London Adventures Photo Blog Part 2 by Sandra

New Years Day after our bucks fizz & bacon butties we had a wander around the Paddington area & went to have a look at Rembrandt Gardens where I had prebooked a mooring spot or next week.

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On Friday I caught up properly with Kate for a coffee. Kate has a winter mooring in Paddington so knows the area really well. I spent the weekend chilling & catching up on admin but finished it on Sunday evening at the cinema with Kate watching the Stephen Hawkings film.

Monday I moved the boat down to Rembrandt Gardens at Little Venice. This was a new pre bookable mooring scheme & we were the very first boat on it. Such a fabulous idea for boaters like me who are uncertain of coming into London due to the lack of moorings. The gardens although small meant a much better mooring location or the boyz as at least we had a small bit of greenery by the boat. The moorings were in such a fabulous location we were really excited to be there for the week.

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Tuesday saw me off to London Zoo as Kathryn had kindly arranged a ticket for me, I knew the zoo was alongside the canal so I walked up the towpath of the Regents canal. But what was totally amazing was all of sudden the zoo animals were on either side of you. I was just mesmerised to see hunting dogs running (inside their enclosure) up the far side of the canal & was busy taking a photo when all of a sudden next to me I noticed I was being watched by a huge crane inside the wonderful Snowdon aviary which partly goes over the canal. Unfortunately I don’t have time this visit but at some point I will have to come back & cruise  this section.

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I met up with Kathryn who signed me in & then I had a wonderful day exploring the zoo at my leisure. Here’s a small handful of my photos of the amazing animals.

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In the evening I went to a very unusual film club in an unusual venue with Heather another lady boater I’d met out on the cut. Sands Film Club. We had a quick drink in a lovely old pub called The Mayflower first before seeing an old black & white film based around  a nurse in the war. The cinema setup was really unusual with old armchairs as seats

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Wednesday it was off to see my first big West End show – Lion King. It was amazing especially the costumes. I’d recommend this to anyone.

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Whilst I was there I am sure the boyz will have gone loopy as Uncle Alan arrived at the boat with cousin Jake. Once he’d settled them all he came over to meet me at Covent garden for drinks & a meal. We had an aborted visit to the cocktail bar there that is down the old stairs where the public toilets used to be as we decided it was decidedly dodgy & expensive – it was the description of their equivalent of afternoon tea – or afternoon tease that made the penny drop with us. We went into a Bella Italia instead much safer!!

The next day Alan was off early to get a museum fix at The Science Museum & I dog sat & then met up after lunch with both Alan & Helen Marie to do the new glass walkway to Tower Bridge. The glass bit of the walkway isn’t huge & you can walk round it but us height addicts had great fun waking across the glass whilst cars & boats were going underneath.

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And here’s a video of The Tower Glass Walkway

We all had tea together near London Bridge afterwards.

Friday Alan went off for another museum fix at The Natural History Museum whilst I waited in for a chap who was repairing my shower. Unfortunately he couldn’t park anywhere so we re-arranged for Sunday instead. After doing the triple dog walking challenge I strolled across Regents Park & met Alan at Camden market. I managed to have a much more extensive look round this time including a visit into one of the most amazing shops I’ve ever been in – CyberDog. Cyberdog is a trance music and cyber clothing/accessory retail chain, headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It specialises in bright fluorescent dance clothing, often featuring electronic components such as flashing lights. They also specialise in rave accessories such as glowsticks and UV-fluorescent items.Cyberdog was founded by fashion designer Terry Davy and business manager Spiros Vlahos; the two are partners in life as well as in business. They began with a small stall inCamden Market in 1994, mostly selling goa trance items and designer clothing created by Davy. The couple’s pet chihuahua, “Chichi the Cyberdog”, inspired the name of their store and was featured as part of its brand image.

