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Archive for November, 2008

Getting Ready for a Party (3)

Posted by indigodream on 18 November, 2008

We are a bit behind with blogs this month so this is a photo from 10 days ago showing the Bow Back on the right and the olympic stadium getting on nicely on the left.

Bow Back 6 Nov 08

Bow Back 6 Nov 08

<rant mode on>

People complain that we get things wrong, can’t manage things. Well yes that may happen when the great and good get involved (or perhaps when the M&E fit out gets started :-). But actually we are good at these things

This photo is a bit zoomed in and not my usual angle but look at the progress. Pylons and overhead cables are coming down (should be like a 9 year project, done in 3 years). The stadium team are the same people that did the Emirates Stadium – a proven team and look at the progress they are achieving.

Will it be ready? Keep the great, the good and their endless committees away and of course it will be. Oh and stiffen up certain politicians’ backbones.

<rant mode off>

Should we be doing it? Is it too expensive? Well what do you compare it to? Let’s see, the bonus pool in the City last year was £8,500,000,000 yet were these organisations solvent and trading correctly? Tax payers are now throwing in enough money to build how many Olympic Parks? This is a wonderful rejuvenation of East London, cheap in comparison and I can’t wait to see it finished.

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Technical Stuff: Locking Fuel Caps and Aerial Connectors

Posted by indigodream on 17 November, 2008

Alert guard dog!

Alert guard dog!

Yesterday was a potter round the boat morning and catch up on a few jobs which have been on my to-do list for ages.

Sadly the contents of a diesel tank are now worth serious money and theft is becoming more of a problem – Narrowboat No Problem blogged that they lost 100 litres or so of fuel last July, it is quite a discussion topic on forums, insurers are warning about diesel theft, there seem to be regular news articles like this, I read somewhere about a range rover’s tank being emptied by someone punching a hole in it. It is worth doing something to secure your tank. After all our intrepid guard dogs won’t always be on duty, vigilant and alert to every last noise.

A while back I wrote about my deliberations about locking fuel caps for a flush deck fitting. To re-cap: Tony Brooks suggesting fitting a simple hasp and staple across the top of a flush fitting – We noticed that Sanity had a similar style fitting. asap supplies do a natty locking cap (Perko P-1324DP0BLK) but it does not have a BSP thread so I would need to change the filler. Gypsy Rover got a nice shiny fitting from Beeston Marina but that needed a bigger filler hole.

I did not want to start enlarging holes so I went for a retro fit cap from Fuelock.

I liked the product – it is nicely made in a rigid plastic with an offset cam lock, narrows the opening a bit but that does not look a problem, I didn’t want an armour plated cap, so it looked perfect ….. but ……….. it did not fit! Ignorance on my part – I thought that a 1½” BSP fitting would measure about 1.5″ but no, BSP is a reference to the internal diameter of the pipe with that thread on the outside measured in furlongs multiplied by 7920.

Fuelock say on their web site that they have a “No quibble money back guarantee if it doesn’t fit your boat”. But does that happen in practice? After all it was not their fault that the cap did not fit. Well they are a nice company to deal with and yes it really it is a no quibble guarantee. However they were looking into making a smaller fitting so we sat tight and waited. It seems that many narrowboats have a smaller filler cap, (must be 5p cheaper!) and they were looking at a bit of research into popular sizes before re-tooling for a smaller cap.

New blister packaging

New blister packaging

The new smaller cap came last week so I fitted it yesterday. Really easy, takes seconds. Comes with simple to follow instructions. I had been worried about tight clearances around the cap but that was not an issue. A determined thief will get in but then a determined thief can also make a hole in your tank so I am happy with the fuelock.

Hopefully it will work on those rare occasions when the guard dogs are taking a brief nap or are distracted 🙂

tough being a dog.

Greyhound distracted by diet food

One other task was to repair our vhf aerial. Problem was that the connections to the plugs were rubbish and I had compounded the problem by over-tightening them and shearing the cable.

So first thing: Get new connectors. Bit of a problem when you don’t know what they’re called. I now know they are PL259s, obvious really. We found them a bit hard to track down – most chandleries seemed to have entire kits for loads of money but not just a simple connector.

pl259 connectors

pl259 connectors

Fortunately Force4 chandlery in Bristol stocks them – they are a nice chandlery, knowledgeable, good range of stock and reasonable prices and I enjoy shopping there. Strangely the price in the shop was less than the web price. I have since found out that Maplins stock them for a much cheaper price but don’t have the smaller size that I needed at one end. The Uxbridge branch did have TV aerial plugs which was another job. You can also get non solder type PL259 connectors here.

