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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. If you are travelling down to Uxbridge, I would recommend that you forget about using marinas to refuel and instead make use of the excellent fuel boats. These are operated by real enthusiasts, the majority of them on that stretch trading under the umbrella of "Jules Fuels" after Julia Cooke who started the business but is herself I gather Semi-retired, (not that that stopped Jules from refuelling our two boats at Braunston recently!) Different boats ply different stretches, but whether you encounter Ryan, Nick, Andrew or anybody else you wll get first rate service, and a decent price. Keep them trading - they can often get to you in poor conditions, when you would not ant to be venturing out yourself. They deserve our support!
    24 points
  3. In case anyone is interested... Just over a week after leaving hospital with 7 days of antibiotics I am still not 100%, don't get me wrong I am not ill as such just tired and not quite right, at least I am able to do a the normal day to day stuff as long as I take my time, anyway I've been signed off for another week and hopefully that should see me right. I have been spectacularly unlucky considering how many people live, work and play around canals but it's certainly worth keeping in mind if you get a fever after contact with the water
    21 points
  4. Welcome to the forum. I can say this without knowing you as everyone is welcome to the forum! If you are asking about a problem, the following thoughts may be useful: There are some very good technical experts on here who are usually happy to offer advice, but they do need sufficient information to work on. After you have typed in the basic details, sit back and ask yourself, "what have I assumed they know?". For example, if you are describing an engine problem, have you said what type of engine it is? Our experts not unreasonably get tired of saying please give us the whole picture not just the crisis element, over and over again to each newcomer. Pictures are usually helpful where possible. Ok, you've communicated the problem. You will get a variety of responses. Some will just be welcoming you. Some will offer simple suggestions of the obvious - they are keen to help because they feel for you, but they don't have the technical knowledge. Some will be experts and will offer precise advice. And, rarely, somebody will respond who is technically au fait but wrong. The other experts will usually help to identify these. And some will make fun of your problem, or the solutions offered, or anything really. This is likely if you accidently drop an amusing typo into your text. This is an attempt to lighten up the forum and not aimed at you personally. Don't take it to heart, just ignore it. You will probably take some action in response to the suggestions, which doesn't completely resolve the problem. Now is the important bit. The temptation is to relay lots of new information about the problem without answering the questions raised by your helpers. This hacks off the helpers who get tired of saying "tell us about the …" repeatedly to the same poster. Don't get offended, many newcomers do and then leave the forum. Just provide the information or explain why you can't. If you are working on getting the info, say so. Finally, you will solve the problem, possibly with the help provided on the forum, possibly with 3rd party help. Please come back to the forum and let us know how you did it. We do like to know the outcomes, and sometimes the forum learns from the result. The forum is not overly judgemental and will not jump on you if it was something silly you did. We have all committed that sin on our boats at one time or another. Happy boating!
    20 points
  5. 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.
    20 points
  6. There seems to be a growing number of people who contribute to this site who express the view that certain canals should be closed, and maybe are a waterways equivalent of Doctor Richard Beeching. All those people who campaigned for waterways restoration schemes are having their combined voices drowned out by those who say "why bother?" as well as "close down the expensive waterways and return them to the decaying world of the disused navigation." The latter option may suit ecologists whose primary concern is the preservation of the habitats of endangered creatures. The modern reality of keeping open navigations, where repair of the infrastructure is part of the problem. Costs for staff, materials, and maintenance have been part of these equations since the time of the navigations being built. however. It is now part of the challenge to find sufficient funds to keep. the network in order. The growing interest in getting more miles of waterway back into use has been a goal of many enthusiasts. Those that gave their time to restore waterways such as the Ashton and the Caldon were part of a generation that cared and there is now another generation of those that care giving their time to help restore the Lichfield and the Montgomery. So there a battalion of those that DO bother and hopefully will continue to do so!
    20 points
  7. Yes I read it - non-story the Daily Mail of the canal world. I'm also fed up with the CRT baiters in this forum. We're soon going to have a fight for the survival of the canal system and all some people want to do is pick holes whilst the whole edifice (the canals,not those running them) collapses. There you go, battle line drawn.
