About Us

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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

A blog in 2 halves. First the blacking with family.

So the start to yesterday morning was a bit fraught when a cry came from Dave to say the dock was filling up! Ian rushed to close the paddle to stop any more water from coming in instead of letting it out. Now I know this sounds ass about face, but a brook runs alongside the dock and down to the river. The water from Kingfisher dock empties into this brook but when the dock from 'Mills' further up the canal is emptied, the water runs into the brook causing a sudden rise in water. This in turn then goes back into 'Kingfisher' and starts to fill the dock. This always seems to happen at a weekend and Mick and John have in place a pump to pump the water away. Ian had the task of wadding into rising  water to immerse the pump. This then sucks the water out of the dock and into the weir alongside the Erewash canal. Within 10 minutes the dock was clear again and order had once more been restored.

  During all this our friends turned up to give us a hand. Now its all their fault that narrow boating became our way of life.Tony and Lynda Withers used to work for Anglo Welsh at weekends when they were based at Market Harborough back in the 1970's. They also happened to be our neighbours and because in those days if a boat hadn't been booked, the staff could take it instead. They asked Ian and me if we would like to go and that's when our love of boating began. Even though Lynda and Tony had worked for Anglo Welsh they had never got their hands dirty by blacking a boats bottom so for the second time we again had trainees to help.

Tony & Lynda with Christine and Josh.
 Not long after their arrival, Kev, Christine and Josh arrived. Josh loves to draw so the hull of the boat became one giant blackboard. Josh said that he had drawn nana and I'm supposed to be in there somewhere. Could be the very round blob with extremely long arms!! Oh Josh, do I really look like that?!!! It kept him amused for quite a while though and with Christine keeping an eye on him we had no worry's about his safety..

The dock became a bit crowded at one point when Dave and Heather was joined by Margaret (In a very fetching Panda hat) to continue with 'Bracken's blacking, Kev and Ian were trying to do ours.  It didn't appear to be thought out very well because both sides were being blacked at once!

Still it all got done in record time and if your wondering what I was doing..........lunch! 20 Irish sausages, 16 rashers of bacon and a mountain of bread all had to be cooked and prepared to feed the 5000. No sooner had the workers arrived for their grub, then #1 son Colin turned up with Iwona and kids ( who, I might add, should have been here early to help) and also wanted feeding. In the end we had 12 adults, 3 kids and 2 dogs, all in the boat wanting a sausage and even with 3 frying pans on the go, I struggled to keep up with the demand.  As no more could be done around the boat the family decided to take the dogs and themselves for a walk. This gave Lynda and me a chance to clear up and once all the family were back, we all changed ready for the meal at the Steamboat. Part 2 will follow later.

Josh and Oscar


Bruce in Sanity said...

Take a tip from WRG, Irene: when cooking loads of sausages, put 'em on trays in a medium oven. I believe this is the Army technique, too.

All the best


Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks Bruce. Thats one I will remember in future.

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