5km hops by Cosmo (Edenderry to Bog of Allen)

We arrived back in Edenderry on a beautifully sunny day. We moored up again in the harbour but were shocked to see how busy it was. There were people everywhere & lockdown hadn’t changed other than people are allowed 5k away from their homes now. Ireland has a 5 stage plan at 3 week intervals for easing lockdown & first stage is due on 18 May. We are now allowed to travel 5km so Waterways Ireland have advised if you live 5km or less from your boat you can travel to it & take it our but all locks are still officially closed. It’s hard to work out from government plan how boating lockdown will be lifted but the closest parallel we can make is we won’t be able to cruise properly not until 20 July when caravan parks etc… are opened. But we keep watching the WI guidance even though that doesn’t really account for continuous cruisers. For now we’re in a lock free zone so we’re just doing very short hops & hoping that’s Ok.

We’d been warned previously that boats at Edenderry were a bit of a magnet to unwanted attention & although the last time we were there we had not trouble this time we weren’t so lucky. I think as it had been such a sunny day there’d been a lot of drinking & there were quite a few drunk people round the harbour all harmless but a change from our nice secluded mooring at Ticknevin. The first night we were woken a lot by noise so we kept barking but mum let us off as we were on guard. At 2am we had people running across the boat roof so that set us off barking big time. Mum also discovered in the morning that we’d had sticky drink thrown up the cratch cover so we decided we would move on from Edenderry.

Sunday was cold & very windy so we had to stay put but mum got a big supermarket shop done & Sean very kindly fetched us 3 cans of diesel. We also had another visitor Denis from the Royal branch of the IWAI so mum enjoyed chatting to him & asking him lots of questions about how it all works in Ireland.

Monday the wind had dropped slightly but mum had no phone signal so as she couldn’t do any work she decided to brave the turn in the harbour & set off. A few days later we discovered three had been down that day. After filling up with water we set off headed in a new direction right out of the Edenderry Branch.

We moored up at the quay at Rhode bridge about 1.5km from Rhode village. Sadly there was an abandoned car there spoiling a lovely spot. Mum cut that out of the photos!

It was nice to be out in the countryside again. But sadly the next evening a gang of youths turned up & started trashing the car & climbing on our boat again. The police were there within minutes but then the police left & the lads stayed. They were then trying to pull the car out of the ditch with a 4×4 with wheels spinning & the vehicle pointing right at the boat. We were terrified the car would suddenly move & the 4×4 would fly into the boat. Eventually they gave up & left but we resolved to leave the next day.

Mum didn’t sleep much that night so was very very rarely up to see the sunrise the next morning. Woke us up too messing about hanging out of the window taking photos!!

Mum had work calls the next day till 3pm so we left after that. Mum had spotted on the map that there was a Bord Na Mona lift bridge not too far away which would have moorings at it so off we headed. As we approached the bridge which really is in the middle of nowhere our hearts sank as we saw a load of youths on the bridge. We started to tie up just thinking we’d stay there till they’d gone but one of them shouted he’d do the bridge for us. So they lifted the bridge & we went through to moor on the other side.

Unfortunately then they proceeded to open & close the bridge for the next hour so maybe we did the wrong thing! Anyway it was a lovely remote mooring but we were back on planks for embarking & disembarking. Mum has a real hard job mooring up like this as she obviously has to jump off & back on the boat to tie up & put the planks in place across the gap. We know its only a matter of time before she goes in doing this & we won’t laugh honestly.

Anyway other than the kids most days opening & closing the bridge it was a nice mooring although we had a very low internet signal which wasn’t good for mums work.

We went on some really interesting walkies & learnt all about the peat briquettes from The Bog of Allen.

According to Wikipedia : The Bog of Allen (Móin Alúine in Irish) is a large raised bog in the centre of Ireland between the rivers Liffey and Shannon. The bog’s 958 square kilometers (370 square miles) stretch into County OffalyCounty MeathCounty KildareCounty Laois, and County Westmeath.Peat is mechanically harvested on a large scale by Bórd na Móna,the government-owned peat production industry. The area has miles of narrow gauge industrial railways for transporting turf to processing plants and turf powered power plants. In addition, the cutover portions are used as area for grazing. The bog is crossed by the Grand Canal and the Royal Canal.