Next thing: How do you fit them? Don’t try and guess. Do a search on the web. I used this site and this site. In particular do check that the core is isolated from the sheath with a multimeter. Only problem now is does it all work? Tried to listen in on Thames VTS from Uxbridge but heard nothing. Hopefully it is just too far as opposed to me over-tightening (again) that last connector inside the stand. I think we need a trip to Limehouse to check! Any excuse …

Dog Update:

To be fair, Lou can’t be a guard dog at the moment as her foot is still swollen to twice its size – so we’re back to the vet later, again….

Fuelock Update:

We have had some problems with the fuelock, they seem to have been solved by filling it with engine oil! See…king-fuel-caps

The Fuelock web site has gone, I am not sure if they are still in manufacture?

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Melancholy memories and joyful anticipations

Posted by indigodream on 16 November, 2008

Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th November

At the end of the odyssey we agreed that we should only write blogs about our boating or about our two most popular crew members, Lou and Blue.

But I can’t resist a little post which doesn’t exactly meet those criteria, because we’ve been back to Indigo Dream’s birthplace in North Wales this weekend. We were actually there for an old friend’s wedding – it truly was the fall of the last bachelor and a wonderful event.

Now as you may have read already, our boat builder’s business was falling apart as he worked on our boat. So I have melancholy memories of the many many many miserable trips that we had up to North Wales. At first, we’d go up in anticipation of the progress that had been made, then we’d get frustrated and depressed when we’d done another 10-hour round trip for nothing. It was amazing how many of those feelings of anger, frustration, dismay, stress and worry came back as we passed by our old ‘haunts’.

Not being ones to miss a chance for a wallow, we actually went back to visit the site where Indigo Dream was built. I’m not sure what we expected. I thought I’d see rusting hulks left over from the defunct business; Richard rather optimistically thought Mitch (owner of Border Boats) might have set up in business again and might be willing to knock up a timber door for Indigo Dream. As it happens, we were both wrong – the industrial units were locked up and deserted – all signs of the fine (but poorly managed) business that used to be Border Boats had vanished.

We finally let go of our melancholy. After all, cruising on Indigo Dream has exceeded our wildest expectations so there’s no use fretting over the past.

But once again we raised a glass to nb Caxton and to Barn Owl, their builders, that is truly how it should be when you commission a new narrowboat.

The very happy couple

The very happy couple

So onto our joyful anticipations. The first is for Ken and Sue, whose beautiful wedding convinced us again that they’re perfect for each other. Our joyful anticipation for them is a long and contented life together. Ken did some of the visits to Border for us, if only to check that they had not gone bust. The happy couple have been on Indigo Dream and we managed to go to their engagement party by boat.

For ourselves, we’ll start with the modest anticipation of finally replacing the hacked piece of polystyrene that we use to block the bedroom porthole. The reason we don’t have any proper bungs goes back to our shambolic build – the builder commissioned square bungs for our (round) portholes and round hard-backed cushions for our (square) breakfast bar stools – says it all really! Anyway, while we were passing through Chester we popped into the shop where we bought all of our original curtain material (at a vast cost) and miraculously found the matching fabric, ON SALE! The store even stocked foam, so we have all the bits for the bungs. Now I just need to persuade one of my sewing friends to take on the challenge of putting them all together.

But more importantly, we have joyful anticipations of more wonderful cruising on the Indigo Dream (with fewer exposees of our bedroom when the polystyrene flies off the porthole!). On the drive home we passed several memorable spots on the Shropshire Union and Trent & Mersey, which we often cruised on our share boat, Dragonfly. We’ve only started musing on our plans for next summer’s cruise but our vague resolve to go east started to be eroded by the gentle tug of these familiar waterways. We were also impressed by Chester. We stayed there on Saturday and had a delightful wander round the town – just enough to convince us that we need to spend more time here. There’s just too much choice – how fantastic! Where shall we go in 2009?

Dog Update:

The hotel in Llandudno which hosted the wedding is NOT dog friendly – BOO HISS!! (It was otherwise lovely!).

