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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, 17 March 2013

A meeting with Historic boat enthusiasts & another trip to Shipley Park

We were very surprised yesterday to see that a boat had entered Langley Bridge lock with, what we thought, was the start of the mad exodus from the basin down to Trent lock. After all,we knew or thought we knew, that the stoppage at Greens lock on the Erewash would not be finishing until the 18th ( Monday. ) Then we saw the name of the boat and  realised that it was James and Amy on their historic boat Willow. A van delivery had just turned up with a mountain of flat pack furniture, all of which had to be somehow stored inside the boat. It was easier for them to load the boxes with the boat in the lock because the road into the basin ran right along side. As I took Jade for her constitutional, I walked over to say hello. James and Amy invited me to look inside but first I had to somehow clamber over the side at the bow and into the well deck. An unladen working boat sits very high in the water and so I amazed myself when I managed to get my leg up and over the gunwale without doing myself a mischief. Looking inside I could see that they certainly have their work cut out, being devoid of any fittings apart from the stove, but the potential is there for a fabulous interior fitout. I will keep watching their blog with interest to see how it progresses.

 As we were still going stir crazy sitting here just twiddling our thumbs, and while waiting for the weather to warm up and awaiting our immanent departure to Sandiacre ( Wednesday ) for the pie and pea weekend, we decided that another trip to Shipley park was in order.  So on went the walking boots, got Jade in the car and drove the 3 mile to the park. What we hadn't banked on was the sheer amount of mud that plastered the fields and paths. Yesterday it had rained on and off all day and consequently we found that just trying to walk around the lake was a chore in itself. It's a wonder we didn't fall flat on our behinds as we slithered about on the glutinous stuff.  Jade turned a horrible shade of brown on all four her legs and over her belly, so after our walk Ian was determind to get her clean by getting Jade to swim in the lake. Jade had other ideas ( funny how she loves to swim in mucky dirty water but not in clean ) and in the end Ian had to resort to giving her an almighty heave to get her in ( much to her disgust ).

One very reluctant doggie

You will go in!

Swimming back as soon as possible. Did the job, though, as she came out clean. I must just say that no harm came to Jade in giving her a bath..Te he

Took some more photos of the wildlife around the park.

Great spotted woodpecker

Tufted ducks

Not sure what sort of duck the small white one is. Ian reckoned it was a chick but I think differently.


Right mix of duck varieties.

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