A tractor pulls a blade behind it which cuts the blocks of turf and leaves them in strips. Later the turf is stacked 4 or 5 layers high as in the pic above. That let’s the air circulate through it which dries it faster. This is all back breaking manual work done seasonally.

A quick video on what happens next : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ImWj7QxljU&fbclid=IwAR2oxI-3A-ELf9hZERWXg7RIlF1s1f8boEug6ioa9zw7AauFSw6TcQOSNp4

And the finished product for sale:

See how clever me & Daquiri are teaching you all this!!

After walkies we headed back over the bridge & noticed the hut that the bridge controls were in now has a big padlock on it! If we can’t continue onwards before 20 July we’ll have to come back this way but that’s another days problem!!

We had a nice few days here & it’s been fascinating exploring the peat bog. Well Daquiri & mum have been fascinated I’ve been too busy eating it!!

Not quite up to Ticknevin standards but mum did get a nice evening shot of the pink glow over the canal with a strategically positioned swan to make it look all arty!

Sunset Mania by Daquiri (Edenderry and back)

And we’re off… moving after several weeks locked down…. freedom!!

It was a gorgeously hot sunny day as we departed Edenderry & turned left at the end of the arm to retrace our steps back to Lowtown. Mum had the music playing & was happy once again. She hates having to stay in one place. Boating is completely under her skin & she loves adventuring. We love it too especially all the new walkies.

We intended to get to the lock & just moor up below it till Monday as we didn’t want to call Alan the lockie out on a Saturday but as we approached as if by magic he appeared. Apparently a fisherman we’d passed had kindly called him to help us at the lock. So we went above the lock & moored up there.

It was absolutely wonderful to be out in the countryside again. Mum was ecstatic & so were we.

The water here is so clear & there’s an amazing view looking back down from the lock where we saw many wonderful sunsets. Mum was able to set her table out & we all had dinner al fresco.

We stayed at Ticknevin lock for a couple of days but then had to move to Allenwood for shopping. so we were back on our lovely little mooring there where we could still sit outside the boat.

We had a great time here for a few days chilling in the grass.

Then we headed up to Lowtown to get pumpout turned round & came back to Allenwood. This time mum decided to try & moor up at the bridge before as it was much nearer for shopping but it looked shallow & was outside someones house. She managed it & then could buy all the heavy stuff at the garage even treating herself to a rare bottle of wine.

We just stayed here one night then headed back to our new favourite spot at Ticknevin lock. Now we were facing the lock so mum could sit on the front & watch the sunsets.

Whilst we were there mum took part in a virtual boating challenge. Each year there is a BCN (Birmingham Canal Navigation) 24hr marathon challenge. You enter in teams & have to travel as much of the BCN as you can accruing points for mileage & locks whilst solving quizzes & challenges along the way. We entered this in 2013 with Uncle Alan & Auntie Sally as crew. Much of the challenge is in the tactical planning of routes to accrue the maximum points. This year as the challenge can’t happen they decided to run a virtual challenge where you can not only just cruise the current canals you had a time machine & could cruise the 60 miles of canals that are closed down.

Virtual BCN Challenge

We entered a team with friends from Urban Moorings & Tom also from Ireland. We had a daily quiz & challenge to do plus had to type up our blog of our virtual journey each day. It was great fun but hard work. We ended up coming 5th out of 14 teams. Our virtual blog is here:

Team Urban Moorings Virtual Blog

Here’s our team on one of the trips back in time!!!

We eventually had to wrench ourselves away from Ticknevin as we started to run low on food & headed back to Edenderry.

I’ll leave you with some of mums wonderful sunset photos but here’s some photos of two handsome fellas who live aboard Golden Boyz enjoying themselves at Ticknevin.

And as promised here are the spectacular sunsets

Peekaboo!!

Locked Down In Ireland by Cosmo (Allenwood to Edenderry)

Well it’s been interesting times & we had paused our blog due to the Coronavirus lockdown . But here we catch you up with what’s been happening aboard nb Golden Boyz over that long period of not mowving.

Interestingly we finished our last blog with we have no plans anymore as all our plans had been cancelled! We couldn’t have said a truer word. We reluctantly departed our little mooring at Allenwood as we needed a supermarket & water. We’d only been cruising about 5 mins when a car pulled up alongside (a lot of the canal have roads/tracks running up one side of the water). It was another fantastic Waterways Ireland lockie who said he’d go ahead & do the lock for me.

