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Peter X

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Peter X last won the day on September 7 2014

Peter X had the most liked content!

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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. Wondering what the size limit might be for the French waterways, I looked here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Péniche_(barge) and it seems that anything that fits the Irish system will probably be OK in France? Better take your time as you seem to be planning to anyway, as I would imagine that in the short term moving any boat from the internal waterways of one country to another will be difficult! If you have a Leeds and Liverpool barge I would guess it couldn't do the sea crossing around Land's End safely under its own power; even in the nicest calm weather with an experienced mariner as captain that's got to be a tough project? But you could always ask someone who knows about those barges and lumpy water (not me) for advice.
  2. This might yet come together for me. I did the Challenge in 2016 as one of a crew of 8 on the NBT pair, and in 2018 with p6rob on his more modest sized boat, then this year wasn't going to continue my even numbered years pattern (which wasn't a particular policy, it just happened that way), because (a) the NBT are having Nuneaton re-footed and had a packed schedule lined up for after that which included me quite a lot but not the Challenge, and (b) I had VERY serious surgery in January and am super-busy catching up on life after spending much of the winter in hospitals and with more treatment to come. But I appear to be recovering very well so far, and depending on all sorts of factors, might just be in a position to take part in the delayed BCN Challenge. Any thoughts yet RWLP as to when it might be?
  3. Something odd I've always noticed about moorhens is that more than other birds they seem to love just standing on anything that floats or sticks out of the water a bit.. Sometimes just a mat of weeds, sometimes just on some random bit of rubbish like a plastic bottle. Why? What is going on in their tiny bird brains?
  4. Well, I'm still alive and feeling well, and although I didn't get to see the consultant on Tuesday, the Clinical Nurse Specialist did tell me I have some chance of long term survival after my cancer op. Meanwhile as I'm 64 and just had a course of radiotherapy and there is that virus thing out there, I'm not going out much, to help make sure I survive that too! Among other things I'm lurking on CWDF, especially trying to be helpful on the New To Boating topic... Patrick Barrett, may I suggest two things?: 1. There's a trade off between DIY and paying someone for such jobs. i.e. how much knowledge and time you have, versus how much you can afford to pay someone. 2. Quick plug!: (I hope the mods don't mind?!) Once you have your stove, if you want a good supply of fuel for for next winter delivered (solid fuel and/or logs), maybe call the Narrow Boat Trust ... who I know will be coming loaded down the GU to London to attend the event at Kings Cross for the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Regents' Canal on 1st August. Pre-order what you want, and depending where in London, quite likely some arrangement could be made to fit you into the schedule. The relevant webpage including the phone number for John the coal sales guy is: https://www.narrowboattrust.org.uk/contacts Apart from the NBT, who normally visit the London end of the GU twice a year about early August and late October, I think there's another fuel boat that mostly operates on the Lea and maybe into the Hackney area and on to the Regent's Canal. There might be others.
  5. This topic's all gone a bit quiet lately; there do seem to be a couple of people here just new to boating, but maybe a bit in need of a reply. Although I'm not new to boating (don't own one but I like to crew for others) I try to put helpful answers on here when I can, but have been a bit pre-occupied lately, not least with recovering from surgery in January (so far so good but it depends what the consultant tells me when I see him today!) Anyway: Oz Mandius: Lots of people do enjoy being live aboard CC'ers, but how much seems to depend on having the right boat for your circumstances, a combination of knowledge and/or money to maintain it, and especially on where you're going. The big expectation killer is when people want to lurk near to one spot for work, schools, social life etc., especially if that spot happens to be very popular, notably inner London, Bath, Oxford, Cambridge etc. Lots of grief seems to come if you push your luck in such areas by not moving about much, and much discussion has taken place around this forum on that subject. Bronco99: I'm a bit confused by your reply tom mikenovak's post from 2005, and haven't looked up what answer he got at the time, but hope someone told him: if in doubt, wait at the lock until someone else turns up and ask for their advice! Apparently you have a wife called Cheryl too then like Mr Novak? If so, maybe ask her to read the CRT Boater's guide online (also available in print I think) before you set off, it has good advice about the basics, then when you arrive at your first lock she can handle it well for you, and she should love the boating life.
  6. To get that boat to London, I reckon you're looking at either the expense of craning in and out and road transport, or all the worries of going by sea down around Norfolk/Suffolk/Essex. I don't do lumpy water, but you'd need to first get an engine into the boat and make sure it works, then find someone who knows what they're doing at sea, and when you have suitably nice weather come out into the Wash and edge down the coast from there to the Thames and into London, mixing it with all manner of big shipping and knowing how to get there without sinking. Then you have to deal with all the usual problems of CC'ing in the London area and of keeping a wooden boat floating (costly I gather, depending how much you learn and do yourself?). But good luck to you if you feel up to the challenge; it certainly looks nice and if you know what you're doing you could end up happy with it!? If you want to be in London because of work or just occasional visits, you might do better to keep the boat on some suitable mooring on the Essex/Kent(/Sussex!?) coast and commute in? A lot of investigation would be needed for that. Or just rent a flat/house in the cheaper outskirts of London! Croydon has its advantages!
  7. Sticking with David Bowie, maybe "Sound and Vision" could have been about hearing and eyesight problems? "I will sit right down, waiting for the gift of sound and vision"
