Braving the Elements by Cosmo

Before I tell you about our next exploits Daquiri is pestering me to tell you something. Apparently its all my fault! Because I’ve become such a good boy with my nose bondage thing mum got Uncle Alan to bring one for him & he’s not happy. I’m not totally a non puller now but whereas I was at 10 on the richter scale of pulling I’m now at 5.So back to Daquiri so now he’s got one & he doesn’t like it. As he’d watched me try & fail to get mine off he’s trying a different tactic when he has his on he skulks at mums side looking all sorry for himself. Must admit his first stage of that tactic was quite clever as he wouldn’t have a pee with it on either & as mum needed him to so she could go out she took it off. This tactic failed though when mum didn’t need to go out & Daquiri gave up prior to rupturing his bladder. He’s getting better with it & forgets to skulk sometimes. He’s lucky as he doesn’t have to wear it often as when we’re not in towns he’s off the lead all the time now. I have to stay on the lead until we’re at a big open space cos there’s just the irrepressible urge I get as soon as i’m let off to bomb off way into the distance at speed. I cant help it! I’m better now at coming back but can’t stop bombing off.

Anyway enough of Daquiri its my blog turn. We set off Monday morning sadly leaving our little Rembrandt Gardens mooring. We didn’t quite make it to Perivale as mum decided yet again on an unplanned stop at Alperton as there were bollards there & as the wind was picking up it was safer than pins.

The next day the weather was forecast as windy again & set to get even worse the next day so mum wanted to get on her way & try to get to Uxbridge. The wind wasn’t too bad when we set off & that didn’t actually prove to be the biggest problem. After about an hour of cruising it started to rain gently which wasn’t too much of  a problem well certainly for us all snug & warm inside. Mum just put her hood up. Then the rain got heavier & heavier then there was this enormous flash of lightning & a rumble of thunder. That was it we burst through the inner boat doors & dived into the engine room to be near mum – I mean to check mum was OK. But the weather saved it’s best to last then a huge sudden hailstorm came down with  balls of hard ice. Mum was trying to shield herself with her arm & couldnt see anything. She decided noone else was going to be coming past so put the boat into neutral & let it float free & dived for cover. Luckily it didn’t last long so mum was soon at the helm again but she was soaked & frozen so decided to abandon going to Uxbridge where we were aiming for & we pulled up opposite the train station at West Drayton.

Mum had a wonderful hot shower the repair had definitely worked. She then hopped on the train into London to meet up with Jacquie & Kathryn & their mum & dad to see The Railway Children. She really enjoyed the show which is set like you’re sitting on a platform & features a real train & lots of steam. When she got back she took us or quick walkies & we were all impressed to see the bridge all lit up – very posh for West Drayton.

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The next day which was the one that was forecast to be bad was typically a beautiful sunny day. Oh well that’s boating life. We cruised the short distance up to Denham. And at last we were allowed a good old run in the country park. We did give mum a heart attack as we went through to the next area & it turned out to be a golf course. Luckily there was noone playing & we met other dog walkers there so we think it was the norm. We were very well behaved & didn’t dig any holes in the green or leave any piles on the golf course much to mums relief. I did do a lot of bombing around while Daquiri chewed a ball he’d found.

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Thursday mum had a bit of a birdy day on our cruise as first she was wolf whistled at by a parrot on the back of a boat then she saw what she thought was a grebe (it was a cormorant!) & then she saw what she thought was a green/yellow parakeet (it was a grey wagtail). We know all this from the helpful poster at Black Jacks lock.

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Well we had 2 little incidents in the weather today. Firstly we approach Copper Mill lock on the Grand Union where there are 2 strong cross currents. These push us across normally so with all this rain mum knew it would be hairy. We made 1st one ok but 2nd catches us & slams us sideways. Mum manages to just control the boat missing bank by inches looking like an expert. Does anyone see this? no! Next above Stockers lock trying to moor to shut gate & wind catches back end so boat ends up diagonal with nose into towpath with mum frantically trying to pull it across on centre line. She gave up, climbed on the nose, through cratch along gunwhales & onto back. By now the back of the boat is in trees so she has to kneel to steer looking like a right prat. .Does anyone see this? Oh yes several of course!

By the time we reached Rickmansworth it was really windy & at first we thought there weren’t any moorings. We had a plan B we were going to go on the Tesco ones if not as no way was mum going any further in the wind. But we spotted just one up ahead but getting into it in the wind was tricky. If we didn’t get it right first time & the wind caught us we’d be in trouble. With great relief mum pulled in perfectly deftly hopped off & got the center rope quickly through a  ring before the wind could catch us. We were soon tied up & after quick stroll to our old favourite Aquadrome we snuggled down in the warm for the night. Oh yes & that’s something else Daquiri creepy chops has started sleeping on the bed at mums feet. Hes a sneaky one him hes get up there in the night stealthlike while she’s asleep! If I did that she’d be bound to wake up & I’d get caught. She has a sixth sense with me she knows when I’ve pinched something & I’m chewing it even if she’s in a  different room!

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