    19 points
  8. I totally agree, Balloon. I rarely recommend the forum to newbies anymore., I'm am sad to say. I joined in 2006. I hate hearing myself say to people not to take it personally when (not if) one or two grumpy people on CWDF come across as arrogant, dismissive or unkind. It's a handful of people, but of course they're the most vocal, and it makes the whole forum seem unapproachable. I don't understand why anyone would want to give advice to a newbie by cutting them down cruelly. That's not advising, sometimes it seems like bullying, or "you're not in my club" belittling. Utterly unhelpful, and makes all boaters seem like arseh*les. I think that If the forum had been like that when I first researched boat-buying, and i frequently came here to ask questions about everything from technical problems to boating etiquette, I would have gained the impression that a lot of canal boaters must be unpleasant people, must hate outsiders, and act superior. I could easily have decided not to want to be part of all that pomposity, not to buy a boat, and not to become part of the canal boating community. Fortunately, 15 years ago this forum felt much more welcoming and was much more representative of the open, friendly attitude of most people on the canals. And i soon met many of the old skool forum contributors in real life on my travels and at banters, and have remained firm friends ever since. In fact, i actively wanted to meet the new friends I had made online at CWDF. I wonder how many newbies don't get to experience that, because of dismissive or patronising responses to their first posts making them think: "what a bunch of tw*t's," turn around and never come back. When the forum became more politicised and so comparatively less boaty a few years ago, there was a lot of online unpleasantness and bullying publicly and in private across here. We lost a lot of previous members (especially women) who added some balance, and several of those who remained on the books, just stopped posting. (I didn't post on the forum for a long, long time. It's still a fairly rare thing for me these days). Those people will never come back. They've moved to Facebook, in all sorts of groups, fracturing the rather special CWDF mixing-pot community that once it was. And CWDF has a negative and unapproachable reputation among some Facebook groups, which is a shame. We made our bed, now we lay in it. But I do think it does this place good when someone relatively new holds a mirror up to our faults, and reminds us that we can do better for the next generation of boaters, as well as for our existing canal friends and colleagues. (Nice one, Balloon) 👏 Let's think before we speak unkindly on someone's post, especially to newbies going out on a limb to try and educate themselves. It is possible to give honest advice while still being supportive; to at least sign-post specifically to where they can find out what they need to know if it seems like a naive question; and to resist the urge to act like a keyboard warrior or, to put it plainly: to not be a scornful nobhead. 🤔
    19 points
  9. “…looking for boaters to share money saving tips” “Don’t buy a boat”
    19 points
  10. Just to make you aware that starting in October there will be a joint IWA & CRT offside vegetation cutting programme (all volunteers) on the T&M between Fradley Junction and Great Haywood, then down the S&W as far as Gailey. There will be another operation starting in Coventry and heading north to Hawkesbury, then to Fazeley then on the B&F to Curdworth. Obviously neither will require a stoppage (although there is one at the Great Haywood end of the S&W in January for weir maintenance), nor will there be any formal navigation restrictions in place. However if any of you are moored in those sections and hear the cutting being carried out approaching your boat, it would help a great deal if you would move forward or back briefly if asked to do so. Many of the spots with encroaching vegetation are opposite popular moorings so it’s in everyone’s interest if we can pay particular attention to dealing with those. As you all know, the encroaching vegetation on many parts of the system has been neglected and is probably the worst it’s been for years. Unfortunately in order to help catch up we need to make enough progress to complete the whole of those sections if possible, before we have to stop in early March when the wildlife begins nesting. We will be working Monday to Friday. We will therefore have to just concentrate on the significant places such as on bends, sightlines, opposite popular moorings, bridge and lock approaches, narrow sections etc, and on the straighter sections we will have to leave sporadic tree encroachments on the basis that if two boats meet, one will have to hold back briefly, and on some sections just create passing places. I also ask for you patience if you come across us and we are unable to move out of your way straight away. We are usually pretty good at doing this, but occasionally it may take a few minutes for us to tuck in out of your way. Afterwards you will no doubt see some places and wonder why we haven’t addressed them, but I’m afraid that in the circumstances this will be the best we can hope for, at least in the short term anyway. And it will certainly be much better than it is at the moment!
    18 points
  11. Interesting reading all the speculation, Unfortunately the article in the Bridgwater and Taunton Mercury is very misleading and the "unnamed man" is a disgruntled boat owner who has caused nothing but trouble for himself through his own behaviour, Also not an original bw docks boat owner... Thought he could buy a boat on the B&T and freeload from the situation, 1. The reality of the situation is. CRT gave up 28 marina's the same year as the bw docks, Somerset County Council were the only council to insist on all the boats having to leave (not crt's choice) 2. CRT worked with the boaters as yes some lived there had job's and families so lifting out and causing upheaval leaving there home was something crt recognised and helped by allowing the boats to move out onto the 14 miles of waterway, 3. As some on here have stated you can't meet Cc requirements moving over 20 miles a year as it obviously isn't that long a waterway, there were also no suitable identified mooring locations for the particular size of boats in question. 4. the docks future at that point was uncertain, potential leveling up funds for refurbishment but no timescale or guarantee so crt gave the boaters an agreement to bide by and it was reviewed every 6 months. 5. The time came where the town’s fund was secured and a date set for refurbishment was place to be the summer of 2025. 6. Once crt had this information they (last year) spoke with the boaters and indicated if the boats didn't have home moorings by January of this year they would have to be removed from the b&t. 7. Three locations were identified for moorings (pretty much where the boats had found homes over the past two years and local businesses approached with offers to lease and manage the locations, 8 (here's your new paper misinformation) all the original boat owners who left the docks have identified locations there is some finalising to be done with 4 but heading in the right direction. One original boat sadly the owner passed away and the family are removing the boat to be sold. Two of the original boats but not original owners are being removed, And a third that just showed up on the system thinking they could be clever and play the system these 3 boats received eviction notices, Two of the three have done nothing but try to play the system claiming squatting rights cause fights and upsetting the local areas,ect, the 3rd was recently sold and the new owner is lifting it for a refit. So 10 people loosing there homes/boats? Not true. There has been nothing but support for the boaters from crt and the local bridgwater town council, yes some difficult pills to swallow at times loosing the facilities at the docks for example (the county council again insisting they had to be closed) and life adjustments to make but everyone is still local to there families and job's. The Bridgwater mercury didn't fact check before publication.
