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 30 November 2014

Spring blossom in November???

Awoke to a lovely sunrise and thought "Winters arrived. There must be bad weather on it's way"  But not yet as today has been glorious.

In fact a very warm and mild day. No wonder the fauna and flora are getting it's knickers in a twist. On my walk I noticed the Cherry Blossom already appearing. That will be twice this year as I took a photo of the same tree with it's first blossom back in February.

Both these photos above taken today

Photo taken from my blog 13th Feb 2014

And Hawthorn Blossom 24th March 2013
I saw on the news a couple of days ago that the first sighting of frogspawn had been spotted down South. So I'm thinking that our seasons must be starting to go haywire. Is it all due to global warming? Or is it the natural way in which nature evolves.  Hmmm.....could be something to think about.

Apart from being out for 3 hours enjoying the sunshine and taking the usual 100's of photos, there was not much to report. I did take my macro lens with me not really expecting much in the way of bugs but not only did a see loads but several tiny new species that I have never seen before. With too many to put on this blog, I'll post some on my Wildlife blog. (click the link) or you can look on my side bar for Jameisons wildlife photos.

Seems the female Tufted ducks have arrived to join the males.

A dash of colour in the meadow.

Again they appear to be flowering a bit early

In amongst the pollen of the decaying Sunflower head.
Wanted to show you the size of ladybird to the tiny larva

The larva

Saturday 29 November 2014

Mystery of TV interference

It had to be solved.  After all, not knowing why and what was the cause of the TV picture freezing and breaking up was driving me crackers. So last night we tried an experiment. Ian removed the ferrite ring and then while it was still light, on went the TV. As it got darker the street lights came on and the picture stayed stable. Then the basin lights came on and still the picture behaved itself. Nothing happened for ages and I was beginning to wonder if we had dreamt it all when suddenly the TV went haywire. The picture kept pixelating and then froze completely. Both of us looked out towards the Great Northern pub and there, shinning down on the pubs smoking area, was a huge security type spotlight. As soon as that went out our TV picture came back. So it looks as if we may have discovered the reason and now all we have to do is have a word with the landlord to see if the light can be fixed.

Spent today varnishing a cabinet and painting ducks! Ian has made a small cabinet which we will fill with our glasses. It's been a right pain getting a glass out for beer or wine as the only place to store them was at the back of the kitchen cupboard below the worktop. Have to get down on the knees to get to them and as my knees are not particularly good, I was beginning to think I might go teetotal! The only place for the cabinet was by the front doors and I must say once it's had another coat of varnished to make it look like oak and match the rest of the wood, it's going to look brilliant.

With the varnishing only taking 15 minutes I started on the ducks. They have been majestically lording it over the roof of our boat for years (mounted on the omni aerial) and needed a bit of TLC. I also gained another two ducks on our return from Miltom Keynes by fishing them out of one of the locks so they too needed painting.


Definitely in need of some TLC

And after

Took most of the afternoon to do and apart from still having to finish painting the Drake's body, all that's now needed is a coat of varnish to protect them from the elements.

Took these two photos with my macro lens. The tiny bug and I mean tiny (no bigger then the point of a pin) crawled off of one of the ducks. Not as clear as I would like but the thing didn't stop moving. Anyway I think you can just about see the detail.

It's crawling over the Towpath Telegraph. Amazing detail of the paper.

A visitor to the bird feeder. Not one thats been before.

Friday 28 November 2014

Back to the land of blogging and another one of those weird objects in the sky!

At last my15 GB allowance has started for the month so I'm back in business again.  It seemed like forever not being able to blog or browse the web and all because I used up nearly all our data allowance in the first two weeks of November on uploading RAW picture files. Boy did I learn a lesson the hard way! Never post photos in RAW format without first changing it into a JPEG file! One RAW photo takes as much as 25-30MG of data whereas converting back to JPEG changes to around 4-5 mg. Now you know me, I always go a bit OTT posting photos to the blog so, having accidentally deleted a fast number of them spanning over several months from July 2013 to May 2014, I started looking on my external hard drive for the backups. (Good job I saved them!)  I then started the long process of trying to recover the files and upload them back to the appropriate post. So you can imagine, I was busy uploading all these photos without giving the data usage much thought. It was only when I decided to check to see how much of our allowance was left that I realised my error. So glad I did 'cause at 10p a MG over the limit I could have ended up paying well over £100.

