Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

  • Blog Index as a pull down

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta

  • Recent Comments

  • wordpress counter

Archive for November, 2013

DogBlog: Holby Casualty ER Emergency Ward 10 House Vet…

Posted by indigodream on 24 November, 2013

Whatย  you’ve all been waiting for – a new series of your favourite medical drama…..

Episode 1

THUMP

“El Disho Vetto, are you allright, I heard a thump…..”

“Eez fine, nurse cool aloof….”

Herbie - sneaky snitch or innocent victim - YOU decide...

Herbie – sneaky snitch or innocent victim – YOU decide…

“Fine? you’re on the floor! You’ve been spinning on your office chair again haven’t you”

“No eez not posseeble”

“You’ve been spinning….”

“No…”

“Yes you have – this happens every time you spin on that chair….”

“Si, I’ve been spinning, what of it, it’s so b-o-r-i-n-g, there’s nothing to do”

“hmmm, it has been a bit quiet, you know why don’t you?….

“Que…?”

“Step-mummy Sue and her greyhounds are on holiday – but, listen, there’s the phone – are you ready?”

“What’s that Step-mummy Sue? Herbie’s got a suspicious lump on his back, and Henry has ripped his dew claw? Better bring them in straight away….”

THUMP

“EL DISHO VETTO, STOP SPINNING AND CONCENTRATE!”

Henry Beanz is innocent.....

Was Henry Beanz framed? Tune in to the next exciting episode ….

Later that hour……………….

“Hmm, Herbie’s leg, eet was hanging off in enero, but ees fine now”…..

“Ah, El Disho Vetto, I know his leg is fine, but what about this lump on his back”

“mierda, ees beeg and sore, I will take a biopsy an’ you will give him tablets”

“Oh no! Is it serious? Herbie was very ill in the waiting room, see he’s not walking properly, oh El Disho Vetto will he be allright?”

“Let me see – aha, Herbie ess bitten; I will staple….”

“Bitten, but he wasn’t bitten when I left home, how could that have happe……..HENRY BEANZ!”

“Ah, what’s that Henry Beanz? You accidentally stood on Herbie in the car and Herbie bit your ear, hmm hmmm, and then he accidentally pushed his elbow into your teeth so it was his fault really, ah yes, I see…..”

“Uh, El Disho Vetto, why is Step-mummy Sue talking to herself?”

“Well, Nurse Cool Aloof, you think she eez talking to herself, but she eez talking to Henry AND she thinks he’s talking back, eez so sad…”

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Dog Blogs: Ty’s Doings..

Posted by indigodream on 22 November, 2013

Deer me pals

Fis is me happy face wots you only sees wen Iz at home doin' zommies wif me pals...

Fis is me happy face wots you only sees wen Iz at home doin’ zommies wif me pals…

Izย  got to tell you abouts me hawful day – it woz terribubble….

Furst, Mummy Sue and Richard wents out the door reely early – I luffs it wen they leeves early coz it meenz I gets to snooze all day long……zzzzzzs

Then, THEN, Daddy Richard comed home an a strange bloke camed to werk in the kitchin – Iz hardly gots any snoozies at all…

Then, Iz ripped me dew claw right orf – iz a big secrit how I dun it but now Mummy Sue is looking for me old claw in her bed and goin’ “eeeew”…

Me claw woz qwite sore, but it dids give sumfink to lick, but I woz so bizzy lickin’ I hardly gots any snoozes agen..

Fis is me wurried face - wy woz I wurried - I duzn't kno, I just woz!

Fis is me wurried face – wy woz I wurried – I duzn’t kno, I just woz!

Then me best frend Gunilla the dog-sitter comed wif me frend Seth, wot is a blue boy hound. But I didn’t wots to go out, but then I dids go out but me claw woz so sore. But I didn’t gets any sympafy – I gots a stoopid bandij. Gunilla puts a bandij on and I wents “Grrrrrrrr” and pulled it strait orf. So she puts a tie rownd me mowf like a muzzle so I cudn’t go “grrrr” an she put a bandij on and anuvva bandij on top wots I cudn’t get orf….

Mummy Sue sez if woz funny “Ty tied with a Tie” she sed – huh, iz NOT funny Mummy!

I woz almost snoozing wen Daddy Richard cum racin’ in an sed “orf we go Ty, you’ve got to see the vet…” and I had to go in the car, an the vet tooked me blud and I hads anuvva bandij. The vet sed me blud sugar woz low – Mummy Sue sed it was coz Miffy hound, wot is on hols wif us, is eatin all the pies….

Fis is me deepressed face - an Iz disided to sleep in the coldest run on the finnest bed coz Iz a poor neglectid hound....

