow flag sticker in a boat window makes me relaxed because it signals to me they’re my sort. I know this may be novel to other people who dONt UnDeRstANd but it’s small gestures and signs like this that make me feel comfortable in a world that wants to shut me up, hide me away or, worse, blend in.
    26 points
  2. Yesterday we handed over our beautiful boat to her new owners. A very sad day as I am not ready to accept that I am no longer a boater. Regretfully, busy jobs and increasingly frail, unwell and dependent parents meant that we were not going to be able to get away on the boat much (or for long periods as we have been), and we could not justify hanging on to such an expensive luxury if we weren't going to be able to make use of it. It is not an exaggeration to say that I have had the happiest times of my life on the boat and it has renewed my love and appreciation for the UK. I know the network is not perfect, and is in need of quite a bit of TLC, but I have enjoyed every single day of my boating life - have seen the most extraordinarily beautiful scenery and made some wonderful friends. Boating has enriched my soul like nothing else ever could and I am so grateful that I had the chance to experience it. Last month I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my bowel cancer diagnosis and I hope the next decade will see me back in my true home on the water. Hubby is giving the new owners a day of cruising/helming training today and if you see NB Aventine out and about with her new owners please make them feel welcome. I just wanted to say a big thank you to all on here for everything I have learnt about boats and boating.
    21 points
  3. It’s worth pointing out that not even 60 years ago—in my parents’ lifetime, in my lesbian aunts’ lifetime, maybe even in some of your lifetimes—heterosexuals put laws in place that would make me illegal. I could be punished, beaten and imprisoned. That isn’t ancient history. This still happens in some parts of the world. The reverberation of this regressive practice is still felt by people like me. It was your heterosexual police force who would entrap us like we were wild savages, they would raid our gathering spots, unable to leave us alone, veritably foaming at the mouth to oppress and subjugate. They would pretend to be like us so they could hurt us. Alan Turing helped Britain to win the Second World War and his reward from the heterosexual majority was castration. Truly and utterly shameful. It was this society where even popular homosexuals feared being themselves. Kenneth Williams, who the British public adored for his role in the Carry On films and Just a Minute, could never feel truly comfortable with himself because of the society he was born in, despite the deep public adoration for him and his talent. I posit his profound self-loathing was created by a society that hated who he really was and loved his created persona on stage and film. When we are told to just integrate, I dare say why don’t you lot make a society that is welcoming and caring for people like me so that this so-called integration is possible? Why is it incumbent upon me to do that? You create laws to criminalise me, you castrate me, you threaten and hurt me. What are you doing to help me integrate? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
    16 points
  4. Please put your dogs on a damn lead. As everyone is I'm sure aware a specific breed in in the news at the moment for attacking people. I don't think it's just a breed thing. My small boy (corgi) has been attacked 4 times in the past few months on the towpath or in a marina. He was just picked up and shaken by the back of the neck by a much larger dog, like a rabbit. Owner not in sight. If your dog is not extremely well trained, has poor recall or shows ANY aggression ever. Keep them on a damn lead when there is a chance to meet other dogs. Keep them in line of sight at all times. I keep mine on a lead because he does not always like other dogs. I can't do much if yours comes running over out of your control. I do not want to have to harm your dog to save mine. I have already had to kick several dogs in the head. These were not the stereotypical "aggressive" breeds. "He's usually friendly!" is not an excuse. I can't bear the thought on my lovely boy being seriously hurt by another dog: Edit: sorry if the wrong place to post this. Move it if needed!
    13 points
  5. Welcome to the forum chris69, as you can see, canal/lock infrastructure isn't the only thing which is largely unchanged since the 18th century around here.
