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Archive for October, 2015

Dog Blog: Garryglass Tyson 26th August 2005 – 22nd October 2015

Posted by indigodream on 23 October, 2015

Greyhounds 01 Tyson

Ty the Magnificent - as only seen in our garden...

Ty the Magnificent – as only seen in our garden…

A tribute to Ty the magnificent scaredy wuss jellyboy…

We’re heartbroken to report that Ty, aka Garryglass Tyson, slipped peacefully away just before 6pm this evening, after a brief struggle with the dreaded bone cancer – he developed the first symptoms just nine days ago 😦

Ty was born in Ireland, his first race was in Newbridge, Co. Kildare on 26th January 2007 and he came first! There is a video of one his early races here. By September 2007 he had made his way across the sea and was racing in Romford; he even won his first race there! In all he raced 84 times, running his last race on 7th March 2009. He was stunningly quick, racing 480m in under 29 seconds, that’s about twice the speed of Usain Bolt.

There was a bit of a hole in his cv at that point, a 17 month hole in fact, before we took him on as a foster dog in September 2010. He had been sent back from his first  home after just a week – he was a nervous wreck (his diary below tells you why). It was a shame as the kennel dog-walkers had reported that he was calm and balanced before spending that brief time in his new home. We hoped that super-confident Lou & Lynx would help Ty to settle and find his courage, though it seemed that he would never live up to the sheer machismo of his racing name “Tyson” so he quickly became “Ty”.

Ty showing his handsome face - again in our garden...

Ty showing his handsome face – again in our garden…

Ty wasn’t much of a blogger, as he basically liked his bed, hated adventures and didn’t have much to write about! But here’s his first diary entry:

Wednesday 8th September

I’m a BIG black greyhound and whatever Lynx says about me, I’m NOT a big wuss. Big wusses don’t win big races – here’s a video of me going quick here, I am easy to spot as the handsome one in the red jacket.

A couple of weeks ago I went to a new home, I woz all happy, but last Friday  there woz all fizz, bangs and whizzes all over the place. I’m reely scared and I finks “Better not go out again, ever, ever, ever – what if them fizz bangs start again, and wot about them other things that make a noise”. It was no good, I had go back to Auntie Pat at the kennels and she said I could live with Auntie Sue for a while – is like a luxury hotel for hounds – I needs lots of TLC.

Lou, Lynx and Ty - bonding in their first winter together..

Lou, Lynx and Ty – bonding in their first winter together..

I met my new foster sister Lou yesterday and my foster brother Lynx – we gots on just fine so Auntie Sue took me back to the countryside. Was a bit scary – birds tweeting in the trees and flappin’ their wings an’ I was soooo hungry – I had to try to steal Auntie’s Sue’s dinner so she’d get the hint! Lynx said “don’t do that, just use your hypno powers” – I dunno if I got hypno powers, but Auntie Sue did feed me so maybe I does. I had a big sleep after dinner – Auntie Sue was happy – she sez if I can relax enuff to sleep then it’s not so bad.

Auntie Sue’s house smells of other boy dogs, so I had to have a few wees just in case she forgot that I was here. She says if I want somethin’ I just needs to give her a nudge with me long nose – weein’s a bit OTT.

and D’oh, I got so much to learn.

And Ty did learn, though at first he was so scared he earned his forever name of “big scaredy wuss jellyboy Ty”. We could only get him out into the front garden on a lead, where he was fearful and hypervigilant. After a few weeks the back garden was ok-ish, but the field, oh no, that was far too scary. It took months to get him confident enough to patrol the whole garden and chase down rabbits in the rear field. He was a fast youth, and could outpace speedsters like Lynx; though he was never that competitive because he was afraid of being hurt in a tussle. We had “campaign Ty” in the first few months, working with the vet on an anti-anxiety strategy for his first fireworks night. He did really well, particularly with the establishment of a “safe place” – his den upstairs in the study; he’d retreat there in times of stress and once he was in his den he’d be calm. “Campaign Ty” achieved great things at home, but anywhere new was regarded with great suspicion; any small noise or unfamiliar situation and he’d get scared and behave in a random fashion. He just about coped with Richard’s office, but he would not say hello to anyone, he would just run upstairs to his safe place – “safe places” were Ty’s saviour and had to be established everywhere he stayed.

We had a plan to get Ty’s confidence up so that he could be rehomed with a new family after fireworks night 2010; but we didn’t think he’d ever be ready, and we loved him, so we officially adopted Ty, and Lynx, in November 2010.

Ty was part of this most famous ensemble - he was quite brave if he had big pack to back him up..

Ty was part of this most famous ensemble – he was quite brave if he had big pack to back him up..

We, and other trusted visitors to the house, got to see “Ty the Magnificent” – super confident, relaxed, playful; out and about, people only met “Jellyboy Ty” a different dog but still utterly affectionate and loveable. In fact when one of Richard’s colleagues visited the house she actually asked “Eh, is this Ty?” as she could not believe that the confident happy dog that greeted her was the jellyboy she’d met at the office. Out and about at shows and such, Ty was sweet and vulnerable, looking for cuddles and reassurance – it won him many friends.

After working hard on his confidence over the years, we accepted that Ty would never be a brave explorer. But he had other crucial skills such as speed eating pigs’ ears, thieving food, being brave at 3am and he was a champion nester – especially with our bedding! He was also an insistent “nudger – he might stay in his safe den for hours at a stretch then the next minute, usually when you had a cup of tea in hand,  there would be Ty’s nose under your hand and..ooops! And he was a lapdog, all 33+kg of him. His other skill was making people love him, even as a jellyboy, and we could have re-homed him a hundred times over, though were were always convinced that no-one would understand his special needs like we did!

Actually, as his character developed, we found that Ty had very uncomplicated needs – a safe den, lots of nest beds, big dinners, cuddles and NO ADVENTURES EVER – especially boating, which he never liked. My outstanding memory is of our first boat holiday with Ty – a long weekend at the Royal Docks  in London. He was so stressed he refused to wee – for 30 hours! We rang the vet for advice “walk him round” they said, he’ll go eventually. After two hours of walking the mean streets of East London, even Lou and Lynx were saying “wee so that that we can go back to bed” but Ty wouldn’t oblige. We had to drive him home to do the necessary (for two whole minutes) before going back to the boat! Eventually, Ty would consent to wee when away from home, but only in the middle of the night when all the scary people on the towpaths were in bed; he introduced me to the joys of pyjama walks, including wandering around the pavements of central Birmingham in frilly bloomers and a big fleece, and nightly nighty-clad meanders along the quiet lanes of many a riverside village!

He was an accomplished food thief with many culinary adventures to his name, including thieving several packets of individually wrapped chocolate biscuits which yielded gift wrapped poo over the following days! Or the infamous time he swallowed an ice-cream lolly and the stick, resulting in more anxious poo-watching. Though maybe his most dramatic thefts were of Ollie’s tablets – twice! Cue emergency vet visits and more observations (no harm came of his accidental overdoses!), though when it came for Ty to take those very same tablets for himself, he flat refused to eat them without a coating of steak, pate or similar!

Ty was a super-nester - this is our bed!

Ty was a super-nester – this is our bed!