Fis is me deepressed face – an Iz disided to sleep in the coldest run on the finnest bed coz Iz a poor neglectid hound….

Then I hads to go home in the car agen – I woz despirit wen I gots home THEN as I gots out out of the car “BANG” – if woz flashy bangy fings so I run into the kitchin an gess wot, there woz a new Ty-sized den unda the cooker, just for me. I snuggled in but Daddy Richard dragged me out coz it woznt reelly a den, it woz were mummy Sue wonts a new cupboard. But it woz such a nice den and mummy Sue cud have put stuff, like fud, in there, I wudn’t have minded!

Me day woz as horrid as cud be, tho I dids get a choclit finger to boost me blud sugar, and sum nice meets for me tee – but THEN it woz 4 ay-em an I spent ages lickin me bandij off but me claw woz eva so sore so I dids the screem of deff and Mummy Sue dids waking up and sed I neededs a new bandij, I wents “grrrrr” and they puts me muzzle on, wots I duzn’t like, and Daddy Richard held me hed an’ mummy puts a stoopid new bandij on. Huh, an they woz complainin’ that their snoozes woz desturbed – wot about ME ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

This mornin’ Mummy Sue an’ Daddy Richard wents off early and stayed offs – SNOOZIES…..’cept I heards that me frend Ranger Dawg had gone to the rainbow bridge – he woz me frend coz he wuds bark an’ bark for his dinna so we all gots dinna early. Tho he woz a bit mad coz he liked the boat an he luffed hadventures…

Photoblog:

https://indigodream.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/r_hopwas-sawley_2011_07_02_086.jpg

Ranger as I’ll always remember him – lying on Indigo Dream’s back deck on a pile of sheepskins, and often wrapped in fluffy blue blankets!

Fawn Ranger and old girl Susie – there’ll be a commotion at the rainbow bridge tonight!

Run Free Ranger

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Dog Blog: Ollie’s progress

Posted by indigodream on 18 November, 2013

Monday 18th November

I’m just using this simple post as a way of linking to photos of Ollie but I hope that regular readers will forgive me!

Ollie’s been with us for 18 months now and he’s looking sleek and fit – the best reward for the work involved in bringing him back to health after being rescued from neglect. Ollie bonds deeply, and for the first few months he looked so sad and wistful it would bring tears to my eyes – but just look at him now! He’s in fine health for his age, though, unlike most greyhounds, he’s not interested in food and has to be coaxed to eat in order to maintain his weight. We’ve had many discussions with the vet and we think it’s a behavioural rather than a physical problem but we’re keeping a close eye on him (as you might expect!)…..

He’s not actually meant to do zoomies – it puts a strain on the muscles that he’s slowly built up since he’s lived with us – but who can deny him the odd mad moment? ๐Ÿ™‚

Ollie's forgotten that he's ten and a half - who am I to remind him!

Ollie’s forgotten that he’s ten and a half – who am I to remind him!

Zoooooooomies!

Zoooooooomies!

Ollie looks a bit bony in this photo but he IS a healthy weight!

Ollie looks a bit bony in this photo but he IS a healthy weight!

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

Dog Blog: Urgent Help Needed….

Posted by indigodream on 17 November, 2013

Sunday 17th November

Smoothie (blue collar) on his way to Sarah's house - he was calm and happy in the car...

Smoothie (blue collar) on his way to Sarah’s house – he was calm and happy in the car…

Regular readers will know the tragic tale of Sarah, aka Greygal, a hopeless greyhound addict…..

I’m sorry to report that she’s sunk lower than ever and she’s trying to “foster” again.

Can you help her to be a successful foster mum by offering a forever sofa so her new foster hound, Smoothie.

I met Smoothie at the weekend and, as well as being our old boy Blue’s half-brother, he is a real gentleman – calm and affectionate yet playful in our paddock. I was very impressed at how quickly he settled into our house, even surrounded by six unfamiliar greyhounds (Ty, Ollie and holidaymakers Henry, Archie, Herbie and Big Sid).

Now, the trouble with Smoothie is that he’s so adorable that Sarah and Andy are falling in love with him – he’ll need to find his forever sofa soon or Sarah is doomed!

He’s registered with Kerry Greyhounds – click on the link to check them out but here’s what they have to say about Smoothie:

Smoothie

Smoothine showing that he is a true greyhound - cuddles, especially beddy cuddles, are his speciality...