    18 points
  12. If it helps one person embarking on a sailaway project to avoid one bad decision then it will have been worth my while doing this "rant". I agree its not light reading, I'm no writer. If reading it was compulsory I would not write it but its not. And its not as bad as the personal invective in the Political section. I'm a little disappointed that it is Blackrose of all people choosing to cast solid round objects.
    17 points
  13. I’ve been floating (pun not intended!) around this forum for years now. a post from @MtB stating “Despite the brutal nature of some of the posts in this thread everyone here has the basic intention to help. Take it on the chin and come back with questions. No matter how basic, banal or advanced your questions are you will gt good and constructive answers. Mostly lol!” prompted me to start this thread. I’ve received an invaluable amount of very knowledgeable information from this forum, both from passive reading and active posting. There are some incredibly knowledgeable members. I’ve also seen some incredibly frustrating newbies posting limited information and expecting endless help, as well as being rude. however, I do wonder why we’re accepting that for anyone new on this forum one must accept an element of unkindness to access any sort of help. We’ve all been new to this once. And I’m pretty sure if anyone actually came up to anyone on this forum and asked a question or for some advice, in real life, posters would be far more patient. So why is it acceptable to destroy posters on here with unkindness and intolerance? I say this because I’ve had the good fortune to meet in real life a number of posters from this forum, and several of these have been left enormously upset by the postings of some. I think some members forget these are real, fallible, flawed humans just like the rest of us. I’m interested to hear opinions on this. I completely understand some posters’ frustration at being taken advantage of for their substantial professional or amateur expertise. Perhaps there’s a way to work towards an increased kindness, which might in its own way perpetuate the success of this community for more than a mere handful of “acceptable” posters?
    17 points
  14. Our boat has been at Glascote Basin since last November where it is being repainted to a very high standard by the team at Norton Canes Boatbuilders with experienced supervision provided by Sarah Edgson. There is more information on our website here. We did start repainting 'Alnwick' in 2005 but for many reasons, progress slowed when we had completed the outside of the back cabin. By 2016, we decided that the paint we had purchased more than ten years earlier was by then too old to use!
    16 points
  15. 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
  16. Regarding the original post and accident. Myself, sister and her husband were at the scene of the accident on Wednesday. We were the three people who jumped in and pulled the man out from beneath the boat. I did not witness him actually fall in as we were in the stop lock at the time. Many passers by and the staff at the marina were there and offered assistance. The paramedics were fantastic too. His wife was lovely and coped incredible well considering the ordeal. I hope very much the gentleman is recovering well in hospital. Please all, take care out there and safe boating. Can I recomend downloading an app called "what three words" which helps give your exact location to emergency services and also looking at some youtube videos on resuscitation and basic first aid. You never know when you might need it.
    16 points
  17. When I were a lad there were regular fights on the beach between the mods and rockers (both sides beat up the hippies). Not long before that there were signs in windows saying "No dogs, irish, blacks". When I was a teenager there was a trend in Leeds of pouring petrol on tramps and setting them alight, and Paki-bashing was a bit of good fun. When I worked Civil Service in Liverpool in the eighties the office lads had a great laugh throwing bananas at the black footballers. I'm not actually sure it's got a lot worse I think it's the opposite. What used to be normal, unremarked behaviour has been marginalised because most people behave well, so the plonkers stand out more. And, of course, there are more people on boats than there were, and the same proportion of pains in the backside just means there are more of them, too.
    16 points
  18. It’s because despite changing attitudes, there is still a not-small contingent of british people who are homophobic, and a smaller contingent who are quite happy to voice that and demonstrate it by physical attack. Why not have a heterosexual pride thingy?, part of the answer is that people don’t get verbally abused, beaten up, killed, thrown out of the family home etc because they are heterosexual, but all those things still happen because people are homosexual even in 2022. And that is just in the UK. In other parts of the world, these people can be unemployable, imprisoned or executed by the State. The gay pride thing is about normalising being gay, that it is nothing to be ashamed about, and is a normal subset of humanity, always was and always will be. The aim being to make it less socially acceptable to be ostentatiously homophobic.
    16 points
  19. 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!
    15 points
  20. 5. make it easier and cheaper for householders to dispose of their rubbish at the council "tips".
    15 points
  21. In a world of so much negativity I just wanted to share a lovely encounter I had yesterday. I was admiring a beautiful garden near Kinver and a charming elderly gentleman offered to show me around. We chatted for a while and he then kindly gifted me this beautiful vase from his wife's pottery shed. She is an no longer with him and he doesn't want to empty out her stuff, but is happy to gift it. Meeting him really made my day and I will always treasure this little act of kindness. People really can be wonderful and it's a joy meeting them when out and about on the waterways.
