Sunday, 17 November 2013

Belated update …..

In terms of blogging – I’ve been very lax!  Well, to be fair,  …………………. nothing of any particular interest has happened here in the marina.  Things are just jogging along as normal.  So, here followeth  an eclectic mix of ‘stuff’ :-

SmileI’m so pleased with my new washing machine!  WHY did I not have this 7 years ago?!!  It has a selection of ‘quick’ washes on it and they might have saved an awful lot of stress out there on the cut!!  Faster wash cycles = less battery power and all that!!  Bring it on!!

SmileMy best pal from college days, Rosa, has caught up with me!  She too has had to face the big 6-0.  One of the nice things about maintaining friendships with those met at school/college is that, by and large, you’re the same age and that means you tend to go through major events pretty much at the same time as each other – weddings, babies being born, uni fees to find (!), aging parents, grandchildren (?) etc – lots of shared history.

To celebrate her 60th Rosa did a really cool thing.  She hired a somewhat rosa 003 (640x480)remote hostel up on the South Downs and invited all her friends and family to join her for a weekend of fun and frolics!!  Unfortunately, as dogs are rosa 002 (640x480)strictly forbidden in hostels, we could only join her for a walk along part of the Downs on the Saturday.  The weather was somewhat inclement!  On the way to the pub for lunch it poured with rain but it was still easy to see how spectacular the views must be on a warm, dry day!  The English Channel one way and a magnificent escarpment the other.

On the way back it was so misty that we were lucky to see the people in front let alone anything else!!

DESPITE the weather, however, it was really good to be able to participate in some small way and I know just how much my friend enjoyed the whole weekend.  42 years worth of friendship – a lot of special times have been shared and we both look forward to more.

me and roasa

Smile We broke the journey by staying with Ben the night before.  He’s had a large canopy fitted over the back deck of the barge.  It’s created a sort-of conservatory area and has made a huge difference.  You can now take off wet clothes and muddy boots under cover AND clean up dirty dogs!!

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Smile Talking of dogs …………………… here I am!

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The saga of my broken leg continues BUT progress is definitely being made.  Throughout it all I’ve attracted a great deal of attention and sympathy from lots of marina folk and I’ve certainly been getting away with things that I didn’t in the past and undoubtedly won’t in the future!!lola 005 (480x640)

After more anaesthetics and x-rays, that pin in my leg has been removed!  Good job too because it was rubbing me and causing some nasty swelling.  Just as my fur was growing back …………….. they’ve shaved off another patch!  The vet’s a bit keen with that razor!  Another tempting area to lick and nibble though!  BUT it feels SO much more comfortable – I now feel a distinct lack of caution and just want to run and jump again.  That, however, is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN for at least another 2 weeks so it’s still on the lead for me!  FRUSTRATION for us all!   The vets, nurses and receptionists at ‘The Animal House’ in Rugby have all been so lovely to me – I’ve made some friends there too.

I can’t wait to be fully recovered and get back to normal.  Patience!  It WILL be rewarded!

Lola xxoo

Secret telling smile  Apparently really cold weather is on the way next week.  SO – it seems that we will be exchanging our jumpers for thicker fleeces Monday or Tuesday. 

All for now. K-e-e-p smiling. xxoo


Saturday, 26 October 2013

Brian No-Mates ……..


Whatever hast thou done lad?  Whatever hast thou said?

Whatever hast thou bin doin’ to upset thy neighbours?

Eee by ‘ek - even the ducks hast deserted thee!!!

Billy  Brian No-Mates!

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Keep up the good work lad!  Target our pontoon next please!!


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Simple? If Only …………

1996  A full size Zanussi Washer/Dryer was installed IN the back cabin.

2013  Said full size Zanussi Washer/Dyer needed to be got OUT of back cabin as it had ‘given up the ghost’/gone ker-put/ had enough!

“Right,” said John, “both of us together, one each side and steady as we go.”

Tried to shift it, couldn’t even lift it – we was going nowhere and so we had another drink think:-

“Right,” said John, “ let’s try to tip it over, mind your fingers and be careful of your toes.”

