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LondonRascal last won the day on November 16

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About LondonRascal

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    Social Media Guru
  • Birthday 07/06/1979

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    Broadcaster, Blogger and Technology Evangelist from London. Enjoys a good coffee, Ale an boating.

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  1. I've only just logged on tonight and read the post with great sadness. I remember meeting you and having a chat in Loddon in the summer and Tan was with you on the boat. You both were lovely and it was a pleasure to meet you. I feel for you during this very hard time.
  2. LondonRascal

    Broad Ambition - TLC Time Again

    The unit in question is a Pinoneer FH-X730BS: I had looked at other options such as full touch screen affairs but this is in a wheelhouse open to hot sun and cold depending on time of year so easy to use old fashion knobs and buttons were better. it is very good and is a double din size, has support to sync with a phone over Blutooth and have access to contacts though not installed we could have added a microphone to make hands free calls through the stereo. it sounds great - has more power and options for sound than the usual ‘bass and trebble’ older stereos have. The best part is how you can stream music to the unit via your phone or tablet. I use Spotify but Charlie has Amazon Music (or will do when he finds his password). You can then have millions of tracks ready to go but the unit will display the details - not just stream the audio. So name of artist and track and be able to use the unit to control the streaming device and select next track etc. it also plays old fashion things called CD’s can deal with anologue FM alongside Digital DAB stations. It can also take a USB thumb drive with music files or have audio connected via an AUX Jack. This has just about every option to play audio from anything
  3. LondonRascal

    Broads Toll 2019

    The Tolls issue comes up each season because invariable it goes up. Sometimes just a little, other times rather a lot. Either way people will complain about this because it means more of their hard earned being spent for what they may consider very little in return. Sure you get to permission to use the waterways but what about if you do not go out very much, or you never need to use an Electric Point, or when you do go out you only travel a short way and more often than not moor away from a Broads Authority mooring....The list goes on. I personally see the Toll as the smallest consideration in owning a boat - it could be a little more fair in the way it is managed, such as partial refunds if you sold your boat, or transferring a Toll from one boat to another and only paying more if the new boat was larger but equally if downsizing being able to have a refund for the unused amount. This all of course won't happen because in order to manage it needs investment in either more I.T and software to do much of the management for the Broads Authority or in the alternative more people to do the calculating themselves. It all means administrative cost increases so that will never be a goer. My take on things is the Toll is pretty fair. For being able to go where I wish, when I wish and moor at a bunch of places along the way and pay no extra. There are plenty more issues such as the several thousand pounds a year one spends for 13ft of quay and two posts to keep the boat, or the money one can spend in maintaining and improving their boat either themselves or through professional boatyards. But it is always the Toll's that get the most moans and the Broads Authority who get the most complaints about miss management and how they should do this or that and if they did it would be a lot better - intriguingly too, it is one of the few organisations one can be negative about on here and berate without issue. So far as the 'Charging Posts' go this singularly by biggest pet hate. What a good idea it was when the first posts were planned and installed and the Broads Authority championed such along with local boat builders who could use a growing planned network to support electric boating. Herbert Woods produced Quiet Light - an all electric 32 foot four berth boat that was since converted to diesel and since also sold from their fleet. Colin Facey also had a small two berth aft cockpit electric boat for hire but other than the odd electric launch this, so far as electric boating to the masses (hire fleets) was all that happened. So why did it stall? Where did it all go wrong? Simple: Why on earth was it deemed a good idea to put in standard Marina Electric Pedestals with two 16A and one 32A sockets on them? Anyone could and soon did begin plugging in 'caravan hook up' leads to these posts and before too long professional shore power installs were being put in on both private and hire boats. if you had an electric boat, with limited range and outdated Lead Acid batteries that could neither maintain a high amperage discharge nor accept a hire amperage re-charge the idea was dead in the water and what did the Broads Authority do? Nothing. They could have converted the 32Amp socket into a proprietary charging socket and since the leads to plug into these cost several hundred pounds it would do a great deal to put off the average boater who just wanted to run the fan heater or boil a kettle buying one. There could be incentives to electric boat owners - even hire boats that might run on batteries - free electric to re-charge and run the amenities on board but there never was any joined up thinking - even now in London, Boroughs are having to spend great sums and take big planning steps to introduce many many more charging points in streets with their own bay's so that drivers of these vehicles can plug in. Since the posts on the Broads are not used for electric boat re-charging I wish the Broads Authority would stop pretending they are and ditch 'Charging Points' and just call them what they are 'Electric Posts'. Or maybe I am missing something and referring to them as a Charging Point gives them some kind of financial help, tax cut, or just helps in other areas. Electric Boating could take off if there was provisions at moorings for such, and in boatyards but I cannot see it being so. It would need so many different people coming together with a single plan and a bunch of cash to get things off the ground, so until that happens lets not kid ourselves these electric points are just going to be used for those who want to plug to run a heater or make a coffee without burning some gas. One thing that could do so much more is have contactless payment taken at them - tap your card, deduct a £1.00 and away you go - the tech exists off the shelf - or another idea pre-paid cards with a face value of £5.00.
  4. LondonRascal

