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

We’re only fecking going to Ireland!!

Well how the devil are you all? It’s been a while since we blogged but we are back now with some exciting news…. we’re only fecking going to Ireland!!!!

Passports

So we’ll be back blogging soon with gusto telling you of all our Irish furry tails.

But quick summary of 2019… we ended up having a busy year in the Midlands & the north trading as The Doggie Boat. Mum then sold The Doggie Boat business on to the wonderful Tracey & Tim Clarke who are doing a marvellous job with it. So please do continue to support them (www.facebook.com/TheDoggieBoat)

Then we headed south as mum did Aylesbury Calendar Club for a second year in a mahoosive shop this year! But on the way the really big news is nb Golden Boyz had a big repaint so she’s looking rather marvellous for her trip to Ireland. Uncle Toastie painted her so we had a great 2 weeks moored up with him. Here’s a photo of the finished job complete with new logo (you may recognise it!) & 2 handsome furry chaps sitting next to her.

New Golden Boyz

Now we’re in full scale preparations for Ireland.

So the boat gets craned out at Willowbridge marina on 12 Feb for blacking. We’ll be doing a mad circuit round the UK saying bye to all our pals while the boat is out of the water.

The boat goes on an overnight ferry on 26 Feb & is put in the water at Sallins at 8.30am on 27 Feb ready for our new adventure.

We’re going over separately in Auntie Joys car on the Fishguard to Rosslare route at lunchtime. Then we have a drive up to near Sallins where we’ll stay in a doggie friendly B&B for the night ready to watch nb Golden Boyz go in the water the next day.

Mum is busy doing lots of preparations. We’ve had our horrible rabies jabs & then even more horrible blood tests where we had to have a bit of our legs shaved.

 

We passed our blood tests so then our doggie passports were issued.

Mum is getting lots of work done on the boat – everything possible is being serviced as well as it being blacked. We’ve bought a new longer warp for our anchor & lots of map books this week. Mum is trying to think about the plank issue as a lot of the moorings are a bit less accessible in Ireland but Cosmo is a wuss & probably won’t use a plank! She’s bought her waterways Ireland license a bargain at 126euros (ours here is just under £1000) & sorted her insurance out to cover Ireland. Mum is sitting her vhf course so she can get a vhf radio something about backup in case we break down in the middle of a lough with no signal (sounds scarey!) & she’s trying to sort phone contracts with not much success & euros to take.

So thats our big news. Expect to hear a lot more from us as we embark on our big trip.. oh we’re not sure how long we’re going for .. provisionally 18 months… but could be longer.. could be shorter… who knows with mum!

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

That Sinking Feeling by Cosmo

We stayed about a week at Stonebridge & mum was very happy as she got her bespoke desk built by Cluett Carpentry

Desk

Then it was time to brave central London. We fell lucky on the locks & shared the first two with a chilled out Rastafarian & the next six with 2 guys & their 5 month old puppy. We tied up at Angel a couple of days before the festival.

Mum found us a few small green areas for walkies but it was nowhere near as nice as being outside London. Friday evening cemented our dislike of central London. We awoke at about 3am on a real slant. Mum was having trouble staying on the bed & we were sliding on the floor. We didn’t like it & were getting very scared. At 5am mum got up & took us out which was a good move as a bit later we’d have had a right jump to get off. The tilt just got worse & all the stock came crashing down in the boat & crockery slid out of the cupboards smashing mums favourite cup. Daquiri twice tried to jump up on the bed but couldn’t make it due to the tilt & landed in an undignified heap on the floor. At 7am mum gave up & rang the emergency CRT helpline. Luke on the boat in front heard mum & got up to help running water slowly down from the lock above. By now we were on such a tilt we were cms away from taking water onboard.

Eventually the levels came up but went back down again in the afternoon. We couldn’t trade as we had such a gap between the bank & the boat but we were all so tired anyway from lack of sleep! In the evening mum went across for a BBQ organised by St Pancras cruising club & caught up with a few friends. Luke was delivering people by canoe as it was a long walk round!

BBQ Canoe

Sunday the sun shone & we had a good days trading at the festival. Mum even made it into the papers Islington Tribune.

Once we’d packed down as some of the festival boats had moved we were able to move too through the bridge to deeper water which was a good job as the water levels went down again a few days later but we were safe this time.

We had a lovely surprise visit from Helen Marie on Tuesday & she brought us pressies to chew which we were munched through straight away. Thank you HM

We stayed another week at Angel as mum had to catch a  train on Friday to Southampton for her Calendar Club training day. We weren’t impressed when she got us up in the dark at 5am! As mum was out all day we had a doggie walker come in at lunchtime from Daisys Dog Walks We were very well behaved for our doggie walk. Mum came home late & tired.

Saturday she went off to Camden market as this was really her last full day in London.Now I swear to God she should not be allowed out by herself. Just look at the coat she’s bought!! She thinks its hilarious. We’ll have to be seen out with her wearing it no doubt! Sooner she leaves it somewhere we can chew it the better….

Orville