Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Where do birds go..

..when we cut down the trees?

With BW cutting down so many along the canals, perhaps they could get together with farmers, landowners, local communities, schools and Treesponsibility, to plant thousands of new trees, set further back from the canals?

No, apparently this is the way forward ....

Friday, 20 February 2009

I'm free!

After two nights locked in the marina, I'm so glad to be out roaming the canals again. I didn't realise how claustrophobic some marinas can be but within 10 minutes of getting in (via a lock), I was tugging at padlocked doors, meeting No Entry signs and pressing my face between the bars of portcullis-type gates. All those empty boats at night... Later, the kind boat engineer lent me a key to be able to come and go and I kept having to go on long walks. I don't think I'd get on very well in prison.

It seems to suit coots very well though. I don't see many of these on the canal so it was good to see two lording it up in their own private waterway.
I traipsed around nearby housing and whoever makes the portcullis gates must be doing a roaring trade. The most ordinary houses had electric gates, high fencing, CCTV, burglar alarms. Made me long to break in and see what they had that was so precious!
It made me understand why so many people ask me " don't you get scared?" I guess it must seem very vulnerable to them, but it's funny because I feel safer out by myself in the countryside than in the spooky marina. It also helps having nothing worth nicking I suppose. Everything I love and prize most in the world is living in various other parts of the country.

Something interesting about the marina though (Hatherton) - it's a disused arm of the canal, where there are these two ancient locks that tail off into overgrown brambly jungles but with the water still feeding the main canal.
Now they're used for craning boats out the water for blacking etc, so a boat goes up through the first lock, where the side wall has been removed and the crane lifts the boat onto a trailer. Thought that was clever.

Monday, 16 February 2009


I'm booked in to a boatyard to get all my BSS work done. Hope that's the last of the expense for a while now ;-)

Sunday, 15 February 2009


(Vivisection: The dissection of, or otherwise experimenting on, a living animal.)

Well, this week we learn that chimps can subtract numbers as well as add, which had led to some idiot scientists wondering whether this means we shouldn't be experimenting on them. The fact that they also feel pain and fear like us doesn't seem to even register as important. If sub-normal intelligence and lack of understandable language is therefore the criteria, can I make a suggestion: perhaps we should experiment on babies, people with learning dissabilities, old folk with dementia? No? Of course not, because that would make us like Dr Aribert Heim, the nazi concentration camp doctor who was able to carry out his horrific 'experiments' because he regarded the Jewish people as animals.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Witches brew

If someone comes on my boat, I usually offer them tea or coffee, simply because I'm used to the nervous reaction when I offer them my own herbal teas. "Er.. no thanks, I'll just have ordinary tea/coffee!".
I don't blame people at all for this cos they might not like herbal tea or be worried about what's in it. But as I was making myself a herbal drink and got chatting to a dog-walker, I did offer some of my mugwort and red clover tea. The woman drank some and seemed very happy with it and we had an interesting chat about herbal remedies, traditional lore, etc. The next day, a man came past my boat and stopped for a talk - turned out he was the husband of the woman - and said " Oh yes, you're the woman serving witches brew". Ha! I had to laugh at that.
If you see my boat, I'll be happy to get the cauldron on for a cuppa ;-)

White (grey) things

I didn't have my camera ready when I boated past a field with tiny lambs in, yesterday. They looked so fragile in snow!
I also didn't have it to hand when I saw snowdrops in Brewood churchyard. So I took it out with me very early this morning, to get some pictures of white things, though the light was so dull that everything has turned out grey.
My dog eating snow
Moorhen tracks - looks like they collided and fell in the canal.
Brewood is one of those villages that were made to be snowed on - very pretty.