    13 points
  6. As promised, here’s a little writeup of our week long trip on a Narrowboat with a 6 week old baby! There were 4 of us (My wife and I, my sister and her husband) and when we booked the trip we were unaware there would be a fifth guest! Trip was booked through Aqua Narrowboats on the Aqua Vida- would highly recommend them for anyone who is looking- great boats, nice location and brilliant staff. We collected the boat from Barton Turns Marina and, as advised by the friendly folk on here and the chap at the marina, took a right and headed SW awards Fradley Junction. Now for some baby stuff- our primary concern was sleeping arrangements. Justin from Aqua was very helpful and took the liberty of measuring the spaces next to & between beds so we could work out what she could sleep in- she’s a little small to be on her own in the Saloon. 58cm between the smaller double bed and the bulkhead was the magic number, and after a lot of digging found an ideal bed at Smyths Toys which worked a treat- easy to fold up and could disappear during the day. Beyond that, we bought her bouncing chair along with us too. It was a bit of faff moving bits around between day and night- our bed became the cot storage location during the day… but it was honestly fine. One of the saloon benches became a changing station as needed, but again, no real hassle. Baby is breasted, so we didn’t need to faff around with any bottles, sanitising etc- but I imagine that could be a bit tedious with the limited space. At that point she wasn’t bothered about dummies either, so we had no need for any sterilisation, but a lunchbox and Milton tabs would have sufficed if needed. First night we made it to Fradley junction end enjoyed a nice dinner in the Swan pub. We bought a very compact pram with us (Joolz AER+) which is fine from newborn onwards and folds up into a very small package- that lived in one of the cupboards near the back door of the boat. It was ideal for the short journeys to pubs etc and gave her somewhere to sleep while we ate. We also had a Tuya baby carrier with us which was very useful. Day 2, we stopped at the big Tesco in Rugely to stock up, then continued on to Great Haywood and had another nice dinner in the Clifford Arms. We also rescued an uninhabited boat that was blocking the canal… that was a bit of excitement for us! (The mooring rope had totally disintegrated, so I was pleased to see my knot still holding tight when we passed it again a couple of days later!). Day 3 bought us to Stone. We moored right outside of the big M&S (Near the winding hole) and marked our ‘turnaround’ point. For the life of me I cannot remember the name of it, but we found the most amazing Italian restaurant. Probably some of the best Italian food I’ve eaten in the UK, would HIGHLY recommend. Day 4 turned us around and we got back to Great Haywood, then continued along the Staffs & Worcester mooring opposite Stafford Boat Club. Lovely quiet place… can’t remember where we ate! On Day 5 we span around and headed back towards Great Haywood to go back onto the Trent & Mersey canal where we stopped just outside of Rugely for the night. There was an epic rainstorm just as we were getting towards the junction itself- and for anyone that’s been there you’ll know it’s very narrow and stopping isn’t an option… so that was fun! Day 6 took us on a leisurely trip to Alrewas where we stopped early in the day and visited a nice coffee shop, then had some food from the local takeaway fish & chip shop- would recommend! They had a great variety of food. That left us the short journey back towards the marina to reluctantly return the boat. We had a lovely, relaxing trip and in the same circumstances, I would absolutely do it again. In reality, I think we were at the perfect age window for the baby- even now she’s far too interested in things to want to laze around on a boat for days..! It does still remain the only time she’s slept all the way through the night though… I believe that was the case on 3 of our 7 nights, so that was a treat for us. The other couple on the boat were incredibly excited for the bonding time with baby and were well aware that there would be sleepless nights etc… in reality I think we have lucked out as she’s still not a particularly fussy baby. Mum had a wonderful week and was able to get some well deserved rest between feeds which I know she appreciated- there were plenty of naps happening throughout the week (For all 5 of us!). Not having to work meant I got to spend a lot of valuable time with her… plenty of photos of her in her carrier being worn by Captain Dad! We ate in pubs virtually every lunch & dinnertime, so that was pretty easy. Someone had mentioned breastfeeding in a pub may be an issue… if any other pubgoers had approached that subject I’d have (not very politely) told them where to shove it As expected though, it was a complete non-issue. All in all, a 10/10 week for us and we were able to create some lovely memories and take some great photos that she can look at when she’s older. Thanks all for the advice- it was all very welcome and extremely helpful!
    12 points
  7. Well said. I wasn't going to get involved in the thread because I'm not gay and I have no idea of any such community you asked about but because some of the prehistoric responses I thought it worth saying not everyone holds such views, good luck in finding what you are after. A fairly innocent question was responded to by some posters questioning his request which then led into an argument about his culture/lifestyle/life choices, are you surprised at a slightly defensive response, which as far as I can see contained no targeted attacks just an opinion on society in general
    12 points
  8. What actually seems to annoy you is that people dare to give their opinon on the subject matter at hand rather than a direct answer to the specific question you asked. I suspect that's a function of the way your brain works. Unfortunately for you the rest of the forum membership doesn't work the way you want it to. You assume that's their fault and respond by showing your frustration far too readily and with a posting style that I think grates with many members. What I think most contributors to this thread will have experienced is that you asked for advice on fenders, they gave you plenty, and then had it rudely thrown back at them. Largely because they didn't take the initial question in as literal a sense as you intended. No one here will be bothered if you choose a long button rather than a tipcat. But they will have noticed how you've used negative descriptions of other people's boats in the course of the thread as a means of justifying your own preference.