Smoothine showing that he is a true greyhound – cuddles, especially beddy cuddles, are his speciality…

The splendiferous Smoothie is a 7 year old greyhound gentleman who is looking for a sofa of his very own. Smoothie is a real chunky monkey and a superb cuddler, made all the more squishable with his lovely plush tuxedo coat and thick muscular neck. He is 30โ€ to the shoulder so is not a small boy, but that just gives you more Smoothie to love!

We thought dear Smoothie had found his forever home, but unfortunately it did not work out. This placement failed through no fault at all of his own โ€“ Smoothie really is perfecto! This beautiful boy really deserves a home, and at 7 years of age, we think it’s time he stopped moving around and found a family to settle with.

** UPDATED: NOVEMBER 2013 **

Location: Foster home in Suffolk.

Key Points: Very loving, squishy, engaging, eager to please, playful, goofy, dog savvy. He’s PERFECT!

~ Personality ~
Generally: Loving, cuddly, relaxed, playful, engaging, goofy, very affectionate, eager to please.
Oh Smoothie, what a hunk! This dog is just superb and we are terribly worried that an absolute gem is going to be overlooked because heโ€™s black. But please give Smoothie a chance, heโ€™s a truly fabulous dog who has won the hearts of every single person heโ€™s met along the way. Heโ€™s gentle, mannerly, cuddly, affectionate, engaging, relaxed, and just goofy enough to give you a daily chuckle. This boy was born ready-made as perfect!

Up close and personal - he's that sort of hound....

Up close and personal – he’s that sort of hound….

Smoothie loves to be involved in the family business and enjoys following his people around to provide a helpful head for a stray hand. He is a nuzzler, a leaner and a sofa sharer. He loves to sunbathe and is very relaxed in himself. He is friendly with everyone and still playful despite his 7 years. Smoothie also actively tries to be a good dog and will always do what is asked when he understands it.

~ In the Home ~
Generally: Very relaxed, house savvy, housetrained, doesnโ€™t steal food, shares well, needs night-time cuddles!
Dear Smoothie is used to living in a home and is amazingly settled considering all the upheaval heโ€™s gone through. He is very polite and conscientious in the home. He has learned not to help himself from the kitchen counters very quickly, though he is well able to reach things. This boy just wants to do good and be good, in every way. He has never had an accident indoors and is OK to be left once he is settled, though Smoothie is definitely happier when he has company. He LOVES evening snuggles on the sofa and is happiest when heโ€™s squished up against someone, even if there isnโ€™t technically all that much room for him!

~ Other Animals ~
Generally: Very calm, laid back, friendly and playful, accepting and non-confrontational.
Smoothie is very good and complacent with other dogs, and is incredibly tolerant of unwanted advances. He was sharing his last foster home with a Doberman and a collie x and loved them both. He has a quiet confidence that perhaps all dogs yearn for, and as such he tends to get on with everyone. He is an excellent candidate for a first time hound owner as he comes with very few hang-ups.

Smoothie (left) getting advice from Archie and Henry on how find the best forever sofa and other luxuries - they know we're putty in their paws...

Smoothie (left) getting advice from Archie and Henry on how find the best forever sofa and other luxuries – they know we’re putty in their paws…

Smoothie is also very welcoming and friendly with visiting dogs, he simply wants to play. His playful advances can be a bit too boisterous for small dogs such as yorkies and delicate terriers, but he means no harm. He has a habit of grabbing the other dog when playing chase, a common trait of sighthound types. He will stop this if called back. Again he does no harm and doesnโ€™t apply pressure, but this might still be a bit too rough for a small dog. As such he would be best not being homed with another very small dog, but can live extremely happily with one or several other medium-large sized dogs and be a steadying companion or a pack addition. Whatever you need, Smoothie will try his best!

~ Out and About ~
Generally: Excellently behaved on and off lead, loves the car, dog savvy, plays with toys.
Smoothie is an absolute delight to bring out as he is so well behaved, gentle, calm and mannerly. He walks like a dream on the lead and will follow you anywhere. He is steadfast and unflappable. He LOVES the car and would actually stay snoozing in it all day long if you let him. The motion sends him right to sleep and sometimes after a walk he won’t want to leave! In his foster home Smoothie was getting 2 supervised walk/off lead sessions in a field with other dogs each day as well as a trip to the beach a few times a week. He was very content with this amount of exercise but would be just as happy with more or less exercise, as heโ€™s so chilled in general.

