Nearly time to renew our River Canal Rescue membership. I notice from their web site that they are having all sorts of problems dealing with live-aboard boats in London, due largely to the poor condition of many of the boats and the lack of knowledge/experience of their owners. RCR even hints that they might have to insist on an inspection (presumably at a cost) before they agree to a contract with boats inside the M25! You can read about it here. Thinking back, I don’t think we’ve had to call them out since 2010. Touch wood we don’t have to in 2017, but you never know.
Speaking of London, I am reliably informed by Oakie that my ugly mug appears twice in the latest issue of Towpath Talk in an article about CRTs “consultation” on London towpath improvements where I was helping out. I advise those of a nervous disposition not to look, although I have lost a stone in weight (really!) since then and intend to lose another stone by the summer. Daily walks, portion control, and reduction in alcohol is how I’m doing it. If anyone has any will power going spare, please bung it over here.
Whilst marooned at home, I have been avoiding any proper jobs by making robot buggys and doing some computer programming. In order to test my skills in the Python language I have created yet another sort of CanalOmeter. You can’t really beat the old cardboard ones for quickly estimating journey times from A to B, but my new version, which works on a smart phone or tablet does all that but also has a useful feature in that it contains every feature along the canal, bridge numbers, water points, winding holes etc, such that you an just type in “water” and up pops a list of water points, then you can choose one and it’ll tell you how far away and how long to get there. Similarly “winding” or “sanitary” or “PH” (for pub). I’ve just done this for the S Oxford so far. I would happily give this away to anyone who’d like one but sadly it would mean that you’d have to install a copy of Python on your Android phone/tablet first and install the data file (which requires a certain level of know how), which is perhaps more than a lot of people would want to do. If anyone would like to be a guinea pig I’d be happy to oblige with the files and instructions.