    15 points
  22. So yesterday I bought a steel Dutch cruiser, its a boaty boat rather than a corridor 🤣 I currently have a widebeam but I have lusted after this boat for a few years, it has a Sole 44 diesel engine with 146 hours on it. The previous to last owners can only be described as the artful Bodger! He didn't fix anything correctly ever!!!! The list of bodges he did are endless, as I sort them I will list them, i have fixed the water leak on the front hatch already. I only have until the end of may to do it as that's when the BSS runs out, pictures for perusal
    14 points
  23. Much like some of the posters in the original thread, which I have just read, I find this type of thread rather saddening. I have a longstanding interest in the history of canals, going back over 40yrs. I had Richard Dean's map of the BCN on the wall of my room at University, rather than the standard student posters, and still really enjoy poking around the backwaters of the BCN, have worked on restoration projects and I particularly like the quirky smaller boats - the tugs and the iceboats. I was therefore absolutely delighted when Oates came up for sale at a time and a price when we could take it on. Oates is a family boat. My wife, daughters and I all enjoy boating. We have a historic licence discount and as part of that I feel an obligation to take Oates to places where it helps form part of an attraction and allows other people to enjoy seeing it. We take it to Ellesmere Port, we went to the tug gathering and after the BCN Challenge we left it on the BCN for an extra couple of weeks so that we could take it to the Bradley festival, which had asked for historic boats which were available to attend (we were one of four). For reasons of travel logistics and mooring fees, going to Bradley actually cost more than the historic boat discount, but I don't mind that, it was good to take it to a worthwhile event. I don't deny enjoying being at these gatherings, but that isn't the only reason we go. We have set up an information board and usually spend quite a few hours standing by the boat, chatting to visitors about the boat and the engine, and if it ties in I am always happy to let people see it running, show the start-up procedure etc. At Ellesmere Port we have been up to the water point and it always gets a lot of extra interest from visitors to see a boat moving through the locks. Rather like some other short boats including Sickle, many people appear to assume that because the boat is short it is easy to manoeuvre and must be shallow drafted, but it isn't on either count. Being very deep, we do tend to create movement as we pass boats, but I take it slowly, although I don't always guess how long it will take to slow down correctly as it is dependent on channel depth. Mostly I get smiles, waves, nods and thumbs up from boats we are passing so people generally seem happy to see and hear us pass (they also talk to me but it is much louder on the stern than people realise and I can't usually hear what they are saying). As anyone who read my recent comment regarding previous experience with some historic boat owners would be aware, I have also experienced unpleasant behaviour. It is definitely not universal by a very long way, but it does exist, just as it does with all types of boat owner. We sometimes need to get on but that's not about being historic - for us, boating is restricted to outside school times so if we are on the boat for the weekend then we need to get somewhere specific to pick up a car and get the children home at a reasonable hour to get ready for school on Monday. The mindset which some people without time constraints have does not quite apply to us, but that has nothing to do with being historic. We are also pretty efficient with locks and swing bridges and we often catch someone else up on a flight and give them a hand. I have done the Wolverhampton 21 in 1hr 20mins in the past, with a crew of three, so when we came down a couple of weekends ago and the queue built up to four boats with us at the back, that was not ideal and it took nearly 3hrs, but we still got home at a fairly reasonable hour so no issues, but I will admit that I wasn't hanging about on the clear bits of the Shroppie. I can empathise with @beerbeerbeerbeerbeer's observations on comments about continuous cruisers. Just because you happen to have a particular type of boat or use it in a particular way does not automatically mean you conform to someone else's stereotype. Alec
    14 points
  24. There are countless incidents and issues reported upon regarding cycling on the towpaths, most of which are (often rightly) berating inconsiderate cyclists. Just now I'm on a water point with my hose crossing the towpath. I've just watch a cyclist travelling at pace see my hose, dismount and lift his bike over my hose before hopping back on and disappearing into the distance. I was unable to thank him for his actions as I was inboard so he was also unaware that his actions were witnessed, and he won't read this here, but credit where credit is due. I'm sure there are many cyclists like him who are sadly, like us boatists, let down by the few who stand out for the wrong reasons. It would be nice if consideration was the norm, but we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that perhaps it still is.
    14 points
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  26. Latest update: This weekend, with the help of a few friends I took the boat from Banbury to Napton to try reversing down the flight. It was dark when we arrived at lock 10, the lock where it got stuck. With the engine off and a bit of jiggling, a light flush from the top paddles, the boat passed through! So now I've made it through Napton! Hat tip to @magnetman, thanks for the tip sir... To everyone else that came with advice and positive words, thank you for your time and thoughts. Happy New Year to you all.