Here are some of Ty’s writings – says it all really…

https://indigodream.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/dog-blog-tys-doings-10/

https://indigodream.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/boat-blog-tys-doins/

https://indigodream.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/dog-blogs-tys-doings/

https://indigodream.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/dog-blog-tys-doings-9/

https://indigodream.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/dog-blog-tys-doings-7/

https://indigodream.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/dog-blog-tys-doings-6/

https://indigodream.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/dog-blog-tys-doings-5/

https://indigodream.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/dog-blog-tys-doings-4/

https://indigodream.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/dog-blog-tys-doings-3/

https://indigodream.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/dog-blog-tys-doings-2/

https://indigodream.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/dog-blog-tys-doings/

As the years wore on, I thought that the stress of travelling in the car and boat was affecting Ty’s health, so this year we promised him a boat-free life and he seemed to be thriving; this makes the events of the last 9 days all the more shocking….

Ty at a Greyhoundhomer show - he would do public appearances provided he could have a den in the trailer :-)

Ty and Lou at a Greyhoundhomer show – he would do public appearances provided he could have a den in the trailer 🙂

The medical bit…..

Back in 2013, Ty had a bout of ill-health with abnormal hormone and blood chemistry results; however they didn’t add up to a clear diagnosis – he was a medical mystery. We treated him with antibiotics for a series of infections and went on a tumour hunt – scans found nothing and, in early 2014, he abruptly got better, with a maintenance dose of Fortekor to support his kidneys. Hindsight now makes our vet wonder whether there was a micro-tumour just starting in his leg then, secreting hormones that were changing his blood chemistry but not definitively enough for a diagnosis – we’ll never know..

9 days ago, on Tuesday 13th October, Ty became lame – our vet found pain in his bone rather than the joint and did an x-ray on Thursday 15th. The x-ray showed a small abnormal patch with a 5 – 6mm difference in bone density, but nothing definitive. In a great catch, our vet decided she was worried and referred him to a specialist for a more sophisticated CT scan. He became worse over the weekend, and the simple anti-inflammatory which had been controlling his pain suddenly wasn’t and I had to add in some stronger painkillers. Getting the referral upgraded to urgent became a saga, but Ty was admitted into the Royal Vet College Hospital on Tuesday where he had a CT scan; the early results were not promising and on Wednesday afternoon the oncologist confirmed that he had bone cancer, probably Osteosarcoma. It’s the cancer diagnosis that strikes fear into any greyhound owner as there is no cure; death can be delayed for a short time but with relatively harsh measures. We had an awful judgement to make…..

Ty zooming at home - he's surrounded by his pals but he'd outrun them here :-)

Ty zooming at home – he was surrounded by his pals, but he’d outrun them here 🙂

There were a few palliative care options available:

  • Amputate the affected leg; this is done to give immediate pain relief as bone tumours cause the most appalling pain. But by the time osteosarcoma is diagnosed, it’s already spread at a microscopic level, it’s very aggressive; therefore amputation does not affect the course of the disease. Amputation alone might yield him an extra 4 months of life. As the tumour was at the top of the humerus (top of the front leg next to the shoulder), the orthopaedic surgeon advised against surgery, apparently it’s a complicated recovery and they tend not to cope as well with front leg amputations;  but the oncologists were very keen.
  • Radiotherapy to reduce pain – this is effective but it masks underlying tumour damage so as pain is lessened and the dog becomes more active, the risk of a pathologic (caused by disease) bone fracture is increased – this is another appalling outcome. This option offered an extra 6 months.
  • Chemotherapy (after amputation) to kill off developing secondary cancer cells elsewhere in the body – this can delay but not cure the cancer – this option (but only with amputation) offered around 8 – 12 months of extra life. Chemotherapy alone would not be effective against the primary tumour.
  • Pain relief with a group of drugs called Bisphosphonates, that prevent bone breakdown – effective, but they do not affect the course of the disease and what was offered to Ty was a 2-hour intravenous infusion which would have to be done in hospital.
  • Pain relief using conventional drugs – not recommended as the dreadful pain soon overwhelms the capacity of normal analgesics to control it as the tumour destroys the bone from within.

The orthopaedic surgeon who did Ty’s scan had told us on Tuesday that it almost certainly bone cancer; that gave us some time to discuss the options before we saw the oncologist on Wednesday.

Ty became

Ty became “Mr April” in the 2015 Greyhoundhomer calendar – his first calendar appearance – we were so proud 🙂

We know that many hounds are happy as tripods, we know that these options offer hope for many. But we didn’t think that Ty would cope with the rigours of surgery and learning to walk again. Deciding against amputation cut down our options, and was essentially a death sentence, but we never thought that Ty was a candidate for radiotherapy/chemotherapy – he wasn’t a brave hound and the stress of travelling to the vet and being hospitalised regularly would drastically reduce his quality of life. Just being in the vet hospital these two days had petrified him and he was in a state of terror when we picked him up.

So we decided to take him home, on the maximum possible dose/combination of oral painkillers, on the understanding that we would end his pain within a few days. It was a dreadful decision, but we instinctively knew that it was right – Ty would come home and we booked our favourite vet to help him over the rainbow bridge this afternoon.

Ty had a lovely day – I kept him drugged up so that he was relaxed and as close to pain-free as possible; he rotated between his favourite nests, he ate lots of nice food and had cuddles from us and his favourite dog-sitter, who had kindly called in to say goodbye (she loved him as much as we did). He slipped away lying in his favourite nest, Richard holding his head quietly whispered “run free”. When he was gone, he might have been asleep, and we knew that he was forever free from pain and fear……

It took time for Ty to trust new things - even beds! But once he saw that he could hide in this one AND watch the kitchen, he was happy..

It took time for Ty to trust new things – even beds! But once he saw that he could hide in this one AND watch the kitchen, he was happy..

Ty and the Rainbow Bridge

All the other Indigo Dreamers that we’ve loved and lost enjoyed boating – even now they’re cruising serenely beneath the rainbow bridge in a super-luxury wide-beam version of Indigo Dream, filled with hot chicken, cold ice-cream and cool water. But Ty hated boating, so where is he to go? I am hoping that when he gets there he’ll find the boathouse, an eccentric construction overlooking the virtual Indigo Dream’s mooring. It’s a higgledy-piggledy building with lots of snug alcoves filled with duvets and cushions just waiting to be shaped into nests; on the top floor, the safest place of all, there is a penthouse suite, soundproofed of course, where he can rest easy, protected from all scary noises.

I would say “run free” Ty, but I know you’d prefer to snooze in peace…

This was Ty earer this afternoon, blissed out in his favourite nest - run free lovely boy..

This was Ty earlier this afternoon, blissed out in his favourite nest – run free lovely boy..

Ollie and onwards

We rescued our first dog in 1990, and over the years have rescued a total of 8 (six greyhounds, lurchers before that), but we’ve sadly seen 7 of them go over the rainbow bridge. So we’re now in the unusual position of being a one-dog household. We haven’t been a one-dog household since we brought Lou home in December 2006 – the house is rattlingly empty! Ollie and Ty were not cuddle-buddies – they were merely two gentlemen of means sharing a country club, and its staff. Ollie seems to be taking the situation in his stride but we’ll keep a close eye on him. I really expected ancient Ollie to go to the bridge long before Ty, so it may take a little while to adapt to our new reality….

