Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Archive for November 16th, 2008

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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