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Foxton Festival and more trauma!

We are back at Foxton for a second weekend before we descend back down the Grand Union to our next festival in 3 week's time Cosgrove Canal Festival and Craft Fair 2014

During last weekend, Lister slept whilst the gift shop was open, modelling Richard's old Led Zep t-shirt as he was freaked out by the plastic cone!

Last weekend, we had a brilliant time at the Foxton Locks Annual Festival.  Thank you to everyone who came to see us and hope to see you again!  Mother and Father in law Chamberlain came over during the afternoon to visit and helped in the gift shop, which was lovely, thank you Veronica and Sam!

Lister returning back to the boat after his second operation, complete with new invention inflatable neck collar!

Unfortunately, we closed the shop at 4pm, whilst there were still hoards of people about, because we realised that Lister's stitches had suddenly all popped open, revealing the original wound!  Richard zoomed to the emergency out of hours vet, an hour away in Northampton, whilst Sam and Veronica helped me close up.
A couple of hours later, Richard returned with Lister wearing a bandage, covering his open wound and some instructions to visit our vet in the morning.  This he did, also an hour away (good job we had the car) and returned later in the morning to say that Lister had developed an infection, swelling the wound and popping the stitches, which is common with dog bite injuries.

Newly stitched and strict bed rest again, bless him!

About 2 hours after Richard had returned, we got a call to collect Lister!  All the way back again!  We had hoped the vet would keep him in over night, but I suppose they don't want the responsibility.   I went with Richard this time and collected a very dopey lurcher, lifting him in and out of the car, and then a slow walk back to the boat.

What a week!  Everyone has a much needed kip after a week doing work in and on the boats!

The owners of the Rhodesian Ridgeback cross which attacked Lister getting on for 2 weeks ago now, contacted us last weekend after I had asked for all their contact details, informing us that they were devastated about what had happened.  They, apparently, were aware their 'rescue' dog had issues with other dogs and had been attending training classes, but after what happened to our dog, they had had the animal put down.  To us, that means that the attack was a complete neglect of responsible dog ownership, because they should have known it would need muzzling.  Now because of their stupidity, they have lost their dog as well!
Back to the vets on Monday for a checkup for Lister, but probably a few more to come!

All week, I have been painting to replace items I have sold over the past 2 weekends - small milk churn

On a different tack, I was approached by Richard Parry, Chief Executive for the Canal and River Trust, whilst the shop was open last Sunday and had a good 10 minute chat with him.

Richard Parry

Mr Richard Parry, CEO, CaRT (photo LinkedIn)

He asked if I was happy as a trader and wanted feedback on our experiences regarding licensing and support required and given from Canal and River Trust.  I did raise a couple of points, as in our opinion, things have been lacking in this area distinctly!  I asked for contact, perhaps by email, to be sent out to traders on new legislation and items of interest, to keep us abreast of everything and stop all the guess work.  He seemed genuinely surprised that we had NEVER received any documentation of any kind about trading, from the licensing team to support us in our new venture.  Hopefully, this will trickle down and information will be forthcoming in the future.  After all, we are the 'new' traders on the canal, keeping it alive, just like the cargo carriers many years before.

Stoke Bruerne to Foxton (39 miles, 14 locks)

What a horrible week we've had!

Lister recovering after his ordeal at the mercy of a rhodesian ridgeback cross

So we spent a wonderful, if slightly slow starting, weekend at Stoke Bruerne with the Family Festival. Thanks to everyone who came to see us, especially those who became owners of a Chamberlain Carrying Co. product!

Alan and Kath Fincher and crew of Vikings aboard their boat Sickle create a spectacular for the festival

Sunday night, we, the Cheese Boat and All Things Spanish (Icecream Boat) set off to get through the tunnel, in an effort to beat the queue on the following morning.

Approaching Gayton Junction

We spun the boats around at Gayton Junction, backing up onto the waterpoint for a much needed topup and necessary ablutions.  Mooring a bit further on, for the evening.

The Cheese Boat overtaking us - well we are a bit slow!

A beautiful morning, on Monday meant we could plough on and get up the flight to Norton Junction, to round off the day.

Leaving a lock on the Buckby flight

We made steady progress up the locks as we were following another 2 boats, single manning, so I ended up helping them finish the lock routine,a little, before helping our our own boats up.

Richard waits in the pound with the boats for me, to open the lock gates

Mooring mid afternoon around on the Leicester arm of the Grand Union, we left the boats and zoomed to Milton Keynes in the car, to collect my undelivered Card Machine from Parcelforce.  This has been a saga in itself, changing both our mobiles in an attempt to get a 'compliant' one with the Bluetooth Card Machine.  We can now take card payments from customers from our gift shop on the butty, as well as the existing facility of paying by Paypal, if the customer has an account.

That evening, we decided to go for a walk down to Bridge 12 below the top lock to try to find our painted watercan with the magnet, which had taken a tumble after getting caught on a branch.

I sat on the grass next to the towpath with Lister, whilst Richard 'fished' with no success.  To cut a long story short, a couple with a Rhodesian Ridgeback cross became responsible for a horrific attack on Lister, totally unprevoked and completely sickening.  The dog wasn't muzzled.

Special thanks go to 2 kind and generous ladies (Helen and Lois) from a house nearby, for their emergency help getting Lister to a local vets.

Lister is still under the vets until they are happy his skin has 'knitted' back together properly and the stitches are out.  He has become withdrawn and super jumpy especially if he sees any other dog and then just wants to get back aboard the boat.  We are devastated and still reeling from the attack, and only time will tell if we get the old fuss loving List back ....

This afternoon, we arrived a day late, to our reserved slot at Foxton for the Foxton Locks Festival.

Stoke Bruerne for the Family Festival 2014! (Weedon to Stoke Bruerne 11 miles)

Just a quick update, for anyone not familiar with the Chamberlain Carrying Co.  Calendar for this season.
We are at Stoke Bruerne for this weekend for the Friends of the Stoke Bruerne Museum's Family Festival, so if you are in the area, please call in and see us all.

Nice and wide on the Grand Union, so a bit more line is fine!

So after Weedon, we travelled on to the tunnel at Blisworth and through to Stoke Bruerne.

Entrance to the Blisworth tunnel (ref> Wikipedia), the third longest in the country apparently and extremely wet!

Winding below lock 3

Half way - you could get a 70footer round there easily!

And there we are facing the right way to moor back above the locks for the festival

We have spent a lot of time waiting for the Festival and now we are nearly there.  It is quite exciting, but scary too as we don't know if we will have enough stock etc.

Inside the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne - interesting but a little expensive to get in

Typical decorative items from the era

Elum off the replica stern of a butty complete with realistic 'back cabin'

Inside the cabin where all the family would sleep after a hard day's boating

Geraldine and Michael off the Cheese Boat, invited us out for a meal in the pub the other night for Geraldine and my birthdays for last week.

Michael playing with my new camera, and no I didn't drink all the champagne myself!

Thank you guys for a lovely evening!

So, we are here, the dawn of the festival.  Come and see us if you can and say hello!