We passed under the lift bridge that we’d walked to & continued onwards past the Closed Briquette factory.

The factory was opened in 1934 but ran into financial trouble so was taken over by the Turf Development Board, the fore runner to Bord na Mona who you’ll here me mention a fair bit. It was then closed in 1993.

We passed through Ticknevin lock (20) with the wonderful help from the lockie & continued across the long straight embankment towards Edenderry.

This whole stretch of canal runs across a bog & was one of the most difficult engineering feats. Bord na Mona is the company that began developing the peatlands of Ireland with the aim to provide economic benefit for Irish Midland communities and achieve security of energy supply for the recently formed Irish Republic. The rails that criss cross the canal were used for transporting the turf & dried peat & of course so were the turfboats on the canal. So often The Grand canal is just a long straight line stretching out in front of me.

After passing over Blundell Aqueduct it was a sharp right turn into the Edenderry Branch which ends at Edenderry Harbour.

The harbour is an attractive mooring with loads of space & a tap. There are supermarkets nearby plus a vet as we needed booster jabs so we thought it’d do for a week or two… not quite knowing what was coming!!

As you can see plenty of moorings!! There are very few boats in Ireland compared to the Uk & virtually none moving.

A few days after we arrived the big announcement came that Ireland was going into full lockdown & the waterways was closed to navigation. The Ireland dream came to a grinding halt!!

We ended up staying about 4 weeks at Edenderry. Mum was very sad & felt very on her own but we did our best to cheer her up.

The weather was really nice but as we were on such a public footpath we couldn’t even sit out so we were stuck in our boat in all the glorious sunshine apart from walkies each day. We had a nice time up & down the towpath & often cooled off with a dip in the canal.

Luckily on facebook a nice lady called Alison who has a beagle called Buster put mum in contact with Sean who owns some of the moored boats further down the arm. Both Sean & his wife Ger popped round a few times to check on mum which made her feel a million times better. Sean also helped mum get her new Irish gas bottle connected & fixed her leaking waterpump.

One of the highlights of our stay was moving across the water to the tap & mooring up next to the duck house that is locally called Duckingham Palace!! Only baby fanta bottles in it though!!

Across Easter mum had a lovely surprise when she found an anonymous Easter gift on the front of her boat & also a gentleman who ran past each day dropped off some cookies & flapjacks. We helped mum with those!

We drove to Edenderry when mum first arrived here in Ireland with auntie Joy & mum thought it looked a good spot for a night or two. Funny to think how somewhere I’d never heard of becomes so pivotal in your life as we’ll always remember Edenderry as where we spent lockdown. It’s a really nice little town & the people are really friendly. We grew quiet fond of Edenderry while we were there.

Some days we walked up the other side of the canal for a bit of variety. The children had laid out a trail of painted stones. We’re currently only allowed 2km from our home.

Despite the lockdown mum was as always incredibly busy. Through her ad-extra job she still has a fair number of customers & she was busy adapting their advertising campaigns for the coronavirus period. She took part in a number of airbnb online experiences including a secret houseboat concert in Amsterdam, learning how to do podcasts, an interior design workshop to get ideas of sprucing up our cratch & she even did meditation with sheep!!! She has been learning a new element for work so has done a course in that & has also taught herself to crochet so she can make a blanket for me to chew!! She hasn’t watched much TV but she has been playing computer games, listening to TED podcasts & researching the Irish waterways routes for when we’re released. Oh & she painted the gas locker lid red to match the rest of the boat. But she still hasn.t cleaned the boat, got fit or done her accounts which she intended to do lol!!

We did have another favourite walk which took us up above Edenderry so we had a fabulous view of the canal & the big bonus there was a castle up there. Now it was only a little castle & it was fenced off but it was a castle!!

Blundell Castle: The Castle dates from the 15th Century when it was constructed  by the De Berminghams as a rectangular tower house consisting of three storeys. In the 16th Century it passed to the Cooley family whose name gave Edenderry it’s former title, Coolestown. The Castle came under attack during the nine years war by the O’Neill clan and by 1659 it was under new ownership by George Blundell, whose family held the said ownership until the 18th Century. The Castle was attacked once again in 1691 by the forces of James II, it suffered badly and afterwards began it’s descent into ruin. Today only the East and South walls remain standing exposing some of the innards.