Smoothie (ventre) enjoying zoomies with Archie and Henry - he was a perfect gentleman - even when running with six black boys - we have some great photos but most are blurred with the speed of their running :-D

Smoothie (centre) enjoying zoomies with Archie and Henry – he was a perfect gentleman – even when running with six black boys – we have some great photos but most are blurred with the speed of their running ๐Ÿ˜€

Smoothie has good recall, though this will need to be strengthened alongside bonding with his new owners before he can be let safely off lead. Smoothie must never be let off lead near public roads or livestock. He has been off lead with many other medium-large sized dogs and has never been an ounce of trouble, he just wants to play for a bit and then potter around. He will chase a ball but seems unsure of what to do with it once he has it. Squeaky toys can over-stimulate him a bit, though he doesnโ€™t mind them being taken away by either people or other dogs.

~ Medical Issues ~
Smoothie was retired from racing due to a broken hock, though that has completely healed now and poses him no problems as a pet pooch. He can also get an intermittent allergic reaction on his paws which can flare up with redness and itching at times of stress. Watching what he eats and giving him routine will help prevent these flare-ups.

Smoothie had absolutely atrocious teeth before coming to us and after a rather long dental he now has just his 4 canine teeth left. This poses him no problems and he eats kibble readily, but would appreciate biscuit treats being broken into small pieces.

~ Greyhounds as Pets ~
In general greyhounds are calm, mannerly dogs that are well used to being handled. They can fit very well in to a wide range of different lifestyles and usually adjust to the home life very quickly. Their soft, easy going nature often makes them ideal to live in a family environment, while their love of lazing around and low exercise requirements can make them perfect for the retired.

~ Where Am I? ~
Smoothie is currently in foster care in Suffolk. He can be homed anywhere in the UK, but please note that you will be required to travel to the foster home to meet and collect him.

~ Want To Adopt Me? ~
Smoothie is neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, de-flea’d and wormed and a homecheck will be required as part of the adoption procedure.

Some more photos:

And they are off!

And they are off! Smoothie centre stage

Now Archie is used to be Mr Speedy, no one can catch him, clearly thinking today is another of those days ...

Now Archie is used to be Mr Speedy, no one can catch him, clearly he is thinking today is another of those days … (Archie in front, Smoothie behind on the left)

Bit of shock then when smoothie pulls ahead of him!

Bit of shock then when Smoothie pulls ahead of him!

Smoothie's lead growing!

Smoothie’s lead growing!

Archie putting his foot down to catch up

Archie putting his foot down to catch up (assisted by some sneaky cutting of a corner), Smoothie just in front.

Smoothie stretching out to get that lead back!

Smoothie stretching out to increase that lead again!

Grass flying as they really motor

Grass flying as they really motor. Archie is starting to look like his nose is out of joint!

A Greyhound in full flight is great to see, best of all they are so joyful about it!

A Greyhound in full flight is great to see, best of all they are so joyful about it! Smoothie really seems to use his tail as a rudder as he flies along.

Time for a rest! Archie on the left, Smoothie on the right

Time for a rest! Archie on the left, Smoothie on the right

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Dog Blog: Archie Beanz’s Secret Dossiers

Posted by indigodream on 10 November, 2013

The name’s Beanz, Archie Beanz, it’s not all about me you know…

Dossier #7: For queen and country

Unbelievable, some people think I’m a selfish hedonist – I’m shocked, and hurt, I care deeply…… like when Step-mummy Sue is rubbing my tummy – you can’t believe that’s for MY benefit – of course not, it’s stress relief for HER – humph!

Staines-on-Thames - we agents have to check whether this association with the Royal river is deserved - this is me and agent 007 (Henry Has-Beanz) checking the suitability of the built environment. Nom nom, you, these hound feeding steps pass muster...

Staines-on-Thames – we agents have to check whether this association with the Royal river is deserved – this is me and agent 007 (Henry Has-Beanz) checking the suitability of the built environment.
Nom nom, you, these hound feeding steps pass muster…

007 and 008 reporting for duty M'aam - see our Jubilee flag -only special agents can cruise under that flag :-)

007 and 008 reporting for duty M’aam – see our Jubilee flag -only special agents can cruise under that flag ๐Ÿ™‚

Exploration and claiming new territory is a proper occupation for a gentleman of independent means - this is us claiming an island on the Thames for M - what's that, it belongs to the the National Trust - HA! - not anymore it doesn't....

Exploration and claiming new territory is a proper occupation for a gentleman of independent means – this is us claiming an island on the Thames for M – what’s that, it belongs to the the National Trust – HA! – not any more it doesn’t….

Hmmm, our new island is a bit lacking in facilities - it didn't even have a squirrel - move on M....

Hmmm, our new island is a bit lacking in facilities – it didn’t even have a squirrel – move on M….

The classic 00 pose - we're working hard for queen, country and sausages...

The classic 00 pose – we’re working hard for queen, country and sausages…

Reporting back to base - "Mission Thames" accomplished and successful

Reporting back to base – “Mission Thames” accomplished and successful

Oh yes, I've subdued all the terrorist ducks and husky types on the river - you safe now Prime Minister Cami-knickers....

