Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter ………………

to one and all.

  Now remember ……. you DON’T have to eat ALL that chocolate in one go!  Pace yourselves!  I can assure you that my Easter egg will last a very long time!!

For an Easter weekend it’s been relatively quiet up here on the top pound.  There’s been a steady trickle of boats but it’s definitely not been as busy as we’ve known it to be over previous Easters.  At North Kilworth Wharf we had 1st hand confirmation that permission for the development of another new marina has been granted more or less opposite them.  So, between  the locks at Watford and the locks at Foxton there will be three large marinas, one small one (at the end of the Welford Arm) and the Wharf at North Kilworth.  We were amazed at how quickly Yelvertoft marina filled with moorers so have no reason to think the same won’t happen at North Kilworth.  The concern is the amount of boat traffic wanting to use the locks at busy times of the year.  Mind you, moored boats do not necessarily equate to active boating as, according to one of the gurus at Crick, 80% of the boats there never go out of the marina.  We will see.

Each morning we have awoken (or rather, been woken up!) to find ourselves iced in.  However, the sun has been streaming through the windows and, with the passage of the first boat + the sunshine, the ice soon melts and things get back to ‘normal’.  IF snowing at the end of March can be considered ‘normal’!  I guess it can for good old G.B.!

We have been making our way towards Foxton stopping off at previous haunts.  At the Welford Arm I saw a red kite circling.  That’s a 1st for us.  I guess it may have found it’s way from Rockingham Forest where there has been a re-introduction programme. 

Climbing up the hill near Laughton, this is the view over the surrounding countryside:-

on to Foxton 012 (1024x768)The River Welland rises near Welford before flowing through Market Harborough and then on towards Spalding and the Wash.           

Lola has been enjoying exploring the big outside world.  Off the lead the tow-path remains precarious but in the fields we can safely enjoy watching her run around.  She responds well to the J.R. Allebone Esquire two-tone dog whistle that has been the same for every dog we’ve ever owned!

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She’s a girl after my own heart and just loves the fire:-

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AND, just for your visit, Lynn, she has a new sweater!  Actually, I think this one could be called a jacket!!  See you tomorrow.

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MESSAGE FOR DOUG AND JAMES:-  Moored up where we were last night we couldn’t get a satellite picture BUT John just plonked your recommended aerial on the roof and – BINGO!  FULL HOUSE!  ALL CHANNELS!  Love yoooooooo!


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Out on Bail ………..

Bail?  Well, in as much as all outstanding fees have been paid, but we are duty bound to return in the second week of May as we are booked to go into the dry dock for blacking and a couple of other things.  We then aim to stay for The Crick Show – 25/26/27th May.  This winter we’ve been in the marina for nearly six months and, I for one, have been in danger of becoming a bit ‘soft’ and over-dependent upon the ease of facilities.  The price for these facilities of course, as well as copious amounts of £££, is the proviso of having moored boats all around you – in front, behind and either side.  Can’t have it all ways!  So, without the National Grid or magical solar panels, I’m now back to asking permission to use the washing machine and ‘Pointless’ and ‘Flog It’ are definite luxuries! 

“We gave a 100 boaters a 100 seconds to say what they most missed when they left the sanctuary of a marina.  Electric hook up is NOT a pointless answer!!”

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Anyway, yesterday we escaped captivity and have come out onto the Leicester Line heading towards Foxton.  Between Crick and Foxton is one of our favourite stretches of canal but, for one reason after another, despite being moored at Crick over Winter, we have not been this way for three years.  It’s lovely, therefore, to be out once again in this very rural and somewhat secluded area.  Within the first half hour I’d seen long-tailed tits, a green woodpecker and a barn owl.

It’s also good to see a few other boats on the move – good old ‘Canal Time’ – they never fail to be out both early and late in the season.  We also met Bob and Hookna who were making their way back to Crick having been to Welford for blacking and then on to Foxton for a ‘jolly’!  They are going down the Grand Union to London this year so, safe travels you two and we’ll see you next November.  Keep in touch. 