    11 points
  9. We have seen an increase in posts that have been complained about for personal attacks and insults on other members and/or the use of bad language. The moderators would like to remind all members of the forum Rules and Guidelines. They are there to make the forum a pleasant place to be for all its users. There are a couple of sentences in the Ethos section we would like to draw your attention to. So, no personal attacks on other members. No matter how upset you've got. This should go without saying. On bad language, if you can say something without using it, then do so. Different people have different tolerances for different words and what may to you seem a perfectly fine thing to say will not be for others. The moderators have a liking for OFCOM's research on acceptable language in broadcasting. This is based on a lot of research they have carried out in the UK on what most people currently find acceptable and what they do not. It covers not only swearing, but derogatory terms on race, politics, mental health, sexuality, disability and so on. CWDF is not a broadcaster and not covered by OFCOM, but we have found their guide to be a good basis to work to. We don't want to see any of the words in the severe category. We probably won't allow any word in the medium category. The mild category should be necessary and appropriate to the discussion, but try and avoid if you can. You'll almost certainly be able to make your point without using it. If in doubt about a word, don't use it. Up to now we have been bowdlerising reported bad language. We have the option to use further sanctions for repeat offenders. It's something we take seriously. Don't rile up the Mods!
    11 points
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  11. Never mind bad language, there are some posters whose contributions consist of very little other than personal attacks... 😞
    10 points
  12. I also don't actually mind paying some more in principle (liveaboard CCer); however, I don't expect this move to increase CRT's budget for maintenance, rather just try and plug the gap left by the lower DEFRA funding, so it seems more likely that it might enable them to maintain current standards rather than improve anything. To increase the budget significantly they'd probably have to hike the price to beyond what many will pay and thereby not gain much overall when some chose not to. I think high management salaries are a red herring/not useful in this discussion - they take pennies from the overall budget and you do actually need some high paid bods in an organisation as big as CRT, which is responsible for the generating and spending of many millions of pounds.
    9 points
  13. I presume comments like that are why the thread needed moderating. Personal and insulting. Pack it in.
    9 points
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  16. Perhaps it was during a routine check to ensure cyclists are riding with care and consideration when using canal towpaths?
    8 points
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  19. I think its easy for us heterosexual folks to be blase about gay rights, as we are not the ones in the firing line. Remember that gay marriage was only fully legalised a decade ago- so this is not some kind of historical issue. Throughout the decades it has been all too easy for heterosexual citizens to think: "Oh well, at least we don't just kill them any more, right? They should be grateful." Then it was: "Well at least we don't jail them any more, right? What are they moaning about?" Then: "Well they can legally marry now, right? What more do they want?" But our society is still one where an overtly gay man is at risk of verbal abuse (if not assault) whilst walking the streets. Anti-gay feeling and abuse is not an issue that can now be set aside, or considered to be 'finished'. If we want to be a truly fair and equal society, we have to accept that there is more work to do. I understand that it can feel to older folks as if gay rights and trans rights are being force fed to society, but I don't think older people are the target audience anyway. I suspect there are many older folks who feel that dear old Blighty reached its cultural peak some time in 1953, and that almost every change since has been for the worse. But on the plus side, the younger generation- who (generally speaking) seem to be much wiser and more tolerant than many of their parents, and especially their grandparents- do seem to be evolving in a positive direction.
    8 points
  20. Because they want one. In any case, I rather thought there was a white Police Officers association called the Free Masons. Why do you assume that someone who belongs to a particular club does not mix with other people who do not belong to that club?
    8 points
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  25. Fewer blue signs and lower executive pay. Surely if it’s been beaten to death many times that means it’s likely to be correct? But actually the main thing is the dissolution of the primary asset - the skilled people and the plant. And the switch to near sole reliance on contractors. A model that had been discredited at least 10 years previously. The better model being the retention of the majority of skill and plant, with the use of contractors limited to massaging the peaks and troughs of demand.
