Sunday, 16 July 2017

Rant away

It's Summertime and de livin is easy..........
Sorry- time for a quick rant.

Ready, steady Rant!

We've had some glorious weather here at Cow Roast and whilst jobs remain undone on the boat-too hot is today's excuse-it is grand to sit on the mooring with my humble garden and watch the world go by.

Some of it quite speedily. Is it me or have other boaters noticed that boats seem to have speeded up when passing moorings? Maybe it's the pace of life they lead or perhaps they just don't care. It's not really a problem if you are tied up properly but sometimes I remember my dad's voice years ago whenever I was allowed to steer a boat on The Norfolk Broads-"remember there might be a small boy like you inside that boat stood next to a boiling kettle"
Good advice then, good advice now. Slow down you bastard!

They don't all rush through Cow Roast. I saw a boat called Bisbigliando in Berko on Sunday when Pam and I were out for our jog. They came past me today on my mooring.Very sweetly.
Bisbigliando, as you know means very light and murmuring, whispering almost —used as a direction in music for a fingered tremolo on the harp. Lovely name for a boat .

A sign oft seen as you approach a line of moored boats is "Please pass on tickover". I sometimes wonder if on an Israeli canal it would say "Please tick on Passover"?

Back to Rant mode.

I've always hated noise, even in my pre-tinnitus days- and especially resent music I haven't requested being played whether I want it or not. Pubs, shops,people driving/cruising past, people who decide their racket must be visited upon the rest of us on a nice sunny afternoon.
What is it about people that as soon as we get a hot day they have to ramp up the volume.
The volume is high, the music appalling and the lack of consideration astounding.
Turn it down or, preferably off, you bastard!

The worst places are pubs. I'm a great fan of live music of any kind and if there is a band on then I exercise my right to enter and enjoy or go somewhere else.
But juke boxes, canned music usually of a  selection and  a volume chosen by the staff. In my opinion it does not attract customers, especially those intelligent enough to conduct a conversation.  In fact I think I know more people that don't go to a particular pub or pubs in general because of the noise.
I've often stood in a pub, the sole customer, and asked for the music to be turned down or preferably off as I am the only money spender soon to be reduced by one.
It creates atmosphere they whine above the row. Oh it does that alright.  If more pubs concentrated on good food, drink, cleanliness and service instead of making them unwelcome to anyone over 30 who wants to chat and banter or read or do a crossword ,who knows, maybe not so many would have closed.

Rant Over-sorry.

On the subject of pubs the Cow Roast Inn has closed-last Friday 7th July, though I'm assured by the people that matter that it is soon to reopen. I hope so.
I first came to the Cow Roast in 1979 and thought it an excellent pub/restaurant. Run by Jim and Sue Moorhouse it was a welcoming pub without fruit machines, pool table, juke box and it made money. Then Christian, a French Restaurateur took it over and the food got even better and it was packed. And do you know something I never heard one punter say they wouldn't be coming back because there was no music.
After Christian we had a succession of landlords, some good some bad and eventually one of them  introduced piped music which was silenced the following Saturday morning by some direct action by one of the locals  being dexterous with his penknife; so we had a couple more peaceful years.
Eventually some p i a installed music, then the Thais took it over so the food was Thai or nothing, nobody knew cellar work and nobody could recognise a nuisance when they walked through the door so it all went downhill. And the damn juke box came in. 
Those stars of the catering industry Punch Taverns took over fleecing successive tenant landlords whilst doing no serious maintenance to this ancient inn. The present licensees have tried hard with an improving food trade but there's a hiccough for the time being.

Should the pub ever close permanently it is hoped the dreaded Punch wont be able to redevelop because of the archaeological value of the site with which I will now bore you

The Berkhamsted and District Archaeological Society started excavations at Cow Roast in 1972. Work continued for four years in an orchard near the Cow Roast Inn and for three years at the Marina; then, later, on land adjacent to the Cow Roast Inn.
The site is that of a Romano-British settlement which grew up alongside Akeman Street, a Roman Road running from St Albans, via Tring, to Cirencester, following part of the A41. Remains have also been found on the hillside to the north of the Marina, showing the settlement spread out from, as well as along the Roman road.
The site is now scheduled as an Ancient Monument under the protection of English Heritage and is designated as a Roman town.
Whilst I've got you so interested in a bit of history why not visit the following site-it really is quite interesting to see what a major part this little hamlet once played in our past.!-cow-roast-home.htm

Also worth a read is the report (link below) of an inquest held at the pub in 1827 into a fist fight in Wigginton. It's great stuff which I would precis if I wasn't so busy.

