Wednesday, December 06, 2006

This and that

No Herbie trips to report at the moment, although we did a short canal visit last week when we went (by car) to Banbury which is on the Oxford canal. I'd forgotten how small the single locks look. We are getting so used to the two-boat-width ones on the GU that the single ones seem tiny. We prefer single locks really as they hold the boat snug, are lighter to operate and they fill / empty faster. Next year we hope to do the Oxford canal on Herbie.

The reason we were in Banbury was to go to Banbury Folk Club to see one of my favourite performers, Anna Ryder, who was absolutely brilliant (check out her web site here ). In over forty years of folk clubbing I must have seen thousands of performers, and Anna ranks with the best (IMHO). Apart from the fact that she can play anything (like piano and trumpet simultaneosly), her songs are so original and her general enthusiasm and energy is always a treat. I defy anyone not to enjoy seeing her perform. The club organiser Derek Droscher is an old chum of ours. Poor old Derek is now suffering the attentions of the Performing Rights Society (PRS) who want a sizeable cut of his door takings to cover copyright. This is the first time I have come across this in a small folk club, and were it to become general practice it would surely shut down 90% of the small clubs out there :-(

I'm just reading "Idle Women" by Susan Woolfitt. Its a true account of the lives of women who supported the war effort in the 1940s by operating narrowboat freight transport. I have to say its an unexpectedly good read, made all the better by her regular references to places on the cut that we know so well from our travels in Herbie.

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