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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.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Jameisons curse is at it again

All about me as Ian seems to have a charmed life. The dreaded 'Things happen in 3's' reared it's ugly head once more. First it was the screen on my laptop then, apart from not being able to select a P on the Eee netbook, the netbook battery also gave up the ghost and plugging into the mains didn't help either. Then worse of all my Panasonic Lumix FZ48 just stopped working!!!! Now this camera is my workhorse, it takes all the photos of our travels as well as all the bug and insect macro photography.  I was utterly gutted when I tried to take a photo of a lovely moth that had entered the cabin Monday night and all the controls wouldn't work. I went to bed that night in a right mood. Didn't get any better the next morning after Ian had a look at it and said it was beyond repair! It also happened to be the very day that a hire car had been booked to take me to Nottingham Queens Medical Center for my steroid injection into my hip. After a very quick search on the net, Ian found a new Panasonic Lumix FZ72 (later model with 60x zoom and the ability to take RAW files) at Currys/PCworld in Nottingham. 2 available so we put one on reserve. It was on the journey to the hospital that a phone call from Currys informed us that the only two cameras in store were demonstration units.With no other means of buying a camera other then that day, we agreed to the purchase. Had to have the Lumix because of the macro lens. It had to fit the new camera as another macro lens on another make would have cost the earth. In the photos below you can see the similarity but some of the settings and functions are different so am still trying to come to grips with it.

FZ72 (taken in JPEG on the Canon)
This taken with RAW on the FZ72. Not sure I like the picture effect. Seems a bit purple.

As for my hospital procedure. I was sat in a dressing gown for well over 2 hours. Eventually gets called into the theater where a local anesthetic was administered followed by the steroid injection. It took all of 2 minutes and I was back at cubicles. So far no improvement. In fact the pins and needles I experience seems to be getting worse! Maybe I'm expecting miracles where there are none but with another appointment not for 3 months, I'm beginning to wish I had the money to go private!!!

Today we left Abingdon but first we wanted diesel. Reading would have been the best place to get diesel at 80p Ltr but with 70% in the tank we didn't bother to stop and top up. Wish we had done though because at Abingdon Bridge Marina it was £1.25 Ltr with a 60/40 split! And look at the cost of water!!!! Ripoff comes to mind. Glad we don't have to pump out as well!!!

Anyway we couldn't understand why no one had turned up at 9am. The web site clearly states open from 9. By 9.30 someone finally arrived. It was a new recruit of 3 days who had no idea how to turn the pump on! So we waited for his boss to arrive at 10am and waited and waited. By 10.30 still no sign and the new recruit said we would have to move soon as the Salter Steamer would be arriving to pick up passengers. We almost gave up when finally the boss arrives. And his excuse for being late??? He had to wait 20 minutes for a bacon sandwich to be prepared and wasn't about to miss his lunch pack!!! I ask you........is that anyway to run a business???? Luckily we got dieseled up (only put 50 Ltrs in) and away before the steamer arrived.

 Salter Steamer leaving Abingdon lock on it's way to Bridge Marina services

Abingdon lock

This wasnt the last time we saw the Salters boat. He followed us into Sandford lock. Amazing how those big B's fit especially with two narrow boats and a large cruiser.

Sandford lock

 Then at Oxford the usual chaos with the passenger boats. The steamer had already discharged one lot of passengers and was picking up another for the return journey. Thankfully once we got to Osney bridge ( 7' 6") we left the large cruisers behind and us narrowboats had the upper Thames to ourselves.

punting in Oxford

Found a nice mooring by Godstow Priory. Bit of road noise from the A34 by pass but acceptable none the less. Oh and a lot of noise from the sheep as they crossed Godstow Bridge!

And these photos taken with the Lumix FZ2

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