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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.

Monday, 20 June 2016

None to happy was my old man.

Sunday 19th

Not had too much action packed into our activities today. Not long ago we joined the National Trust and Speke Hall was only a bus ride away. About 50 minutes in fact and as the Hall didn't open until 11am on a Sunday (Not open Monday or Tuesday) it was a lazy start. Weather forecast was for rain late afternoon so on the precautionary side we packed our cagoules and set off to catch the 10.30am bus. Being dropped off almost at Liverpool Airport we then had a 15 minute walk to Speke Hall, a most impressive Tudor building with a Victorian influence. It also said to have it's ghosts and according to the guides, some members of the public have seen their presence. 

 Ever mindful that rain may be on the cards we first went walkabout to the shore line of the Mersey. I had hoped to see some wading birds but apart from the usual Gulls, none were present.

Tide on it's way out
 On the South lawn and especially for Fathers day, an archery set up with three targets. At £1 to have a go it was affordable enough and for that we had tuition and six arrows. Of course Ian was the better managing to hit the target every time. As for me???? Well 4 out of the six arrows ended up either short or to long. My 5th though, hit the target but.......wait for it......my 6th went straight into the centre. Ian was dumbfounded as was the tutor. As prize for hitting the bull....a lolly!

Most of the arrows were from Ian's attempt but the one in the middle was mine.
Then it was a lunch stop. Soup and roll for me, Cornish pasty for Ian and two teas came to over £11. Ouch!!!! Still, nicely full, it was head for the house. Once inside we were first asked to leave any large bags at the door in case of breakages and to remove shoes with stiletto heels. (flooring) So leaving my heels at the door.... no seriously though, there is no way I could ever walk in those ankle turners..... we entered into the Billiard room and was immediately asked if we would like a game. Ian thought to get his own back having been miffed that I got a bullseye at archery. He was not to get his way because I also beat him at billiards. Te he.

Trying to wipe the smug grin from my face we then set off to admire the interior.

The Victorian influence

A Victorian radiator top right and bottom left fossils in the stone flooring.

The bedrooms with the fabulous ornate panelling

The kitchens
 We had thought to walk the gardens after the visit but on exit found it pouring down! I so wanted to do the maze and persuaded Ian to come with me. He was none to happy when he saw me at the entrance having found my way out and him still right in the middle, especially as by now it was teeming down!

Forgoing the rest of the gardens and knowing we had a 15 minute walk back to the bus stop we made our way out. Just got to the road junction and the bus was seen disappearing in the distance. Blast and double blast. A 25 minute wait for the next one in the pouring rain was not going down so well. Then hurrah...another bus. We hailed it and yes it was going our way. A pair of very wet bods entered dripping water all over the bus and, with no seats downstairs, had to find two upstairs. Decided best to take the cagoules off before sitting down!

So got back to FS around 5ish and first thing was to put the diesel heater on before changing out of our wet things. Rain hasn't eased yet so no need to water the plants this evening.

And today's wildlife seen on the way to the estuary,

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