Now although we were doing Ok in Edenderry mum was starting to stress our about the toilet filling. The government had said the current lockdown was till 5th may & we may have just lasted but then we got notification from Waterways Ireland that the closure was being extended to 31st May. Mum nearly had a coronary until she read the sentence that said you could now move for pumpout facilities. Unfortunately with the one at Lowtown only working with WI operating it we were still a bit stuck. Mum messaged Gerry at Lowtown to see if that was still the case & he came back & said Alan the lockie would do it & lock 20 for me. Waterways Ireland to the rescue again. Now I swear to God mum received that message & within ten minutes the tiller arm was on, engine started & we were on our way. Ok so it’s only back to Lowtown for pumpout but its very exciting to have a change of scene for a day or two.

As it turned out we were away for a lot longer than that but that’s for the next blog.

I’ll leave you with a nice photo of Edenderry harbour in the sunset.

We’ve only fecking done it! by Cosmo

Well mum has had a dream or should I say a goal to move the boat to Ireland for over 2 years. She’s been researching it forever we’ll today is the day it all came true.

We woke up early had walkies & then the boat was moved across the canal to get pump out & top up of red diesel as sadly we’ll be on white diesel in Southern Ireland. Mum then reversed the boat back & James from Stowe Hill Wharf jumped on the front. Then we edged forwards slowly as the boat was guided into the crane sling.

Much to our relief Auntie Joy arrived & we were saved from being hoisted in the air! Although we were now made to get in a stupid car instead of a van it was better than dangling in the air! Once mum had closed the boat up & left the keys & bill of sale to show at the port with Stowe Hill we were whisked off down to Auntie Joys house in Reading & had much fun in her garden.

Mum & Auntie Joy went out for a curry at night in the last of her farewell meals with Dom & Jane.

The next morning we were rudely awoken at 5am. I mean that’s the middle of the night. We had to have walkies in the dark. It was like Calendar Club all over again! Then again we were bundled into stupid car. We then had a very long journey right across Wales. We had a nice surprise along the way though as we met Auntie Jackie & Uncle Mick & they had doggie treats & a bottle of fizz for mum.

After a very long journey we arrived at a very big boat marina called Fishguard. It had a huge boat much bigger than Golden Boyz and our car believe or not drove inside the boat. Next we were cruelly left in the car… in the boat… abandoned I tell you!

Then the car started rocking front to back & side to side even though it wasn’t moving. It was very weird. We were very brave & lay down & went to sleep. Or we did until mum came down to check on us.

3.5 hours later we docked at a place called Rosslare. We were told that we were now abroad.. in a foreign country… and you know what after all that cost & preparation we never even had to show our shiny new passports.

So we are now officially world travellers me & Daquiri! Here’s our very first photo abroad in a place called Wexford.

Mum & Auntie Joy stopped for chips then we had a 2 hour drive to our lovely little Air BnB for the night. It was a very rustic cabin with a humongous garden for us to run round in. We were so happy to tear around after such a long journey. This was far better than staying in a hotel/Travelodge in Dublin!

Whilst we were doing all this our boat was loaded onto a lorry at Stowe Hill & driven up to Holyhead ready to come over on the overnight ferry.

The next morning would you believe it we were made to get up again in the dark at 5am! And again put in stupid car. This time we we only in for about 30 minutes & we arrived at a place called Sallins. Just after we’d parked up & were on walkies a huge crane arrived apparently to meet us! Next thing around the corner came Golden Boyz on the lorry stopping all the traffic as it reversed up to the crane.

Then something scarey happened Golden Boyz was flying in the air. She was turned around & lowered into the canal.

And just like that we were here … abroad… in Ireland…a long planned for dream come true!

So we’ve only fecking done it!!!

Watch out soon for our next blog on how we’re settling in in Ireland.

The Farewell Tour by Daquiri

Our new plans went to …. well plan despite 2 massive storms sweeping the U.K. After bidding farewell to our friends at Stanton Low over a couple of days we made it up to Gayton Wharf ready for crane out no 1 for blacking.

We had 2 big storms in close succession Ciara & Dennis. Mum even removed stuff off the roof during them. Going for walkies was hard work it blew our fur everywhere

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Mum disappeared off one day to sit her VHF exam which she duly passed. Taken in case we breakdown in the middle of one of the laughs in Ireland.