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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2015 – Day 30

Posted by indigodream on 20 October, 2015

Rewind to Thursday 3rd September

Burscough to Aintree (Hancock’s Swingbridge)

Heading out of Burscough...

Heading out of Burscough…

We were well on target for tomorrow’s rendezvous with CRT for the passage into Liverpool so we had a relaxed start to the day, getting to know Barley the whippet, from one of the resident boats, then Mabel the saluki/whippet. Mabel was a bit grumpy at first, but Ollie was very taken with her and they were soon enjoying towpath zoomies. Mabel was too shy to come on board, but her human family were fascinated by the boat. We would have offered them a cruise, making our usual assumption that the owner of a sight hound is not an axe murderer,  but mum had a hair appointment to go to. Her young son had a guided tour – he’s never been on a narrowboat before and loved Indigo Dream.

We set off late morning and had a gentle bimble along a canal which is now gently suburban; the post-industrial areas have been softened by nature, so the approach to Liverpool is deceptively rural.

We're about 12 miles away from Liverpool here adn the canal suddenlly becomes rural...

We’re about 12 miles away from Liverpool here adn the canal suddenlly becomes rural…

As passage along the Liverpool Link has to be pre-booked and accompanied by CRT, traffic is all or nothing – no boats at all or a whole convoy. We met the upcoming convoy at Bridge 14, Westway swing bridge – a member of the oncoming crew had opened the bridge – five boats coming from Liverpool and us going to Liverpool. The waiting cars were not impressed and one woman got out of her car to ask, rather testily, how many more boats there were. It was a curious thing to do,  motorists don’t usually get out at road junction to enquire of the crossing cars when they intend to stop! The hardy crew member manning the controls ignored the motorist and I’ve reflected on this – there were 6 boats to go through and you just wouldn’t close then swing the bridge for each one in turn – hmmm.

Having passed the upcoming convoy, we were guaranteed the rest of the canal to ourselves and we enjoyed it. We soon passed Magull, where I joined nb Greyhound for the passage to Liverpool back in 2011. I felt a thrill of anticipation, it would be Richard’s first cruise along the Liverpool Link and I was sure that it wouldn’t disappoint…

Bridge 9 - the unassuming gateway to the Liverpool Link...

Bridge 9 – the unassuming gateway to the Liverpool Link…

We had a debate whether to moor at bridge 10 rather than at Bridge 9 (Hancock’s) Swingbridge) as another boater had mentioned having some overnight hassle there. But I checked our own blog (how useful it is!) and on my previous trip on nb Greyhound we’d moored with no trouble and staying there would mean that we were in pole position for the morning. The road over Bridge 9 is quite busy, so we needed a certain vigilance with hounds, but there was ample towpath walking back towards Bridge 10 and, at this stage of the holiday, the hounds were very tired and not much interested in mischief!

We moored up quite late in the day, and anticipated being a convoy of one into Liverpool. But as dusk fell, another boat moored up behind us, d’oh, why didn’t I write her name down! Like nb Wine Down, who we met yesterday, this boat was a refugee from a closure this time of the Lancaster Canal, cruising around the network until they could get back to their home moorings.

For the record, Bridge 9 was fine – we ate on board, watched more “House of Cards” (we’re hooked) and had a quiet night.

Today’s Trivia:

Halsall Navvy

Halsall Navvy

We took some photos of a dramatic sculpture by Bridge 25 – I didn’t have to look very far for information as there is a useful signboard nearby, so here we have the “Halsall Navvy”. This was commissioned by the Lancashire Canal Partnership, who chose this figure by artist Thomas Dagnall to represent the sheer physical effort put in by the navvies who built this canal. They started building the canal at a spot nearby.

The stone bench nearby has a series of barely discernible carvings, apparently added by amateur sculptors to represent what the canal means to them….

The back by Bridge 25

The back by Bridge 25

 

 

Photoblog:

The mountains are behind us, but there are still views aplenty..

The mountains are behind us, but there are still views aplenty..

Canalside parking must be a nervous business...

Canalside parking must be a nervous business…

There are quite a few swingbridges on this section - some over quite busy roads. This one i adjacent to the "Running Horses" pub - the sign says "dog friendly for friendly dogs" - ust stop there one day :-)

There are quite a few swing bridges on this section – some over quite busy roads. This one is adjacent to the “Running Horses” pub – the sign says “dog friendly for friendly dogs” – must stop there one day 🙂

11 miles from Liverpool and you get a view - we have a little way to drop before we reach sea level...

11 miles from Liverpool and you get a view – we have a little way to drop before we reach sea level…

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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2015 – Day 29

Posted by indigodream on 19 October, 2015

Wednesday 2nd September

Wigan to Burscough Bridge

Wigan Pier...

Wigan Pier…

We had a much easier day’s cruising ahead of us, so we spent the morning sorting out the car shuffle and topping up with supplies. Richard was up early and cycled back for the car – he reports that it was good exercise but also hard work, it’s a steep uphill climb back! He was appalled by the state of the flight – many of the pounds were down to the mud – not, apparently, because of vandalism but because of normal overnight leakage – you wouldn’t think it was possible. It must take ages to get the flight up and running in the morning.

While Richard was shuffling the car, I went for a bimble with the hounds, scouting out canalside parking (plenty at the back of Trencherfield Mill) and we had a look at Wigan Pier.

Richard got back with the car at 11am and I headed off for Tesco for supplies – we did a nifty exchange when I got back – the first week’s worth of dirty washing went in the roofbox and the fresh food went to the boat!

View bakc to Dean Lock - it's got it all, lovey locations, picturesque lock cottage and the great monolith of the M6 topping it all...

View back to Dean Lock – it’s got it all, lovely locations, picturesque lock cottage and the great monolith of the M6 topping it all…

But I hadn’t finished my travels – my car has a mysterious water ingress which meant that the footwells (front and back) on the driver’s side were squelchingly wet. When this happened in 2013, the garage could not find a cause, then it dried out and stopped happening. There are no obvious holes or loose door seals – it is not weather dependent; I guess it could be condensate from the aircon. However, to avoid wet feet all the way home, I booked my car into a Ford garage at Wigan so that they could, at the very least, dry the car out and maybe find a solution. I drove round to the garage, they assured me that their mechanics would look at the car the following day and I got a cab back to the boat. It all seemed like such a good plan, but it proved to be futile and disastrous in our second week – but I’m ahead of myself….

While I was sorting the car out, Richard moved back to the waterpoint outside the CRT offices and filled the tank. He was joined by nb Winedown, who were also on their way to Liverpool but on a slightly more relaxed schedule than ours. Nonetheless, we shared several locks with them and they were good company (always a relief!).

Kingfisher ;-0

Kingfisher 🙂

We left nb Winedown at Appley Bridge but promptly caught up with an ex-ownerships share boat, alas, I didn’t write down her name, which is a shame, as they were also very pleasant locking companions.

The Douglas Valley is very beautiful with shallow tree lined valleys and widely spaced locks, but here the canal shares its bucolic character with many others and loses the uniqueness of its mountainous summit.

