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The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Archive for June 21st, 2010

The Odyssey 2010: Day 24

Posted by indigodream on 21 June, 2010

Saturday 19th June

View from home - this pheasant thinks he's a bluetit!

We didn’t do any cruising today, having spent the day at home watching rugby on Sky and picking at our home to-do list (without much motivation or success). We gave up at 4pm and came up to the boat instead. For all depressed English football fans – your rugby team did much better today, beating Australia by 1 point in a thrilling match.

We’d left Indigo Dream in a different spot in Berkhamstead than on our previous visits – right opposite the local football club. I was worried that she’d be in a state when we got back but she was absolutely fine. Of course, Mrs Paranoid had already checked the Berkhamstead local news website for any report of football-related disturbances – there weren’t any!

It’s an interesting mooring – it’s very handy to be just opposite the water and rubbish points – we filled with water and emptied the rubbish on Sunday morning ready for our cruise – perfect! It’s also right next to Waitrose and it’s useful car park where you can pay ‘n display for a day for just £3 – this suits our style of cruising very well. But it’s not a quiet mooring – the football club had a good band on this evening but it was loud. Well, loud until midnight then silence abruptly fell.

Note: Waitrose shuts at an 7pm on Saturday – amazing – I didn’t think that any supermarket closed that early any more!

We got in to Waitrose a whisker before closing and got some essentials for Sunday – but being so close to closing there was next to no fresh bread and no hot chickens for the dogs – maybe that’s why Blue was a bit depressed all weekend!

We’ve been meaning to explore Berko’s pubs for a few years but have never got round to it. Well, tonight was the night – we walked down the canal to peruse the 3 canalside pubs available – the Rising Sun by Lock 54 looked homely and is dog-friendly but it was packed (no floor space for Blue ‘n Lou to lie down) and it didn’t look as if they were doing food. The Crystal Palace looked a little quiet and had been damned by the faint praise of some other boaters that said the food was ‘ok’. So, we plumped for the Boat – this is a large and spacious pub, with very, very dog-friendly staff – they were so solicitous of our comfort and even more so of Blue and Lou’s (we ordered them some sausages and they bought out some chicken drumsticks as well!)! We found a great table with plenty of room for the hounds (the staff helped to clear some chairs so that the dogs would have plenty of room to lie down) and the service was good, as was the beer – it’s a Fuller’s pub so say no more! BUT the pub was let down by its chef – I’m afraid s/he wouldn’t get through the rounds in Masterchef – lumpy mash and raw ‘carmelised onions’ – what a shame!

The locals loved the dogs – one young lady squealed with delight when she saw the hounds – in fact, squealed at such a high pitch that it’s possible that only the dogs could hear the full extent of her joy! They got lots of admiring glances and a fair amount of fuss – we’ll definitely come here again, lumpy mash or no!

I must mention the young ladies of Berkhamstead – slender and shapely of leg, looking down beatifically from the lofty heights of their vertiginous stilletos. The water levels in Berko’s pounds are abnormally high – to within half an inch of flooding the topwaths. I did wonder whether that was deliberate – if these local lovelies ever toppled from their tottering towers then how much easier it would be to fish them out from a full canal!

We had a very pleasant evening in Berkhamstead – we’ll try to spend some time here when we next pass this way – it’s a fine boater’s town with it’s smiling face turned to the canal!

ps. Is anyone moored out in the dark wilds? Have you seen the green comet yet? It’s not here for long – I had a look with the binoculars in Berkhamstead but the moorngs are brightly lit (which is a good thing, security-wise) so there was no chance.

pp We met Felonious Mongoose in Berko last week – star of a review in Canalboat last year – we’re hoping to meet them again on one of the St Pancras cruising club’s tideway outings – looking forward to it! Oh, and I had a long chat with Mr Ubique – not the blogger but the proud owner of a 70ft narrowboat decked out in dark wook like an old ship – beautiful but a long way from Indigo Dream’s modern interior. We had a nosey around each other’s boat’s, honestly admiring but I suspect that we both secretly felt that our own boats were the best 🙂

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