Oh yes, I’ve subdued all the terrorist ducks and husky types on the river – you are safe now Prime Minister Cami-knickers….

Mission complete - NOW I can have some "me" time - "Step-mummy Sue, I'm ready for my tummy rub..."

Mission complete – NOW I can have some “me” time – “Step-mummy Sue, I’m ready for my tummy rub…”

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Boat Blog: A quick trip to Margaret Ness

Posted by indigodream on 4 November, 2013

Rewind to Sunday September 8th

Limehouse to Margaret Ness and back

nb Daedalus looking mighty fine coming onto the river..

nb Daedalus looking mighty fine coming onto the river..

Now here’s a long story I’d better tell!

Back in August, a boater got in touch via the Thames Cruising website asking whether anyone was interested in being their boating “buddy”ย  for cruise from Limehouse to the Thames Barrier. We replied that we might be interested if we could make the dates work and a plan was born!

The boat in question was nb Daedalus – Richard had been in touch with their crew, Simon and Pat and arrangements were ongoing. However, we unexpectedly met them on the Thames on our way downstream a few weeks ago. It was too good an opportunity to miss – we brested up quickly, had a chat with the crew and had a surreptitious eyeball inspection of their boat. We were relieved to find that the crew was experienced and had a wonderfully maintained boat that looked well able for the job – hurrah! We didn’t stay long, but we cruised on content in the knowledge that we’d have a good cruise with nb Daedalus today.

Now, we’re happy to “buddy up” with boats on the tideway, but cruising with Andrew Phasey of the St Pancras Cruising Club has made us more careful about just saying “yes” to any boat that asks. Everyone cruising in a convoy does so at their own risk, but supporting a boat that’s not fit for the tideway, or who has a crew that doesn’t take the tideway seriously could put Indigo Dream at risk so it seems sensible to take a few precautions!

Always an awesome sight....

Always an awesome sight….

We travelled up to Indigo Dream on Saturday night and went for supper in the Grapes. Ty and Ollie came with us and Ty launched a charm offensive – managing to schmooze Pat into giving him a big fuss, even though she’s a bit wary of big dogs – good for Ty!

The dinner was very sociable, but it also served as the safety briefing (another thing that we’ve learnt from the St Pancras Cruising ). As well as the maps and tideway booklets, we supplied Daedalus with a generic cruising plan for them to complete. We now produce an individual cruising plan for every tideway cruise using a single-page template that Richard designed. Some of it seems obvious, but it does make sure that we’ve covered (and ticked off) all the items on our “tideway checklist” which also includes super important things like coffee and remembering to disconnect shore power before leaving. They were kind enough to listen with due deference and attention – even though they have been out through Limehouse Lock before and have cruised the tideway upstream!

On Sunday, we had time for lunch and then locked onto the river in the afternoon. We locked out on the ebbing tide, so there was quite a drop onto the river and we turned downstream. It was a glorious afternoon and conditions were perfect. We soon got to the barrier and, with nb Daedalus’ agreement, carried on to Margaret Ness. This gave us the awesome view of the Barking Creek Barrier. It also gave us time to brest up to stem the tide and eat cake! Simon and Pat had been joined by daughter Helen (and her partner Chris) and some other boaters whose names I didn’t record – d’oh! Anyway, it was Helen’s birthday so it was her celebratory cake we were eating!

We stemmed the tide for a while, occasionally throwing out a floating fender to check the state of the tide (we had the tide times but there’s nothing like some “real world” confirmation that the tide has turned). At just past flat water, we set off upstream – we’d be too early to catch the sunset, but the afternoon light was more than enough and, by mutual consent,ย  we opened up the engines and raced up the tideway – believe me, there’s no chance of a narrowboat breaking a speed limit or creating excessive wash down here ๐Ÿ™‚

In no time at all we were back in Limehouse – with the tide running in, we passed upstream of the lock, turned back into the flow for more control and cruised right in (we’d been in regular contact with the lock-keepers since passing Hilton Ferry, just downstream).ย  As I recall, I did the lock entry, feeling the responsibility of doing it right since nb Daedalus might be following my lead. Though we had told them to use common sense and if Indigo Dream happened to hit something e.g. floating buoy, lock wall this was not the recommended procedure for them to follow ๐Ÿ™‚

As it happened, both boats entered the lock smoothly – the tide still had a long way to come is so it was quite a rise up to the marina. We found our respective mooring spots, packed the boat then popped by to say “goodbye” to Daedalus and give them a CD of photos (hmm must check that). We’d really enjoyed their company and hope that they have good end to their cruising year.