Nb Ellie May had recommended mooring at Burscough Bridge, and it certainly had some appealing restaurants. But there are very few visitor moorings by the bridge and we ended up a way down the towpath past the permanent moorings. It wasn’t the end of the world, but we were very glad that we had topped up with supplies in Wigan as it would have been a long walk to Burscough’s supermarket from our mooring.

The kingfisher sat awhile on this mooring rope - what a lovely sight is you were on board..

The kingfisher sat awhile on this mooring rope – what a lovely sight is you were on board..

We decided to eat at the quirkily named American diner “The Sinner’s Club“. Alas, it was disappointing, the service was lacklustre and the food was just “ok”; but what really wound me up was that they served my diet coke in jar rather than a glass; apparently this is trendy but I absolutely hated it!

The kingfisher photo is one of a sequence that we took – the bird stayed in sight for an unusual length of time. The blog isn’t the best place for displaying a sequence so I’ll put a few on here but you can see more in this album

Photoblog:

How the Wigan flight looks first thing in the morning...

How the Wigan flight looks first thing in the morning…

 

And this is why - leaky top gate and the bottom gate isn't much better :-(

And this is why – leaky top gate and the bottom gate isn’t much better 😦

 

Another empty pound on the Wigan flight...

Another empty pound on the Wigan flight…

Trencherfield Mill - it still has a working steam engine which is run on "steaming Sundays" - check out their website for details: https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Museums-archives/Trencherfield-Mill-Engine.aspx

Trencherfield Mill – it still has a working steam engine which is run on “steaming Sundays” – check out their website for details: https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Museums-archives/Trencherfield-Mill-Engine.aspx

I love a bit of life-size scultpure - Brixton station has some great figures, but this chap looks a bit woebegone!

I love a bit of life-size sculpture – Brixton station has some great figures, but this chap looks a bit woebegone!

 

Canalside des res for ducks....

Canalside des res for ducks….

 

I could fancy mooring ajacent to Lock 90 - it's a lovely spot...

I could fancy mooring adjacent to Lock 90 – it’s a lovely spot…

 

I loved the view along the Douglas Valley...

I loved the view along the Douglas Valley…

 

Derelict lock - now where was this??

Derelict lock – now where was this??

 

The railway is very close here.

The railway is very close here.

 

What's the history of this roundhouse I wonder - looks like the stub of a raditional windmill...

What’s the history of this roundhouse I wonder – looks like the stub of a traditional windmill…

 

Pill box - a strange sight this far inland...

Pill box – a strange sight this far inland…

 

Is this another piece of towpath are??

Is this another piece of towpath art??

 

We liked the look of this tree nursery - just as well we're frd frm home or we'd hae been in there stocking up with new trees for the orchard...

We liked the look of this tree nursery – just as well we’re far from home or we’d have been in there stocking up with new trees for the orchard…

 

The Rufford Arm - sadly closed - we met a lot of "refugees" who couldn't get back to their moorings on the Lancaster Canal..

The Rufford Arm – sadly closed – we met a lot of “refugees” who couldn’t get back to their moorings on the Lancaster Canal..

 

It's a miracle that these old structures have survived - this one from 1848 :-)

It’s a miracle that these old structures have survived – this one from 1848 🙂

 

And this fine mill dates from 1894...

And this fine mill dates from 1894…

 

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Boat Blog: Henry Beanz’ Holidaze (6)

Posted by indigodream on 16 October, 2015

Deer me pals

Mumi Sue getz all wishy washy wen she finks of Herbie bein’ abandunned – woteva!

I knos that Herbie iz not sum poor sole – he is fick an’ eesily confoosed – he keeps jumpin’ on the rong bote, well, wunce that mumi Sue knoz about. Ooo wot a commoshun. Herbie did jumpins on the rong boate and umi Sue didz yelling but the peeople woz not on their bote so Herbie went rite in to find a sofa. No way woz he cuming out so mumi Sue followed him in so now Herbie an mumi Sue are on the rong bote. We woz wunderin wefer we shud hexplore the bote too but mumi Sue woz yellin’ – iz so hard to rummage wen mumi Sue is yellin’. Mumi Sue wo eva so wurried – wot if the bote peeople cummed bak an found squatters. Luki for her they neva cummed back an Herbie sed their sofa woz no gud so he cummed out an’ finaly jumped on the rite bote, wif the best sofa an’ sheepies. Mumi Sue woz well hembarased, but we sed “no need to feel ‘shamed, mumi’ youz got the best bote for hounds eva…”

Oh course, she duznt need to kno about any uva botes wot we mites have hinspected, not that there were uva botes, of course, wozn’t us…

Iz gotta wun picshure of Herbie runnin’ on the rong bote; wot’s that mumi Sue? Youz got TWO picshures – oh oh!  Richard, we’z gotta hemergeny, mumi Sue’s seen a picshue wot we sed woz a boys secrit – wot we gonna do??

Free Beanz rummagin' - uh Dadi Richard, did you heer mumi Sue say sumfink about "don't you let those dogs off lead in the city...". No? Me neiver!

Free Beanz rummagin’ – uh Richard, did you heer mumi Sue say sumfink about “don’t you let those dogs off lead in the city…”. No? Me neiver!

 

DADI RICHARD, Mumi Sue's got hold a picshure of Herbie on the rong bote - kwik, show her summat else....

RICHARD, Mumi Sue’s got hold a picshure of Herbie on anuva rong bote – kwik, show her summat else….

 

Mumi Sue knoz about fis wun - Herbie, s'ovius that is NOT Indigo Dream!

Mumi Sue knoz about fis wun – Herbie, s’ovius that is NOT Indigo Dream!

 

 

 

 

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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2015 – Day 28

Posted by indigodream on 14 October, 2015

Rewind to Tuesday 1st September

Johnson’s Hill Bottom Lock to Wigan

The Walton Summit branch is a lovely place to walk on a sunny morning...

The Walton Summit branch is a lovely place to walk on a sunny morning…

We had a big day ahead, but it was a beautiful morning and I made time to take the hounds for a walk along the unnavigable Walton Summit Branch, which splits off from the main navigation just below bottom lock. The branch was meant to be part of the Lancaster Canal, but the builders got daunted before they completed the link to the main canal, leaving us with the tidal Ribble Link and this picturesque stub of waterway which was perfect for a morning bimble. I was concerned that it might be a bit far for Ollie, but taking a slow pace he seemed to enjoy a gentle rummage.

We had a wonderful walk, thought slightly marred at the start when we stopped to talk to a friendly local walking two labradors. Ok, we were across the towpath – it’s not very wide here, but we were approached by an ancient jogger who took umbrage at having to stop for a microsecond while we pulled the dogs out of his path. He was really unpleasant, and if he had been in training for Rio and chasing his personal best I might have understood his ire, but I suspect that Ollie could have taken him on in a speed trial! They breed them tough in Lancashire though, and the labrador’s owner was up for a verbal scrap with the old geezer!

A more typical canal view..

A more typical canal view..

After a lovely bimble with the hounds, we set off contentedly at 10am. We’ve descended a long way and it was really obvious that the looming summits were well behind us. I missed the soaring views, but this is still a scenic waterway.