    Rascal's Learning to Drive

    The Highway Code states: And goes on to say: So technically you'd be within the law to flash a car to allow it to 'know you are there' and also that to use the horn to 'warn others of your presence'. That said, I think it would be pretty poor to go about the roads coming up behind someone and flashing them and using your horn because you will likely just cause the car in front to make a move whereby they feel intimidated and under pressure and that might not be what you expect causing more of a risk.
  5. LondonRascal

    Rascal's Learning to Drive

    Quite by chance this video popped up in my feed on Facebook today - I had to share it here. It is from 1963 and features an in car camera from London to Bath - in a Jaaag. Note the style of the driver, how sure footed he is, yet some of the judgments he makes are not the best and the great example is the first few minutes in when he flashes and then gets on the horn at someone who dares be in the Jaaag lane on the Motorway ... I parked in the car park in Tesco today in Stalham - did great, then did the same in Richardson's - got back to Brundall and complete cock-up but I am okay with that, each time I feel a bit more happy and sure than the previous. Funny thing is you spend more in fuel and shopping - when you only have two hands and a train ticket you limit what you can get.
  6. LondonRascal

    Rascal's Learning to Drive

    Okay so here is a question for you experienced lot..How do you reverse bay park? I was taught the '90 degree' method. I got good at this, you arrive in the middle of the 'road' pass by two and a half (ish) cars and reverse back turning as you do into the bay. This was fine in a small car, but in 'The Barge' this is not at all easy in most car parks - there is not enough room as you back in and turn to get the rear heading towards the bay the front swing out means I would whack a car on the opposite side of the bays because of the cars length. I have seen people do what I believe is called the '45 degree' where they drive past just so their rear end is roughly where the bay they want to back in is, but drive forward at an angle to it, then reverse in. This I have no real idea about as was never taught this. The thing is it is becoming the least enjoyable part of driving - getting to where you need to be and then getting in a flap about parking. I had two no name fan heaters pack up within days of each other so today headed to Argos in Norwich - when I arrived people were queuing just to get into the car park let alone find a space - net result I headed off elsewhere and never did get a replacement heater.
  7. LondonRascal

    Rascal's Learning to Drive

    Thanks everyone for their kind words. I thought I had inadvertently selected some otherwise hidden setting on my Sat Nav today, it would not stop reminding me of things - speed limit changes, bends and even seemed to have some preference to what radio station was tuned into on the stereo. I then realised it was the passenger. What exactly happens to women when they get in a car? Shiela has never uttered a word when on a boat, a train or a bus but the moment I get a car and she is a passenger then I am merely there it seems to listen and obey her instructions as if I am the one pressing peddles and moving the steering but she wants to be in control. Anyway, we had a trip out to Sheringham today - and thankfully I was not the one who had their car written off by crashing into a Steam Train at a level crossing. Lovely place though, with a large real Iron Mongers full of useful things and very knowledgeable staff. Had lunch and then headed back to Brundall. Later we headed out for some more practice at night along to Yarmouth and back taking in the 'Acle Straight'. This was okay going, but on our return twice people took such risks overtaking others (oncoming) which was a bit too close for comfort. Yeah, I know it happens all the time but being 'fresh out of school' the real learning has begun.
  8. LondonRascal

    Rascal's Learning to Drive

    Well, that went better than I had thought it may - despite some busy periods and a few hold ups on the A47 things went really well. I have added a few customisation's to the car already, including putting bulbs in for the Indicators (costly option on new BMW's hence why so few have working ones). So the first drive is over and I have discovered there is an issue - car parking. The 'barge' is simple enormous being a long wheel base so bays are too short, it is also so much wider than the little Audi A1 I was learning in.
  9. LondonRascal

