Tuesday 16 April 2013


If you love anything in life, you usually find that you can't get enough of it. That's why it's always amazed me that although I hate cold weather, I have always loved riding my motorcycle of a clear frosty morning. That's possibly because I loved riding the bike, much  more than I ever disliked the cold weather. Or that the cold tended to keep the white knuckle Sunday drivers tucked up under the duvet rather than out terrorising the general public.

The weather in England has taken a turn for the worse over the last couple of years. I'm not sure that global warming or global anything is to blame. However, air quality issues which has seen a significant improvement over the last decades seems to have reversed. Especially in our towns and cities as the number of diesel burning vehicles are adding significant amounts of particulates into the localised environment.

Some people enjoy the somewhat extreme weather conditions and patterns that can dominate our country. After the exceedingly dry winter of 2011, 2012 arrived with water shortages and hose pipe bans. This quickly turned into the wettest summer in living memory with the news being dominated by record breaking rainfall.

2012 typically ended with a prolonged period of cold weather. However, 2013 kept this inclement weather pattern going with an extended cold spell that has seen snow on the ground and significant wind chill figures well into April. Will we get a summer this year I don't know. 

The seasonally strong winds we sometimes expect to arrive in March have continued into April. We have had our first tree down blocking the canal experience of 2012. We have also seen significant numbers of trees blown down on the canal sides. Which in a way has helped to get rid of the cold inside the boat by providing logs for burning on the stove. There is an old saying that "it's an ill wind that blows anybody no good." 

Today, it rained, (its officially summer) it was cold, the wind was up, and we had a shower of hailstones about the size of a large hazelnut. I'm minded, of another old saying "if you don't like the weather, just  give it half an hour" Welcome to Great Britain - the weather changing capitol of the world.

So if you are thinking of having a boating holiday on the English canals and rivers. Just bear in mind that you will need stout water proof footwear. Enough clothes to provide several insulating layers.  Have sufficient quality wet weather clothes to stave of the ravages of wind driven rain. That should cover the summer months. As for the Spring and Autumn months. Think of several additional extra layers to add to the summer apparel and invest in a survival suit. 

I have come to realise that people who love boating are sadomasochist and not just masochists. The definition of a masochist is someone who will trap their fingers in a door. The definition of a sadomasochist is someone who puts their fingers in the same side as the hinges

I love time spent on our boat, which I enjoy much more than I do stepping into the piles of dog poo on the towpath. I enjoy our boat much more than I do the sight of litter in and around the canals. I enjoy traveling the canals much more than I do struggling with locks in need of maintenance. I love time on the boat much more than I do walking in the mud that substitutes for a towpath. I enjoy visiting different locations much more than I like pushing the boat through mud that used to be where the water was.


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