Right. What else has been happening?

I made some bread. I haven't made any for a long while which is apparent from the replica of the Rift Valley seen here. I kneed to try harder.

a cartoon

I've entered the Canal and River Trust Boats in Bloom Competition-considering I wasn't going to do much in the garden this year it seems to have, er, bloomed-a few pictures to brighten your day
Budgie further down the mooring has entered as well and will do well.


 This made me laugh. Not the book. That's about food; a serious topic. No it's because this packet arrived and I thought" I haven't ordered a Sherman tank or snooker table. What can it be?" It's a piddling little book in a box 16 times (and believe me I've checked) the size of the content! 

You can also discuss why the figures for people stupid enough to visit this site over the last week show firstly that the number of visitors from the USA has overtaken those from the UK and secondly, the following day the Russians have moved into second place

United States
United Kingdom


United States
United Kingdom   88

What's going on? Why have the Yanks and the Commies taken such an interest? Why are my own countrymen and women not interested in the pearls that decorate these pages and thus allowing people who can't tell the difference between a Buckby Can and a Portapotti to outnumber them?

Today I note that the Russians have slipped down to 7th. The States are still first but why have the Ruskies lost interest? What was it they were looking for? Have they found it?Perhaps I've been  a "sleeper" all these years and I'm so good at it I've forgotten.

United States
United Kingdom
South Korea
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////// One of the reasons I love Cow Roast is the sunsets. I rarely see the sunrise but I'm sure they're as lovely.It's grand to sit in my front well, tincture in hand and watch the sunset. No speeding boats, no noise......marvellous.

//////////////////////// Brother Jim has been unwell and spent last week in hospital in Harlow. Interestingly he seems to have the same leg vein problem that I do except he is 13 years older  and looks after himself. The infection got him a bit discombobulated so I visited expecting a confused old boy who probably wouldn't even recognise me-which is a bit annoying if you've driven all the way from Berkhamsted....only joking Jim.
Anyway whatever they are giving him is working because he was bright as a man on antibiotics can be and getting the best attention from both hospital and Mary and family. Now he is home so well done Jim, Mary,family, Harlow Hospital and the Lord above.

Butterfly count-it's going on at the moment and anyone can take part.
This project runs till 4th August.
Nice thing to do when you're sat in the garden/park/on a riverbank


This morning in the QED where I have my best ideas (the Quantitative Easing Department) I remembered that I promised some more old photos for your delectation.
Me when I was at the Monastery-please note map of Common Market on wall

When I applied to be an extra in Bridge of the River Kwai

Mum, Dad and I-probably  my 21st

A nice surprise-a picture taken at the wedding of Caz and Philip arrived by post-a kind thank you for my minor (very) contribution to a lovely day. Thanks chums.

I've displayed it on the boat under the watchful eye of Mr Screecher the Teacher who has been with me since 1990. He is unwed though he did come close when he was about to propose to his girlfriend. The moment was lost because of a thunder storm. Too wet to woo he told me.

This family is growing up fast. They love Muesli.

Another cartoon

To celebrate this week's visit bt the Spanish Royals I invited some ne'redowells round for Paella. The weather forecasters got it all arseuppards so it rained well into the afternoon (which was meant to be in Scotland according to Thomas Shoveaknacker ) but by teatime we decided to risk it outside and whacked up the marquee.

Flew the Spanish flag and laid the table
set up the bar

Cooked the Paella

Seated the guests;Annie and Roy and Carrie and Mac. Carrie took the pictures so there aren't any of her so here's one I made earlier, taken when she was working with the elderly and confused of Gloucester


Late into the night.

The morning after and the labours of yesterday have brought on my duff knee so I sit surrounded by the debris from last night with no wish to sort it. I shall slummock like a student in a squat and watch the boats go by.

Slow down you bastard!.

Bye bye  x

1 comment:

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Wonderful post Mike, thank you! Les would have relished it--especially all the Cow Roast history bits.

May I be so bold as to suggest that part of the reason the Yanks are visiting your blog is that it linked to mine and my American friends and family love good writing and good story teller--both of which you are my friend. Also, you have mastered the fine art of joie de vivre and of course no one can take the Mick--or the piss--like you do. All in all these characteristics make for excellent reading and--it should go without saying but I will say it anyway--good company.

I wait with anticipation to see a picture on your blog of you dancing.

Jaq xxx

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