    14 points
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  28. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  29. Hi Tony, I appreciate everything you’ve said and will work towards making it a more streamlined business. Whether it’s a non residential address, or a PO Box. At the end of the day, no one books my services by post or by visiting my home address. 99% contact myself via Telephone, Email or by viewing my social media channels and making an enquiry. People are absolutely entitled to do their own research, and if the address issue puts them off, it puts them off. That’s entirely their right and choice. However as a Sole Trader (Which is still a company btw) who focuses on delivering boats and giving tuition/advice my focus is on delivering a service that doesn’t involve my own postal address, and rather that of visiting the client. This year I’ve got a team working with me, which consists of myself, a fellow Boatmover, a professional merchant seaman and also a Web designer. Everything is 100% legitimate, it’s not a scam or a legal loophole. It’s simply following my career delivering boats which is my passion and skill. That’s all 😊
    14 points
  30. Ladies and gentlemen I have a crucial update to this thread. I had the honour of bumping into (not literally, I’m a careful boater!) the charming Mr @Lincoln Mansfieldyesterday at the boater facilities in Banbury. Having had a lengthy conversation with him about this thread I do believe his intentions are innocent and he would, I’m sure, be an honourable and lovely companion to any woman who felt like joining him on a trip. We did discuss, however, the unlikelihood of finding such a woman on here, as most of us already have a boat of our own! I have just read this whole thread again as I was very much saddened to hear that Mr Mansfield had been upset by the comments on here and wanted to rediscover the context. Now, I did explain to him that almost every thread on here goes off topic after the first page. And I don’t think anyone said anything overly harsh, having reread the comments. But I do think it’s worth remembering that the people posting on here are real people and that advertising ones loneliness on a public forum to strangers is likely to be a very vulnerable and brave step to take, and perhaps to treat such a person with the same kindness one might if they were stood in front of you. Long story short, he seems like a perfectly pleasant guy and I’m sure if you fancied a trip he’d be great company.
    14 points
  31. Dear New Member. This is a subject that comes up regularly on this forum. For living on a narrowboat/widebeam on the English canals, there are many things to take into account, not least the cost. True, for the most part you will not pay full Council tax, but against that there will be higher fuel costs, both for moving and heating. The purchase price of a boat can be attractive, compared to a small house, 2nd hand boats are similar to 2nd hand cars, too cheap and you are buying someone elses troubles. Like cars they go down in value the longer you keep them. Unlike house, that go up! (selling a house to buy a boat, may mean you will never be able to afford a house again.) All canals and rivers are controlled by Navigation Authority's who have their rules and regulations to abide by. These you need to be aware of , for the area you wish to boat in. Living on a boat, on a permanent mooring needs Planning Permission from the local council, so true residential moorings are both rare and expensive, especially in towns. Living on a boat has to be a life-style choice, that all members of the household are happy with. Everything that comes into a house, gas, water, electricity, post, all has to be taken to the boat or generated on-board, likewise all that leaves the house, rubbish, sewage, has to be carried away. In both cases by the boater. Not generally a problem in the summer, but very very different in the winter. There are many more details that you as a "new to boating" person need to be aware of, but for now I'll stop. Bod. P.s. This forum has a fantastic range of knowledge, that most members willingly share, if you are asked a question, it will be to clarify what they need to know, in order to give correct advice. Also please come back regularly, some members are very quick to join a topic, less tham 5 minutes is not unknown.
    13 points
  32. Not just about faster trains, but to provide greater capacity to the transport network which is sorely needed, especially when personal transport options are being seriously curtailed and punitively charged.
    13 points
  33. So after saying we would not have another dog at our age......the house has been empty without a dog and this poor eight year old sweetie needed rescuing. So after donating lots of beer money to rescue centre here she is, we must be daft lol
    13 points
  34. So, finally, a sort of Post Script. Just ended my third straight week living aboard. All seems reasonably OK. Gone through my first Elsan clean out. Engine starts on demand. Sorted the leaky chimney stack - wood burner works beautifully. Hot water in the taps after the engine's been running a while. Slowly getting the hang of things. Leisure batteries are corpses I suspect. That's next on the list. Had my petrol generator stolen out of the front porch while I was aboard last night. I didn't hear a thing. My own fault for not chaining it to the boat. Another lesson learned. It was a small, relatively cheap thing, not a four figure priced one. Happy as a pig in muck, as the saying goes.