We wended our way home – we’d be having a break from cruising for 3 weeks as SIX of Sarah’s hounds were coming on holiday with us – but I’ll let Henry Beanz tell that story….

Photoblog:

After we'd shown them some photos of a narrowboat's fenders being washed, nb Daedalus sensibly rigged some "grab" ropes to support the crew on the tug deck..

After we’d shown them some photos of a narrowboat’s fenders being washed, nb Daedalus sensibly rigged some “grab” ropes to support the crew on the tug deck..

The Woolwich Ferries weren't running today - we missed our familiar dance!

The Woolwich Ferries weren’t running today – we missed our familiar dance!

Dry dock for the Woolwich Ferry - interesting!

Dry dock for the Woolwich Ferry – interesting!

Group photo - it was a great day!

Group photo – it was a great day!

We think this conveyor is taking spoil from the Crossrail works - nice to see the river being used in this way...

We think this conveyor is taking spoil from the Crossrail works – nice to see the river being used in this way…

Oops!

Oops!

No paddles at Limehouse - it's a nice thrill with which to end the cruise :-)

No paddles at Limehouse – it’s a nice thrill with which to end the cruise ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Boat Blog: The London Ring Day 2

Posted by indigodream on 3 November, 2013

Rewind to Sunday 1st September

Paddington to Limehouse

This boater's dog took great offence at the immobile but very realistic statues in Paddington...

This boater’s dog took great offence at the immobile but very realistic statues in Paddington – had to laugh, first it looked, then it sniffed, then it barked like mad….

Having done most of the hard work yesterday, we had a most leisurely start this morning. While the adults and hounds got up and about, Alfie stayed comfortably ensconced in his sleeping bag which was then swathed in duvets and pillows as we dismantled the guest bed and reinstated the sofa. Alfie made like a greyhound and built himself a nest – it seemed unlikely that he’d ever leave it, despite the fact that he was being trampled by hounds coming in and out of the boat!

Steve, in the meantime, sat peaceably on the wharf and whittled a piece of wood – I’d ever realised that it was his hobby. As it happened, he was whittling me a little spoon which seemed to have just been hidden in the wood waiting for his knife. This was the first of two very special gifts that we were to receive, but more on that later….

While Steve was whittling, Richard was chatting to our neighbours on nb Maid of the Mist, who was putting forward to idea of “waterways ambassadors” – his enthusiasm was commendable, but there in the sunshine of a lazy Sunday morning I couldn’t match it and let my thoughts drift….

We set off mid-morning and bimbled down to Camden – it was deserted by Camden standards – we were surprised, it’s normally heaving on Sunday mornings. Maybe everyone was at the Angel Canal Festival – that was in full swing when we passed through! We were pleased because it added a bit of colour to Alfie’s trip. We didn’t stop at Angel – the moorings were jam-packed with many familiar boats all adding to the wonderful waterways tapestry being woven.

Alfie's collage - with Ollie in his red collar and Henry with his white face - however Herbie was never allowed on the roof!

Alfie’s collage – with Ollie in his red collar and Henry with his white face – however Herbie was never allowed on the roof!

As we moved away into the quiet beyond the festival we saw fuel boat “Archimedes” coming our way – we flagged him down for some diesel, but rather than pull over to the towpath, he did us (effortlessly) an “inflight refuelling” in the middle of the canal – great stuff!

The trip had already been memorable, but we thought we’d top if off with a trip down the Hertfordshire Union past the Olympic Park, the Crossrail works and Bow Locks…..

All too soon we were back in Limehouse after a magical weekend’s cruising – and at a pace more normal to the Indigo Dream (no, I don’t mean speeding, more the day length/effort).

We said “goodbye” to our guests with some regrets – they’d been the most charming company imaginable. This was reinforced a few days later when Alfie gave me a collage he’d put together featuring Indigo Dream and the three greyhounds, including Henry and his white face – it’s a treasure.

Then I said “goodbye” to Richard – I’d be staying on board with the hounds as I was off to Suffolk in the morning to complete the dog swap – Henry and Herbie would be going home for a few weeks and Ty, at long last, would be coming home ๐Ÿ™‚

Photoblog:

Herbie getting himself into the sort of greyhound tangle that makes us want an onboard vet!

Herbie getting himself into the sort of greyhound tangle that makes us want an onboard vet!

Paddington basin had a thick coating of duckweed when we arrived yesterday - it had retreated a little by morning...

Paddington basin had a thick coating of duckweed when we arrived yesterday – it had retreated a little by morning…

Regent's Park always looks so good - shame about the graffiti though...