    7 points
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  27. I like the bit about some people not being happy about the increases. I'm trying to work out who are the over-joyed ones...
    7 points
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  29. Spray foam is best. The rust that I can see is nothing to worry about, if you are a bit worried about it maybe around the windows then sand the loose stuff off and paint it. It looks as though bitumen paint has been used, if so then use something compatible. A lot of the work is straightforward, there are no difficult curves, battens are already there, everything will be straight (ish), ply below the gunnels and whatever you like above, windows are in, the floor and presumably ballast is in, a basic elsan will do for a loo, You certainly will need a stove and I would recommend a simple gravity system with radiators and be careful to not create a fire hazard where the flue goes through the ceiling. You will need a gas cooker eventually so buy the 'forever' one and get it fixed and fitted. Curtain off the loo and bed spaces and move in. 5 weeks to move in? Yeah, it won't be finished by any means but it will be a home and when it is finished you will know how to fix it which is a lot more than most owners. I've lived on much more primitive boats with really difficult women. Keep it simple and enjoy it. Good Luck.
    7 points
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  31. Although possibly slightly less naïve than you, we also bought a boat which turned out to have a succession of issues, with a seller who, it turned out, had at best spun a lot of lines and at worst, lied outright. Like you, we also bought the boat we wanted rather than one which might be considered the best commercial proposition. I can therefore empathise to a large extent. For us, the thing to do was revert to the positives. Is the hull sound? Yes, so it's not going to sink. Is the cabin sound? Yes, so it's not going to fill up with water. How about other entry points for water? The stern gland, but that is new and the shaft is new so no issues there (you are one up on us on that one - ours had issues, now resolved). That means you have a sound boat. Everything beyond that is a system which will periodically break, but the issues when it does become increasingly manageable. Propulsion first - I would check the engine oil (do you really trust the boatyard?), see whether it smokes much on start-up or when running and whether it makes any horrible noises, either vibration or grating, in forwards or reverse and across the rev range. If it's OK on all of that it is probably alright. One day it will break down again, but it might be a long time so you have time to plan what you will do when it does - repair or replace, and time to set aside funds to do it. Prop and shaft - well that's already been done. That leaves the coupling - well that will also be brand new. Beyond that, your next systems to work out will be electrics, heating and cooking. Assuming you have a current BSS (you do have one don't you?) then the gas at least shouldn't be leaking. Yes, things get missed, but you can probably check pretty quickly whether it's OK and if so there is no particular reason to believe it will break rapidly. Things will fail but these will all have been in use while it was being lived on so are more likely to at least be basically functional. You can go a long way with a gas hob, a stove and some very basic lighting. I presume you now have a porta potti, so the only other thing you might ideally want is a shower. Once you have that lot, you have the basics. You will probably spend a fair bit of time working out why each of them has gone wrong in turn in the first instance, but they will fail progressively less frequently if you fix them properly, and you will be quicker at diagnosing them when they do. When we picked ours up the tiller was missing (used the broom handle), the chimney was missing (lived without heat and used thicker duvets) and the fenders had been swapped for ones which were so rotten that they fell apart. Our first stretch was up the Trent - there was a huge sense of relief in making it to the canal without the engine packing up. The throttle linkage fell apart the next day (not properly secured), the promised topping up of the diesel tank hadn't happened (made it to a boatyard and got some) and there was no water and no gas on board. We ran across a passing fuel boat to sort the gas and used some water bottles until we could sort the tank out. We found the engine hadn't actually been serviced in years (despite the statement to the contrary) but it held up until we got to our mooring, unlike the gear linkage which fell apart completely and the engine cooling system which sprang a leak. We made it in to Norbury with my daughter raising and lowering the gear engagement in response to hand signals and my wife jamming her thumb in the leak in the cooling system while pouring extra water in the header tank. I then found that the gear linkage had fallen apart because it was held to the ceiling with a single quarter inch screw! Some better screws and a piece of wood to spread the load, and some instant gasket and judicious use of spanners and mole grips got the thing going again and we made it to Cheswardine. The following day it refused to start - much turning over by hand to bleed the fuel pump got it running eventually and we made it to the mooring with a great sense of relief and set to with sorting it all out. We have now owned the boat almost exactly two years. The trip down to Audlem for a weekend this August (~4hrs each way) was the first time we have had a trip where the engine has started properly every time. Is it fixed? Probably not. However, you would expect that as more of it gets fixed, there will be an increasing frequency of this happening and eventually it may become the norm, with engine failure becoming the exception. That would be nice - less time fixing the engine will mean more time fixing other things and the boat will gradually progress towards finished. Yours will probably do the same. Alec
    7 points
  32. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  33. The thread was hidden after it degenerated in to near personal abuse yesterday evening. It was unhidden and locked this morning, while some of the posts were hidden. If your post is now hidden, you didn't necessarily do anything wrong, but it wasn't vital to the discussion and it sparked a response from some one else that was outside forum rules. Both have been hidden to hopefully prevent it flaring up again. It is only a small number of replies. There is a wide range of points of view on here. What's been left visible isn't necessarily something I, or other mods will personally agree with, but are within the rules. The moderators won't have unanimous opinions either. Hopefully the topic will be a learning experience for all that read it, which is why it has been left in place on New to Boating and not moved, or permanently hidden. On a personal note, @chris69, I hope you are not discouraged from posting here and that you find the answers to the questions you've asked. CWDF has a wide variety of people on it, as you have seen. It is a useful resource despite that and the unacknowledged homophobia from some will be familiar. The thread will be unlocked shortly. Please comment responsibly!
