Troubador Boating with Buster

Released: 28/09/2018

ISBN: 9781789014389

eISBN: 9781789012279

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Boating with Buster

The Life and Times of a Barge Beagle

by

Amidst a crisis, Alison feels life’s not worth living, but Buster, a Beagle puppy, will change everything...

Acquiring Lily, a Dutch barge, Alison and her husband, Roger, head for the calmness of the inland waterways. Boating with Buster, they learn plenty about boisterous Beagles and bothersome boats! Redundancy triggers a move to Ireland where the characters are larger-than-life, and the lakes so huge they are known as inland seas. They become custodians of a historical property, partake in milestone boating events, and go ice-breaking in the coldest winter for fifty years. A move to Europe seems to be the chance of a lifetime, but tragedy strikes when Buster develops a debilitating illness. Watching the world go by aboard Lily aids Buster’s recuperation, as they travel through the Netherlands and Germany: spending long summer days on the Mecklenburg Lakes and winter in the former Eastern bloc. Finally, they cross the Baltic Sea to enter Danish waters.

Buster’s story flows through the waterways of Europe in this colourfully portrayed, moving book of canine companionship. A memoir written in first person, Boating with Buster is a charming ‘tail’ that readers who enjoy animal stories, travel and boating will delight in.

Canal Boat Magazine

Waterways World Magazine

Blue Flag

Towpath Talk

Chichester Post

SisterShip Magazine

Australian Dog Lover

Shannon Boat Rally 2018 Programme

The English Informer

Boat Rally Programme

In Full Cry (The Beagle Welfare Magazine)

This memoir has it all – life on a barge, travel to beautiful ports of call, and most importantly, a lovely dog with a larger than life personality. I loved reading about Alison and Richard realizing a dream as they traveled by canal boat through Europe. I laughed along with them at Buster’s escapades and ability to make friends wherever they went, and I cried when he became ill. Anyone who has ever loved a dog will love this beautiful and moving portrait to one of this planet’s most faithful species. There is no purer soul than that of a dog.

by Rosemary Smith


A lovely read with lots of gorgeous pictures. A beautiful book.

I loved this book! It begins seemingly light-hearted, but soon we see that there is more to Alison's story. Buster helped Alison and Roger through the aftermath of some terrible times. That's why he was so special and that's why she's telling their story.

Having had quite a few dogs, but never before a beagle-until my son got one, and now we are absolutely in love. Perhaps because of this fact, this was a book which I'd noticed and eagerly waited for its publication. It's the perfect book for me, and anyone who dotes on their animals. Many of the ways Buster had, the things he did, I found myself nodding and thinking 'Ah, yes, our Eddy does that'. Of course, there's the added bonus of travel/sailing through England, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden etc.

All in all, it adds up to a wonderful book. Beautifully presented with lots of photos and lovely finishing touches, such as paw prints and canal art motifs. A joy to read.

A substantial, meaty book, with plenty to enjoy. Plenty to keep you occupied for a long while. Lovely to have so many photos. Pure reading luxury.

by Julie Haigh


Alison Alderton

Alison Alderton was born in Chichester, West Sussex, and educated in the county, studying art, design and photography at the West Sussex College of Design and later Creative Writing with NEC, Cambridge. For over 20 years, she has contributed both words and pictures to leading inland waterways publications, belongs to several boating associations, and is passionate about the world's inland waterways.

She is rather fond of Beagles too!

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