Regent’s Park always looks so good – shame about the graffiti though…

This Victorian gas holder near St Pancreas is being rebuilt (how many have been dismantled as a blot on the landscape?)...

This Victorian gas holder near St Pancreas is being rebuilt (how many have been dismantled as a blot on the landscape?)…

Here's the signboard - that explains the gasholder project - the whole canalside are is being regenerated hereabouts..

Here’s the signboard – that explains the gasholder project – the whole canalside are is being regenerated hereabouts..

More regeneration - nearer to Kings Cross this time....

More regeneration – nearer to Kings Cross this time….

The Angels of the canal festival :-)

The Angels of the canal festival ๐Ÿ™‚

Bit of local colour at the canal festival...

Bit of local colour at the canal festival…

Time for a snack? Alfie earned his bread on this trip :-)

Time for a snack? Alfie earned his bread on this trip ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Boat Blog: The London Ring Day 1…

Posted by indigodream on 2 November, 2013

Rewind to Friday 30th August

Alfie taking the helm for the obligatory photo under Tower Bridge...

Alfie taking the helm for the obligatory photo under Tower Bridge…

On Friday night we welcomed some very special guests on board – our favourite vet Steve, wife Helen and son Alfie – it’s always been our dream to cruise with an onboard vet and here we were ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually, we did hope that Steve wouldn’t have any work to do, though I’m sure he came equipped (though we have a pretty good hound first aid kit on board regardless). We were excited for Herbie and Steve to meet – it’s been months since Steve last saw Herbie and he was delighted with how well Herbie’s terrible leg wounds (incurred via Henry hound last December) had healed. We’ve been showing Herbie off with some pride – the vets had been so concerned that he would lose the leg or that he’d be permanently disabled, but Herbie is fine!. Having said that, I did manage two vet visits – Herbie developed a mysterious lump on his back – we had to have it biopsied! It proved to be benign and was eventually cured by a long course of antibiotics. Henry then developed a very nasty infection of his anal glands – ouch – he was ever so sore – cue more antibiotics!

We congregated on the boat on Friday night and found that five people and three hound could fit on board. Alfie, sleeping on an air bed, didn’t seem to mind being trampled by greyhounds! Helen had cooked dinner and sent it up in advance – another convenience, of course guest hound Herbie had an appointment at the vet so I could pick up food and sleeping bags to drive up to the boat. We had a merry evening but soon we were off to our respective beds – we had an early start and a busy day ahead….

Rewind to Saturday 31st August

Limehouse to Paddington (the long way round!)

Awesome!  The was Alfie's opinion :-)

Awesome!
The was Alfie’s opinion ๐Ÿ™‚

The tide times were such that we decided to do the London ring “clockwise” – this would give a magical transit up the tideway in the morning light and miss most of the commercial traffic. We locked out at 8.15am, having had a particularly smooth start as Steve took the hounds out for an expert walk as the rest of got the boat ready ๐Ÿ™‚ We had a lovely surprise at the lock – we were hailed by the cheerful “oirish” who will forever be know to us as “Mr Pentargon” (named for his boat) – we met in Brentford back in April and our paths have been crossing ever since – boating is a small world! We were enjoying a chat when I suddenly realised that the lock wasn’t draining – ah, that would be because Mr Pentargon was standing on the lock gate to chat – ooops! We bid our hasty farewells set off to the tideway.

The trip was exactly as predicted – though what we hadn’t anticipated was Steve and Helen’s joy as we travelled further upriver – much of their courtship seems to have happened around here and Steve proposed near the river (can’t remember the exact spot).

We seemed to get to Brentford in no time at all – with us basking in our guests’ enjoyment…

But there was no stopping – on we went towards one of our favourite lock flights – we do like the Hanwell – thinking of where we are in West London, the flight is a delightful surprise.

We introduced our guests to the joys of locking – the boys pushed the gates and Helen learnt to helm. She was a natural – I’ve found that most people are! We flew up the locks, with Richard lockwheeling, though we had the flight to ourselves until the very last lock. We were surprised – it was a gloriously sunny day – we couldn’t have asked for better. We were so enjoying the canal that we decided not to stop at Tesco’s in Bull’s Bridge and turned instead towards Paddington.

The crew taking their locking seriously :-)

The crew taking their locking seriously ๐Ÿ™‚

We had a serene afternoon’s cruise, though we did have some drama when we reversed to rescue a young crow that had fallen into the water, had managed to climb partway out using a bramble but didn’t quite have the strength to get onto the bank. I hate high straight canal banks – yes, they’re nice to moor on but critters that fall in are largely done for ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Richard got within range and we delegated the animal rescue to Steve – he got the exhausted crow to the bank, told us to feed it and that was all we could do. We left it on the bank with some extra food – we’d given it a chance at life who know whether it survived…..