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Soon it was time for us to leave the boat & set off on our U.K. wide farewell tour saying goodbye to all our fans. Unfortunately we were put in one of those stupid vans again & whisked off up to Pelsall. We were overjoyed when we got there to see Uncle Jim & Auntie Angela & Daisy May who’s a cute little chick who fancies both of us. But between you & me she defo prefers me to Cosmo! We had a nice chilled night destroying Daisy Mays toys until they were taken off us & put on the top of the fridge.

The next day mum caught up on work & much to our disgust Auntie Angela put us in the shower again, we should have remembered that she did this last time too. Then we smelt all funny & nice until we rolled on the lawn.

Mum went out at night with the Urban Moorings crew. They’re creating an amazing boaters oasis out of a plot of derelict land. Quite a few of our doggie pals live there. If anyone is ever in the Wolverhampton area do check them out as they always have volunteering opportunities.

Urban Moorings

Next on The Farewell Tour mum went to visit Kim & mummy Gill. They’re as mad as our mum so no doubt they got up to no good. In the evening we got our barking voices in fine fettle as this heralded the arrival of Auntie Sally. Much noise was made

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Nighttime was yet another meal out with the Pelsall crew. Whilst they were all out Cosmo & I were hatching a cunning escape plan that we put into action the next day.

Once the humans were out of the way on Saturday at Fairlawns Spa we had clocked that there was this thing called a dog flap in the door. Now we’ve heard of cat flaps but this is a dog flap for small dogs like Daisy May. So me & Cosmo though we’d try & get through it. Now admittedly it was a bit of a tight squeeze for me but I did manage it after breathing in. Cosmo the skinny one slipped through easily. After a few practise runs we went back inside to await mum & co returning. The car pulled up & we were through that flap like lightening & in the garden barking. The absolute shock on all their faces was priceless! At first they couldn’t work out how we’d got out but then they rumbled us. I think mum was quite proud of our ingenuity. Not sure Auntie Angela has quite recovered from thinking we’d knocked her back door down.

The next day we were back in the stupid van & whisked off up to Lancashire. We visited grandad & stayed with Auntie Colette & Uncle Stu. Cosmo got a special valentines cushion to shred! Mum caught up with family & even managed to squeeze in a trip to Liverpool to visit June & Stuart.

Then we were off to our final location on The Farewell Tour back to Sheffield. This is where mum used to live & we lived for 2 months before moving onto our boat. We don’t stay in our house though as we love staying with Uncle Alan & cousin Jake. En route mum caught up with Uncle Anthony & Adrian but Maggie wasn’t around sadly. She got a tour of the mansion they’d renovating . It has a huge big garden for when we next visit.

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Once down in Sheffield we had a whirlwind of social engagements. Unfortunately the first of which was a trip to the vets & pah we were made to get on the scales again. The vet never said I was too fat but mum has deemed I have to go on special senior food now. I mean how insulting I’m only 7! Cosmo is the same age & he’s not been put on it. It had better taste nice is all I can say. We had to have our injections & that stupid squirt thing up the nose. I was quite good with it but Cosmo made a right fuss & it took ages for the vet to get it up his nose then he kept acting like a big drama queen sneezing everywhere.

Straight from the vets mum went to our old house to try & sort out the mess the tenants have left again ready to put it up for sale. We got to run round our old garden & up & down the stairs. We remember when we were too little to get up & down the stairs. Mum had drinks with old Spice friends that night & the next day it was back for more cleaning of the house but this time Auntie Gill came and she had jumbones yippeee. Mum had one last meal with Sheffield friends on Sunday before we were whisked off again in stupid van.

We drove through monsoon rain & arrived back at Golden Boyz with her new shiney black bottom. We were so happy to be back onboard. We snuggled up inside in the warm to catch up on our snoozes while mum cruised the boat in the rain & biting wind to Stowe Hill marina.

Hopefully that’ll be the last of mums adventures & we can settle into a nice peaceful life now……..

All Our Plans Unravelling by Cosmo

We’e unfortunately had a tough week this week. Mum being mum has planned our trip to Ireland to the nth degree. The crane was booked many months ago, then lorry booked, then ferry booked & paid for & B&B booked & paid for. The boat was coming out of the water for 2 weeks prior to going on the lorry & we are going off visiting friends for those 2 weeks as we can’t climb step ladders & live aboard. Uncle Toastie was coming down to black the boat & do a few jobs for mum. We are already in the Milton Keynes area ready for crane out.