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We haven’t come far!  Up here, to find a nice mooring,  i.e. a good bit of bank and an open view, you don’t have to!  Lola thinks the wide, grassy bank we’ve found near bridge 21 is fantastic fun.  Yes, amazingly we’ve found a stretch of tow-path that isn’t a deep-slidey-squidgy-mud-path!  It only took her twenty minutes to get too cocky jumping on and off the boat and – you’ve guessed it – in she went!!  Head didn’t go under though and she seemed pretty nonplussed by it all!

We’re awaiting a parcel to be delivered to Crick so, seeing as it’s easy to cycle back from here, John is taking the opportunity to begin his list of ‘Spring Time’ maintenance jobs.  Just like Spring Cleaning in a house we like to wait for the warmer Springtime weather and get cleaning and painting.  Yes, right!  So, John is out there now, braving the arctic temperature and doing some pre-blacking preparation that involves the use of a hot air gun!

Those poor little lambs on Cracks Hill – my, how they were bleating when we came passed!  Mick & Lynn are coming to find us on Easter Monday – we are really looking forward to that.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

More About Me……

I might be young and I might be little (certainly not as little as I was three weeks ago though – THEY think I’ve doubled in size!) but there’s now nowhere in this boat of mine that I can’t jump over, up on to or out of!  I  can clamber over the stable door from the cratch side so it’s no good shutting me out there with the top of the door open!  Getting up on the bench is easy-peasy!  THEIR high bed is more of a challenge but there’s a very useful little shelf at the bottom of it!  AND ……………, if they think that crate-thing can keep me imprisoned when THEY leave the top open, THEY’VE got another think coming!  Escapism rules, OK?

A sort-of nice vet-man (not nice because he stuck a sharp needle into me but nice because apparently it’s all for my own good) said I can now go out for short walks but I don’t go much on this cold, wet, white stuff everywhere.  I hate to admit it but I need a thicker jumper/sweater!  The one I have is already starting to unravel a bit – possibly due to the fact that I chew it whenever I can but more probably because it’s badly made.  There was a free beginner’s guide to knitting in yesterday’s paper – I suggest that SHE study it very carefully and get those needles clicking again!


  • I’m now 90% reliable about doing ‘you-know-what’ where I’m allowed to do ‘you-know-what’.
  • I know my name.
  • I respond to my whistle.
  • I know the words ‘sit’, ‘no’, ‘bib-bib’ and ‘down’          AND …………
  • I can shake a paw when asked to!

Not bad for less than 12 weeks old I’d say!  Those tiny, tasty treats sure work a treat!

I’ve come on board to be a boat dog but, at the moment, I seem to be doing a lot of floating but no active boating!  There was some talk amongst THEM about going out to a place called Foxton for Easter but, having seen all the white stuff and the weather forecast for next week, I think THEY’VE gone all woosey and pathetic and are having second thoughts.

Lola in the snow! 005


It seems that things are frequently going wrong on boats – HE has been busy replacing the water gauge and doing some sort of repair to THEIR toilet.  The only attention my loo needs is the daily replacement of the puppy pads and making sure the automatic air freshener is still working!

        Lola xxoo

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Canine Super-Nanny

Over the last couple of days Maisie has embarked upon a new career and has proven herself to be a natural.  She and Megan have been up to see us and Maisie has been Canine Super-Nanny!

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She was decidedly unimpressed with an over-excited puppy who has invaded ‘her’ boat and immediately actioned a strict policy of ‘No Tolerance’!  Lola won over her new human friend easily and was desperate to impress Maisie and make friends with her too, but her chosen tactics – rugby tackling and cornering – were not the best choices!

Maisie, with her previously hidden talents of deep guttural growling and verbal ‘ticking-off, was able to control Lola’s behaviour much more effectively than the rest of us put together!  Good for you, Maisie.  Yet more skills for your C.V.!