This meant that we had to leave Blue and Lou in kennels over the weekend. As usual I was filled with guilt but extensive inspection visits to what feels like every kennel in Surrey meant that they were in a well-staffed local kennel (best in the county by my reckoning), recommended by friends (but still keenly inspected!), with lots of attention, lots of bedding and central heating. It’s the third time they’ve been here and they do seem to be well-cared for. They share a cell, sorry, kennel and this makes me feel better because they do tend to cuddle up in adversity.

Needless to say, they were absolutely fine thought Blue won a few easy brownie points by giving us a particularly ecstatic welcome.

The kennels are very stimulating for Blue and Lou, with people and dogs coming and going all day. Maybe it’s not surprising that the minute they came home they ate FOUR cans of dog food (plus mixer) between them and collapsed onto their duvets for a proper sleep. There’s no place like home 🙂

Update on the update:

We’ve been forced to bath them (don’t ask!) and their teeth have been brushed – they may now be plotting an escape back to the kennels….

And another update:

On the other hand they’ve polished off another two cans of dog food so maybe it’s not so bad here after all!

This is definitely the last update:

Honestly, they’re safer in kennels! Lou has punctured her foot on our morning walk, I didn’t notice and it swelled up with an infection within three hours. Yet another visit to the vet…..

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Just a quickie!

Posted by indigodream on 5 November, 2008

November 4th 2008

I had to work in Slough today. My first option was to drive up this morning but I’ve had horrible car journeys from home to Slough in the past and the parking’s terrible, or I had the second option of catching the 6.24AM train from Redhill.

Or, of course, there was the third option, stay overnight on the boat, serendipitously moored at a marina just six miles from Slough town centre.

We’d discounted the idea of cruising down along the Slough Arm after last weekend’s experience. But Packet Boat Marina is conveniently close to West Drayton train station which is only 8 minutes journey from Slough. It’s a no-brainer – I drove up to the marina last night (40 minutes – no queues on the M25!), then caught a cab to West Drayton this morning ( 5 minutes), got the train to Slough (8 minutes), and walked to the training venue (5 minutes).

Note: Water tank filled on Monday.

All this meant that I had the most leisurely morning on the boat and left at 8.15am carrying a fabulous latte from our espresso machine – lush!

Even the taxis were more reasonable here and actually cost just what I expected (rather than three times the price as we found in Brent last week). I used “wheels 4 women/LG Cars – 01895 444500 or 01895 440800 – efficient, pleasant and reasonably priced.

So the boat has a whole new benefit for us (well, for me, to be more precise). As well as being essential for holidays and making a huge contribution to our physical and mental wellbeing, it’s also a great base for my work. It’s a seductive thought – maybe I could work from the boat after all; maybe we could live our whole lives from the boat……..

Now, are there any old butties for sale? I’ll need to convert at least one so that I can tow my library along 🙂

Dog Update:

I did feel a bit tiny bit guilty about abandoning Richard and the dogs to their fate but I think they have a lovely time when I’m not around (as previous photos of fish ‘n chip papers and other assorted treats prove…..). But why are they so tired? Why did they need to eat so much this morning? What have the 3 of them been up to?

Poor Lou - her bed must be too small!

Poor Lou - her bed must be too small!

Honest, it is the camera angle making his back legs look short!

Honest, it is the camera angle making his back legs look short!

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Boat blog: Cowley Peachey to Perivale (and back!)

Posted by indigodream on 1 November, 2008

October 27th to 30th 2008

Grand Union on a grand day

Grand Union on a grand day

As you may have gathered, my main source of income is writing and delivering training, mainly to nurses and pharmacists. More often than not I work from home but sometimes I have to leave the comfort of my squashy armchair to deliver training courses, often with my friend Camilla, who also has her own training consultancy.

After this week, we’ve decided to deliver training only in venues within reach of a canal!

The plan was for me to cruise down to one of our favourite mooring spots opposite Willowtree Cruisers in Perivale (by Bridge 13), within 2 miles of where we were training near Wembley. Camilla was to join me later on and we’d stay over for a couple of nights, using Indigo Dream as a base.