Then disaster struck as we discovered the crane is broken & they didn’t know if it would be fixed in time for us. Now if we were just coming out for blacking we could postpone but given our lorry & ferry bookings that left us in a huge predicament.

Over a couple of days a very depressed mum rang round many boatyards. Given blacking is normally booked many many months in advance it wasn’t an easy task. Eventually James at Stowe Hill/Rugby Boats came to our rescue & said he could crane onto the lorry which is the most critical bit but we couldn’t be out for blacking. But at least we can still go to Ireland as planned.

Mum even researched blacking over in Ireland & it seems the DIY option over there is a bit more laid back than here though there’s not many dry docks. But over there you book them with Waterways Ireland & then sort yourself out & its only 14 euros a day. But then we’d have to find help over there & we don’t know anyone yet.

Then we managed to get booked into Gayton Wharf for blacking but they can’t crane onto the lorry as the lorry wont get over the canal bridge to the wharf,

So we are finally sorted but its costing mum much more as its now two crane outs but at least we’re sorted. It does however mess up our plans when we’re visiting as now the blacking is on a different date so we’ll travel north then have to drive all the way back to move the boat to the blacking venue then drive even further north then drive back to move it to crane out venue whereas we were just leaving the boat for 2 weeks originally after being craned out. And we don’t mow get to see Uncle Toasie before we leave sob sob.

We’ve been cheering mum up though as as we’re moored in our favourite place at Stanton Low we’ve been able to arrange our much awaited golden retriever party with Ollie & Luna & the two pups Red & Lola & their mum Toni. We had a great time tearing around with them. The photoshoot was very challenging but eventually we got all 6 retrievers & mum on the photo. Daquiri of course had to roll in the mud & get a black head for the photos! I was a good boy though apart from a bit of jumping up for treats!!

 

Sadly now we’ve got to move on from our spot which we’d planned to stay 14 days at as we have to get up to Gayton & Weedon instead.

Inbetween all this mum has been frantically studying for her VHF exam which is dead funny as she keeps talking in a funny language to her computer & then playing her voice back. Me & Daquiri keep sniggering at her.

Delta Alpha Quebec Uniform India Romeo India…. Over!!

Charlie Oscar Sierra Mike Oscar… Out!!

On The Bus!

Now we’re off to Ireland in true mum style there’ll be a million farewell get togethers!!

This one though was a bit different. Mum had always wanted to stay at a place near Shrewsbury called Pigeon Door which is 3 amazing converted double decker buses with hot tubs but most importantly its doggie friendly. So mum organised the break away for her trader friends to see them before we set off for Irish Shores plus of course 7 dogs!! We booked 2 buses & mum was a bit worried that 7 dogs was pushing it until the first morning we saw 7 dobermans come out of the other bus – at least 5 of our dogs were small! So we had The Pirate Boat crew with Puddin, Uncle Toastie, The Hippie Boat crew with Millie, Polly, Ruby & Lucy, Auntie Jan off The Art Boat & The Home Brew boat crew & of course us 9 adults 3 dogs.

We all met in the pub as mum had organised the break as a secret location so the other traders & doggies didn’t know where we were going. So the location was revealed & we were off following the directions in the dark until we saw the amusing bus stop sign at the end of the driveway. Everyone piled into their relevant bus then a big chilli was cooked by Sandra & Jules whilst Uncle Toastie & mum were straight in the hot tub! We ran around the garden barking a lot! We also supervised Auntie Jules cooking.

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After food it was a party in the hot tub followed by the obligatory game of six handed rummy that hustler Jan won again!

The next day was chillout time with lots of chance to play in the big gardens & paddock areas by the buses. Mum even got in the driving seat so I tried to buy a ticket!

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Uncle Toastie spent most of the day in the hot tub!

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We were quite exhausted & some of us doggies had a snooze ready for the evenings frivolities

 

At nighttime after another session in the hot tub a huge indian takeaway was ordered & then a different game called Cadoo was played. We had a toast to us & mum off on our travels & mum got wonderful gifts of alcohol, some fabulous glasses which we’ll be drinking our first Irish drink onboard out of & lovely good luck cards.

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All too soon the break was over & we bid our fond farewells. It’ll be sad not seeing all our trading friends but hopefully some of them will come over & see us in Ireland.

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After our little break away all our plans started to unravel & we had a golden retriever party … catch up with what happened in our next blog