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Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble


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Everything posted by zimzim

  1. Thought it was interesting that in the interests of patient confidentiality, we are not allowed to know who these 2 people are who have the virus. That means that anyone who may have been in contact with them has no way to be informed and act accordingly - they are the ultimate 'mystery customers'. What happened to the needs of the many?
  2. ah - yes - that would make sense - IIRC it's a little beyond the reservoir at the top of the flight. I will ponder no more...thanks!
  3. I've sometimes wondered why this lift was considered necessary? That lock is deep, but it's a simple/conventional solution as compared to the contraption in the picture. In the context of Tardebigge, even two locks, or a staircase would seem easier? Is it something about the terrain? I'm sure someone will explain....
  4. I use an old silicon sealant tube with top cut off. Arrange string down centre through a hole in centre of the plunger cap, pour in old wax (melted) from whatever source. When it's set just put into your sealant gun and push out a candle! Works really well, and you can repeat as required. They look like this...
  5. I have thought about this in considering boat purchase... Must admit - some of these walk-thru layouts can give the appearance that there is a toilet at one end of the sitting area or the bedroom space. I like the loo to be closed off, both for maintenance of access through the boat and for aesthetics. In fact, I think I prefer a toilet area that is hermetically sealed!!!
  6. Looks like a good trip to me! (As pointed out, that map doesn't really work don't follow it! - there is a spur down from Kings Norton to Stourport that should be replaced by a spur down from Lapworth to Stratford). I would certainly plan to stop in centre of Brum - it's an essential canal experience (in a good way) and centre is safe. Likewise, a night in Bancroft Basin (Stratford) is a memorable stop. Just a thought....You might want to consider going anti-clock. When doing a 'ring with a detour' like this, I tend to leave the detour part until later in the trip, because that's the section I can adjust if necessary to match circumstances and progress made at the time. Another thought.... If you begin to feel this is a bit too demanding, you could replace your trip down the Stratford with an easier detour up the Ashby. You could even make this decision a couple of days into the trip if you wanted to. The good news is there are around 8 million quite decent tourist attractions on your route. Ones I would visit are: Cape of Good Hope - Warwick Two Boats - Long Itchington Tom O'The Wood - Rowington (or alternatively Navigation Inn at Lapworth) Fleurs De Leys - Lowsonford Dirty Duck - Stratford Blue Bell Cider House - Earlswood Tap and Spile - Gas St Basin (but countless alternatives) Dog and Doublet - Bodymoor Heath Get busy on Canalplan and Google and get at least a rough idea of an itinerary. If you have a plan (some people don't believe in them, I know) then you can relax properly knowing that you are on schedule, or get a bit of a wriggle on if necessary. Enjoy.
  7. Agree with your sentiment, but sadly this is entirely at the discretion of the insurance company (in my experience!)
  8. I've had some good food at Two Boats over the years. But... on one occasion stopped there only to find their kitchens had 'no gas' on another occasion turned up to find that traveling canal theatre group performing - place absolutely rammed, no food (can't really complain - good to see). Hence investigations of local alternatives - I think I went to take a look at Duck on Pond but it all felt a bit 'gastro'. Ended up in Cuttle and it was 'OK'. I recall once stopping on the Two Boats mooring and being woken in early hours by neighbouring boat carrying out some furious manoeuvres in the cut next to us, bumping us a couple of times. He came and apologised next morning. Turned out someone had cut the guy's ropes (with a knife - not untied him) - both annoying and expensive.
  9. Last time I was there we walked a few minutes to the Green Man in the village and had a very decent pint. It's a small village pub - more of a locals place. Didn't try food. There is a pretty direct footpath across the fields from just next to the bridge, if you don't fancy the walk up the very busy road (past the Colecraft yard).
  10. Just to update..... Matter was reported to ANT, who were very helpful. They said they would enter it in their log, and if it proved to be anything other than an isolated incident they would ask local police to take a wander that way at night. Just one week later I was coming out of Birmingham towards Shirley/Earlswood on the Stratford. As I passed under bridge 6 (Yardley Wood area) there were a couple of splashes in the water next to me, followed immediately by something pretty substantial bouncing off the deck next to my feet. I responded with some carefully crafted words and the bombardment ceased (I think I had probably reached the limit of their range). Such a shame - we had a great couple of weeks going around the Avon Ring again. I really cherish my annual chance to escape from the real world for a while. Seems the real world is intent upon following me and lobbing rocks at me!
  11. Had a bad time at the recreation ground moorings last night. Bunch of lads decided it would be fun to start throwing stones at the boat around midnight. I tried to ignore but they just retreated a short distance then came back for another go. This time I went to confront them (not a good feeling on your own... not in these times). Happily, they ran away. I hung around for a while until sure they'd gone, then tried to get some sleep. Just thought I'd mention in case this is becoming bigger problem.
  12. Thanks all above for these helpful responses. I think with a slightly tweaked plan we will be fine.
  13. So when I said 'no, they are not [told about procedure when hung-up in a lock], and it's a really good point. I think most would just freeze and watch the disaster unfold. ' I should have added a caveat like 'In my experience' or 'I'm sure there are occasions when...'. (I knew there was a reason why I don't post on here).? This is based on hiring boats from all sorts of places since the 1970's (anyone remember Clubline Cruisers at Swan Lane in Coventry?) BUT I think the real problem may be that this advice forms part of that basic 'how to do a lock' briefing that might only be part of handover for a first-timer-boater (not repeat offenders)? I suspect that anyone who has been on a boat holiday before might not get this safety advice repeated? Certainly, first timers I have spoken with in locks know all about avoiding the cill, but that's about as far as it goes. There's an awful lot to take in for a complete novice confronted with a bloody great boat that they are expected to drive away in a few minutes! I sometimes wonder how long it can be allowed in these times of health and safety obsession.
  14. Simple answer is 'no, they are not', and it's a really good point. I think most would just freeze and watch the disaster unfold.
  15. We are just beginning to gird our loins for a circuit (clockwise) of the Avon Ring this Summer. Having done this previously in school holiday time, my cunning plan was to give it a try in early July before the schools break up. Now I find that this coincides with a bunch of 'river festivals' (Stratford July 6-7, Evesham July 12-14, Pershore July 20). (Sigh - so much for getting away from it all..... So much for cunning plans.) Having previously been at pains to avoid Cropredy around festival time, I'm wondering if I should have a re-think about being on the Avon? I can easily plan not to be in any of these locations on the actual days of their festivals, but I'm wondering if the river will more generally be ridiculously busy (and moorings even more difficult to find)? Thoughts? BTW - please don't advise me to go to the festivals - we're supposed to be fed tea and oranges all the way from China, not warm beer and hot-dogs from Bob's Best Burgers.
  16. Yes - I read that. How depressing that this bad attitude towards hirers still prevails. Many of these hirers (like myself) are planning to be owners before too long!
  17. The great thing about your own 'paper' map is that you can accumulate your personal scribbles and notes for future reference (stopping places, good meals eaten, etc, etc) - use post-it notes if you have a moral objection to scribbling in a book. Your guides (in my case Nicholson's) quickly become old friends. (BTW - a medium size freezer bag is just the right size for an open Nicholson's - stops the pages turning in the wind and keeps the rain off!)
  18. zimzim