    Rascal's Learning to Drive

    Sorry for the late response personally, been out this evening :) So yes, I have passed - with one minor (lane position) where on one of the NDR Roundabouts I did not hug the left lane enough as I went around. However, it could have been worse...I arrived with ten minutes in hand to find a waiting room with just one other person waiting. Within ten minutes there were 7 of us and each person was called forward and taken out to their car - apart from me. I was checking my phone and confirmation email - had I booked the wrong day..? No, it was the 15th at 3:29pm so where was my Examiner? "Hello again buddy" Announced the arrival of my Examiner - none other than the same chap as I had before - what are the chances! He asked to see my provisional license and for me to sign the test sheet, only I signed in the wrong place and this meant he had to go get a fresh sheet and fill the same out - great start Rob, frustrating him already. Once he was back, the form correctly signed it was time to go to the car - the only one in the car park and after the simple eye test and 'tell me' question was out of the way, it was in the car and underway - but no Sat Nav was put on the dash instead I was asked to follow signs for Cromer. I duly got on with this task, and all felt okay - even if I had not practiced this much before as the Sat Nav element tends to feature in almost all tests now a lot of emphasis is placed on practicing following the directions it gives without being distracted. My Examiner then began the chatting just as he had the previous time, many questions asked but it seemed to make things go by faster so I was happy and a lot more confident talking and driving this time around. He told me it was the end of this section (following signs) and I was pleased - so far his pen had not been used so I was confident I had mad no errors. He then threw me asking me to follow signs again - this time to Great Yarmouth. This was harder as one of the signs was missing - you had a large one 1/4 a mile from a junction but when you arrived at the junction only a pole gave a hint of where the sign should be and where one must turn to go towards Great Yarmouth. This section did not last long and we were in an area I had never been to before. Alien roads, so I was ultra aware - speed limits, forward planning, what was around me and so on. We circled residential streets - clearly he was on the look out for a parallel parking manouver but there were no cars to try this with so he instead asked me to 'pull up on the right hand side of the road where safe'. Ahh the new one, good straight road no cars and no people. Doddle. I indicate, pull over and stop. He then asks me to reverse two car lengths. I begin to, and a man comes out of his house with his dog and steps right out behind the car. I of course stop, but now my heart is pounding - did I see him soon enough? Did I stop quickly enough? He got to the other side of the road, re-check my blind spots, proceed again then secure the car before re-checking blind spots and indicating left to pull away and continue. I noticed he had his pen in hand and I thought the worse. You can't get an minor for this it is a serious (and fail). We then drove back along some fast and narrow country roads with some nasty sharp bends and other cards heading almost in the middle of the road only to get over on their side as we approached. Lovely. We got back to the Test Centre, no hint from as to if I had done well or not - silence. He then said would I like my Instructor to hear the results, I agreed and she came out to the car. He made some marks and tutted and and hmmed shuffled his papers and then said: "Well Robin I can say you have passed with one minor" Well I almost screamed lol - talk about drag out the suspense. I got the certificate, handed over my Provisional so he can send the same off so I get my full license in about 3 weeks. I was then driven back to the station by my Instructor - chat chat chat blimey we forgot until the last moment to take my pass photo and then I forgot to pay her for the pre-lesson and car hire. Since rectified with good old Internet banking. Well, I should have got it the first time - despite the break in not driving and only having a couple of catch up lessons I had really no more to 'learn' as to pass the test, a great deal perhaps to now experience and learn but then being older going into this I am already at the stage of 'slow and steady' than 'hot hatch teen racer'. Tomorrow - or Saturday it is off to Cambs to collect the Barge and drive it back to Norfolk - Shiela will be my co-pilot to keep me company so we shall see how that goes.. Sure been a ride, but got their in the end :)
  10. LondonRascal

    Rascal's Learning to Drive

    I have not been about treading these corridors for a bit, and come back to see the place has got a bit weird and naughty. Suspenders and Stockings eh? Whatever next - a bowl to put the boat keys in.. Anyway, I should have had a three hour lesson last week - but shortly before I was due to leave I had a text to say it was cancelled - sadly there were no other slots, and so this valuable 'top up' of experience was missed. On Monday I had what should have been my second lesson, this lasting two hours. I got in the car at Norwich station and it felt suddenly very strange to be behind the wheel after a long period of not driving. Thankfully I had not lost the knack. I was told usually people who have been away from driving for a period know the basics - but it is the small things that need brushing up on again, like mirror checks and blind spot checks prior to pulling away from the side of the road, but I was doing ok. It was 3:30pm so I wanted to get out of the town and away from all the school traffic - country roads and duel carriageways I was concerned about, so we did a bit of both. Then it was parking - that went very well, and by half four it was decidedly dusk. Back out on the lanes - and back to the A47. This is where I learnt how at night in heavy traffic you need to be that bit more aware of things and on fast single carriage roads just how damn annoying it is when someone comes along and does not dip their main beam. Back into Norwich and the rush hour traffic, people stepping out without looking, bicycles with no lights, impatient buses edging out - my Instructor was telling me how much she dislikes this time of day and how stressful it all can be. To be honest, it was half as bad as North London on a Monday evening, I felt confident and happy. We did some more parking in bays in car parks which were now lit by their lights - but my reference points helped me line up and in every time. I also had no issues with amber traffic lights! So one more practice tomorrow from 2:00pm to 4:00pm and then Thursday is my test. She says if I do as I have been it will be a breeze, but I am still not counting my chickens - one kerb nudge, a hesitation too far at a Roundabout - a myriad of things could just crop up come the day.
  11. LondonRascal

