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Peter X

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Peter X last won the day on September 7 2014

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    Crewing on other people's boats; see various topics in the Crew Swap forum.
    Cookery, gardening, carpentry.

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    IT freelancer, retired

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  1. Another useful link if you plan to go on the non-tidal Thames is http://riverconditions.environment-agency.gov.uk/ which tells you how much water is coming down river anywhere between Lechlade and Teddington; nice and tame at present.
  2. The low bridge you are referring to is probably the Osney bridge over the Thames, carrying the main road west out of the city centre. A typical narrow boat will normally fit under it, provided that you clear the roof and take any chimney down as you approach. You might be approaching quickly if going downstream and the river has a bit of a flow on. Steer carefully and mind your head! As said, there are two connections from the canal into the river; the Sheepwash channel which connects from just upstream of Osney Bridge to near the end of the canal in the city centre (just down from its last lock), and Dukes' Cut about two miles up river. The latter is usual, being rather a faster way to do it whether you're going up river towards Lechlade, or down river towards Abingdon and Reading. But for the latter, you have to get under Osney Bridge either way.
  3. The newts are all wondering too, they all want to find a mate and reproduce. But whenever they go looking for one, there's a building project in the way. Or when they do find the newt of their dreams, they get abducted by someone who wants to stop a building project. But that scenario could end well; they might get a dream home provided for them?... "Ooh look, there's a breeding pair! We really must look after them." Aren't they all "Great Crested Newts"? If so, my hypothetical lonely newt won't be fussy; any Crested Newt of the required sex will be Great.
  4. Grounding a punt is quite an achievement. Only did it once myself, while exploring a little side channel off the Cherwell in Oxford, some way up from the city centre. It took a little time and effort with the pole to get back out onto the river. My apologies for steering "Are you new to boating??" rather off topic into an in-depth (or not so much depth!) discussion of punting. There's probably a topic for that somewhere.
  5. All parts of the GU are interesting in their own way! A big city at each end, Warwick and Milton Keynes and smaller towns along the way, lots of locks to do, and two rather long tunnels (Blisworth and Braunston). I've done it all (except some arms) in various chunks on various boats, often on the NBT coal runs where we take a pair of historic boats, loaded with up to 40 tonnes of cargo if we're going south. Great fun! In the 1930s those boats were designed for the canal, and the locks towards the Birmingham end were widened to take them. This year if you're on the GU in late October you may come across the NBT going north from Brentford to Braunston, with not much cargo left aboard. But not me, I'm on the crew earlier on the Thames and Wey. Remember that the whole GU has wide locks, so you'll often be sharing a lock with another boat, OK once you get used to it. How often will depend on where, and on which way most of the traffic is going on a given day, which varies according to the turn around days of the various hire fleet bases. Here's an interesting article about the GU's history: https://www.canalmuseum.org.uk/history/grandjun.htm
  6. That's where they really go wrong in Cambridge, they tend to stand on the raised end of the punt, which I think must make life harder and increase the risk of falling in. Never fell in myself anywhere, or saw anyone do so in my brief experience of Cambridge, but I saw people fall into the Cherwell in Oxford 3 times, each off a boat I was on. Two of them tried to blame me, but it was their own silly fault!
  7. The one time I punted in Cambridge, one afternoon in September 1974 going a little way up river out of the centre, I don't remember the bed of the river feeling unusual. I hired a nice punt similar to what I'd got used to when I began punting earlier that year in Oxford, used it the Oxford way, and had no difficulty. The main difference between the rivers is that the Thames is relatively BIG; wide, and deep in the middle, and can have a lot of water going down it sometimes. And it gets more traffic. I found that bit of the Cam I did to be much like the Cherwell; tame. I think muddy patches, where twisting the pole to get it out becomes necessary, tend to be more common on canals than on rivers, but it varies.
  8. It's September. it's not raining or windy, but I was too lazy to do any gardening this evening. My excuse is that it was getting too dark. At 9pm on 7th September it does.
  9. I see that bedroom one is an "irregular shaped room". Actually the floor plan shows it's an L-shaped room. One of my favorite films, that.
  10. But that Tamworth house has a dining hall! According to the Property details. At 9' wide I think that's rather a grand description, but it becomes a dining Room on the floor plan. It would be a tight squeeze to get my big dining table and its 8 chairs in there. But then it's rather tight in my existing house, and the most I've had to dinner here yet, since I got my table back (another off-topic story), is 5 including three small grandchildren. Whoever turns up last for dinner at that front door in Tamworth would have to be seated at that end. These topics about properties are the gift that keeps on giving; there's always something daft in a property ad to make fun of.
  11. Techy-Ben, here are my thoughts on how to move your boat with no working engine, depending on available crew and what they know. A paddle could help if you have a big enough paddle. But: In a perfect world, go for option 1: borrow a horse (probably very difficult), plus someone who knows how to manage the beast; crucial I imagine! Or in the real world, option 2: get someone strong on the towpath to impersonate a horse, preferably pulling a long enough line attached in the best available place; that's towards but not at the bow, which is why old working boats have a mast there, but a centre line will do. While with either option, someone else steers carefully. Ideally also combine one of the above with option 3: have someone who knows what they're doing using a pole. Trust me, that means preferably someone who learned punting at Oxford. They'll stand at the stern and use their follow-through action to assist with the steering. But a Cambridge graduate would be better than someone who hasn't done punting.
  12. Isn't the short dash the minus sign, normally the key to the right of the 0 on the top row? Shift with that gives you the underscore, quite often used too in email names.
  13. Cloudy but warm here today, might get outside and do some gardening. I'm seeing one of my doctors in the morning, so I can tell them about it to remind them that they've done a good job so far this year of keeping me alive and well. Life is good.
  14. But is any of it dark green? I think I recently posted somewhere on the forum about the total lack of dark green paint in B&Q. Anyway, cricket fans might like dark green, a standard colour to paint a pavilion. In fact, I remember I sat my Oxford entrance exam in 1972 in our school's cricket pavilion, which was that colour (on the outside at least!)
  15. Aaaargh, don't tempt me. That 6 bed semi at Shillingford looks great, but it isn't Croydon. No waterside properties here, no waterway. They closed our canal in 1836 and the river Wandle doesn't cut it. And, while I could contemplate a house upgrade and I'm in the midst of some serious financial planning, my accountant would have kittens if I suggested going for a £1.500,000 house; a complex thing to aim for.
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