After straining, heaving and complaining we was getting nowhere and so we had another drink think:-

“Right,” said John, “I’ll have to take the door off, we need more space so I’ll take the thing apart ….”

Had bad twinges taking off the hinges BUT we was getting somewhere and so ……………….

As well as the door and the hinges, off came the switches, drum, casing, motor, lid, hoses and wires and ……………….  it was out in bits!  The man at the tip was very impressed!

Nothing ever seems to be simple!  There was no way it was going OUT in one piece!  It must have been put IN in one piece before the door and slide of the back cabin were assembled around it!

So, thanks to shopping-on-line a new machine was ordered and two days later at 7.30 am (!!!!!!!!) it was delivered.  This one, of course, could fit through the back door!  BUT:- nothing is ever simple!  The handle on the drum is in a different place from the old machine and means that the decorative wooden door and drawer that hides the machine now has to be modified.  Something else for the skipper to sort out – just as well he has a full set of tools and is good with his hands!!

Changing the subject completely, yesterday we finally got to meet the crew of n/b Yarwood properly.  This blogging lark is a funny old thing!  When you follow other boater’s blogs you get to feel that you know people when you haven’t even met them!  It was really good to put this right last night in the comfortable surroundings of The Red Lion.  So, Lesley, Joe, Fletcher and Floyd and David and Lisa from n/b What a Lark – thank you all for a lovely evening.  Safe cruising to Welford today and, hopefully, we will see you again soon.  xxoo

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Back on Board

Having had a lovely week at the seaside …………………. we are back on board in the marina. Back now to sorting out ‘stuff’!

It’s hard to believe that Lola had her operation only three weeks ago.  She is now putting her foot down very gingerly but not putting any weight on it.  We have been told that we need to keep her calm for 12 weeks so 9 still to go!  Lola, on the other hand, is beginning to think that things are back to normal so it’s definitely going to be a challenge!!  She too really seemed to enjoy her week away.  It must be a complete mystery to her why she has to be on the lead all the time.  Patience, Lola, patience!!

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I think I need to live by the sea ……………


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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Sand, Sea and Sunshine

What could be better?  How lucky are we?

Just a few words ……………….. pictures say it so much better:-

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Rhossilli Bay.  So crowded??????

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Worms Head – I was chuffed to see a pair of choughs here!  (Birds like crows but they have red beaks and red legs and are quite rare.  I tried to take a photo but I only had my humble little camera with me and it couldn’t cope!  I may return …..)

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This one’s for you, Del Boy – Volunteer coastal watchers.  Your Welsh colleagues are, as you do at Cape Cornwall -  working hard, drinking coffee, eating biscuits, having a laugh and watching the girls ships go by!!

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Lola - not phased by the waves!  Salt water can only do it good!

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Waiting patiently whilst mum has ‘done a bunk’!

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15 days today since major surgery.  That leg is a ‘Peaky Blinder’ haircut!  Because her leg is pinned SHE thinks she’s now recovered so it’s quite hard trying to keep her calm.  She’s just as quick on 3 legs as 4!!

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Raven or Crow?  Please help settle a dispute ………  Seen at Oxwich Bay Nature Reserve.

Invigorating the soul and replenishing the spirit.  Yes, how lucky are we?  xxoo

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Against the Odds

Now I know it could be argued that our lives are just one long holiday – living on a boat and all that – but to mark my ‘coming of age’ I decided I wanted a seaside holiday.  So,  a while ago I did what I never do!  I booked a cottage in Wales for a week!!   “Oh”, I said to Lola, “you’re going to love it!  Lots of lovely coastal walks, digging on the beach, waves to experience and seagulls to chase!  Wonderful!”

And then – two weeks before departure, she goes and breaks her leg!  It really didn’t look like it was going to happen but, against the odds,  ….. we’re here!

