Friday, 31 October 2014


Ah, recycling.  People half heartedly recycling is my second biggest hate (first hate of course is dog poo - don't get me started on that one!).  Recycling is not easy on a boat, due to the confined space.   There's no room to store all the recycling, as recycling points on the canal are few and far between. We usually end up walking miles with a trolly dolly full of empty bottles  glass jars, rattling away as we try and find a supermarket with recycling bins.  So after lugging the recycling round the country, you arrive at a CRT office which has a recycling facility (Fazeley), feeling righteous that you've saved a little bit of rubbish going into landfill, and relived that you're going to gain a bit more space on the front deck -  but you are met with overflowing bins, and of course, people who just lift a lid and shove anything in there.    I would have liked CRT to be a bit more proactive here, and get the bins emptied in anticipation of a busy half term, good weather period.

Now at Fazeley, there are six, yes six large wheely bin thingies purely for rubbish - so why do people - sorry boaters - as it can only be boater's using these bins - try and ram another full bag of rubbish into an already full bin, when there are three completely EMPTY bins four paces away.

So Dave does his usual rubbish swapping. 
Taking out bags of rubbish which have been stuffed into the already full recycling bins.

Now, when a recycling bin says "glass only", it means that only glass goes in there - not a black bin bag full of glass.  Why is that concept so difficult for people to grasp?  Once plastic goes into a glass recycling bin, then whole bin is contaminated and is usually scrapped and the whole lot put into landfill - unless someone goes through each bin and sorts it out before the "bin men" come and take it away.  Now I can't see the CRT office staff doing that - nor do I want them to - I'd much rather they do the job they're supposed to do - like sort out the canal system!

This black bin bag was in the paper recycling bin.  Now why would someone put a plastic bag in there?  It may contain paper recycling, but that's irrelevant as the whole skip will probably be put into landfill, as again, it is 'contaminated'.

There's even a sign on the side of the wheely bin,
for those who haven't grasped the concept of recycling.

Do not leave bags on the floor......

As for the state of the elsan point - disgusting!  There are some dirty boaters out there.
Again, Dave cleaned it, as he tends to do.  However, you do expect the elsan point at the CRT offices to be a bit cleaner than the norm.
So, for those of you who were thinking I've mellowed (significant birthday looming) with fluffy posts of boat rallies and birthdays - I haven't!  Rant over.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Rhiannon's 18th Birthday

After the Stourbridge boat rally, we decided to go the long way round to Rugby/Braunston, rather than go through the centre of Birmingham, so as to give Nemo cat a bit of countryside after hurdy gurdys and steam traction engines belting out noise from the festival weekend.  It also meant that I could get a train from Penkridge to my sister Rachel's for a couple of days, and to celebrate her eldest daughter Rhiannon's 18th birthday family dinner.  No apologies for all the pics posted here, it's so family and friends who are not on facebook can see them (hello Mum!).

The birthday girl, with my other sister Bethan's eldest, Robert

Nephew and nieces together.  L-R Nia, Rob, Rhiannon, Nel, and Iona

Bruno's parents and his sister made the epic drive from Glasgow, which due to the traffic on the start of half term holidays took 7 hours.

Good old Rachel - always comes up with a good cake!

Assunta (Bruno's Mum) and my sister Bethan

Not a great photo I admit - Nell, you're looking a bit startled there!

That's a bit better... L-R  Nell, Rob, Bruno, Mum and Tony

Rachel, decorating the room for the party dinner in the Almanack in Kenilworth

Youngest niece Iona

Tony, Iona (Rachel's no.3) Mum, Nia (Rachel's no.2) and my younger sister Rachel

Nia and Iona

Nieces and Nephew again:  Nell, Nia, Iona, Rhiannon & Rob

Rachel's three girls

The compulsory eating shots.....

Rhiannon posing with Bethan's birthday present - the complete works of Shakespeare.
My present was on it's way - a Marilyn Manson hoody (whoever she is). 
Talk about one extreme to the other!
Ah lovely pic:  Nia, Rob, Rhiannon, Nel & Iona

Dad Bruno giving his speech - he'd even prepared notes!
I did take a load more photos - which didn't come out as they were all blurred, as I had the camera on the wrong setting, duh.  Of course, as I was taking all the pics, I'm not on any of them!
We all had a lovely night, thanks to Rachel for organising it.  No mean feat when we all live in different parts of the country.  It was lovely to see everybody.  Rhiannon is having another party this weekend for all her friends - a Halloween party.  Rachel & Bruno will be on duty guarding the house!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Stourbridge Weekend - The Boats and Attractions!

There were over 60 boats booked in for the weekend - not as many as we've seen here in the past, but enough to fill the beer tent. 
Here we have Leo and Scorpio arriving.

Boats of every size and shape......


Bellatrix on the move

That's us!   In the number 2 slot, outside NB White Locks, next to the Harbour Masters. 
I don't know what we've done to deserve such a prime mooring, but we're very grateful!
Ah, my first vehicle, a Morris Marina,
now a museum piece it would seem (although I did learn to drive in a Hillman Imp, which was a bit disconcerting, as it had the engine in the boot and an empty hole in the front.
Dave's first vehicle
(his Dad used to sit him on the front so as to add weight to stop the wheels lifting off the ground)
Ken Smith's car
Joe & Henry Hollingshead talking to Dave.
If you want to hear a real Black Country accent - try having a conversation with Henry Hollingshead!


Barrie & David Caunt - the Harbour Masters for the weekend.

Lots of steam engines, traction engines, organs, vintage cars on display

The BCNS stall

The Staffs and Worcester Canal Society stall, with Mary & Derek selling their pumpkins
(they of the mattress drama in a previous blog)
Dave doing a stint on gate duty


On to the VIP's ... we had the Mayor & Mayoress, MP's, and our very own Richard Parry

Richard Parry on the front of Pasadena. 

Frank, bringing up the rear of the VIP flotilla with a load of canoes behind him.
Don't know where they came from!
And that was that done for another year.  Met up with lots of friends we haven't seen for a while, some who came by boat, and others by car.  Dave is, as I write this, busy helping to dismantle the BCNS stall.  All is now quiet, no steam whistles, no running engines, and Nemo cat has come out from under the covers!