Back to Where we Started by Cosmo

Yay we have escaped city centre London. We set off on a sunny Monday & met up with Auntie Heather who did the locks for mum on the way out. Last cruise past Regents Park & the zoo. We bade farewell to Heather at Little Venice & continued chugging outwards through the carpet of green duck weed. Six hours later we moored up back at one of our favourites spots from the way in Paradise Fields. We had a lovely couple of days there enjoying free runs in the fields & mum got some internet work done.

Then we were off again stopping right outside the big Tesco’s at Yiewsley so mum could do a big shop including the all important dog food of course.

Then it was off up Cowley lock to Uxbridge. Mum had booked into Denham Yacht services so Jason the guru of bubble stoves could service our stove for over winter. We want to be nice & toasty when it gets cold.

The next day we were off & up early up lots of locks to Rickmansworth. We moored just above Stockers lock where we’ve never tied up before. It was great no other boats there & lots of nice walkies round the lakes. We’d stopped there so mum was near the train station to catch a train to Aylesbury to look at her new. calendar club shop. Wow it’s so big! Much bigger than previous years. We think mums gonna have her work cut out lol we’ll just enjoy winter snoozing in front of the fire as usual!

Mum wanted to move that afternoon but it was really windy so she chickened out. That meant she had to set off the next morning in the pouring rain! Another stop at another Tesco’s & more bags of dog food bought. You can never have too many stocked up! Onwards trying to beat the winds up to Cassiobury Park. This is where we started our London adventure way way back in March at the Easter Floating market. It was windy & rainy then too! We moored up below the lock in case above was full which it was.,

As soon as we were tied up mum messaged Mutleys mum Sally & we had a Doggie rendezvous at our favourite stream. We had such a great time. Of course Daquiri had to get himself filthy didn’t he?!

The next morning the first boat above the lock moved so we upped pins & were up the lock faster than a fast thing & we slid into our old favourite spot where we spent a lovely Xmas four years ago.

So here ends our amazing London adventure. We achieved our big 2018 goal of braving central London & doing all the Rivers Lea & Stort. It’s been the most amazing weather to be on the rivers. We were able to do so much swimming which we wouldn’t have done in the canals.

Over winter mum will be running the Aylesbury calendar club shop for Calendar Club so if anyone is in the area do pop in & see her. We’ll be sleeping by the fire so if you pass Nb Golden Boyz in the Marsworth/Tring areas over winter don’t make too much noise & wake us up!

We’re not sure of 2019 routes … mum has three areas she wants to do… so she’s not sure which to tackle next

1. River Avon, River Severn all the way down to Gloucester & then up the west of the country onto the Llangollen

2. The South Oxford & the Thames between Brentford & Oxford

3. The Middle Levels out from Northampton including Peterborough & Cambridge…

So who knows where we’ll end up could be none of those! That’s the true advantage of living on a boat… we are free to choose.

So we’ll bid your farewell for now my friends as we close our blog down for winter. For some reason mum thinks we’ll have no time to write it! Have an amazing rest of 2018 & we’ll be back with our Watery Tails in 2019.

Lots of love, wags & licks

Cosmo & Daquiri xxxx

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Golden Boyz go Broad by Daquiri

Sorry we’re a bit behind cos mum has been busy working so we can’t get our paws on the laptop!

Anyway we went on hollibobs & not to a kennel this time. We went with mum & Uncle Alan & cousin Jake to the Norfolk Broads.

We set off on a Friday by being bundled into a van. Cosmo did his scooby Doo impression & wouldn’t get in as usual! It wasn’t a long journey less than 2 hours & mum stopped twice for us on the way. We arrived at Acle where we were very excited to board a different boat to Nb Golden Boyz. It was shorter & fatter & bright yellow. We were as ever very excited & did a lot of barking especially when cousin Jake turned up!

After an easy handover we were off with mum driving using a funny steering wheel not a tiller. Uncle Alan took over the driving as we headed to Potter Heigham that night passing lots of windmills & big sailing boats. You don’t see many of them on the canals

After our first night aboard with very little sleep due to me running round with my stuffed parrot half the night we set off the next morning. We stopped at Salhouse Broad for lunch & swimmies & then went up through Wroxham where we had to get a pilot to go under the very low bridge. The houses along the Bank were ever so posh along the way.

That night we stopped at Coltishall. Every night as it was so warm we got to go out to the pub all of us. It mostly went ok except for the times I started bonking Cosmo in front of everyone. Mum wasn’t impressed. I think cousin Jake thought it was funny though.