    7 points
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  36. I suspect that given there is still a lot of hostility and bigotry aimed towards gay people that some find it more comfortable to be amongst folk that are of the same sexual orientation as they are. There also must be a greater chance of meeting someone and having a casual or even possible long term relationship with someone of the same gender if that is what someone is seeking.
    7 points
  37. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  38. Sorry, I missed that particular stack of insults. You do seem rather fond of flinging them about. You obviously haven't much experience of boating, or, really, of dealing with any modern business which supposedly offers a service. Maybe it's because they all got fed up with aggressive (if inexperienced) boaters like yourself that some of them decided it wasn't worth doing a decent job.
    7 points
  39. Do you mean how am I posting literally or emotionally? I had an old laptop stored at my parent's house (where I've taken refuge on their sofa) and my phone was in my pocket when I abandoned the boat. Newer laptop and iPad still on the boat (and probably very dead by now). As for emotionally, the forum is a nice distraction.
    7 points
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  44. When it gets to over 74 genders, I think we can safely assume that it's a spectrum, not (to coin a phrase) a position, and that therefore everybody is slightly different from everyone else, and that it doesn't matter much, or affect an individual person in any way whatsoever unless they are looking for a sexual partner. Personally, I've never felt the need to ask an acquaintance about their gender and can't see why I ever would. And as orientation can change over time, it's not useful information for future reference. It's more use if they tell you they're vegetarian, as you have to cook differently for them - you don't have to treat them any differently if they're number 23 or 62 on the list above.
    6 points
  45. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  46. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  47. He is trying to do 'his own thing' by finding others like him? Why is "doing your own thing" basically code for "be just like the rest of us"? The subtle intolerance of Brits never ceases to impress me. The veneer of friendliness falls away with barely as much as a bump. You can't understand because presumably you're not gay. That's OK. Gay people look for other gays because we're a minority and not everything has to be understood by you (frankly, I find a lot of heterosexual behaviour downright bizarre and will never understand it myself but each to their own) and that's also OK. No help mixing with 'all walks of life' if none of them want to have a relationship with you. Seeking out other gay men increases the likelihood of that happening. Why do you think gay bars and the like exist? The man is asking if there are other gays around the north, not segregating himself like some homosexual shut in.
    6 points
  48. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  49. Which is exactly what is so badly needed in my opinion, on several fronts. 1) To slow down the exponential rise in the number of new boats being launched onto already overcrowded canals 2) To make living aboard less attractive to people with no interest in boating 3) To help fund the general shortfall in CRT funding 4) To help fund enforcement of the piss-takers that CRT don't seem able to do anything about. For example the boat that's been on the 48hr VMs here since Christmas.
    6 points
  50. There's a tremendous amount of bad language on the forum, but I never complain about it, although it annoys me every time I spot it. I'm talking about loose for lose, their for they're, saying less for countable nouns instead of fewer... I could go on, but you know what I'm talking about. Standards of English are generally higher in those learning it as a second language, as they have taken the time to learn the grammar rules and have got to grips with English spelling peculiarities.
    6 points
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