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Archive for October 16th, 2014

Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2014 – Day 24

Posted by indigodream on 16 October, 2014

Rewind to Saturday 16th August

Kidderminster to Kinver

Travelling in style - with the boat a distance away from home, the car boot has now been converted into a duvet-lined nest...

Travelling in style – with the boat a distance away from home, the car boot has now been converted into a duvet-lined nest…

It was Richard’s birthday today, so it seemed appropriate to have a reasonably relaxed start to the day, though we didn’t want to be too late to join the queue on the M25 (the notion that there might NOT be a queue never entered our heads!).

A couple of weekends ago I invested in an electrical coolbox – an interim measure while our boat fridge was being fixed (we needed a new control unit). It’s been a godsend – both for transporting supplies from home and for keeping things cool on the boat. It’s not a substitute for the fridge, but it will be useful additional cold storage when we have parties on board. Today, though, it had a slightly different job – transporting frozen fruit to Helen and Andy of nb Wandering Bark, and, latterly, the Jam Butty. Helen has a wonderful business, Wildside, where she sells amazing home-made preserves, more often than not made from ingredients foraged from the towpath. I have an excess of fruit in the garden this year, so I offered to share some wild plums and a pile of apple extract. Arrangements were made and we agreed to meet up for food, drink and fruit swap at the very welcoming Vine pub in Kinver.

We had a pretty good trip up to the boat, by recent standards, and were soon parked up at Sainsbury’s. The boat had been fine, though I already knew that via some boating Facebook friends who’d passed her during the week and reported back πŸ™‚

Ollie joined the Olympic looking team - having some young company has perked him up...

Ollie joined the Olympic looking team – having some young company has perked him up…

We’d had a dog swap during the week – I took Ty for a vet checkup last Monday where the vet thought that a thickening of Ty’s hocks (back legs) was probably because of chronic inflammation, caused by rubbing, as he had a few pressure sore developing as well. I already knew about the two little pressure sores that were developing on his bottom, all the result of his trying to bury himself under the sofa while boating; he also had a raw elbow – again from rubbing, possiby on wet bedding where he dribbles in his anxiety. I decided enough was enough – he’s gone off to Sarah’s for a holiday to recover. In the meantime, we have Archie and Henry – the original Beanz boys and enthusiastic Indigo Dreamers; we also had our beloved little Ollie, who is still up for an adventure, despite being an old boy.

Richard loaded the boat and walked the hounds while I did a basic shop in Sainsbury. Their car park only allows 2 hours parking, we had to hoped to get an extension, we even offered to pay(!), but the car park is not managed by the store so that wasn’t an option.

This meant that we started the cruising afternoon with a car shuffle. Richard took car and bike up to the pub in Kinver then cycled back. I gave him a brief head start then started cruising up to meet him. This arrangement works well, though it means that there will be some sections of canal that Richard doesn’t get to see.

Ollie and Archie again - Ollie spent an unusual amount of time on deck today. Henry Beanz prefers the peace and quiet of the front cabin...

Ollie and Archie again – Ollie spent an unusual amount of time on deck today. Henry Beanz prefers the peace and quiet of the front cabin…

Without notes, my memories of the canal are just fleeting impressions – the ongoing beauty of the red sandstone landscape and the meanders. Kinver is a famous beauty spot and the whole waterway seems to build up to that point. Small wonder, then, that the canal was quite busy and that the moorings at Kinver were full! We just managed to squeeze on to the last space, with the back barely within reach of the bank – this is important as Ollie’s not as mobile as the youngsters and can’t manage a big step off the boat.

We had just enough time to feed the hounds before setting off for the pub. Helen and Andy had booked a table for four people and three hounds, but the pub had mistakenly reserved us a place in the non-dog area. There was a bit of a shuffle, but we managed to find a table in the bar where hounds could lie down in comfort (on their sheepskins – now as much of a feature as the greyhounds themselves).

We had a wonderful evening – the men talked about, whatever it is that men talk about, while Helen and I talked about JAM! She’s a professional jam-maker, I’m an enthusiastic amateur, though I make and donate at least 500 jars a year to charity! You wouldn’t believe how much there is to talk about – and we never got to the end of the jammy subject πŸ™‚

Photoblog:

What are you after Henry and Archie? You know that's not the way onto the boat....

What are you after Henry and Archie? You know that’s not the way onto the boat….

What's so interesting?

What’s so interesting?

Aha, clever boys, that hatch IS the fastest route to the hot chicken πŸ™‚

 

 

 

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