Floating classroom

Floating classroom

Anyway, back to the boating. I’ve cruised alone before now but always with dogs on board and with the prospect of being joined by Richard later on. However, this was to be my first ‘proper’ solo cruise. I was a bit apprehensive – don’t know why, I’m perfectly capable of moving the boat along a lock-free pound! I think my biggest worry was fouling the prop – my arms aren’t long enough for me to reach the prop from the deck (as Richard can) so a prop clearance would involved me getting wedged uncomfortably into the engine compartment.

I needn’t have worried – after all, I wasn’t going down the Slough Arm!

It took me a while to load the boat up with all the paraphernalia that two girlies need for a mini-break, as well as all our training materials. I took all the provisions that I’d need up to the deck – sandwich, chocolate, diet coke – if I’d realised how cold I’d get I’d have included a flask of coffee and a hot water bottle!

Concrete and asphalt plant - smell that cement!

Concrete and asphalt plant - smell that cement!

When all was ready, including the tiller extension, I stopped dithering, took a deep breath, cast off and started my trip. Once I got going all my apprehensions disappeared. There’s something about being on the tiller – all your petty concerns just melt away.

The exit from the marina’s a bit awkward – there are what I presume to be winter moorers tied up right opposite the entrance which makes it a tight turn for a 60 footer. But I got Indigo Dream out and onto the mainline with no drama.

The canal was nigh on deserted – very few boats and hardly anyone on the towpath. Despite the fact that it was a lovely crisp autumn afternoon, it felt a bit eerie. After all, the Grand Union was the M1 of its day. Even the commercial wharf looked lonely and forsaken!

New housing shooting skywards (and a rare bit of boating traffic)

New housing shooting skywards (and a rare bit of boating traffic)

We’ve cruised this stretch many times now so I tried to concentrate on things I might have missed before. I’ve certainly never noticed the floating classroom before. It is half-term so I guess that’s why it looked so abandoned. I also wished that the camera could record smells – the huge concrete/asphalt spread the dusty smell of cement across the canal, but this was soon surpassed by the smell of coffee. It’s a VAST Nescafe factory and you can smell it for miles. It was a damn sight more pleasant than the chemical factory in Slough.

There are several smart new housing developments going up by the canal – I swear that one was just a pile of blocks when we passed in June but now it’s inhabited. I was a bit worried as there was a group of newly resident kids throwing stones into the canal. They picked up handful of gravel as I approached, I steeled myself for a hard shower. But as it happens they were fascinated by the boat,

Wake up and smell the coffee - VAST nescafe plant...

Wake up and smell the coffee - VAST nescafe plant...

greeted me cheerily, waved and asked lots of questions. The gravel was for throwing at each other! Fair enough, I can live with that 🙂

I was against the clock today, literally! When I first planned this adventure I hadn’t allowed for the fact that the clocks were changing on the Sunday. I left a bit earlier but I couldn’t waste any time if I wanted to moor up while there was still a bit of daylight. The deserted canal suited me perfectly – I could press on the revs (without breaking the speed limit, of course). I was so relieved to reach Bulls Bridge junction – I’d been anxiously watching the sinking sun and wondering if I could race it to my destination. Of course, once I’d turned at Bulls Bridge I realised the futility of it all, the sun was now behind me and I was travelling towards the rapidly darkening evening.

Along this next section I realised one of the BIG benefits of having crew. With the sun behind me, the canal got seriously cold and I lost all the feeling in my extremities. The few passersby were treated to the sight of me jiggling up and down, doing a routine reminiscent of Riverdance while still trying to keep the boat moving in a straight line!

If the whole pack had been on board I could have:

a) gone inside and stayed inside on ‘urgent’ business, like feeding the dogs or rubbing Lou’s tummy

b) gone inside and put on another 20 layers of clothing

Ok, I could have moored up briefly but I was on a deadline!

Richard did ‘coach’ me through my adventure. I texted him my location after each landmark and he texted back encouraging notes from Canalplan about how long the rest of my journey would take. I didn’t believe him – 4.45pm was my target and I was sure I’d make it, despite him adding 30 minutes to my eta!

I went past our previous home in Engineers Wharf and waved to our old neighbours on Blue Moon. I’d have loved to stop but the evening was drawing in alarmingly.

But I did get to my planned mooring spot at precisely 4.45pm. Richard accused me of being a ‘speedy gonzo’!