The next day after a spot of geocaching we were up & off towards Barton Broad but on the way disaster struck & a big red flashing warning light went off. Mum pulled over in some reeds & Uncle Alan leapt off with a rope. Cosmo is is always terrified getting on & off boats with the slightest gap then hurled himself off over the front of the boat across the reeds & shot off up the bank. Luckily he came back & was bundled back onboard & then we were all locked indoors hmph! Mum rang the boatyards & they asked us to go to next boatyard who had a quick look at the boat but the light had stopped & they could see nothing untoward so we set off again.

Ten mins later the light goes off again so we turn round & moor back by the cafe near the boatyard. Uncle Alan had his eye on the cafe for breakfast anyway. Our boatyard came out & it was found the engine was overheating as it was raw water cooled & it had got weed in it. Anyway it got sorted so we decided to stay there for the night & go to an aptly named pub called The Dog!

The next morning was mum’s birthday so her & uncle Alan went to the cafe for breakfast to celebrate her being so very old! Then we set off on our original route up to Barton Broad did a quick circuit & then started to head south as we’d covered the northern Broads. We passed the boatyard & moored up for the night surprise surprise at another pub!

Next morning we were rudely awoken at 6am something about catching a tide. After quick walkies we were off to Great Yarmouth & then I kid you not we went pretty much out to sea. We were not happy waves lapping at the boat & sometimes they splashed right up the front. mum was whooping loving it. We did not. I mean look at this you can barely see land.

Even cousin Jake wasn’t happy. These humans are so cruel to us. Because we set off so early we made our destination of Geldeston by lunchtime so we caught up on our snoozing in the afternoon.

The next day we had a quick trip round the stretch to Lowestoft & then headed up to Reedham. Here we saw the old chain ferry operating & we had a fabulous night in the pub as this extended family came over & spent an hour or so with us as they loved us. One of them was Irish & worked at Castlefields for Manchester Radio & the rest of the family came from Stockport where mum was born so they were exchanging stories about pub crawls. I think mum is obsessed with pubs.

The next morning we were up early again & across the stupid sea bit called Breydon Water. This time we moored up at Great Yarmouth & we went off to the beach. I was very brave & went in the sea but strange old Cosmo wouldn’t go anywhere near it.

We has a stroll along the pier & stuck our heads through this funny cartoon character. Well I did again Cosmo wouldn’t join in.

Then we returned our boat back to base & went to the pub opposite. Apparently when mum was little the whole family went there & her uncle Graham collapsed with sunstroke & got taken off in an ambulance. Mum was distraught so when he got back from the hospital he went up to see mum to show her he was still alive. This just made her worse as she thought he was a ghost so screamed the whole place down. So the pub is a funny memory in mum’s family. We were treated to a nice sunset on our last night.

The next morning we handed the boat back & they were surprised at how much diesel we had used. Well we had pretty much covered all the northern & most of the southern Broads.

So again we were bundled back in the van & driven back to our old familiar Golden Boyz which was still moored safe & sound at Ware.

So I’ll bid you farewell from your three furry shipmates & we’ll resume soon telling you about our adventures back on the River Stort.

Ware Are We Now? By Daquiri

We had even more visitors at Hertford as Auntie Joy turned up then Uncle Guy. Cosmo was ecstatic at seeing Uncle Guy as he brought some more cushions for him to play with!

 

The next evening mum& auntie Joy set off on another Thames adventure a fireworks & tall ships cruise. Thank God we didn’t have to go out on the stupid Thames again once was enough!

 

The following day whilst auntie Joy took us for our last walkies & swimmies at Hertford mum moved the boat to the waterpoint to fill up & wash the side of the boat as it was really dusty from the dry weather.

We then cruised down to Ware ready for the festival. Auntie Joy enlisted the help of a lady at the lock & she hitched a ride to the next lock & helped us there too. Mum got very excited on the way as she saw 2 baby grebes. Grebes are normally a good spot but we’ve never seen baby ones before.  Soon we were moored up in our festival spot.

Mum has really fallen in love with Ware as we’re moored opposite some beautiful little gazebos & she keeps disappearing off for her own swimmies at Ware lido.

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The Ware festival was run by the IWA & was great fun & really well organised with a fabulous BBQ & singer on the Friday evening. Unfortunately mum nearly had to miss the BBQ. We had been such good Boyz sitting out without being tied up during the day even as people & other doggies walked past. Mum declared it to be a miracle she’s such a drama queen. Anyway to make up for it we were very badly behaved at night, You see with our new found freedom we didn’t want to be left home alone so every time mum shut the door to go out we started barking & wouldnt  stop! It worked a treat as mum kept coming back in & eventually gave up & sat with us. She was contemplating ringing for a BBQ delivery when we decided to behave & let her go out. Luckily there were still some burgers left for her. Not that we got any!

697D822C-5C73-4281-A1C3-DCE6F4C61B0AThe Saturday of the festival was roasting hot & boring football was on at 3 o clock so unfortunately we didn’t do very well tradewise but we had a nice time. Here’s us sitting out behaving so well on the towpath.

0AA464A1-C329-44EF-8E9E-211141AD53A1We had a nice quiet night in on Saturday just the three of us & went to bed early. But at about midnight we were woken up by cries of Help! At first we thought it was someone messing around after all the football shenanigans but then we felt our boat rock slightly & heard someone say that somebody was in the water. Mum got up & dressed & we had a bit of a bark to make it look like we were on guard duty! By the time mum gut out if the boat the man had been rescued but he had lost some belongings in the river. So the next day one of the other boaters came to dive for it. The river was surprisingly deep. Unfortunately they only found a bottle of wine he’d been carrying & not the bag.

its the first time a dive operation has been launched off the back of Golden Boyz!

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Kings of the Agility Course by Daquiri

Gosh we were up to date with our blog so we’ve left it a week & now we have so much to tell you… that’s how rock n roll me & Cosmo are!

Well after we’d had our shopping delivered by Elvis (I kid you not that was the delivery drivers name on the text) we set off fully laden with bags of dog food for us & cider for mum oh & a bit of food for her!

We tootled up a couple of locks because mum wanted to moor near Waltham Abbey & moored above Waltham Town Lock. But mum found something even better! We’d only gone & moored right next to a white water rafting centre. Mum took us for walkies round the centre but we were not keen on going near that water it was way too fast moving. Cosmo was pulling at the extent of his lead the whole time to get away from it in case mum tried to get him in for a swim. As if that’s not bad enough mum has only gone & booked herself in for scarey hydrospeeding in July. She can well & truly count us out of that malarkey! Here’s us not looking keen at all!

The next day mum had a wander round Waltham Cross & the abbey gardens & was underwhelmed by it. She also set off to the train station & deemed it too far away so we released anchor & were off again like the wandering nomads we are.

We landed at Cheshunt after a bit of manoeuvring round a floating shed with an outboard!

Now Cheshunt we did like! It had loads of amazing walkies with lots of wooden sculpture things great for cocking your leg on, lots of water to swim in, very very near a train station & best of all a Doggie agility course. Here’s some of the wooden sculpture trail & a view across the lake next to our boat.

Mum made the most of being near the train station & went into London THREE times leaving us home alone! So badly treated we are.

She firstly met up with friends Olly & Jackie & then went to the theatre to see Everybody’s Talking About Jamie which she loved because it was based in Sheffield

Then she met up with Helen Marie (who apparently has treats for us next time she sees mum yay) to have a posh French dinner & see the Tina Turner musical

Then she also went off to see Dom & Jane & Fran on the Spice underground postal train trip.

But it wasn’t all bad as Auntie Joy came to visit & took us on walkies before heading off on a big sailing ship.

But the best day was Sunday. Mum got back (late after stupidly getting off the train at Walthamstow instead of Cheshunt as she forgot where we are). Two people had just arrived hoping to meet US so it was very lucky mum had just got back. So mum suggested that us & our new pals Betsy & Treve all went to the Doggie agility course. We did ever so well on it. There’s quite a few different obstacles & we were very brave attempting them.

The first one is jump along. We only did the little fences. Here’s me in action looking like I’m doing a nose dive.

Next was the woody weave. We were good at that for about the first 4 poles then we gave up.

But the next one was our favourite & we were really good at it

Through the hoop we weren’t keen on but we did it eventually under duress

And the log walk we were quite good at but we sometimes jumped off the end too soon.

After all that good behaviour we had lots of rely ploys, fighting & conga dancing to make up for it! We said farewell to our new friends I do hope they come & visit us again especially if we get to do agility courses next time. We didn’t half sleep well that night.

Monday we went on our last walkies round Cheshunt as we set off again edging ever closer to Ware. We’re now moored near Broxbourne. It’s not as nice as Cheshunt but we have already found a lake & had a paddle in that which is good as it’s been very hot today.

Out on the River Lea by Cosmo

We had a sunny weekend trading at Hackney Marshes but we weren’t very busy. Lots of people stopping & looking but not many buying sadly.

Mum decided to stay here for the rest of the week as it’s easy links transportwise & it is such a fabulous walkies place. Mums boss Dom is back from his Everest climb so she’s been talking to her laptop a lot. She calls its Skyping we think she’s going mad!