    13 points
  35. 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
  36. Dad recorded nearly all his voyages (mostly with mum, @1st ade and me) on a canal map mounted on pin board in his office ("den" would have been a better term) - each night afloat recorded with a pin - the map is still up, given interest in the history of holiday boating I thought some of you might enjoy it! After dad died, I realised his last holiday hadn't been recorded - We took him on a Bruce Trust boat on the K&A. So I added that one in white pins Edited add - drawing pins (except those at the corners of the plan!) who some of the places we took our car top dinghy - those were day trips
    13 points
  37. Hi all, I'd like to take a moment to formally welcome both 1st Ade and Jen-in-Wellies who joined the Moderator team as of late April this year. After a successful introductory period, I'm pleased to announce that both are happy to continue working alongside the rest of our much valued team. I'd also like to announce that Bigray, Liam, NB Lola and Wrigglefingers have stood down from the Moderator role. We also wish to extend our gratitude to them for their contribution and service over the years. Our Moderator team now consists of: 1st ade Athy Buccaneer66 Dave_P Jen-in-Wellies Magpie Patrick Our full staff list can be found on the page linked below: https://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?/staff/ Thank you Rich
    13 points
  38. Dr Bob here with the duck Well things haven't changed much here in the 2 year since my last comments on composting toilet waste. Still the same un-informed bullies, loudmouths and Crocodiles (big mouths and no ears) beating down any attempt at a reasoned argument why composting may be good on a boat. The aggression shown to Squid's 'first time' question on the topic in a recent thread shows just what a toxic place this can be. I write this note – and it is a long one – to give some hope to those who seek some real input to their decision on whether to attempt to compost their toilet waste on a boat – but it is a long read. I expect the crocodiles will give up pretty quickly. If you get bored easily then dont bother reading any further. Let's be clear, after having a separating toilet on our boat and composting our waste for 2 years now, I can honestly say it has been the best purchase ever for a boat. This is on a boat that was brand new in 2020. After 6 months we ditched the state of the art pump out macerator toilet for a Compoost loo (anyone want to buy the toilet and holding tank?). I'm not going into detail of why it has been the best purchase. The list is too long. But believe me, it has been our best purchase. So why am I posting such a long and rambling post on here? Well, there are a couple of big points that I think are never discussed but provide all the ammunition for the naysayers and Crocodiles to beat all who stick their heads above the parapet into submission and silence the large number of people (inc on here) who have these toilets. Maybe it will help those trying to understand if composting human waste on a boat is a viable route. The Crocodiles can now go and spout their un-informed rubbish on other threads. For the interested, please read on. The first big issue is when the Crocodiles use the phrase ' it's disgusting' when referring to separating toilets and composting of the waste solids. If you see anyone saying “it's disgusting” then you know they dont know what they are talking about. They've probably never seen a separating loo. So many of them dont even have canal boat – so how can their words be believed? Let's look at how conventional toilets work. You sit on the bowl and deposit a load of wee and poo in the bowl (not necessarily in that order). The instant these two streams meet, enzymes in the streams start a chemical reaction which turns urea in the urine into ammonia and some other very smelly molecules. The evolution of ammonia is significant and as the volume builds you start smelling a very unpleasant smell coming from between your legs. That is disgusting. Can you remember exiting the bathroom and closing the door, saying to the next person “I'd give that 5 mins if I were you”? Yes that is disgusting. Separating toilets – if they are working properly and used properly – do not mix the wee and poo so you dont get the ammonia evolution and there is almost zero smell. In the 2 years of operation, I have never smelt the disgusting smell made by previous user (or by me). Handling the waste after (the poo box and wee bottle) is not at all smelly or unpleasant. We were up in Jockland for 4 weeks in December and using the loo in the house was an experience. Very smelly. You just dont get that on the boat. Everyone I know who has moved to a separating toilet has said the same. I note one person on here who moved back to a conventional toilet after trying a separating toilet but I wonder if he had a well designed separating toilet or even used it right. If he had smell then something was very wrong. Separating toilets are not disgusting. What is disgusting is asking your visitors not to use the toilet after eating sweetcorn or apple cores. Well its not the asking that's disgusting, its the job needed to clean the remnants out of the duck valves in a vacuuflush system. Similarly replacing the seals in a leaking cassette and dont get me started on the state of the elsan points on the network. Disgusting is the word to describe it. No, if someone says to you that separating toilets and composting of the solids is disgusting, then it is clear that they have no experience of the issue which then questions anything else they may utter. The second big issue is can you compost human poo? This is a real issue and in defence of the Crocodiles, I can see why they may say its impossible, so how do you dispose of you untreated poo? I really can see why you are so passionate about our inability to compost. Let me try and tackle this thorny subject and bring some clarity to the debate. I am going to digress here and declare a professional interest. I am a director of a test laboratory up in Jockland. In 20 years we have grown to be one of the countries best respected UCAS accredited test labs in the UK for testing of plastics. At the start of 2020 we expanded our expertise to cover biodegradation testing of initially plastic packaging materials and that has now grown to the point we are one of the leading test labs for biodegradation and composting in the UK. We test a range of packaging products to see if they biodegrade or can be composted (either for home or industrial composting) using a range of Eu defined test standards and methods. We test to BS EN13432, ISO 16929, PAS 9017, ISO 17556, ISO 14855 and ISO 20200 amongst others. Have a read of the BS EN 13432 standard to see what is involved. We know what composting is all about. I personally have been the technical gatekeeper for this activity so now see myself as an expert in the field. Unfortunately however, the majority of people in the UK do not know how to compost – and that was also me 5 years ago. I've lived in a house with a garden for 40 odd years and being a keen gardener, always had a compost heap. Various heaps, boxes, machines. None worked. Filled them up in spring and summer and by next spring – nothing had happened. In 40 years I likely only ever made a few shovelfuls of good compost. Composting doesnt work, does it? Maybe that is too sweeping a statement but there is some supporting info out there. Three months ago, University College London (UCL) wrote a paper summarising a trial they ran over 24 months, asking the public to compost