Lovely views from our fine moorings in Perivale

Lovely views from our fine moorings in Perivale

This is great mooring spot – it feels very secure as it’s directly opposite a line of residential boats at Willowtree Cruisers. The people here are so friendly, so even though I was on the towpath, the residents advised me where to moor – there’s a shallow bit by the bridge. This we helpful as I could then bring Indigo Dream in for an effortless solo mooring. I banged in some precautionary pins (two stern and aft), calculated the angles for my springs and secured the boat with gordian knots. It would have been so embarrassing to have drifted loose on my first solo trip!

Luckily I’d had the Webasto central heating running all afternoon – giving me the tantalising glimpse of the warm interior from my frigid post at the helm. Once the boat was secure I snuggled inside gratefully. Now, which is worse, losing all the feeling in your fingers and toes or the agony of having the feeling come back when you warm up?!

I was gradually making the boat habitable (cleaning fluff of the floor and cobwebs from the sink) when Camilla tapped on the window, making me jump out of my skin. She’d found the boat easily and reported that it wasn’t a long walk from Perivale tube station.

Leaving for work.....

Leaving for work.....

We had a wonderfully relaxed evening on board, Webasto going full pelt, no dogs to walk, no husbands to cook for and loads of trivia on the telly – bliss! We had an even more relaxed morning; after a great night’s sleep (it’s the fresh air!) we got up at 7am, put the kettle on, went back to bed, made the tea, went back to bed. We didn’t leave the boat until 8.25am – if we’d stayed at home we’d have both had to leave home by 7am!

Camilla had left her car at home and mine was at the marina. No worries, we’d get a cab up to the training venue, shouldn’t be much, it’s only 2 miles. But it’s not 2 miles by local taxi – we hadn’t realised how many routes there were from Perivale to Wembley, all costing between £8 and £12. We felt thoroughly ripped off but consoled ourselves that it was still much cheaper than a travelcard from home. In fact, our whole experience of life outside the canal was one of being ripped off – the hotel where we were training charged £4.70 for a tiny cup of ordinary coffee and a small diet coke, £6 for two small cappucinos!

"Excuse me, just who's bed is this??"

"Excuse me, just who's bed is this?"

Nevertheless, after a hard day’s training it was absolute heaven to get back to the boat. We were back by 5.30pm (would have been gone 7pm to home) and the boat was toasting (the Webasto’s on a time switch). We were all set to go for an evening stroll up Horsenden Hill before settling in for the evening but disaster struck – the toilet stopped working. I got on the phone to Richard straight away – this was a dire emergency – it was way to cold to contemplate just visiting the bushes 🙂

Richard was a complete hero and dashed up to our rescue, accompanied by Blue and Lou. In the meantime, I tried some emergency repairs, but to no avail. As it happened, this emergency delayed our walk – just as well. We were contemplating setting out when there was a huge clap of thunder followed by torrential rain which quickly turned to big globs of snow. The temperature outside became arctic and we forgot about the walk and got some comfort food going on the stove.

One feature of both nights has been the fireworks – constant from 5pm ’til around 10.30pm. We couldn’t understand it – youth often set off fireworks long in advance of the 5th November but this was excessive. Where would they get the money? Surely it was too early for big public displays, besides, it was midweek. After talking to one of our participants today we finally worked out that the fireworks were part of the local Diwali celebrations. There’s a big Hindu community nearby and I have to say that they really went for it!.

We’d enterprisingly bought in a bucket from outside for the essentials but we were so relieved to see Richard. Blue was just pleased to be indoors – it was raw outside and he’s terrified of loud bangs – the fireworks definitely didn’t meet with his approval. The dogs were delighted – their already comfortable sofa had been converted to a bed with an extra mattress, thicker duvet and three pillows. Lou got on there straight away without waiting for permission, Blue soon joined her. It was funny, the two dogs and Camilla looked at each other suspiciously and simultaneously said “excuse me, but this is my bed”!

Luckily Richard did a quick fix to the loo (problem with the hose) and I fed everyone on board. It would have been nice if they could have stayed – it was warm and companionable with the complete pack. But realistically it would be easier for him to drive home in the evening than in the following morning’s rush hour. Blue had to be dragged off the boat (fireworks) but it was much better for him to go home – we don’t have big Diwali celebrations in Redhill! At this point I was also glad that the camera didn’t have a smell-o-vision function – the dogs are their own amazing chemical factory.