We stopped for diesel and a pump-out (£15) at White Bear Marina – alas, we remember that the diesel was cheap but don’t remember the exact price, though ballpark was 66 – 70p a litre. Richard had a little slobber over some giant trikes in the glossy showroom by the marina office – a very unusual business to be sharing a site with the slowest of slow boats 🙂

Wigan is another city with a fearsome reputation, but it put on a fine welcome; some towns have signs, but Wigan had the smell of freshly baked bread wafting over the stretch leading to top lock. The first fourteen locks of the Wigan flight are surprisingly scenic, with plenty of rummaging opportunities for the hounds – except they were far too tired and jumped back on board almost as soon as we coaxed them off.

Surprisingly scenic view towards Wigan...

Surprisingly scenic view towards Wigan…

There was a bit of a wait at top lock as some CRT volunteers helped a wide-beam up the flight; I had wondered whether we’d have help down, but you have to book assisted passage and it had never occurred to us! We are a pretty slick locking team 🙂 but this is a tough old flight to do.

We had a smooth enough passage down the locks, with plenty of water in the pounds (too much in some!) and the mechanisms worked well. I did have an issue with leaky top gates and got a bit fed up with trying to keep Indigo Dream’s back deck dry. Archie hound was also disgruntled – he was trying to sleep on his sheepie at my feet, but he kept getting dripped on – unacceptable!

We got to the town locks just as the kids were emerging from school – first in pairs, then a mob. This increased my anxiety level, but we didn’t have any trouble, just some displays of stupidity e.g. kids walking across the narrow top gates – some were as agile as mountain goats, others like lumbering elephants, following out of dumb teenage machismo. My vivid imagination saw them falling onto the concrete cill and bouncing into Indigo Dream’s mincing propeller – but of course the kids were all fine and I didn’t think that any warning from me would put them off!

kids - meh!

kids – meh!

I was fed up with the kids (though they had done nothing apart from being loud and stupid!)  but when we got to lock 82 they vanished – hurrah! We had a quiet passage down the remaining locks, accompanied by a security man who walks the towpath every evening, checking that the locks are locked and that the gates are shut and paddles down.

It’s a long story, but at one time we thought that we might be turning south at Wigan to allow Richard to use the boat as a pied a terre during his duties as a volunteer at the Rugby World Cup. But having attended the first volunteer training session, he declined the invitation – established venues like the Millennium Stadium didn’t really need volunteers as they’re already set up for big events and he didn’t feel he’d add value to the operation. Much better to spend the time cruising to Liverpool 🙂

So when we got to the junction with the Leigh Branch of the Leeds and Liverpool (which links to the Bridgewater Canal), I had this feeling; we’d barely seen a boat all afternoon so surely there wouldn’t be a boat coming into Wigan this late in the day. As I approached the junction I slowed down, was a that a horn? It sounded like a car horn but I crept forward gingerly and there she was – nb Ellie May joining the L & L at pace – just as well I’d slowed down or there would have been quite a bang!

Wigan's secure moorings below lock 86- gated to the right of the photo, the the towpath moorings on the left were perfecty fine too :-)

Wigan’s secure moorings below lock 86- gated to the right of the photo, the the towpath moorings on the left were perfectly fine too 🙂

We shared the last lock of the day with her, and as she’d pushed in front, she left the lock first and took the last secure gated mooring outside the CRT offices. Never mind, there was plenty of space towpath side and we’d been advised (by the security man) that we wouldn’t have any trouble there. As it happens, it was a quiet mooring and better for the hounds.

We did consider exploring the eateries of Wigan but I was too tired to contemplate it, so we ate on board and had another quiet evening with the DVD….

Photoblog:

Something smells interesting!

Something smells interesting!

 

Botany Bay Mill - now full of shopping outlets - says all you need to know about the move from manufacturing to retail...

Botany Bay Mill – now full of shopping outlets – says all you need to know about the move from manufacturing to retail…

 

A new fairground attraction for canals?? :-)

A new fairground attraction for canals?? 🙂

Unique bridge numbering...

Unique bridge numbering…

 

Precipitation! I don't remember this, I must have found a coanny job indoors :-)

Precipitation! I don’t remember this, I must have found a canny job indoors 🙂

 

Pretty scene - but why did I take this photo? It's just after the aqueduct past Arley Bridge....

Pretty scene – but why did I take this photo? It’s just after the aqueduct past Arley Bridge….

 

View up the Wigan flight - we're about four locks down at this point...

View up the Wigan flight – we’re about four locks down at this point…

 

Leaky top gates - bane of my locking - but I only washed my feet once or twice :-p

Leaky top gates – bane of my locking – but I only washed my feet once or twice :-p

 

My favourte Wigan view - a green corridor and a properly dry top lock gate -result!

My favourite Wigan view – a green corridor and a properly dry top lock gate -result!

 

This pile of stone intrigued me - there is absolutely no land access to it apart from a narrow footpath - I can see that it could be transported by boat but it was unusual..

This pile of stone intrigued me – there is absolutely no land access to it apart from a narrow footpath – I can see that it could be transported by boat but it was unusual..

 

Evidence of vandalism - this makes me so sad and so very very angry...

Evidence of vandalism – this makes me so sad and so very very angry…

 

Canal builders have to be very inventive when there is not enough room for a gate beam...

Here’s another inventive and surprisingly easy to use replacement for a traditional beam…

 

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Dog Blog: Henry Beanz’ Holidaze (5)

Posted by indigodream on 13 October, 2015

Deer me pals

Afta me bizzy day wif me frend Max and me lushus gerl Amber an Tiger the mad terrier we woz proper zorstid – so we woz reely gud all day – like wot these photos say…

Archie Beanz woz so zorstid he felled asleep WITHOUT A SHEEPIE! No sheepie - aboose!

Archie Beanz woz so zorstid he felled asleep WITHOUT A SHEEPIE! NO sheepie – aboose!

We dunned rummagin' but defnitly no zoomies...

We dunned rummagin’ but defnitly no zoomies…

 

See, we cuds be runnin' wild but we#z eva so gud...

See, we cuds be runnin’ wild but we’z eva so gud…

 

Ollie and Herbie dunned lookin' wif us - they neva duz lookin' - they'z sofa boyz....

Ollie and Herbie dunned lookin’ wif us – they neva duz lookin’ – they’z sofa boyz….

 

Mumi Sue woz zorstid too - but that sofa iz not big enuff for two zorstid hounds and a zorstid mumi....

Mumi Sue woz zorstid too – but that sofa iz not big enuff for two zorstid hounds and a zorstid mumi….

 

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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2015 – Day 27

Posted by indigodream on 12 October, 2015

Rewind to Monday 31st August

Church to Johnson’s Hill Bottom Lock

The L & L changes its character here, but there are still views to be enjoyed...

The L & L changes its character here, but there are still views to be enjoyed…

We had a relaxed start to the day and set off at 10am-ish. The hounds were totally flat out after their busy day yesterday – as always, they over-do the zoomies at the start of the holiday then snooze through the rest 🙂

There a long lock-free pound here, so Richard took the helm while I pottered around inside. It was another lovely day and we soon passed the halfway point of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal – no mean feat as this is the “longest single canal built by a single company”. We were a bit sad to reach the halfway point – we’ve thoroughly enjoyed this canal and were not in a rush for it to be over.

The western half of the canal is arguably less rural, but has an interesting mix of old and new industrial, which is fascinating. We kept moving today, but we liked the look of the Wharf pub, set in a converted trans-shipment warehouse.

I was fascinated by a short section of curved wall by Bridge 103 (Cicely Bridge) with decorative plaques and sculptures – it looked ornamental and was very picturesque. I haven’t found out much about it yet, but I did find this history of the L & L and a guide to the delights of Blackburn, which wasn’t as fearsome (by day at least!) as its reputation suggests….

It's pleasing to the eye, but what is it?

It’s pleasing to the eye, but what is it?

Note: The bridge numbering along the Leeds and Liverpool is surreal – bridges often have a combination of numbers and letters, but the letters are not necessarily in sequence and bridge A, AA and AAA are not uncommon! I guess that’s the challenge of an old canal with about three centuries of infrastructure, some of which then became defunct, demolished, replaced. There’s a history to be read in the landscape here, once you’ve stopped laughing at the anomaly of Bridge 111D being followed by 111A!

The Blackburn Locks take the canal through the city – there are signs warning that the towpath is locked overnight, creating apparently secure moorings for boaters. Despite its reputation, we had a smooth passage down – the hounds had a bobble at the top lock, but thereafter the locks were too close to the road. A young (to my eyes) grandad and his two boys walked down the locks with us – grandad was a rough diamond who was telling us that he’d won a “grandad of the year” award a few years ago after being left to look after his two grandsons by himself. Fair play to him, his grandsons were a chatty pair and were excited to help Richard with the locks.

We liked the look of this place - though I've had no luck in finding out any information and what I thought was a pub might be a caribbean restaurant!

We liked the look of this place – though I’ve had no luck in finding out any information and what I thought was a pub might be a caribbean restaurant!

There is a useful service point between locks 55 and 54 – the waterpoint is set just below lock 55 – it took us a while to spot it, and you need a long hose if your water tank inlet is at the bow (going down the locks). At the time, this was the last “clean” water before we entered the remaining contaminated stretches – luckily the restrictions were totally removed a few days later, but it seemed wise to fill up. Although we tend not to drink water from the boat’s main tank (we refresh drinking water bottles every day or other day), I didn’t want to introduce contaminated water into our main tank. I was concerned that bugs might breed unchecked in the tank and be difficult to get rid of later – Cryptosporidium is killed by boiling but is resistant to chlorine treatment e.g. Milton, at levels that enable you to drink the water afterwards!

Locking the 60′ Indigo Dream down the Leeds and Liverpool (60/62′ locks) was not as big a challenge as on the Calder and Hebble (57′ 6″ locks). Although I was in no real danger of cilling the boat (with a bit of care and attention), I was in danger of getting a soaking from leaky top gates. The back fender, and sometimes my feet, certainly got a good wash! What a relief it was to find that the last few locks in Blackburn had new top gates, beautifully mitred and perfectly dry. I’ve a note here that the towpath side of Blackburn bottom lock is secure for houndie rummaging but that the offside has access to a very busy road.

Sculpture at the service point in the Blackbrun flight - he ooks very miserable, but then he is cycling with uneven wheels over cobbles - ouch! :-)

Sculpture at the service point in the Blackbrun flight – he looks very miserable, but then he is cycling with uneven wheels over cobbles – ouch! 🙂

Past Blackburn, the canal reclaimed its rural character and we enjoyed our passage down Johnson’s Hill Locks. We shared these locks with a hire boat – the novice crew had just picked up their boat and were being shepherded down the locks by a very pleasant chap from the hire base. Grandad on the helm was very nervous, so tandem manoeuvres were out of the question, though this would have been the perfect flight for them! Helm to helm communication was also hampered by grandad’s lack of confidence, so I felt that our passage down the locks was very slow; though Richard reported that the ground crew was very efficient.

Nonetheless, we were comfortably moored up at Bridge 80, just below the locks, by 6pm – plenty of time for me to get a cab back to Church and pick up the car.

The weather had been getting steadily worse as the day wore on, and by the time I got back with the car it was absolutely persisting with rain. Richard met me on the towpath with the hounds and we wended our way to the Malthouse Farm pub for supper. It was too cold and wet to sit in the pub garden, and the covered outside seating area seemed a bit comfortless; we gave up, having assumed that the pub, part of the Chef and Brewer chain, would not be dog-friendly. But as we were leaving, I asked a waitress on the off-chance and was delighted to find that they have a dog-friendly seating area in the bar. It was spacious, with plenty of room for four snoozing hounds and they served food there – result! We had such a convivial evening – the hounds drew so much positive attention from our fellow diners that we almost didn’t have time to eat – we answered many questions about the care and character of greyhounds and our boys were properly admired 🙂

Pleasant moorings below Johnson's Hill Locks - the locals obviously take great pride in their canalside dwellings :-)

Pleasant moorings below Johnson’s Hill Locks – the locals obviously take great pride in their canalside dwellings 🙂

It was absolutely persisting again when we left the pub and it was pitch dark, though we did have a torch to make ourselves more visible. The short walk back to the boat was a bit fraught – we got soaked, and the canal bridge is narrow and has no pavement, making for a nervous passage with four big dogs and passing traffic (mercifully few cars); the towpath was slick and I was glad to get back on board.

As we got close to the boat, we let the hounds off and Herbie, in a panic, leapt onto the front deck and stood looking at the front doors; the trouble is, they’re bolted from inside, so he had to wait for Richard to get into the boat at the stern and walk through. In the meantime, Herbie looked thoroughly confused and I had to stay with him in order to persuade him not to jump off the boat canalside! This reinforced my theory that Herbie is terrified of being left behind – he was dumped on the streets of Baldock back in 2011 and ended up at a police pound, under a 7-day death sentence until he was rescued by the RGT. My imagination has supplied the image of Herbie being led somewhere in the dark, let loose, and left behind – no wonder he craves the sanctuary of the boat 😦

Although the mooring was quiet, we had a restless night – Archie had a bed crisis (he wants to sleep with us or in Ollie’s bed – neither is an option!), Ollie gave the famous “greyhound scream of death” aka “gsod” at 4am (usually the more blood-curdling the gsod the more trivial the cause!) and Henry was hungry. Herbie hound is my hero – once he gets on the boat he just curls up and sleeps through the night!

Today’s Trivia

The frontage of the vast Imperial Mill building...

The frontage of the vast Imperial Mill building…

We took this photo of the vast Imperial Mill building just outside Blackburn – I though it might be interesting to find out a bit more about it. This Accrington website gave a useful potted history. The first Blackburn cotton spinning mill was opened  in 1797, and the industry enjoyed rapid growth into the 1850s, when it was estimated that there were “2.5 million spindles in Blackburn”. I find the history of our spinning industry fascinating – cotton in Blackburn, silk in Macclesfield – how did these industries survive when their raw materials had to travel halfway across the world to get to them? I don’t think I’ve ever comprehended the power of the empire!

