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Bugbrooke, Weedon Bec and Buckby Wharf

Despite our proximity to the West Coast Main Line, we had a good night at Bugbrooke although it was raining steadily when we awoke. We took our time getting out of bed and were unsure of our plans for the day. Eventually, the rain stopped and we decided to set off. As nice as Bugbrooke is, it is just another dormitory village where the residents believe that they live there even though they work, shop and socialise elsewhere.

We moved on to Weedon Bec and stopped at the moorings on the offside near the church. We’ve been here before so there wasn’t anything to explore that was new. Walking down from the canal bank brings you down into the churchyard, crossing a footpath which I think is the Nene Way. We had a look in the church as we passed through and then visited the One Stop convenience store which is part of the Tesco group. Next, we visited the nearby Plume of Feathers pub which was completely devoid of both staff and customers so after five minutes waiting, we left and walked along the street to the other pub at this end of the village, The Maltster’s Arms. We got served there but the place wasn’t very nice so we quickly drank up and left. Out of curiosity, we called back into the Plume of Feathers and were greeted by a very friendly landlady who explained that she had been cleaning upstairs. We had a drink and then returned to the boat.

The following day started off with bright sunshine so I did some cleaning of the roof. It’s a difficult job because it has a sanded, non-slip surface. We never walk on the roof so the surface is of no use to us but the sanded finish traps so much dirt and is a b*st*rd to keep clean.

In the middle of the day we had lunch and then walked to the upper part of Weedon by going down the steps from the canal, turning right on to the footpath, walking to Bridge Road and then going under the canal before turning left on the A5. On reaching the junction between the A5 and the A45, we popped in Tesco and bought a few bits before walking up to the Heart of England pub where we stopped off for a drink. Weedon Bec has a number of Antique shops but we have visited them all before so we did no more than look in the windows as we passed by.

We walked back along the towpath and passed by our old lock buddies on nb Que Sera Sera. Back at Caxton, I spent a couple of hours waxing and polishing the port side.

We were up and about the following morning nice and early and left our mooring in the early morning sunshine, just after eight o’clock. Our journey brought us into the Watford gap where the canal gradually gets squeezed in between the A5, the M1 and the WCML. Two boats were leaving the bottom lock as we arrived and we were soon joined by nb Grampa’s Lady, with a single hander on board. There were a few boats coming down the Buckby flight as we ascended and with Sue doing most of the physical stuff, we reached the top quite quickly.

Luckily enough we found a mooring above lock and just before the CaRT yard. We had lunch, went for a walk and then spent the rest of the afternoon outside the New Inn.

Time for a rant now!

As we sat outside the New Inn, nb Corona arrived at the lock. The steerer made no attempt to slow down and smashed into the bottom gate with such force that people came out of the pub to see what had happened. We have history with this boat and its owner who we presume to be Trevor Maggs as that is the name painted on the side of it. On a previous occasion, this boat shot straight out of the arm between Rugby and Newbold causing us to make an emergency stop to avoid T-boning it. We love the idea that there are many old working boats preserved and still in use on the system and although in the main, most owners are caring and considerate, I think that there are a disproportionate number who think that they have a priority over everyone else. They don’t, they have a leisure boat and pay a licence at the same rate as everyone else. No doubt Trevor Maggs, if that is his name, will also be one of those who complains about the poor state of the locks and that CaRT don’t maintain them properly. Here’s a clue Trevor, stop smashing the f*ck*ng gates up!!!!!!

Rant over – for now!

Hacked Off!!

Hacker

The blog got hacked. Why do people do this sort of stuff? The blog is a wordpress site on a shared host and has happily ticked over unmolested for the last three years. On Easter Sunday I received an email from the hosting company informing me that dues to unusually high email traffic, the hosting account was being suspended. I was able to get access to the account temporarily and could see that there were emails being generated every few minutes. I disabled all of the wordpress plugins as they seem to be the likely culprits. This stopped the emails but there was another problem, some software was generating referrals and driving traffic to the site and very quickly I exceeded my monthly bandwidth allowance resulting in another suspension. In the end I had to remove the blog from the subdomain caxton.narrowboat.us and create a fresh installation at www.narrowboat.us and here it is. So there was no lasting damage done but it has created a lot of work to straighten everything out. There has been no loss for me and I can’t see what the hackers have to gain, maybe I am just missing the point. Anyway, if you had previously bookmarked our blog, you might want to adjust it slightly replacing “caxton” with “www”

Time for a rant – Shopping bags

It’s raining so I thought that I would have a bit of a rant and today’s subject is “Shopping Bags”.
All boaters are different but we all have one thing in common, we’re all good at carrying things and one of the best bits of carrying equipment around is the supermarket ‘bag for life ‘. I have nothing against these bags but I do get annoyed when supermarkets claim how environmentally friendly they are. Sure, they are better than those nasty carrier bags that we are soon going to be paying for in an effort to deter us from using them but let’s look back to find out where they came from.
When I was growing up in the sixties, my mother went shopping almost every day, taking her trusty leatherette shopping bag with her. That’s not entirely true, growing up in Scotland, we didn’t go shopping, we went “for the messages” and we had a “message line” rather than a shopping list.
Anyway, it was all good for the consumer who only bought what they could carry home, on foot of course. Not much good for the retailer though having customers who restricted their own purchases. Providing free carrier bags solved that problem instantly with the consumer now able to take advantage of impulse buys and promotional items.
Two new problems arose as a result of this, the consumer had to get the food home and then store it. So the pedestrian became a motorist and increased pollution. The car needed to be parked so land was covered over which in turn encouraged flooding. The consumer walked less and ate more and so became obese. They bought a fridge to store the food that couldn’t be bought on the day of purchase but eventually they would outgrow it and get a bigger one. The old one would be dumped and its refrigerant gases would find their way into the atmosphere where they destroyed the ozone layer and triggered climate change.
Buying food every day and using it straight away keeps wastage down, again good for the consumer but not for the retailer! Luckily enough the kindly retailer started applying dates to the food so that the consumer knew when to use it. Nonsense! It was just an instruction to throw it away. This is why we now have so much food wasted each year.
So by introducing the free carrier bag, retailers have been responsible for obesity, pollution, climate change and food waste. So I’m afraid that there is no praise for the retailer who sells a bag for life on the pretext that it is better for the environment when in fact it was their greed tactics that created the problem in the first place.
Having said all of that though, the bags are pretty good for carrying stuff to and from the boat!

Solar Panel Monitoring

Take a look at how much electricity is being produced by Caxton’s solar panels.

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November 2017
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