  19. Presently moored at Queen's Head, ready to start up Tardebigge flight in the morning. We have seen maybe 4 or 5 boats all day, and we have the visitor moorings to ourselves. All the hire bases we have passed (on the Avon Ring) over the past week have been full of boats.... what's going on?!
  20. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  21. Ha! - Sadly, for the moment at least, I am one of those pesky regular hirer types, but would be really happy to share a dram should our paths ever cross Thoughts to add on looking at my earlier photo: 1. The post-it pad is there for me to scribble my diy review on anything I try for future reference - some things I might replace when empty, others I might not. 2. The bottle of water is a really important fixture - my personal preference is for a dash of water with almost every whisky. I find most too harsh without it. The 'correct' technique is try whisky first without it, then add water to taste again. I think many are put off whisky all together by trying hard to drink it neat. I do like Penderyn (the Welsh whisky) - there is some in the photo somewhere....likewise Yamazaki (Japanese) and some Scandinavian 'Scotch' that once passed by. Laphroaig was mentioned earlier - i would not recommend this to the OP in light of comments made - it represents an extreme of the smokiness spectrum. Many love it, but for me it is medicinal in nature, rather like drinking Dettol....it's an interesting experience but not in my collection any more! Additions to my selection are based on whatever happens to be on offer when I wander through the supermarket - I would never pay top dollar. Also, I am a very easy person to Christmas and birthday presents for (Father's day is coming up!)
  22. Good or bad whisky verdicts are purely subjective of course. If you are interested in the subject, I sometimes see whisky tasting evenings advertised? Alternatively, you could do what I did.... ... well, a chap's got to have a hobby. Also, i would recommend 'The World Atlas of Whisky' by Dave Broom - everything you could ever wish to know.
  23. Must be misunderstanding - This is exactly what 'old-world' rail freight is good at, and it should be encouraged and invested in. Sadly, HS2 will go from London northwards. Actually, the overall picture for the UK is that only around one quarter of all containers arriving at our ports find their way inland by rail. Again, this is not a happy statistic, but it is the trend. Rail freight struggles to be anything more than a fairly blunt instrument - great for moving bulk commodities over long distances, but not so good for the agile, just-in-time supply chains of modern manufacturing. The International Railway Journal puts it thus: THE steep decline in demand for coal continued to erode rail freight traffic in Britain during the 2016-17 financial year, according to statistics published by the Office of Rail and Road on June 8. The total volume of freight moved fell to its lowest level since the late 1990s, dipping 3% to 17.2 billion net tonne-km. Of the seven commodity groups coal suffered the sharpest drop declining 39% compared with 2015-16 to 1.4 billion net tonne-km. The total volume of freight lifted dipped 8% to 79.4%, its lowest level since 1984-85, when traffic was hit badly by a lengthy strike by coal miners. Freight train movements fell 5% to 224,000, while freight train kilometres declined 3% to 34 million-km. RIP Capacity argument? Actually no..... we do need to invest properly in our railways. I just don't think HS2 is a good project.
  24. We must agree to differ on your definition of meaningful.... Using a ton/mile analysis will of course tend to weight in favour of long distance movement of very heavy freight (historically, raw materials and commodity items such as coal, steel, etc) The reason this is not used by the Department for Transport is that the UK's logistical requirements are increasingly concerned with the holistic problem of moving goods from points of entry to the doorsteps of consumers. This is achieved by a system of mainly palletised and containerised transport through national and regional distribution centres, overwhelmingly by road. Rightly or wrongly, the decline in heavy industry in this country, and most significantly the transport of coal, has contributed most to the reduced demand for this kind of 'old world' freight. Rail remains the best possible solution for that kind of transport problem - it's just not the problem that we face any more.
  25. Rail accounts for less than 10% of all freight movement in the UK - the vast majority is transported by road.
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