Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Big One (4-4)

Wednesday 25th of April 2012.

Dutch Riverside Moorings.

Once more the weather dominates the news. The wettest April on record. First its a full blown drought and water is going to be on ration. Then it's hosepipe bans even the likelihood of standpipes in the street. Then its the atlantic conveyor bringing in low pressure systems after low pressure systems thats to blame. Now its the jet stream staying south of us and allowing the cold fronts to move south. The rain is going to continue for some time, flooded fields suround us, various rivers are over their banks. The drought situation it seems has not improved one iota. 

I blame the conservative government under Thatcher, for selling off the national assets (Railway, Water, Gas, Electricity) or "The Family Silver" as they were described by Harold MacMillan. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963. Nicknamed "Supermac" and known for his pragmatism, wit and unflappability. MacMillan championed a strategy of public investment, he presided over an age of affluence, marked by low unemployment and high growth. He told the nation they had "never had it so good" and he was proved right.

We have a national water shortage, which in a country that is normally awash with water is a scandal. The creation of the water grid as proposed by J F Pownall way back in 1942. This would give a huge increase in capacity by creating a huge linear water reservoir and at the same time providing a large infrastructure project that could create jobs and help to kick start the economy. It gets to me even as a Gallophile, that the French as a nation own and benefit from a good chunk of our "Family Silver." 

J F Pownall, came up with a plan for a lock free canal for moving water and freight which he called the Grand Contour Canal, (Later called the National Water Grid) which would follow the 310 ft contour of the hills all the way from the Scottish borders region, down to the South East of England.

07:00 A red sky last night, the moon and stars were out for the first time in a week or so. So much for the old "Red Sky at Night Shepard's Delight" malarkey then. First thing this morning we had a clear sky and light breeze. By 10am it was clouding over and the wind had picked up quite a bit. By 11:30 the rain was horizontal and the wind was gusting with a vengeance.

I have had a bit of a strange experience, by talking to a robot voice, I had a phone call to my mobile from my local hospital. The robot was booking an appointment for me and making sure that I would attend. All I had to say was "yes" or "no" to the robots questions. Its amazing stuff the what can be done with a few wires and some electrickery.

I'm going to let you into a secret. I have had an interesting email exchange with a young lady from an award winning film maker based in Canada. I think from looking at their website they do "fly on the wall" documentary stuff. It would seem that they are going to be coming over to the UK in the near future and they want to speak to me about whatever it is that they are filming. I know what the subject matter is. It's one dear to my heart, but I might have to keep it confidential for now. So that's a wrap then!

What's the ugliest boat you have ever seen. I have one that we first came across last year when it was out of the water being blacked. It looked like a block of 1960's concrete flats laid on their side. If you come to Goole at any time you can see it moored up outside the marina entrance.

Ugly Pig

We call it the "ugly pig" because someone has taken a saw to the bow and lopped it off. (Talk about cut off your nose to spite your face) To help improve the appearance, a car tyre has been hung in its place. Yep, its an ugly pigs snout of a boat without a single redeeming visual feature. The steering position is through a hole in the roof, above the patio doors! However, when its out of the water, it has a couple of under water fins that run most of the boats length. So it looks ugly under water as well. It don't move very often either!

The trees under the electrical power lines have had some of their height chopped off. The contractor has handily cut the wood into nice sized logs that fit into our stove. So we now have a store of cut logs and split logs that will last us a month or so. With a bit of luck the warmer and drier weather will have arrived by then.

10:00 Whenever we get down to Goole, I enjoy listening to the docks radio traffic on channel 14. Today being very windy it was obvious that some of the vessels that were "penning" (going through the approach to, and into the lock) were doing it  a bit gingerly. 

The waterways museum is just outside our boat - so today we are hoping to spend a bit of time inside having a look around the place. It's funny that we always seem to save visits to such places for rainy days - then miss out on the opportunity.

13:00 Feeling trapped we went shopping, its about a mile and a half to Tesco and we did a big shop to make sure that we can still eat if we get holed up by the floods. This tested our wet weather suits, we both returned home dry above the ankles. However, our boots need a good waterproof spray application. 

Football News. Bayern Munich -v- Chelsea it is then. I so wanted Real Madrid to beat Bayern and let "the special one" come back to Chelsea for his moment of truth. However, both teams will be using their youth teams as most of the players managed to get yellow cards and a ban for the next game.

Daily Total
Miles: 0.0
Locks: 0
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 0.0

Accumulated Totals
Miles: 640.2
Locks: 645
Swing / Lift Bridges: 103
Tunnels: 6
Pump Outs: 8
Engine Hours: 2083.3


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