Imperial Mill was opened in 1901, and seems like a late entrant to Blackburn’s long history as a cotton spinning town. It must have seemed auspicious for the first few years, as the industry apparently peaked in 1912; but the First World War marked the start of a rapid decline as supplies of raw cotton became scarce and the world landscape changed forever. Imperial Mill was taken over by Courtaulds in the 1950s and spinning limped on until 1980, when the mill was closed. The vast building used to have a chimney, now long gone, but the rest of the building stands, though it has been empty for many years.

That’s a sad tale, but there are plans for Imperial Mill’s future, as this interesting little snippet suggests. It seems that the Mill will have a future as part of the local regeneration plan and will morph into housing; but it looks as if plans are on hold at the moment – watch this space!

Photoblog:

The mooring platform at Church - it doesn't look too promisng but we had a peaceful night there...

The mooring platform at Church – it doesn’t look too promising but we had a peaceful night there…

 

It needs touching up, but this mural at the magnificiently named Oswaldtwistle, complete with map of the L & L is fab. There are a lot of towpath gems along this stretch...

It needs touching up, but this mural, complete with map of the L & L is fab. There are a lot of towpath gems along this stretch…

 

The canal continues to soar above the M65 - I doubt whether the cars even notice...

The canal continues to soar above the M65 – I doubt whether the cars even notice…

 

This unique craft has a sign "give us a tow, I'm ready to go"..

This unique craft has a sign “give us a tow, I’m ready to go”..

 

The towpath is replete with art - it added a lot of interest to the trip...

The towpath is replete with art – it added a lot of interest to the trip…

 

Dereliction in action - sad to see that row of arches in a state of collapse...

Dereliction in action – sad to see that row of arches in a state of collapse…

 

This decorative mural is almost certainly associated with the canalside company Graham and Brown, manufacturers of lavish wallcoverings. I had a look at their website and was suitable awed - I never imagined that someon would take wallpaper quite that seriousy - https://www.grahambrown.com/us/info/corporate/what-walls-want

This decorative mural is almost certainly associated with the canalside company Graham and Brown, manufacturers of lavish wall coverings. I had a look at their website and was suitable awed – I never imagined that someone would take wallpaper quite that seriously – https://www.grahambrown.com/us/info/corporate/what-walls-want . If you go past do also have a look at the phone box!

 

This mill has already been regenerated :-)

This mill has already been regenerated 🙂

 

Necessity, in the form of "no room for a beam" really is the mother of invention :-)

Necessity, in the form of “no room for a beam” really is the mother of invention 🙂 and so very efficient

 

nb Kingsley Bridge - they love their boat lifts :-)

nb Kingsley Bridge – they love their boat lifts 🙂

 

There's a story behind this structure - now abandoned and overgrown - I can't recall what it is though :-p

There’s a story behind this structure – now abandoned and overgrown – I can’t recall what it is though :-p

 

We know it's a broad canal, but we've seen so few wide boats on the move this trip boat came as a shock!

We know it’s a broad canal, but we’ve seen so few wide boats on the move this trip boat came as a shock!

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Dog Blog: Henry Beanz’ Holidaze (4)

Posted by indigodream on 7 October, 2015

Deer me Pals

Croozin wif me pals :-)

Croozin wif me pals 🙂

After we dun zoomies we hads our brekfust an’ woz settling down for snoozies wen Mumi Sue sed “get up you get you lazy lot, we’ve got guests”….

“Gests? As in frends? Duz that meen we haz to do more zoomies? Aaw Mumi Sue, we needz a big snooze before zoomies….”

“You’re ok” sed Mumi Sue “you don’t have to do more zoomies – we’re going boating and there are enough beds on board for all of you to have snoozies AND it’s Maz Greyhound’s gotcha day so we have liver muffins on board”

I woz so hapi – liva muffins iz the best – tho I woz wurried that I mites not get any coz me burfday woz ages ago. Tho Mumi Sue sed she duzn’t rememba my gotcha day so maybe I cuds make terday me speshal day too and I cuds haf hextra muffins – nom nom…

Wen we mets up wif our pals we woz a propa pack – sevinhounds, well, six hounds an a terrier. We woz well tuff and we told all the uva dogs wot wozn’t in our gang that they woz askin’ for trubble. Mumi Sue bundles us on the bote quick quick before we cuds get a reputashun; huh, we tolds them gud and we dids struttin’ on the back deck – the riff raff on the towpaf duzn’t have a bote!

Mumi Sue didz say summat about  “hmmmph, I’ll have to tell Mummy Sarah about this…” but Richard, wot is our favrit kriminal walker, sez “what hapens on Indigo Dream (or aventuring with Richard) stays on Indigo Dream” – who hoo!

 

Daddy Richard said "shhhh, don't tell Archie, there's lots of huskies on the other side of that fence" - Archie duzn't like huskies!

Richard said “shhhh, don’t tell Archie, there’s lots of huskies on the other side of that fence” – Archie duzn’t like huskies!

 

Max Greyhound's gotcha day liver muffins

Max Greyhound’s gotcha day liver muffins

 

Amber luvs muffins too....

Amber luvs muffins too….

 

Look, Amber's got earz...

Look, Amber’s got earz…

 

Youz own conrrispondent - rummaging'

Youz own corrispondent – rummaging’

 

Zoomies :-))

Zoomies :-))

 

Woa, Max can reeelly do the hypno-stare...

Woah, Max can reeelly do the hypno-stare…

 

Tiger the terrier's hypno-stare - mumi Sue sed we cudn't eets him coz he is a Indigo Dreamer an' all Indigo Dreamers iz honorarary greyhounds :-)

Tiger the terrier’s hypno-stare – mumi Sue sed we cudn’t eets him coz he is a Indigo Dreamer an’ all Indigo Dreamers iz honorarary greyhounds 🙂

 

Gests is so rood - Archie Beanz did ask eva so nicely for a share of Max's muffin....

Gests is so rood – Archie Beanz did ask eva so nicely for a share of Max’s muffin….

 

But Max sed "share? My speshul gotcha day muffin? Wot I neva gets at home? I don't think so!"

But Max sed “share? My speshul gotcha day muffin? Wot I neva gets at home? I don’t think so!”

 

Tiger's neva bin zorstid before - but unkel Michael has a cumfy lap for snoozes....

Tiger’s neva bin zorstid before – but unkel Michael has a cumfy lap for snoozes….

 

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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2015 – Day 26

Posted by indigodream on 6 October, 2015

Sunday 30th August

Barrowsford Top Lock to Church

Oh what a beautful morning...

Oh what a beautful morning…

Today was a classic Indigo Dream day, full of fine company (hound and human) as we welcomed Max Greyhound, with his slaves Anna and Michael (who last cruised with us in July – can’t believe it was so long ago!) along with Portia with Amber Greyhound and Tiger the Terrier, who was beside himself with joy at being allowed on the boat! There was a celebratory air to the day – it was Max’s first “gotcha” day (anyone who has a rescue dog will know that we celebrate “gotcha” days – the day a new hound came into our lives; if we know their birthdays then lucky hound get to celebrate both!).

