b3ta.com user baldybeardy
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» Redundant technology

I live on a narrowboat - a compact temple of obsolete technologies;

Propulsion - provided by a BMC diesel engine
Electricity - lead-acid batteries connected to the above.
Sewage - posh bucket with lid
Water - find a standpipe, fill tank in boat. Use sparingly.
Heat - find dead tree, chop it up and set fire to it in a stove.
Cooking - use the stove. Or (horrors) use the gas cooker.

One of two routes between London and Birmingham will be shut for maintenance for 7 weeks starting from Monday. The other shuts in the new year for a similar period of time.

This is why I'm sitting in the middle of the countryside in a company boat waiting for dawn - so I can see enough to operate the canal locks below me in order to deliver the boat to a small village in Northamptonshire for someone else to go out and play on a 200 year-old transport system.
(Fri 5th Nov 2010, 21:28, More)

» Unemployed

Mid-life crisis - escape
Usual tale of woe - worked for the same org for 25 years rising through the ranks. Politics intervenes in a major fashion and I'm not busy anymore - abeit with a year's cash in my pocket. Being a sad bastard, I haven't got any other social life so stick around for a couple of months, passing out advice and generally carrying out a handover that should have been done whilst I was on the payroll. Decide to take a Christmas break ('cos that's what I normally did) and manage to break 3 ribs and collarbone dirt-tracking on a moto. This causes some delay in returning to the UK, but the holiday insurance coughed up for the extended stay in the hotel.

Two months later, I've realised that I don't care about my previous life any more; I take another month to wend my way back to London, via Spain and France.

Back in town I spend some time obtaining a narrowboat, then get rid of my pad and spend autumn travelling round Greece whilst the boat's being got fully ready to live on.

Since then I've been bimbling around the canals, signing on (lovely people, but the organisation just can't quite cope with my situation).

£60.50 a week to live on - it can be done if there's no emergencies; getting my teeth and eyes fixed for free; seeing lots of places I've never been to; meeting loads of nice, relaxed people; learning new skills and enjoying ale because of what it is rather than as a way of forgetting the daily stress.

Becoming unemployed probably saved my life.
(Sat 4th Apr 2009, 19:22, More)

» Real Life Slapstick II

The late, lamented Firkin chain
After a lengthy undergrad session in the Ferret & Firkin one evening, Eric tried three times to mount and move off on his bicycle - falling off each time. Then we came clean and reminded him he hadn't unchained it from the lamp-post yet...

[Or Ian another time - who decided to ask the next pedestrian to undo his bike's combination lock as he was too pissed to read the digits. The passing copper was not exactly of much assistance in this cunning plan].
(Sun 5th Oct 2014, 17:47, More)

» Getting Old

... just more fun than being young. But sometimes it hurts just that little bit more.
I got made redundant five years ago - apparently I'm now a legend from the 'olden days' used to keep the youngsters in line.

Anyroads, at the moment I'm writing this from a nudist campsite in the south of France. Just chilling here until the time comes to take the bikes over to Spain for the WSBK races at the end of the month and then come back to Blighty to celebrate a friends 40th wedding anniversary.

Best thing? A girlfriend half one's age is legal.
Worst thing? She's starting to outride me....
(Fri 8th Jun 2012, 22:10, More)

» Dodgy boozers

A fair few in my time....
But the one which stands out is the 'Dew Drop Inn' in New Cross. One of the more lively pubs in the area with a decent line in bands.

We were regulars there and one day noticed that a square of carpet at our favourite leaning spot by the bar had been removed, so asked the barmaid when it was coming back. It transpired that the previous Saturday the guy we'd been chatting to, after we'd left to get some dinner, had stabbed (to death) the next occupant of said carpet. When the police released the tile, it never did look quite the same.

[Also the Yates Wine bar next to Newcastle Rail Station that my mate claimed was 'upmarket' - pair of squaddies fighting with pool cues even before we'd got to order the beers. Or, the seaside pub in Skegness that my then girlfriend picked in time to get a ringside seat on a massive fight - the barstaff obviously had it sussed as they waited until the protagonists reached the bar before pulling out the shinty sticks and sorting out the miscreants]
(Fri 7th Feb 2014, 22:37, More)
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