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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.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Weddings, birthdays and cyclones

23rd March to 1st April 2017

 Since our return from the Queensland trip, it had been what I can only describe as manic! What with our second niece Jennifer getting married to Mathew on the 25th, and my brother Andy and my birthday bash on the 27th it has been pretty well full on for days. Rain and torrential thunderstorm for the first couple of days of our return kept us confined to base and our biggest fear was that the wedding day at Newcastle would be a washout. But the gods were looking down on us and the day dawned fair with the glimpse of the sun every now and then to raise our hopes. And so it was during the ceremony that an almost perfect afternoon materialised.

Liz on the left (Jennifers chief bridesmaid and sister) That my brother waiting to escort his daughter Jen


The mustang belongs to Ali who is sister to Sally's (my brother's partner) 




On the 27th (our birthday) we had a family get together and a buffet meal at the Sydney revolving tower overlooking the harbour and skyline of Sydney. The plan was to all meet at the Opera House Circular Quay eateries first. Unfortunately, our first niece Liz and hubby Rich (the wedding we came to in Australia back in October last year) couldn't attend and so Jen and Mathew took their place. Ironic really as they should have been at Hamilton Island in Queensland for the start of their honeymoon but got caught up in cyclone Debbie that caused havoc and devastation from as far north as Townsville down to the NSW border. Thankfully they were able to fly out on the following Friday to New Zealand instead.

Us 'twins' celebrating together for the first time in over 40 years.

From L to R, Ian, me, Sally, brother Andy, Jen and Sally's sister Ali.
 Took about 20 minutes to walk to the tower and got a great seat right by the window. Having put my bag down on what I thought to be a convenient ledge, I was dismayed to see it disappearing from view as the tower revolved. Much hilarity and scrambling around other diners to retrieve it but it was noted that I wasn't the only one to have done that. The skyline was amazing and the
360˚ views of Sydney spectacular.



View from the tower.





 The buffet was an 'all you can eat' consisting of a fish course, then Chinese, English, and Indian cuisine. The different deserts were too tempting to ignore so, even feeling completely stuffed after eating so much, they had to be tried. Such a memorable occasion and to share it with my twin after all these years apart, was brilliant.

We are now at 'The Farm' (Liz and Richards place) looking after the 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 ponies and 4 chickens, and not forgetting the 20 or so goldfish, until Sunday morning. Liz and Rich will be away for a few more weeks so this job when we leave gets handed over to my brother and Sally. The weather her in Bulladela is horrible, wet and cold, but at least we haven't had to experience the horrendous flooding in Queensland and parts of NSW in the aftermath of cyclone Debbie.We fly out to Hong Kong on Monday morning and must remember that the clocks here go back by an hour. Means we get to have a lie in. 10 am is when the plane leaves and we have to be at the airport 3 hours before the flight. Seems such a long time to hang around especially as we can now do an on-line check-in. I expect the queues for the baggage drop off may be the reason.

During a lull in the rain and Colin wants to play.

Colin loves bubbles.




Colin front, Hank at the back and Sunday one of the cats.

Toby and Sunday.
A few more Aussie wildlife photos.








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