We had a quiet night on the moorings and the day dawned fair with blue skies and brilliant sunshine. We set off from Barrowsford Top at 9am as we needed to get five locks down to our rendezvous point close to the car park on Greenfield Road. We soon piled five humans 7 dogs on board – the dogs got on famously  right from the start. I think that being introduced on the neutral ground of the towpath helps, but even in the confined space of a narrowboat every hound we’ve ever cruised with has just got on with enjoying the adventure. Tiger the terrier absolutely had the time of his life. 🙂

Once we got to Barrowsford bottom lock, we hastened to get coffee made then Richard went off to do the car shuffle – I’d cruise us along the lock free pound (rare enough on these high canals!) and he’d cycle back to meet us.

Portia taking the helm :-)

Portia taking the helm 🙂

I didn’t take many notes – the photos will tell the story, needless to say, coffee, pastries, baguettes and cream teas were consumed and greyhound tales were exchanged – all in the spectacular setting of the Yorkshire Dales on a rare sunny day – you couldn’t ask for more from a day’s cruising 🙂

We passed through Burnley during the canal festival – we flew our Retired Greyhound Trust and Diamond Jubilee flags and encouraged all 7 dogs to smile at their admiring public – they drew lots of admiring comments from the packed towpath, were much photographed though one photographer looked quite worried when we told him that the greyhounds demand a modelling fee :-). The festival itself was great, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society had their short boat Kennet there, don’t be misled by the “short boat” bit, she is massive which is just as well as she had a steady stream of visitors. The beer tent was doing a roaring trade as was the team sending kids out on canoes, oh sugar wonder how many we ran down. We have to say, well done Burnley!

We stopped for lunch by the old brewery just outside the centre of Burnley (away from the busy-ness of the canal festival) – there are useful mooring rings here. Our initial target for the day was Hapton, where Richard had left the car; but it was such a lovely day, the whole crew decided to stay on to our overnight mooring in Church. This meant that Richard did a second car shuffle. Although it was tremendously useful to have the car at our end point, I was a bit sad that Richard missed the magnificent views around Shuttleworth and Rishton – wow!

We always encourage our (human!) guests to take the helm and learn a few more skills – Portia was up for it and soon got the hang of the tiller. Recently, when we’re “tutoring” our guests, we’ve got into the the habit of encouraging them to move the tiller while we control the throttle. But after today we’ll change tack, because the tiller and throttle work together to control the boat’s movement and it’s worth teaching both at the same time, even if it does need a lot of co-ordination at first We found this out at an unexpected swingbridge, where I opened the bridge while Portia brought the boat through (Richard was car shuffling). I hadn’t realised that she had no experience of using the throttle which resulted in a bit of to-ing and fro-ing and a bit of a bang against the edge of the bridge – oops! No great harm done, and, to her credit, Portia didn’t panic and followed my shouted instructions from the bank to get Indigo Dream safely moored so that I could get back on!

I did note that we enjoyed the “up and under” with the M65, which stayed close to the canal but surprisingly the traffic noise was not intrusive.

Seven dogs on deck :-)

Seven dogs on deck 🙂

The mooring at Church is unassuming – a moth-eaten concrete platform flanked by uneven grassy fringe with one mooring ring; the whole structure being next to a derelict factory/warehouse and a desultory alley into the village. But we decided that it would do. We gathered all our guests and I drove them back to our starting point in Barrowsford. While I was doing the final car shuffle, Richard was investigating food. The Thorn pub nearest to the mooring was not serving food, so we went for a Chinese takeaway from Ho Ho’s instead. We thought we’d made a modest order, but the gargantuan northern portions scuppered us yet again! After enjoying a lovely sunset, we had a quiet evening with the DVDs – this time starting on a box set of “House of Cards” – the American version – gripping and repellent at the same time!

I had mentioned that the mooring was unassuming, and my heart sank when I heard a motorbike buzzing down the towpath at midnight – but that was the last bit of activity and we had an undisturbed night.

Photoblog:

Yet another type of paddle gear and a toxic haze of blue-green algae - there were signs warning people not to allow your dogs to swim.drink in the canal :-(

Yet another type of paddle gear and a toxic haze of blue-green algae – there were signs warning people not to allow your dogs to swim/drink in the canal 😦

 

If you're not using locks to up and down the hills then yu have to use aqueducts to cross the valleys instead :-)

If you’re not using locks to carry the canal up and down the hills then you have to use aqueducts to cross the valleys instead 🙂

 

Crossing the M65...

Crossing the M65…

 

Tiger had the time of his life -this may be the only time that he's been totally worn out, and Michael's lap was very comfy :-)

Tiger had the time of his life -this may be the only time that he’s been totally worn out, and Michael’s lap was very comfy 🙂

 

Magnificent views from the Burnley Embankment - those steep sided hills int he distance are, apparently, characteristic of a post-glacial landscape...

Magnificent views – those steep sided hills in the distance are, apparently, characteristic of a post-glacial landscape…

 

Tiger the terrier finished the day wth a great new game - jump off, get lifted back on, jump off, get lifted back on....best game ever!

Tiger the terrier finished the day wth a great new game – jump off, get lifted back on, jump off, get lifted back on….best game ever!

 

A fine end to a wonderful day's cruising :-)

A fine end to a wonderful day’s cruising 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Dog Blog: Henry Beanz’ Holidaze (3)

Posted by indigodream on 5 October, 2015

Deer me pals

I fort holidaze woz fer eetin’ lotsa norty fud an relaxin’, but we’z bin eva so bizzy.

This mornin’ we dun zooomies – we all dun zoomies…..

Ollie doin’ zoomies, yes, Ollie wot woz at def’s door an iz anchent….

"Go Ols" we sed "Slow down Ols, you'll do yourself a mischief" sed Mummy Sue!

“Go Ols” we sed
“Slow down Ols, you’ll do yourself a mischief” sed Mummy Sue!

Herbie dun zoomies, an he’s old geezer wot complains about his corns an’ his back. Mumi Sue sez Herbie’s got no recall – okay, maybe he duzn’t kno his name but he knos where his sofa is and always run back to the boat. Mumi Sue sez he’s not norty, he woz dumped on the streets wen he stopped racin’ an’ she finks that he’s afraid of bein’ left behind…

"Go Herbie" we sed "Aargh, Herbie's off-lead, you'd better not run away..." sed Mumy Sue..

“Go Herbie” we sed
“Aargh, Herbie’s off-lead, you’d better not run away…” sed Mumy Sue..

Archie Beanz dun zoomies, he’s the yungest an’ hansum an’ luvs showin’ off…

"Go Archie" we sed "Don't even think about jumping over that wall to get the sheep..." sed Mummy Sue..

“Go Archie” we sed
“You’re so gorgeous…” sed Mummy Sue – huh, she’s so dumb, coz tarty Archie luves all the girls..

Mummi Sue woz a bit wurried that we mites go over the wall to chase ships, but we duzn’t need ships, we’z got a bote!

 

Go Archie" we sed "Don't even think about jumping over that wall to get the sheep..." sed Mummy Sue..

Go Archie” we sed
“Don’t even think about jumping over that wall to get the sheep…” sed Mummy Sue..

An I duu zoomies, see, Iz not a “fat puddin'” wot is wot my mummy sez – rood!

"Go Henry" we sed "Go Henry" sed Mummy Sue "you need the exercise" - rood!

“Go Henry” we sed
“Go Henry” sed Mummy Sue “you need the exercise” – rood!

 

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