in their home heaps, bins, custom designs etc, items you can buy which claimed to be 'home compostable'. The output of this was picked up by the Guardian and ran as a story claiming that over 60% of items claimed to be home compostable were not. Now, these were not just items claiming to be compostable, they were items deemed to be compostable by the accreditation organisation TUV, a very very well known Austrian company. TUV run a scheme where clients get their products tested and TUV accredit that it is all done right. The UCL study concluded over 50% of their accredited products did not home compost, things like plastic cups, wet wipes etc. We as a company do not work with TUV but the labs TUV use are bone fide labs and do things right. We know the limitations of the test methods but the huge discrepancy here is because the average Jo public doesnt know how to compost. To compost properly you need food, water and oxygen. It's really is very simple but the majority of peeps do not know that -so dont understand what composting is, how to do it or what it can achieve. Let's then look in a bit more detail at composting. The words 'industrial composting' describes the process that the big compost makers use to make their compost. We are dealing here with aerobic composting (ie with air) and not anaerobic digestion which is a totally different process (which is where all food waste in the UK goes). Industrial composters use a 12 week cycle to complete the composting process – to turn for example garden waste into a fully composted product. Yes, only 12 weeks. The temperatures used are of the order 65°C for a couple of weeks then 55/60°C for another 6 weeks followed by <45°C for the final month. In the lab we use kit that simulates large scale Windrow composting – kit that is not a million miles away from the mini-hot bins you see used on boats for hot composting. For the ISO 16929 test, we run these bins at the temps above to monitor biodegradation and fragmentation to show what composts and what doesnt. What is absolutely clear is the things like food waste or horse manure, that we use to create the composting medium, degrade totally in the 12 weeks to a soil like, compost. It looks like soil, its smells like soil and it probably tastes like soil. The biodegradation is the action of bugs (ie bacteria etc) eating the food (the waste you put in). You can clearly measure how fast the bugs eat by I) the temperature rise and ii) the amount of CO2 evolved as they eat the long carbon chains. To multiply and eat, the bugs need food, oxygen and water. Get any of those 3 wrong and the biodegradation will not happen properly. In performing these tests we have learnt what food the bugs like. Firstly you have to have a balanced Carbon/Nitrogen ratio but then some food is better than others. An example is sawdust vs coconut choir. Sawdust is a pig for the bugs to eat. You really need the whole 12 weeks to get that to degrade. The coconut Choir disappears in half the time. Newspaper is a pig. Too much lignin. Good quality office paper goes in half the time (far less lignin). Food waste and horse manure is a delicacy for the bugs and half way through our 12 week cycle the food waste is fully decomposed. There is a test for the maturity of a compost ie the Rottegrad test, which is used to determine the final quality of the compost. So, where does that get us? We know we can fully biodegrade food waste and horse manure in 6 weeks at 'industrial' temperatures. The product is not food waste or horse manure. It is a fully degraded compost. It is therefore interesting to see these mini hot bins being used on boats. Yes, they really do work, and work very well. In that cold spell before Christmas at the lab, we had night time lows of -9°C and day time highs of -5°C in Livingston yet we were maintaining 60°C in a couple of hot bins we were testing to see the limits of the low temp performance. Quite a few peeps have these on their boat (they fit in an open cratch quite well), but the drawback for me is that you need to feed them with things other than poo – otherwise there is not enough food. This then doubles the amount of compost you make so disposing of it is more tricky. What's then best way to do it on a boat? Human manure degrades exactly the same way and at the same speed as food waste/horse manure - chemically it is almost the same. I talked about food, oxygen and water but the other key input is temperature. Typically chemical reactions half in speed if you drop the temperature by 10°C. This means composting speeds reduce as the composting temperature goes down. If then you can aim to drop temperatures from the 60's/50's to 40/30's you will basically quadruple the times seen in the industrial composting work. This is what we do on the boat. We have 3 * 40L boxes. Our poo bin is emptied into box 1 (on the crusier stern every 5 to 6 days). It takes circa 12 weeks to fill the box. It is then transferred to a similar volume box(es) on the roof and box 1, now empty is ready to take the next 12 weeks of poo. 3 months later box 1 is emptied into the 3rd 40L box. We are not full time liveaboards (but on the boat all summer) – but extrapolating we make circa 160L of solid waste a year which decays down to around 120L. With a decent size boat (ie 65ft) we have loads of roof space so storing this amount of solids in not a chore. In the summer the dark blue roof gets to 65 to 70°C more days than it doesn't so allows you to get a lot of heat into the roof boxes. Our poo mix is fully composted down to compost only in 6 months max in the summer (ie a couple of months on the roof) and the the stuff produced in the Oct- Feb time is fully composted after starting the first part of the summer on the roof. From my experience of knowing what compost looks like at various stages of decomposition, I can see how well ours is composted. At the end of the 6 months (summer waste) or 9 month (winter waste), I can see that we have perfect compost which is no longer poo. We use that 120L direcct for our plant pots, half for the summer pots and half for the winter pots. No soil. Just compost. Last summer we had the best tomatoes in the marina. As the compost has seen temps of 50-60°C and spent 6 months well aerated, all the pathogens are dead. It is absolutely fascinating to see a box containing a mix of human poo and coconut choir change before your eyes in 6 months to be a non toxic valuable resource. A long way back up this thread, I said that it was impossible to home compost. For most it is. For most they will look in disbelief that you can turn turds into compost. It is totally a surprise that you can do it with very little effort if you do it properly. Once you get over that hurdle then it suddenly dawns on you that you can compost human waste on a boat – and all of a sudden a separating toilet becomes an option. Yes guys, it works. It's not disgusting. Using the heat of the roof of the boat gets you to the point where you can compost in a short space of time. The wee bottle ….you ask? Down the elsan (that's how I know what a crap state they are left in!) or down a toilet. Siiimple. Obviously the Crocodiles who are on my blocked list will not get any replies from me on this thread but if anyone needs more info then the best thing is to go over to the farcebook site on boat composting as there are some very knowledgable people over there with a wealth of information. You wont get a sensible discussion over here. Definitely the best thing we ever bought for the boat...but make sure you get a properly designed one that works. See you all in another 2 years to see if you've all lightened up.
