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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, 15 June 2017

All I can say is blast!

Oh dear cant believe two incidents have happened in the last 24 hours, and now I wonder if there will be a third...I do hope not!

First incident occurred last night. Christine, Josh and Thomas turned up by 4.30 pm, we walked up the flight to show the Grandchildren how staircase locks worked and then went to Foxton Inn for a meal. All good so far. We then returned to FS where Christine and Thomas joined us in the boat but Josh wanted to stay outside. Okay, having been on our other boat Merlin for holidays since the age of three (he is now 8) he is usually very sensible around water but today was different. He decided to try and push the boat away from the side, foot slipped and in he went! Thank goodness this was at the bow rather then mid hull because the boat could have swung back crushing him against the side. As it was he yelled out and by the time we got to him he was hanging by his arms from the concrete edge. A chap having his meal in the garden area rushed up and pulled him out. None the worse for wear, although he did have a few grazes on his arms, he was only wet from the chest down as thankfully he didn't go right under. He was very shocked and a bit sheepish but it certainly taught him a lesson. I was pretty shaken myself and kicked myself for not insisting that he stay in the boat but parents and grandparents alike will know that at that age they can be very wilful. Christine had also brought a change of clothes, (so he didn't have to stay in his school uniform when he arrived) and a good job too as he would never had been able to go home in the wet ones.

Before the dunking

So now for today's incident.

We got up early wanting to be at the bottom of the flight for 7.30 am. One of the volunteers last Tuesday assured us the locks would be open by then. Well he was wrong because it wasn't until 8am when the volunteers turned up. Still never mind the weather was glorious and it gave me a good opportunity to photograph the locks devoid of people.

Playing with the camera while I was waiting to book in.

A boat at the top came down at the same time as we went up. A small pound in the middle allowed us to pass and 50 minutes later we were at the top. Thanks must go to volunteer Ian who helped us up and explained which paddle was to be opened first. In all the years of doing this flight this was the first time I operated the paddles, (I'm usually the helms women) and I felt like a complete novice!

nearly at the top

Only one tunnel for us today and that was Bosworth. Raymond and Nutfield was just coming out and were on their way to Foxton festival. 

A new marina being built by North Kilworth

And a strange sight greeted us as we rounded a bend. A model motorised lifeboat being operated  by a couple of pensioners. Not something one sees every day.

Spot the deliberate mistake
Rope across the towpath!
 Following a VERY slow boat (tick over) we decided to stop. Time was 2 pm but stopping early meant I could do a spot of fishing. After an hour of not a single bite I decided to go off for a walk. Now this is where the second incident happened.

Armed with camera I headed off along the towpath. Must have walked a good 3/4 mile when suddenly my right foot disappeared down a hole right in the middle of the towpath. Trying to stop myself falling I stepped forward with the left leg but the right twisted as I tried to bring it out. The pain on the outer part of the ankle and running up the outside of the leg was pretty intense and putting weight on it was almost impossible. I knew I had to get back to FS and stupidly didn't take my phone. Hobbling the best I could I was very relieved to get back to the boat. Ian helped me inside and strapped up the ankle which by now was sporting a pretty spectacular bruise. Not sure what we aught to do now as Ian is not supposed to do any heavy work for another 10 day (locking) and I now cant walk. Oh eck, do we stay for the next few days or hope that at Watford locks the volunteer there will take pity and help us through. Decisions will be made in the morning.

Lovely rural moorings
 And before my twisted ankle,

This Speckled Wood looks to have been in the wars.


Marilyn McDonald said...

Oh bugger re the ankle - at least you are in lovely moorings, Irene!

Take it easy until that ankle is rested and bruising reduced. Do you have any arnica cream to put on it?


Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Marylin, Unfortunately not but a wet T towel in the freezer and then applied is working a treat. Xxx

Pip and Mick said...

Keep that ankle up and take it easy for a few days. I broke my ankle earlier in the year and was stuck in the cabin when we came up Watford. The lockies were great and did all the work with Mick at the helm. Mend quickly.
Pip NB Oleanna was NB Lillyanne

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Pip, Thanks for the advice. I'm sure the lockies at Watford will help us but....when did you sell Lillyanne? Was it when we were in Oz? Or did you rename her? I'm intrigued! Xx

Pip and Mick said...

Lillyanne has nearly sold, wave at her when you go past Crick, she's on with ABNB. Our lovely yellow boat has been replaced with Oleanna our new even lovelier bespoke boat that has been on the cards for years. We moved aboard about two months ago and have moved her down from Sheffield, currently in London.
Setting off today to head back north to Crick for a day or two at the end of the month. So depending on which way you go and your ankle we may see you. We are now blue, not yellow. www.oleanna.co.uk

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

We saw Lillyanne right at the far end of the marina. Now that we know what we are looking for, let's hope we do get to meet up. Xxx

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