Mum loves the high street here at Homerton. She says it has loads of bohemian shops up there. We now have proof that she’s going mad as one day she came back pleased as lunch with herself as she’d bought 3 different colour wigs. We do think she’s finally lost the plot!

On Wednesday she went off on the canal museum summer party which was a trip by boat round the Olympic Park. Although she had cruised some of it this time she got to go through Carpenters Lock. She took Heather as her guest & they had a stroll round the Olympic Park first where they met a little Doggie whose tail & ears matched mums hair. Oh please God do not let that give her any ideas. Mum came home happy after free wine & buffet but her feet were sore as she’d done over 23000 steps!

On Friday mum went out to meet Auntie Jan & they explored Portobello Market. She said there were masses of stalls & she had Thai street food for lunch.

Then they went back to Little Venice to catch up with Uncle Toastie, Jules & Pete. It was Uncle Toasties birthday so they were sitting out drinking bottles of pink fizz all trying mums wig on. Honestly glad we weren’t there our humans can be so embarrassing!

Mum then caught the tube back walked the 37 mins back to the boat, took us for walkies then disappeared out for drinks with some of the London boatladies. Today she racked up 25990 steps & definitely has sore paws!

Saturday we had to move as naughty mummy has had a text from CRT saying she’s in a no mooring zone. Not that there’s any notices & there’s all other boats around none of which had moved when we left! So we bid farewell to out lovely little marshes mooring & set sail for the river lea.

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It was a beautiful day so we meandered north avoiding some very out of control rowers. The first few locks were mechanised & mum soon got the hang of them. There was a fair bit of weed in the water so mum had to keep doing that putting the boat into reverse thing to shake the weed off the prop. It was very nice to see countryside again.

At Alfie’s lock there was a bit of a queue so we had to wait for 2 boats to firstly go up then a clapped out cruiser came down with 2 chaps who just bought it. They didn’t have a clue what they were doing so mum had to instruct them as she ran up when she initially saw them come in the lock & tie the boat up tight with a massive granny lock then open the top paddles without shutting the top gates!

By the time they’d descended Michael Pinnock had arrived on the fuel boat so mum shared the lock with him. We then tootled onwards firstly following Michael then after filling up with water at Ponders End progressed onwards. 114BFBFE-1143-4D57-9265-69FEB2FE3527

There are now plenty of places to moor so that’s less stressful. We progressed to just above Enfield lock when we spotted a mooring right by the road. Normally that isn’t so attractive for us but we’re on our last bag of dog food so mum wanted to do an internet shopping delivery so this looked perfect. We tied up about 6.30pm & mum managed to get an order in for the next day. That’s a relief as we absolutely can’t run out of dog food!

Although we’re right by the road just through the bridge we discovered some lovely walkies round Ramsey Marsh. It’s another beautiful day up here on the River Lea a proper Doggie paradise.

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A trip down memory lane by Daquiri

We departed Mercia marina & then soon passed an Indian restaurant called Nadees that mum used to cruise to all the time she told us – guess some things never change even as life moves on. Our first lock was Stenson lock which was a big deep scarey one but lucky for us volunteer lock keepers were on. In fact it was the very nice lockie who had helped us down the first locks in the Atherstone flight. We pulled up just before Swarkstone for rubbish & a boat caught up with us another single hander so we shared the locks down to Shardlow. Mum was very happy to be cruising this route as when she first had the boat moored at Sawley this was a regular weekend route so it was nice for her to revisit it. We moored up & went for walkies we kept getting told how Great Uncle Slammer liked to walk round here & in later years he was joined by Uncle Barney. In fact mum told us a funny story about Barney at a lock once he suddenly crossed a lock beam which he’d never done before & bear in mind he was an older dog by the time mum had him) & slid down one of the by washes. Luckily it was one that just went round the side rather than underground so he just used it as a giant waterslide & popped out under the lock. Now we’ve never been so naughty as to do that but we have field the idea away for the future!!

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The overflow Barney surfed over

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And then he came shooting down here

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And finally popped out of here. We must admit it does look like great fun!!!

That evening mum went off for tea with one of her colleagues from her time at Spice; Gordon who used to run the East Midlands franchise. Mum had a great time seeing him & catching up.

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On wednesday we really stepped back in time for mum as we cruised to Sawley marina & back where Golden Boyz started her life with mum. This involved mum cruising the section of the river where she learnt to steer the bat & wind it all under the watchful eye of Uncle Anthony. Here’s Golden Boyz or Dolly Earl as she was called then when she was first bought.

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Mummy never imagined then that she’d be brave enough to be cruising the canal system single handing go mum!!!