By the time they left it was snowing in earnest and the giant flakes were turning the deck white – urghh – I hate snow. We battened down the hatches and had a little giggly girl rebellion in leaving the heating on all night. I’m so pleased that we did – even with heating going full pelt the temperature inside was only 18 degrees.

Now, Richard’s been my one and only partner for over 24 years so he’s got nothing to worry about if I go off on my own. But just in case, the following should reassure him…

Sue’s night attire (boat):

1 thin sweatshirt, navy;

1 pair three-quarter length jogging pants, fuschia pink;

1 pair socks, fluffy, turqouise and white stripes

We had another good night on board though we got out a little faster in the morning because our water was showing signs of running out. That’s the only advantage of staying in a hotel – they rarely run their tanks dry!

nb Shoestring who we met on the trip to the Royal Docks 2 years ago

nb Shoestring who we met on the trip to the Royal Docks 2 years ago

I only had to work the morning as I had to be back on board by 2.30pm in order to get back to the marina before dark. I had a great trip – the fresh air was invigorating after training in a stuffy hotel conference room. It was a glorious afternoon, freezing cold but what a sky, there’s no blue like it. It was such a spectacular afternoon that I rang Richard to see if he wanted to join me. He was already in the car! He dashed up with the dogs and I picked them up in Black Horse pub (by bridge 15). I’d had a desperately slow trip up to this point – I got stuck behind a community widebeam – I didn’t think it was worth overtaking because I needed to stop the the Black Horse for water anyway. There’s a useful water point here with very good water pressure.

Our old home (looking very swanky)

Our old home (looking very swanky)

Despite my eccentric attire I did find a new soulmate at the waterpoint – a young-ish boater who was admiring my rioutously coloured cardigan. “It’s from Peru”, I said, “so’s my jumper” he replied and almost dislocated his shoulder to show me the label. It was nice to chat with him; I think he was a sole boater and seemed rather lonely. But I was aware of Richard fidgeting in the background and the almost imperceptible but relentless darkening of the sky behind us so I bid my new friend goodbye.

The dogs were hungry so I handed the tiller to Richard and went inside to feed them and tickle Lou’s tummy (nothing to do with keeping warm of course). It was amazing – when he turned up, Richard was still carrying an obvious load of angst from his morning’s work. As he took hold of the tiller he visibly relaxed; by the time we got to Engineer’s Wharf he was smiling broadly.

I took the tiller after Bulls Bridge (Richard caught on the phone) and cruised back to the marina. By now it was fully dark but we kept going with the headlight and it was quite magical. There was a lot of light from the shore so it wasn;t as alarming as coming down the pitch black Slough Arm on Saturday. The air was crisp and cold – we were a bit slow to put the thermometer outside but when we arrived at the marina it was 6 degrees and falling.

As I was on the tiller I opted to stay on there for the mooring. Despite my earlier misgivings (and Richard’s concern that I wouldn’t manage a single-handed mooring), I reversed the boat into our berth with no problem at all. In fact, it was a piece of cake – isn’t everything when there’s no wind and your prop’s not fouled 🙂

Blue in the Black Horse (Lou's photo out of focus)

Blue in the Black Horse (Lou's photo was out of focus)

We finished off the evening with dinner at the Black Horse – we had to go back there to collect Richard’s car. There’s good pub grub here and it’s dog friendly. Blue and Lou stretched out on their blankets and contentedly scoffed four sausages between them. We had a convivial chat with a Polish woman in the pub – not sure what her agenda was (left before we got too embroiled) but she certainly had an interesting tale to tell! Blue topped off the evening by scaring away two ‘trick or treaters’ who were wandering hopefully round the pub (who on earth lets their under 10s wander unaccompanied round a pub?). Blue didn’t like the look of them and just gave a little ‘woof’ – they scarpered – top dog!

Feeling relaxed and satisfied, we set off towards home. We’re training in Wembley again in November – I think we’ll take the boat again…..

Dog Update

Couldn’t resist adding some cute dog photos. Since these were taken we’ve been back to the vet – Lou ran into something (suspect the garden wall) and has bruised a bone in her foot. Not serious but usual drama – she is now enjoying some strong painkillers and looking totally spaced-out but content!

Patches of sunshine are at a premium this time of year...

Patches of sunshine are at a premium this time of year...

Lou loves sunning herself

Lou loves sunning herself

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