Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Big One (12-7)

Saturday 9th June 2012

Braunston Puddle Bank.

The weather improved a bit overnight the wind has tailed off a bit and the rain finally went away. The morning sunshine was most welcome, though the reports say that things will revert back to rain later today.

I woke up this morning starving, I wanted something light and easy to make. I thought to myself hot buttered toast. a quick search round the kitchen and the only bread in the boat was French. That's a pain.

Last year I wrote about the problems I had been having with British Waterways and actually paying BW for our boat licence. I even contacted the head Honcho Robin Evans and asked him to help sort out the situation. We were eventually put in touch with a very helpful lady called Jean Hicks. A few phone calls and the situation was eventually resolved.

We are in something of a cleft stick, we are out on the boat and many miles from our home. However, all correspondence conducted with BW is via the postal service. We have filled in a bank mandate (three times) but for some reason BW never do their bit. The boat licence and insurance under normal circumstances fall at about the same time. This year the BSC also coincides.

The BSC was sorted while we were moored in Boston. The insurance cover has been organised and paid for over the phone while we were moored in Braunston. We also arranged the boat breakdown cover to be organised and paid for over the phone as well. Most modern businesses are keen on cash flow. They are also keen on customer service. They know that in this busy world, new technology has become a lifeline to the population.

So, all we need to do now is sort out BW. Stop that cynical sniggering at the back!

I expected that the payment mandate would be in force, but because I am dealing with BW I decided to make a telephone call to check - Only to discover from BW that the mandate has not been submitted to the bank yet again. BW have a certain level of consistency in their dealings with their clientèle if nothing else. 

The details of the BSC and its unique identification number was not acceptable to BW over the phone. The boat insurance details were however quite acceptable over the phone. We were asked to send a copy of the latest BSC certificate to the boat licencing team in Leeds. Plus we have been requested to add a note asking the licencing team to telephone us so that we can make a card payment again rather than expect the mandate to be submitted.

I enquired about the helpful lady that we had spoken to and exchanged emails with the previous year. It seems that Jean has moved on and is not with BW any more. Its a pity that BW seem unable to move on as well.

So in desperation I turned on the radio and tuned in to radio 4. There was an item on the news about Stephen Hawking. It seems that he is writing a follow-up to his best selling book "A Brief History of Time". I thought to myself, it's about time too.

Today is the first day of the Braunston Festival weekend, lets hope the weather is a bit improved than of late.

Wildlife: At about 5am I was up and out with the pooches. There is a huge Oak tree at the side of the boat. In the branches was a Tawny Owl giving the "tew-it" call, but there was no "twooo" in reply. Most people don't realise that the "Tew-it, Twooo" is actually two birds, one calling and one replying. Its a bit late in the season for two Tawny Owls to be starting to prepare to breed. The arrangements are usually organised in February and March. Maybe its been a bad year for the Owls. At 7:30am came several weak "Twooo" calls in reply. Quick as a flash our ardent suitor left and headed off in the direction of a nearby wood. Silence of a sort has returned to the puddle banks. The Rookery is still well populated with a very noisy milling mass of birds.

The above poster has been created using a piece of software that looks at the frequency and importance of words in the above text. It makes a very interesting way to look at the content of any blog posting. It looks like BW was very high on my agenda today.

Daily Total

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

Accumulated Totals
Miles: 941.7
Locks: 695
Swing / Lift Bridges: 117
Tunnels: 6
Pump Outs: 10
Engine Hours: 2200.0


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