In the evening we went for a couple of drinks in Camden town then to the wonderful floating Chinese restaurant Feng Shang on the Regents canal

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Saturday I was up early as I was off on a Spice walk & Alan was on morning doggie duty. I was walking from London Bridge along the Thames to The Thames Barrier. Good job I got there 40 mins early as it took me nearly 40 mins to find the meet point at London Bridge. It was a bit mixed weather in the morning but brightened up in the afternoon. The walk included a  quick boat trip across the river, a lunch stop at Canary Wharf then on past Excel & the super yacht hotel (if I ever win the lottery!!), a very windy walk across the pontoon bridge finally finishing at the park across from the Thames Barrier.

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Alan had been down to Greenwich so we both caught the DLR up to Stratford & went out to a very tasty & unusual Mexican street food restaurant.

Sunday we bid farewell to Alan & Jake as they headed back up to Sheffield. The shower was fixed so we now have a shower that doesn’t jam on plus a problem on my ever failing horn was fixed with a  squirt of WD40. Think I’m going to try squirting everything that breaks with that it seems to sort out all sorts.

Sunday afternoon I dashed across London for  a quick drink with Kati & Phil who were down visiting the boat show & then in the evening went off with Kate & some of the London boaters to see The Angry Boater comedy Show with the lovely Joel Saunders. Find out here about The Angry Boater. I’d hugely recommend his show for boaters & non boaters alike

And so in a blur of fun laughter & adventures our week long mooring at Little Venice was over. Tomorrow we start cruising again which could be fun as the weather is forecast as windy. I’ll let the boyz have their blog back then as you discover how we fare through the elements

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Lady Sandra of Golden Boyz or is it Lily Savage? by Cosmo

On our arrival night mum went off to a house for tea at James & Heathers. Apparently there was some fraternising with the enemy as they have a CAT!!!! He was called Bobby & was very naughty he kept trying to bite mummy. We’d have had him if we’d been there! The next night mummy went off to meet Auntie Dawn who she hasn’t seen since last Xmas at Fort Belan. They went to see Paddington at the cinema. We did note though that auntie Dawn can’t have been on top form as mummy returned without any sausages, auntie Dawn always brings sausages. Unless mummy ate them on the tube?!

The next day mince pies were baked again yay!! Mummy decorated the boat up a bit different this time with more decorations & it looked brill. We got lots of compliments on how pretty it was. We had a really busy weekend trading which was good for mum but bad for us as lots of the mince pies went. So we decided to stay here another week & try & book in for the Christmas market at The Cafe in the Park too.

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We made lots of new friends with other boaters & had a great time on many walkies round the Aquadome. In fact I wish it to be noted that I am now being a good boy with my nose bondage thing & am walking nicely on the lead. Daquiri is being allowed off the lead most of the time. He’s a real water babe & never runs off just heads down to paddle in every bit of water so we always know where to find him. Mum still doesn’t entirely trust me to let me off. I cant think why! Keeps going on about a dual carriageway incident.

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On Tuesday night mum got dressed up all posh. She even had a long skirt on as she was off to Kensington Palace. It was another Spice London event based around Georgian Balls & Dances. She seemed to have a good time especially playing in the wig box. She came back calling herself Lady Sandra of Golden Boyz although Uncle Ade reckoned she looked more like Lily Savage! There was an old lady there looking even weirder than mum wearing this funny Xmas tree hat.  Of course it was sods law that mum got partnered with her for the have a go session at the dancing. At least it made mum look normal for once!!!! I’m surprised she didn’t commandeer the hat & make us wear it so guess we can be thankful for small mercies. Mum was also extra happy when she got home as a welcome drink was included in the event & mum managed to get herself 3 free drinks & numerous sausage rolls! Apparently the event finished with some Xmas Carol singing. Glad we weren’t there we’ve heard her howling I mean singing along to the music on the back of the boat. Its not a pleasant sound!!!

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Mum packed her bags on Friday – no shes not leaving us she rolled off with all her doggie wares to The Christmas Market in The Cafe in the Park. On arrival the organiser put mum in the entrance foyer which she thought would be good for dog walkers. This actually turned out to be the best spot in the venue. Unfortunately though the market wasn’t that busy but mum got her entry fee back, enough for a bacon buttie & a couple of coffees & still had some profit. She was happy with that as we wouldn’t have opened up on the boat today.

