I often get emails asking me for money. Or at the very least my bank details so I can assist West African millionaires in moving their funds around. Happily for me, most of them can be ignored (you only need one bad experience with a suspected Nigerian warlord to learn that lesson). Sadly, today I got one of the requests for money that was above board (see what I did there?).
The Canal and River Trust demand I pay a license fee every year to continue living on the waterways. And as I quite like life afloat, I grudgingly pay it. Plus, when I’m chugging along and lose the ability to steer the boat because a sofa cushion has become wrapped around the propeller, I can have a legitimate moan about how the CRT are failing to spend my license fees appropriately (after I have finished swearing about the moron who throws a sofa in the canal. That’s what Gumtree was invented for.)
To be honest, I don’t quite know if fishing three-piece suites is actually part of the CRT’s remit. Their website says something vague about maintaining waterways and the environment, and makes no specific reference to keeping the canals furniture free. Not that it really matters. The point of this blog was actually going to be a more ‘seize-the-day’ kind of post rather than a ‘why-aren’t-institutions-doing-more-to-stop-people-throwing-large-chairs-in-the-rivers’ kind of post.
So anyway…..I have paid the CRT several hundred pounds to maintain the rivers for me. And this summer I am (probably) going to make them earn their crust. I am going to make the most of being on a licensed boat and boldly go where hundreds of boats have gone before. I am going to wave farewell to the River Trent, and take a turn down the River Soar. Yes, that’s right a whole new river. That comes with a whole new map book (the costs maybe spiralling out of control, but that’s not going to stop me).
It might not put me in the same league as Henrik Frederiksen (who built a raft and then spent four months drifting down the Amazon), but it’s a start. First step, weekend on the Soar, next step a bigger river, and so on until Double Fracture sails the Nile.
It’s a good plan.
This blogpost was brought to you by ‘Angel of small death and the codeine scene‘ by Hozier.