Lola?  Yes, at times she’s quite a handful but she’s doing really well and having a puppy on a boat is proving to be easier than we were expecting it to be.  There’s no doubt that having access to a garden for a puppy is a bonus.  Still, we are looking forward to the weekend when we can take her out.  Watch this space. xxoo

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

All About Me ……

Yes, this week it’s been all about me and quite rightly so!    D Day - J 037

So, one week into my life afloat, how am I getting on?  More to the point, how are the ‘old folk’ getting on?  I have to say that they’re looking a bit rough!  (More than usual that is!!)  I think it might be something to do with having less sleep than they had got used to and all the free body piercings I’ve been giving them haven’t been as appreciated as I expected either.

You can tell they’ve been used to docile Cavaliers!  The first night they put me in a metal open-topped cage only 2 foot 6 inches high!  Easy!  Didn’t take me long to climb up and over!  The next day a posh fabric crate – complete with a lid and lots of zips – appeared.  I ’m still working out how to get out at night time!  I’m still working hard on emotional blackmail by employing pathetic-sounding whimpers!  These are winding up to a fully fledged howl!!

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The old lady, (bless her) thought I might be getting cold at night and that was why I wasn’t sleeping soundly so she set to with the knitting needles and produced what she calls a sweater!  Not exactly ‘Phase Eight’ is it?  I’m having none of it!  I have my Street-Cred to consider after all!

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Last Saturday Ken, Sandra and their granddaughter, Samantha, came to visit me and Samantha bought me a lovely new toy – Mervin the Monkey.  I love him!  He squeaks and I can do it really well all by myself.

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J & A have obviously watched far too many POW films because just look at the perimeter fence they’ve rigged up to prevent my escape from camp!  I’m really good at digging so I’m working on how to tunnel out instead.

Apparently I’m also being really good regarding all things lavatories.  I’m a quick learner when tasty treats are involved!Latest Lola 004

Today I was taken for a ‘walk’.  Well, carry-out really as I still haven’t had my final jabs.  That’s booked for Friday.

What a big world it is out there.  I have so much to see, so much to do and so much to learn.

Now though – I need to go.  I need to prepare the tunes I’m going to sing for them later tonight.  Apparently John likes Queen songs.  Perhaps he’ll like my rendition of “I want to break free”?  What do you reckon?

Wish me luck.      Lola xxoo

Monday, 4 March 2013


We have just spent a really lovely weekend with our friends who live near Spalding.  In accordance with tradition we have been to Titchwell RSPB reserve which always seems to come up trumps.  Sorry to those of you who are not interested in our wild, feathered friends but for those of you who are, just a couple of photos:-

         D Day - J 011      D Day - J 018      D Day - J 024

TODAY ………….  the eagle puppy has landed!  Or, to be nautically correct, boarded/embarked. 

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We thought she would be the last puppy to be collected but her little mate the lemon-coloured one, who has been named Cookie, was still there too. 

Lola wasn’t a bit fazed by the 2 hour car journey back to the marina.  I sat in the back with her and she chewed everything she could, clambered all over me and was keen to look out of the window.  I’m glad to say that we didn’t cause an accident.  She then crashed out and only woke up as we arrived at the marina.


Within 2 hours she had fully explored her new home, found the water bowl, had something to eat, done ‘the business’ – THREE times in the right place!, played with all her new toys and decided, like both Maggie and Maisie before her, that Mr Donkey is tops!  Blue Duck was also quite a hit – chewing him, squeaking him and attempting a bit of jiggy-jiggy!  At eight weeks of age!!!!!!  When she had worn herself out (and us!) she readily adopted her new bed. 

D Day - J 028 (1024x768)    D Day - J 036 (1024x768)    D Day - J 038 (1024x768)

I can see we’re going to have our work cut out as she’s in to just about everything and has masses of energy!  She already knows the art of crying in an endeavour to get what she wants so we are fully expecting that ploy to be activated tonight!

What a busy but exciting day for us all.  xxoo

PS  The hard dog bed on the floor didn’t last long!!  Talk about make yourself at home!

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