  8. Was that a remake? I seem to remember the song "Dry Bones" as being much earlier, not really 1970s music? Maybe something by Dr Feelgood might be more appropriate? I'd suggest Rock'n'Roll Suicide by David Bowie, or of course Paranoid by Black Sabbath, especially for a medical student intending to specialize in psychiatry.
  9. Way off topic, but I remember Standedge tunnel being not a nice place. Very long, with irregular walls, sticking out in lots of places, sometimes great chunks of rock which really want to scrape your boat. The inflow of water from the railway tunnel is a relatively minor problem. Beware!
  10. I've done this sort of thing quite often over the years on inland trips, just for food and a bed because I like going boating, but you need a sea-going equivalent of me to get you down to London. Someone who knows what they're doing at sea might step forward, try the YBW forum maybe as mentioned by Old Goat? The big advantages over road haulage, as I always say to people new to boating who are contemplating an inland boat move, must be that you can learn on the way (boating skills, and about your boat in particular), and enjoy the journey, as well as saving money. Assuming I've recovered enough from an operation I had in January, and at present I do feel good, I might be up for crewing for you on the last little bit on the non-tidal Thames, which I know well. [Or on up river if you change your mind about the destination]. By then you'll know what you're doing with the boat anyway? Depending on the boat's draught and air draught, which might limit where it can go, you might wish to cut out the sea-going bit and possibly reduce your length of road journey by just taking the boat by road down to the Grand Union somewhere then taking it down to Brentford. Road haulage all the way might be more sensible than that because I've heard distance doesn't generally increase the cost by much. And if you crane in near the Birmingham end you'll have a lot of locks to do, plus the Braunston and Blisworth tunnels for which a widebeam must book passage with CRT. Better, if not at Walton on Thames there must be various places on the Thames above Teddington where you can crane the thing in, removing the need to do the tidal bit Brentford to Teddington, and I could help you do the Thames locks.
  11. Bizz, I think your potential supplier in Japan might be better named Yoko, Oh no! And rather than go with the dangerous sounding idea of people poking their legs out through catflaps in car doors, perhaps Mrs Pushit's name should inspire your approach to the problem of efficient car propulsion? I don't recall ever seeing Fred Flintstone driving uphill, but the city of Bedrock looked flat to me. I've been on an electric train that broke down, or rather got halted for a while by a snowdrift in a cutting near Brockley (SE4 not the vegetable) in snowy weather, one evening in early1991 I think it was. It got moving in the end. Maybe they never should have closed the Croydon canal, but that would have been a long slow commute home from London Bridge for me with the need to get to the canal (train just to New Cross Gate?), then do all those locks up to the summit to reach Anerley. Now I've just had an off topic idea worthy of Bizzard; rebuild the Croydon canal alongside the railway to act as drainage for it, just as Standedge tunnel on the HNC helps to drain water that gets through the rocks into the railway tunnel alongside it (so I learnt in July).
  12. I've a feeling that theft of electricity from street lights etc. happens in many ways in many places around the world. Same goes on with oil pipelines; I think they had some terrible accident years ago in Nigeria where someone was diverting oil but it caught fire? This is not a new concept; I'm sure I read that in ancient Rome, they had a giant aqueduct carrying water into the city from the nearby hills to supply baths etc., but people along its route were diverting water from it into their houses and creating problems. Meanwhile re. my parent's supply of coke (no, NOT that sort of coke!), I have a notion that although Beckton gas works was big, there were others in London and elsewhere, so which our coal merchant got their supplies from I wouldn't know. No doubt there was a logistics problem around the supply and demand; I guess certain industries would have used coke as well as households. No doubt London, like every city/town needed the gas etc., and I guess the works got built in Beckton because land was cheap enough and it was a handy place for bringing in the raw coal through the London docks.
  13. Sounds like fun, I don't know much about vehicles but I suppose he had to be careful driving it and when opening the doors at home! Maybe he had a convenient chute down into a coal cellar, rather than getting buried under an avalanche of coke or having to open them a smidge with a scuttle in the right place. Our coal shed, which held well over a ton, featured two doorways with a series of boards across each supported on two blocks so I just had to slide the coal shovel in at ground level to extract the coke. The annual delivery (I think the vehicle was horse drawn) was interesting; I counted the 1 cwt sacks as some big grimy bloke staggered through the house and poured the contents through a temporary gap in the coalshed roof (made by me and my dad rearranging some of the asbestos sheeting!) - happy days. My mum got the job of cleaning all the dust in the hallway up afterwards; maybe she got my older sister to help her!
  14. I just typed "I remember my father, an ex scout master who knew a thing or two about fires, chopping up wood with an ave to make kindling, not sure where he got the wood from." That's why he used an axe not an "ave"!
  15. Growing up in a 3 bed terraced house in SE London in the 1960s, our heating was a gas fire in the posher front room, but mainly a fireplace in the backroom where we burned coke. I remember my father, an ex scout master who knew a thing or two about fires, chopping up wood with an ave to make kindling, not sure where he got the wood from. I do wonder what a modern environmentalist would make of that heating arrangement. No idea where the coal merchant would have got the coke from, but maybe down by train/ship/canal?? from somewhere up north?? I remember a lot of railway stations in the southeast having piles of fuel in a yard next to them, many of which later got converted into car parks. It was generally my job to go out in whatever weather the winter could throw at us to shovel coke from our old coalshed (built in 1947 by my mother's father) into the scuttle. So I just wrapped up well. Fortunately washing it first was not required; I think coke was a lot more porous than coal and washing it would have been a bad move.
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