    Good News Had To Share

    I am spending 90% of my time now in in Norfolk, but I know if anyone was to ask me I'll always regard myself as a Londoner. I have found Norwich to be a lovely city with a great deal more to offer in a smaller area than I can get in London - unless I travel into the centre. I love the trips out on the trains to the likes of Lowestoft (which I think is a pretty nice place and has a bunch to offer) - but then I also think parts of Great Yarmouth are nice, whereas others are not but it seems more 'elongated' so you tend to have to go through the rough to get to the smooth. The biggest change I have still not got used to one bit is the fact even in the suburbs of London it takes a long time for things to get quiet. More people about, cars, things going on even midweek at 7pm. In Norwich it has the feel that once the working day is over everyone races out the city and the roads get clogged but the centre becomes very much more quiet with people. I went to Morrisons and it was about 6:45pm yet there was just a few people in the isles, the checkouts were quiet - the same I have experienced at ASDA in Yarmouth. If I go to my local Sainsbury's in London at that time it will be busy and fraught. I don't mind the quiet, so long as you have that connection to get out and about however that may be. However, I know that I would feel very cut off if found myself in a smaller location, or a home that was a good way from anything of any substance. Brundall, Horning, Wroxham, Stalham - those sort of places that have a heart - shops, a pub things about them going on and a community I think are just right.
  12. Each year I go on a weeks holiday with a group of lads, and it is called 'Lads Week'. A week of boating, drinking, fishing and general good times..This year 24 of us on four boats headed around the Broads. It was a great time and we had a bunch o laughs along the way, but there was one incident that was particularly funny. At Oulton Broad myself, Andy and Pete thought it would be good to take the Sailing Dinghy out for a spin, this especially so since Andy had not too long ago completed a course about sailing so surely knew all the basics..Well first of all we had the issue with getting a Rascal into a Herbert Woods life jacket - Pete ever the engineer came to the rescue, then Andy and I faffed about getting the sails up and keel down, Charlie could take it no more and came over to get us on the right path. By the time we were all in the thing it was perhaps more luck than skill we did not fall right back out, but none the less we cast off into absolutely no wind whatsoever. Things could not get any more eventful - could they? Well turns out yes, yes they could and I just happened to have the camera rolling....
  13. LondonRascal

    Harvey Eastwood 37

    Have a look at this video which is really one of the best on teak deck refurbishments and how to use a multi-tool to remove old caulking without damaging the surrounding Teak: Something I think I will need to do next season on Independence. Your updates, write ups and videos are great too :)
  14. LondonRascal

    Decreasing Number Of Hire Boats On Southern Broads

    Earlier in this thread I posed the question: And it has been interesting to read what others have said, but there are a lot of people out there that want more opportunities shore side - away from the boat than currently exist. I also think the Broads lacks diversity in those who holiday on them and I have a feeling a lot of that is down to what they may actually be able to do and what is on offer for different types of visitor. One of the most astonishing things is having got to know a few 'locals' in the Norwich area that while they know kind of what the Broads are, that a river runs through Norwich and so on they have absolutely no idea about boat hire and holidays that go on literally on their doorsteps. Also the number of taxi drivers who have come to the likes of Richardson's and asked me a bunch of questions about it, how they can find out more, how much it might cost and so on. Boatyards might be well placed to go hunting for new customers just a few miles away.
  15. LondonRascal

    Independence - Updates | Maintenance & Care

    It has been some time hasn't it? Well time for a little update - here is the long awaited video of when Independence was lifted back in the summer and Charlie and I spent just 4 days to complete all the works both inside and out. David Emms popped down and pulled out all the stops to compound and polish the entire hull in a day and of course thanks to this Forum when Nigel, Steve and John popped down to help crew her to Lowestoft and our very own JennyMorgan for taking people back to their cars in Brundall. So here she is from lift out to the works we undertook:

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