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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 21 December 2017

Couldn't it stop in time?

Oh dear, watching the Chase on ITV when suddenly the screen went blank. Seconds later and the picture returned. Atmospherics perhaps??? But no...within minutes the screen went this lovely wavy psychedelic orange and yellow and then bang! Nothing! Even Ian 'my man that can' couldn't coax it back to life. I was mortified. The run up to Christmas and not a program could be watched. Having the computer helped as I managed to get onto TV through the Wi-Fi so at least we could watch last nights telly. How much of our 3 allowances was being used I hate to guess. Anyway, the consensus of opinion was phone Anglo-Welsh in the morning to see if they have a spare TV. 

View from Merlins stern this morning looking back at Stafford boat club.
9 am and Ian was speaking to Mike from the Great Hayward yard. No problem at all, although not a spare set was to be had in the yard. But he agreed to meet us at Midland Chandlers at Teddersley lock and would purchase a brand spanking new one as a replacement. True to his word an hour later and he was waiting. He even got the lock set for us and while Merlin was ascending, removed the defunct TV and fixed the new one in its place.

Thats Mike with the old TV on the towpath.

 Barely15 minutes had passed which meant the holdup I had assumed didn't happen. What a star and a big thanks go to the staff of Anglo-Welsh. As Ian told Mike, it saved him from a continual earache with my moaning about not being able to watch my Christmas programs.

What I found bizarre about today was the pockets of mist lying across the canal in places. Must have hot spots otherwise why not along the whole stretch of water? Seemed to be at bridge 'oles and lock approaches.

 Most of the journey to The Anchor at Slade Heath was uneventful. We watered up at Penkridge (surprising how much is used with three people on board) and onwards toward our destination. At Brick Kiln lock a notice was pinned to the top lock beam.

Reckon a boat didnt stop in time or thought the gate was open.

The last lock of the day was Gailey lock. Most of the Gailey boats were tucked up on their moorings narrowing the canal to a boat width only. This time of year the chances of meeting an oncoming boat is pretty slim and this we found to be the case.  Another 40 minutes and we made it to the Anchor Inn (used to be the Fox and Anchor) where a decision was made to eat out. Ian walked to book a table only to be told the restaurant was full. But if we manage to find a table in the public bar area we were welcome to have a meal. With the time only 3.30pm this was a bit early so we are going to try for around 5ish and hope for the best. If not it will be me to cook again tonight!

Not much in the way of wildlife today. Did see a tree creeper but it must have been camera shy as it hopped around the trunk a bit sharpish. Only a squirrel posed for me.

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