Every year, on May Day Bank Holiday, we have the equivalent of a village fete in Little Venice. Boats come from far and wide and moor up in the pool, the large-ish triangle of water at the heart of Little Venice, where the Regents Canal and the Grand Union Canal meet. We have marquees and market stalls, a beer tent, a band, a boat-handling competition, an illuminated boat parade, and parties that go on till the wee hours.

Er. Well normally we do. To be fair, most of that was there, but a series of cock-ups meant there was no beer tent. And for some reason they let the Scientologists have a pitch! As they do on Tottenham Court Road, they were offering free "stress tests", and then trying to brainwash the simple and vulnerable to join their ridiculous cult. Every single boater I spoke to found this really offensive. Sure, we had the Christian Boaters Fellowship as usual, but they're not as culty and at least they're boaters!

But even more offensive?

No beer.


[Note: since I wrote this, I've heard that I was far from being the only person to formally complain about the Scientologists. Apparently, they won't be back. AMM, 24th May 2006]