Last Monday, stitches were taken out and between then and her next check up which was on the following Friday, the difference in her was remarkable!  She wanted to play with her toys again and jump!  NO JUMPING ALLOWED!!  Anyway the vet said that short walks on the lead would be a good thing so …… here we are on The Gower!  It was going to be a walking holiday ……. well, not now but the change of scene will be good for all of us.Wales 004 (640x480)

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Crossing the Severn Bridge.  The water in the Channel looked so calm – calm enough for a narrowboat.     

Gertie (our little old car) has been washed and given a stern talking to!  Despite her age, she has to get us there, all around and all the way back again!!

I used to take my mum to South Wales regularly to see her remaining family.  £6.20 for a car now!!

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Bluebell Cottage is part of a converted barn.  The setting is lovely.  The cottage itself is lovely too.  It seems that the other two cottages are empty this week so we’re Wales 009 (640x480)on our own.  Smile

Well, the punk ducks on the pond will keep us company.

We saw one like this on the Ashby Canal.  What’s going on?  Here are a whole family!!

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Lola was such a good girl for the journey.  She was so excited when we got here.  She’s not used to having so much room!!  She, and us, are going to love all the beaches and the sunsets ……………  Croesco  xxoo

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Thursday, 3 October 2013

P-o-o-o-or me, wo-o-o-o-oh ……….

Oh dear!  I’m having such a miserable time!  I’ve made a decision!  I’m never going to try jumping up on that bed again!

I had my operation on Monday and my blue concrete wellie was exchanged for a more carbon-neutral affair – very green.  I actually think the colour suited me better!  It was very cumbersome though and soon started to slip.  Going to the loo was extremely tricky!

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That was taken off on Wednesday.  The vet decided that it would be better to let some air get to my stitches but, of course, I then just wanted to nibble at them.  NOT ALLOWED.  Look at this stupid thing they are now making me wear.  I HATE IT!!

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This is to prevent me nibbling at these ………poor me 013 (640x480)

Life is not very good for me at the moment!

I suppose things can only get better.

At least mum and dad are with me 24/7 so I must be grateful for small mercies.

Lola xx

Monday, 30 September 2013

Lumps or no Lumps, that is the Question …..

Some things are just NOT supposed to have lumps:-

                    Custard        Gravy        Cheese Sauce      and


Back in July, as we were passing through Preston Brook, the Skipper bought new ropes from a certain well-known chandlers.  Two months later and the Skipper is not a happy bunny because he has noticed that lumps/swellings are growing on said ropes.  So, as we passed through Braunston, the worst rope – the front one – was taken in to be exchanged.

It went something like this:-

John:  I bought these ropes two months ago and they’re growing lumps.

Shop Assistant:  Well, I’ve heard it all now.  Ropes growing lumps?

John:  Well you tell me what’s happening to them then.  These lumps weren’t there when I bought them.

Shop Assistant:  Ropes can’t grow lumps!  They’re polypropylene!  Plastic!

John:  Well I’m not happy with them  – I would like this one at least to be exchanged please.

Shop Assistant:  It’s a rope!  There’s nothing wrong with it.  It just got wet that’s all.

John:  It’s been on a boat!  Ropes on boats DO get wet!  That doesn’t mean they’re allowed to get lumpy.   I don’t want lumpy ropes.  It’s clearly a faulty batch and the manufacturers need to be informed.

Manager:   (Who had obviously been lurking in the shadows listening)  Do you speak Taiwanese? 

John:  Obviously not but one of your reps ought to be able to.

Manager:  Oh, just cut him a new length – we can sell this one.

John:  At a reduced price I hope.

Manager:  (SMIRK) 

Shop Assistant:  (returning with a new length of rope)  Are you happy with that, Sir?

John:  Yes thank you. I’ll be back with the others if they get any worse, that is, if they get any more lumps!!  Goodbye.


Now I have to ask, is this really how a major retail outlet should conduct business/treat its customers?  Whatever, BOATERS BEWARE!  If you go in to buy a 10m length of rope and you are offered a ready whipped and spliced one, CHECK IT FOR LUMPS!!!!!!

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Sunday, 29 September 2013

What a difference a day makes …….

Less than 24 little hours …………..