    13 points
  39. The man clearly needs support but that should be by health and/or social services which his 'supporters' should be finding for him rather than using him in their fight against CRT. Deeply cynical and frankly repugnant.
    13 points
  40. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  41. My boats bathroom is based on an underground train. Don’t think I’d want the exterior look but all the grab handles make it easy to use in the strongest wind.
    13 points
  42. Moored boaters objecting to boats passing through a bit of ice are the same people who generally object to any boats moving, unless they are in neutral doing 0.1mph. As far as they are concerned, the canals are for cheap housing with a nice view, not for transport. Doesn’t make them right though! If you don’t like boats moving (whatever the weather or state of daylight), buy a caravan.
    13 points
  43. Just met a man at Hartshill down on his luck and walking home from Kensington. Didn’t speak to him much but I gathered he’d gone for work and not got paid. He’s been walking for 17 days and is heading along the canals to Chester and then on into Wales and home. I gave him some food and a fiver. A sorry looking man who seemed harmless but kind of desperate too. Just thought I’d point him out, if by chance you see him you might want to help him on his way. Big green ruck sack on his back and has a Welsh accent. He’s not begging, well he didn’t ask me for anything, I offered.
    13 points
  44. A proud maritime nation? Haven't we just colluded in the sacking of nearly a thousand sailor chappies? My horn shall remain, sadly, resolutely unblown...
    13 points
  45. Hi all another painting by my Daughter who has done it for xmass for her mum and me painting and dog
    12 points
  46. 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
  47. 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
  48. Its a term often used now, and there are quite a few rich buggers on the cut including a fair few millionaires, but also a lot of working class boaters and an increasing amount of "lowlife". Anybody who things its a rich mans playground should visit a few boat clubs, these are an important part of the cut and not much talked about here but often the home of many working class boaters. Unlike salty sailing the canal is one of the few places where a working class bloke (or woman) can be the captain of his own ship, and this is yet another reason why the government should fund the canals.
    12 points
  49. I would like to apologise if my post of a few weeks ago has contributed to this feeling of being attacked etc. There are very few people upon whom I wish direct harm, and you are certainly not one of them. Your post above has made me realise that it was a quite unpleasant statement to make, and the more civilised approach would have been to simply ignore your posts. I had formed the opinion that many of the posts I read from you were unnecessarily robust in tone, if not outright rude and negative, but in hindsight I'm not sure I was being fair, and you do also offer a lot of advice that many forum members find really helpful. When you suggested in that thread that I could move to a Schengen country I took it as a very sarcastic attack, and tbh I flew off the handle, because losing my freedom of movement around Europe is an issue that still causes me great anger, and that anger is only growing as time goes on. I have fallen out with two of my brothers over this issue, as well as several ex-colleagues. But it was wrong of me to express all of that anger so bluntly towards you, and I regret it. We are very different people, and we will probably never be friends, but I have since realised that you were not attacking me or trying to wind me up, as I first thought, and my sharply worded post was an overreaction.
    12 points
  50. Difficult to say. In simplistic terms the cost of handing out money is going to be high. The actual picture is more complex. Leaving people financially destitute has an actual cost and a societal cost. Reducing individual stress will lead to savings. With the accelerating advances in AI, society will soon reach a crunch point because so many jobs will be lost. The choices will be: 1. Legislate against AI. 2. Allow half to population to be unemployed and destitute with the consequent societal breakdown which would inevitably occur. (This is the head-in-the-sand option). 3. Legislate for a redstribution of wealth by taxing the ever more profitable corporations to allow payment of a basic income. Look at it this way: A few years ago supermarkets introduced automatic tills. Many people got cross about this because it led to people losing their jobs, but they were all missing the point. The supermarkets made the change because it was more profitable to them. In that situation it's the job of government to take some of those profits to provide for those who lost their jobs. This change has been going on since the time of the Luddites and increase mechanisation in factories and farms. The ultimate solution was a bodge: the creation of the welfare state but also the creation of non essential jobs, to keep the masses compliant. A huge shock to the system is coming, when all those calls centre jobs are gone; when all driving jobs are gone. We're talking millions of people. We need a sensible conversation about how to manage that. For example: do we want ever cheaper taxi rides, or do we want to pay the same for a driverless taxi but pay a universal basic income. I would prefer the second option, but I suspect we'll sleepwalk into the first option and then wonder why half the population are rioting. I suspect the countries which have that sensible conversation will come out of it all the strongest. The forthcoming "AI world" should be the greatest opportunity in history to raise the world's population out of drudgery, hunger and servitude. Will that happen? Probably not.
    12 points
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