We opened up again Saturday & Sunday but it was much quieter than last weekend. Funny how they can be so different. Monday & Tuesday were brilliant days because mum actually let me off the lead in the aquadome.  We played with balls near one of the lakes but I’m not very good at the bringing it back bit. Once i have a ball I just run round with it not letting anyone take it off me. Daquiri always takes it back for a biscuit. But the main thing is I didn’t run off even when other doggies came by. I did occasionally follow them but soon ran back when mum called. Aren’t I just the bestest behaved dog now??!! Monday saw us filling up with water & then mum went into a massive washing frenzy before we move the boat up to the park. She also shuffled across the canal to Tescos & stocked up our food cupboards for Xmas with lots of naughty yummy things. Tuesday we bade farewell to Rickmansworth & its quirky little model canal which sadly is shut for winter maintenance.

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We spent a couple of nights at Croxley Green & mum went into London again. This time she met up with Sarah for a drink for her birthday & with Jacquie & went & saw White Christmas at the theatre. She liked it around the London Bridge area & even got a glimpse of The Shard lit up at night.

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Then finally we set off up to our Xmas mooring spot of Cassiobury filling up again with water on the way. Hopefully now we’ll have enough to last us through to Xmas without moving. We managed just to squeeze in our usual spot but we had to turn first as mum wants the front facing the bridge for when the boat is decorated up.It was tight turning as the winding hole is pretty overgrown & it was opposite a cruiser so think mum terrified him even attempting to turn there. But he did come out at the end & say he was impressed at how mum had turned there.

So here we are all moored up in the setting winter sun in our lovely Cassiobury park ready for all the Xmas festivities. Oh in case you were wondering I’m keeping my tail well & truly out of the way of any weirdos with scissors or knives. It sill looks daft it’s not grown back at all yet.

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Stupid Santa Hats by Cosmo

Well mum went gadding off again on another of her adventures. Think she’s having a  mid life crisis with all these explorations. This time she went on a foodie & cocktail tour of Soho. It was organised by Spice London & her host for the day was Joanna Moncrieff. She seemed to have a good night coming in yabbering on about drinking out of a paint pot & having pineapple daiquiris. She even said they saw a cocktail bar that was also a book shop & get this a doggie cafe. Oh yes we need to get on this tube thing & go there can’t think why she doesn’t take us!

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As it was very urban in Uxbridge we set off further south on the Sunday. We stopped at Packet Boat Marina for a pumpout & then although we hadn’t intended to go this way once we reached the Slough Arm we thought we’d venture down it. That’s the intrepid explorers that we are.The guide book details it as being very shallow but it was dredged last year so we decided to risk it. The Arm is 5 miles long & a straight run with no signs of boats except for when passing High line Yachting. It comes to an abrupt end at a basin that’s basically derelict. We turned & moored up for the night. Although not the most picturesque spot it felt like we had the canal to ourselves & there certainly wasn’t a shortage of mooring spots There was so little chance of anyone else coming past so mum was able to get the generator out & do the washing & we were allowed off the leads yippee!

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The next day we went for walkies. There was a mural under one of the bridges made entirely of rubbish found along the canal. Very clever it was.

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We set off the next morning & bid farewell to The Slough Arm. It had a fair bit of weed on the first bit but we had no problems with depth.

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We headed up to Bulls Bridge & moored there for an hour or so so that mum could get some shopping in at the very handy Tescos. Bulls Bridge is the junction of the Paddington Arm which leads to the Regents canal & central London through the little bridge. We’ve decided to head down to Brentford instead & just head into London for New Years Eve when we know we have moorings.

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After the shopping we cruised onwards & moored in the salubrious area of Southall at the top of the Hanwell locks for the night. It was now that mum decided to reveal some items of her shopping from Uxbridge to us. Shes only gone & bought these stupid Santa Hats for us to wear as part of the Santa Paws Grotto. We were not happy i tell you as you can see from our photos below.  hope nobody we know comes & visits the grotto we’ll be a laughing stock of the cut!

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