Thursday 26th September pm

Here I was, running, jumping and having a lovely time alongside The Brownsover Arm near Rugby -

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I love running and jumping and I’m good at it.

Or so I thought ………………….

Friday 27th September am:-

Early in the morning I jumped up onto the bed, like I always do – showing off with Mr Rabbit and – I slipped, fell and …………….. seriously hurt myself.  I now have a double fracture in my back leg. 

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Yes, I’m feeling VERY sorry for myself.  This colourful creation will be removed tomorrow and I have to have an operation to pin the breaks in my leg.  Then, there will be no more running and jumping for at least 8 weeks.  Fortunately they are clean breaks and Hugh, the vet, says they should heel well and not cause me any problem in the future.

To make matters even worse ……………. I was going to the seaside in 2 weeks time and I was SO looking forward to running and digging on the beach and in the dunes.  I haven’t done things by halves have I?

Mum is thinking about putting a card in the local Post Office advertising dad as an Odd-Job Man ……….. no job too small.  I think it might have something to do with paying my medical expenses?  I didn’t do it on purpose ……. it was just a momentary lapse of concentration.

Wish me luck for tomorrow ………………

Lola xx

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

There & Back Again ……

So, where’s ‘there’?

This is it:-

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This is the current terminus of The Ashby Canal.  Since we were here four years ago the swing bridge and moorings the other side have been installed.

The Ashby Canal Association work tirelessly towards the ultimate goal of one day having the canal restored as far as Moira and the Conkers Visitor Centre.

Four years ago we got on our bikes and cycled to Moira to see the 200 year old blast furnace and it was really worthwhile.  Unfortunately, cocker spaniels don’t fit in our bike baskets as safely as Cavaliers did!!

Apparently funding of £1.3 million has been pledged by UK Coal towards the restoration of the remaining canal.  It will be a really good thing for the area when that does eventually happen.

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At Shakerstone we were joined in The Rising Sun (dogs allowed in the conservatory) by my friend and ex colleague, Annette, and her husband, David.  Our good friend, Ron, also called in to see us on his way back to The East Midlands Airport.  It was a lovely impromptu thing seeing Annette and David as we haven’t seen them for four years and it was her birthday!  All very good!

They now live in Droitwich and said it was only about an hour’s drive!  Travelling around on the canals can distort reality!!


There is no denying that The Ashby is a very pretty canal – very rural and very free from noisy roads.

Ashby 004 (640x480)Cruising in the Autumn sunshine at Shakerstone.


Ashby 011 (640x480)  Looking back down the canal from the visitor moorings at Snarestone.

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A local resident!  Don’t know what to say about her really!!  It was a ‘her’ because youngsters were still hanging around.

Back at Market Bosworth we made the decision to ‘get a move on’ and head back to Crick.  Things to do and people to see and all that.

Heading towards Stoke Golding we needed to pass yet another Ashby Canal Co hire boat.  (They must have been offering good weekend deals because the entire fleet seemed to be out on the water over the weekend.)  We pulled over to the right and tilted up on the mud; they pulled over to the right and tilted up on the mud!  Their children screamed and then ………………… their dog, who was not on the boat with them but running along the towpath, decided it would be a good idea to launch himself into the water in an attempt to reach them!  More screams.  A lot more screams!  At least that alerted John who, looking behind, saw the poor dog disappear under our fenders. Already in reverse because he was trying to get off the mud, he slammed into neutral and, thank goodness, the dog emerged and, seemingly unscathed, swam back to shore.  It doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened.  We didn’t see anyone on the bank with the dog and if that was the case, STUPID, STUPID people! 

On one other occasion we’ve seen a dog running alongside a moving boat – this was with a single hander.  That dog looked well used to the routine but, what if it got itself into some sort of trouble?  Who would be there to help it?  And, obviously clearing up anything nasty it might (did!) deposit on the towpath is just not a consideration!  Completely irresponsible in my opinion.

This mutt, on the other hand, is undoubtedly cossetted far too much!

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We left Crick with a puppy and we’re returning with a canine ' Kevin’!!  The apple looked like a ball but clearly didn’t taste quite right!