There was this handy doggy stop at the lock too that we liked.

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That night mum met up with auntie Sally & after a visit to the donkeys they went for a meal at The clockhouse pub.

The next day mum cruised up through a few locks & we moored at a pretty spot right by some rapeseed fields for us to play in.

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Of course as normal Cosmo had to run off. Here’s him speeding back over the disused bridge

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Mum also painted her bedroom that afternoon. She has done it as a pink sunset room & the canvases are all her own photos. The bedroom before:

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The bedroom after:

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Next project is we are getting side hatches woo hoo!!!

The next day we cruised back to one bridge up from Mercia & mum went to her favourite Indian with auntie Sally. Then on Saturday we moved the boat only a few hundred yards to outside Mercia marina & we met up with auntie Kati & Uncle Phil & then later on there was the big reunion with Uncle Frank & auntie Linda too. Funny how they’ve all ended up owning boats now.

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It was a lovely evening & great to spend time with old friends. Phil & Kati helped mum on some chores on the boat & we even got our new horn wired up so now mum can toot at her friends as she passes by.

The next day after a farewell breakfast Frank took mum to the supermarket. Cosmo was very excited as mum has bought 2 new pillows so lets see how long these 2 last now! We then moved a bit further down the canal & when we went for walkies we finally got to meet the one & only Dudley. He’d not had his injections last time so we didn’t meet him directly. He’s tiny compared to us but we reckon soon we can teach him to be just as naughty as us & you never know as he’s so small he might be handy on some tight fitting naughty missions!!! He’ll soon be an honorary member of the Golden Boyz Gang

Mum has the snip by Daquiri

Not long after we turned back onto The Coventry Canal we came to Springwood Marina. so at long last we got to met Jan & Andy who are auntie Sally’s auntie & uncle! They’ve heard tales of us all good of course over the course of our journey. We said a quick hello & then moored up further along for the night. The next day we were up & off to tackle the Atherstone locks. At the top we passed a boat who had previously passed us as they were moored up for lunch. We think they were miffed that we got in front of them at the locks as as we arrived the CRT volunteers were just about to go on lunch so the very nice volunteer suggested we got a  system going between us going down only to be told they weren’t helping us as we had no crew! Unusual to meet this attitude on the canals but never mind the nice volunteer helped us down the first 5 locks & wet for a late lunch. We progressed by ourselves down the other 6 with as the volunteer lock keeper described it a boat right up our chuff!! We met Sarah & hubby & doggy on nb Thor at the last lock so they kindly did that one for us. It looked a nice spot at the bottom so we moored up there for a very late lunch – ok so it was probably closer to tea time!

We then went off fro walkies with a spot of bluebell frolicking & geocaching thrown in. Mum was very excited to find this little owl geocache

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It was a really lovely day & mum took a poncy photo of us in the bluebells in the woods.

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As it was such a nice mooring we stayed the night & then cruised the short distance to Polesworth the next day. Here mum was happy as she found not only a small supermarket but a DIY shop that she managed to buy more cable ties at & a fuel funnel that she’d been looking for for a while now. She also made an appointment at the hairdressers & decided to have a major snip to correct the chunk sh’ed cut out of her hair when she got black gloss paint in it. This is our mum looking all posh & stylish. Don’t worry this look won’t last long she’ll soon be back to her normal dishevelled boaty look!

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After mum got back we got 2 surprise visitors uncle Alan & cousin Jake. We had a greatw alkies all together then mum & Uncle Alan went to the pub & the indian while us 3 boyz chilled back at the boat with a few waters & squeaky toys.

The next day we said farewell to uncle Alan & cousin jake & cruised the short distance to Alvecote marina. Having approached it from the opposite direction to last year we are now back on familiar waters. We were moored up next to the car park by nb Sparks with Stuart & Lindsay & their 2 furpals.

We had a pretty good floating market. The weather was not quite as kind to us as the previous year but mum still traded pretty well. She sold loads of bandanas which is a good job seeing as she has just bought 700 as our friend Louise at The Bandana Boutique has closed down. Glove puppets also sold really well & we loved this little chap who could def sneak into our row of glove puppets & not be spotted!!

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We missed our play sessions with Tigs & Squash in the mornings at the Priory but we’ll soon see Squash & Harvey at Burton. But there is a new kid on the block – young Dudley who we reckon will be a fab new playmate. We couldn’t meet him properly as he’d only just had his injections. We like him already though as he’s trotting happily around wearing one of our bandanas so he’s part of the gang already.

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Apparently he’s allowed in the pub which we’re not but judging from this photo of him fast asleep on the table we’re not sure those pub things are that exciting after all!

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