 So what have I been doing since my last post. Well having returned from Bournemouth without incident (no sudden stops by the coach other then comfort stops) and being dropped off before the road bridge, it was a mad dash back to the boat clutching cases and trying to hurry up and get inside FS as it was tipping it down. The first thing on the go was kettle followed by the lighting of the fire. After 30 minutes FS had warmed up nicely so it was get the washing on and then relax in front of the roaring fire. Telly went on so I could watch my I'm a celeb (sad I know) and notice the TV signal breaking up. Very strange as it was okay before we left for Bournemouth. Next morning Ian was out with the long handle saw to remove a branch in front of the aerial which he thought may have been the cause.

Putting the TV back on, it worked fine. We thought problem was solved until that evening. Same thing happened again! Most bazaar. How can it work okay in the day and not at night?  Ian then had a quick look on the web and discovered that faulty external lights could cause interference and the answer was to get a special ring that the TV cable can be wrapped around. Maplins had the product called Ferrite Hem which is a ring and bead designed to cure electromagnetic and radio frequency interference at source so a trip to Nottingham was on the cards to purchase one.

 Our trip to Nottingham also coincided with a visit to the hospital to see the Consultant. Excellent news was waiting for us. All seemed to be okay with the scan and Ian was told to go away and enjoy Christmas and the New Year and not darken the consultants door for another 6 months.

Oh and guess what I spied in the sky again! Now you might think I'm obsessed with taking pictures of weird cloud phenomenon especially phallic symbols but I would love to know what causes this!

With the first real frost of winter earlier this week I was out and about with the camera. So here are a few of my wintery photos.

Unusual to see a Tufted duck on the Erewash Canal

Thursday 20 November 2014

Not just the squirrels a plenty. The rats are around as well

Well what do you know!!!! The word must have got out to the management that we were unhappy with the way we have been treated at evening meals and so last night the waiters took all our orders first and we were even first to get our meals. No sooner had we finished starters, plates were whisked away and main course place in front of us. Desert soon followed and tea and coffee arrived hot. Amazing what complaining will do. I'd like to know who did the complaining 'cause they did us a favour. All I know is that a good result became of it.

Today was a free day (Paul coach driver had his day off) and Ian and I decided to walk the mile into Bournemouth to see what the German market was like. On the way we came across this small memorial to Flt Lt Jon Egging one of the Red Arrows pilots who died at the Bournemouth Air show in 2011.

Reaching Bournemouth Pier we thought we may as well have a walk to the end. Got a glimpse of our hotel in the distance.

The pier

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Beech huts along the prom

Looks like Ian made a friend
Having seen all there was to see on the pier,a short cut through the park and we reached our destination. The market was what we had set out for and I was so looking forward to sampling the German food delights. But not a food stall to be seen. Loads of souvenirs but nothing that I would have said was German, so really disappointing.

At least we could get a drink.

Nothing much to see or do so after a walk round the town center, lunch at Subways it was off to Sea life to pass the time.

The otters were lovely. Worth the £8.50 entrance fee just to see them.

This one kept us amused by playing with a stone.

Feeding time for the turtles

Heading back to the hotel we again walked through the park. Here Ian became the best friend of the local squirrel population.

We also spied the rats after a free meal of the peanuts the public were feeding to the squirrels.

It's now coming up to 6pm and a bucks fizz pre dinner drink is happening in the bar so I suppose I should sign off and show my face. This will be my last post again until our new data allowance starts on the 28th (still don't know how we managed to use 14GB of data in 14 days. )

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