Helen on the helm..

Helen on the helm..

We stopped for food and beer at Sainsbury’s in Alperton – there was plenty of mooring space – the Grand Union was deserted!

Although we’d considered mooring many times during afternoon, the weather and the light were so lovely we decided to press on to Paddington. We go there quite late but mercifully there was one mooring left at the far end of the basin – result! This would make it easy to offload the hounds (though the pontoons are also fine). We haven’t been here for a while and we always think that things have changed. After walking and feeding the hounds, we headed off to find an eaterie – we settled on a near, easy choice – the “Grand Union” bar and restaurant at the very far end of the basin. It’s a burger/pizza type place, but we had a good meal – especially the magnificent knickerbocker glories to finish.

We were all very weary as we trailed back to the boat – a seductive combination of fresh air, fine weather, good company and the wonderful variety of river and canalscape lured us to sleep – we’d had a 10-hour cruising day, but what a special day it was ๐Ÿ™‚

Photoblog:

This beast is "Turanor Planetsolar" a giant solar powere yacht - read baout it on their website - http://www.planetsolar.org/

This beast is “Turanor Planetsolar” a giant solar powered yacht – read about it on their website – http://www.planetsolar.org/

You'd almost think we'd gone back in time with the masts and the bridge...

You’d almost think we’d gone back in time with the masts and the bridge…

The illusion is soon shattered by the shard on one side and the "walkie-talkie" building  on the other. Maybe we should be relieved that it's not focusing the sun's rays on the river! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-23930675

The illusion is soon shattered by the shard on one side and the “walkie-talkie” building on the other. Maybe we should be relieved that it’s not focusing the sun’s rays on the river! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-23930675

The bridge works at Blackfriars seem never-ending...

The bridge works at Blackfriars seem never-ending…

We found out later that this was part of a huge charity abseiling event - http://www.allinlondon.co.uk/whats-on.php?event=110413

We found out later that this was part of a huge charity abseiling event – http://www.allinlondon.co.uk/whats-on.php?event=110413

A view FROM Battersea Power Station...

A view FROM Battersea Power Station…

A view FROM Battersea Power Station...

A view FROM Battersea Power Station…

A view FROM Battersea Power Station...

A view FROM Battersea Power Station…

A view of just a small part of Battersea Power Station's vast heart...

A view of just a small part of Battersea Power Station’s vast heart… It is a magnificent building that has been closed now for 30 years and 2 days, with the roof over the main generator hall taken down, much of it opened to the elements and gradually declining.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Boat Blog: Aimless meanderings (15)

Posted by indigodream on 1 November, 2013

Rewind to Monday 26th August

Teddington to Limehouse

Choppy? What do you mean choppy?

Choppy? What do you mean choppy?

I was musing on why I didn’t have any notes from our trip down the tideway when I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t done the trip!

We were up very early – 6am-ish, to catch the tide at 7am. We got the dogs off and organised, got coffee made and I headed off to Teddington station while Indigo Dream headed for the tideway. The grand plan was for me to go back and get the car from Reading and drive back to Limehouse in time to pick up Richard and the hounds at Limehouse. In the the meantime, Sarah and Andy would crew the boat – the trip can be done single-handed but it takes a lot of concentration and is so much better if there is a spare helmsperson on board (and spare maker of bacon sandwiches!). It was nice pleasant trip, one we never tire of, we took it easy so just over 2ยฝ hours for the trip with just the usual lumpiness below Tower Bridge, Sarah drove us into the lock, first time for her from Teddington but managed to get the Lock Keeper’s approval.

The plan worked perfectly – I got to Limehouse about half-an-hour after the boat – I was trying out a new satnav and it had skillfully navigated me past the numerous road closures imposed by the Notting Hill Carnival – brilliant!

I didn’t want to be late home, so when I arrived, I said a sad goodbye to Sarah, Andy, Bertie hound and Archie – we’d be keeping Henryy and Herbie while they’d continue to look after Ty – long story!

Getting hounds ready

Getting hounds ready

One of these days we will need to work out what all the little inlets are

One of these days we will need to work out what all the little inlets are

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station

 

Early morning starts are so tiring ...

Early morning starts are so tiring …

 

But Archie stays alert!

But Archie stays alert!

r_Thames-26Aug13-512

It is gone 9am but obviously no sight of any politician hard at work

You can never tire of this trip

You can never tire of this trip

 

 

One way to wash the fenders :-)

One way to wash the fenders ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »