About Us

My photo
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.

Tuesday 27 February 2018

Hmmm....Think I chose the wrong time for a walk!

Total whiteout with a thundersorm over head. Not the best time to be walking under trees.

Sunday 25 February 2018


Sometimes I despair at the mentality of some folk. I'm not entirely sure what the leaving of paddles up on both top and bottom gates will achieve other than giving whoever did it some sort of twisted satisfaction of watching all the water drain away. Twas at Shipley lock on the Erewash and judging by the amount of water already flowing through the gate paddles, the pound toward Eastwood lock was down by a good 6 " Nothing I could do about it though as I was just carrying a camera, not being in the habit of bringing a windlass with me on a walk. If I had returned to FS, got my windlass, walked all the way back, another 90 minutes or more would have past. So I didn't return and just hoped that another boat would turn up and drop the paddles.

Oh and whilst walking back this lady and horse passed by. Wrapped around the horse's neck was her jumper. An escapee from the field next to Eastwood lock found to be wandering the towpath toward Langley Mill. I wonder if the two incidents were related?

 Ever wondered why the moon can be seen during the day? This explanation is taken from Universe today

...First, there is the Moon’s apparent luminosity, which is due to its proximity to our planet and a combination of other factors. Second, there is the particular nature of the Moon’s orbit around Earth, otherwise known as the Lunar Cycle Between these two factors, the Moon can become visible to the casual observer during the day.
 And on my walk,

Mistle Thrush? or is it a song Thrush?

Monday 19 February 2018

Hmmm...what a pong.

We have a blockage...in the waste water hose! For several days a nasty pong had been coming from the sink drain hole. This motorhome has a waste holding tank which we can empty once we find a site with a drainage point. With the pong getting worse daily, today we did just that at a site near Ashbourne. With only a trickle of liqued appearing that was when we realised the hose was blocked. Much flushing of water through the pipe as well as giving the hose a good shaking got rid of most of the waste but we still feel there is more debris to come out. For now, the air is sweeter but emptying the holding tank more often is probably the way to go.

Having decided that we would go back to FS tomorrow (the Caravan Camping and Motorhome show is on in Birmingham on Wednesday and we bought tickets to go), we decide we may as well go see the Heights of Abraham iin Matlock Bath. I was worried about parking in this popular place but we snuck into the coach park as there was not a coach to be seen, and made our way to the cable car for the ascent up Masson Hill. Ticket price for seniors were £13 each but this included everything to see at the top.

On the way up. Bottom right and the Beast all alone in the coach park
 Trust us to pick the one day when mist shrouded the views, such a shame really because exiting from Masson Cavern which had been mined for the lead (170 steps up, 80 of which was a continues flight) the views would have been a sight to behold.

This showed how the miners worked with nothing but candlelight. The chandelier was added when tourism started in the Victorian era.

Rutland Cavern was also a lead mine and this was the second of the caves to see. Of course, this one happened to be way back down the hill and the tour was about to start. With 7 minutes to go Ian and I legged it down steep slopes and even steeper steps. We made it with a minute to spare and then found out we were the only ones on the tour!

The miners had to climb this without ropes to reach the level we were on.

Miner John narrating life underground.

Bit tight!
 Most of this tour was on the level with just 6 steps up and 6 steps down. Glad about that as the old legs were still shaking after the strenuous dash down to the cave. Having missed certain points of interest on the way, gluttons for punishment that we are, we climbed back to the top for a look. Wish we hadn't because the only thing of interest was the moss covered trees and rocks and a carving of the 2012 Olympic torch.

Tonight we are back on the same site in Ashbourne as yesterday. With 10 days worth of laundry to do (the machine on FS was already full of unwashed clothes before we left) I made the most of the washing machine and dryer on site.

 And this stunning sunset appeared at about 5.30pm.


Sunday 18 February 2018

It's only mud!

Wow, what a spectacular sunset last night over the Goyt Valley and this morning the sunrise gave a golden glow to trees behind the reservoir.

Shame the sun didn't stay for long, the mist came down and we did wonder about going back to Lyme. But no rain was forecast for today so we decided we may as well go anyway. As we were about to leave a visitor came a calling in the form of a Pheasant which didn't seem the slightest bit worried about us being so close.

We were the first motorhome in the coned off area this time and again very surprised at how full the car park was and it had only just gone 10am.  One of the Parks features is the Red Deer. We donned walking shoes and went in search. Must have walked well over a mile before realising that the path we had taken was full of dog walkers and horse riders. With lots of dogs running loose it stood to reason that the Deer would have made for cover. So we veered off the main path and headed back toward Lyme house.

By now I was feeling quite disappointed and gave up any hope of finding them. Instead, we made for The Cage, a Gothic style hunting tower built in the 18th century.

Having climbed a steep hill to reach the building, looking over to admire the view and what should we see lying in the grass in the distance? Red Deer!!

 From the moment of spying my quarry I was on a mission...get as close to them as I could. Not an easy task as the ground was more bog than dry grass and twice I missed my footing and ended up on my knees. Ian as sure-footed as he is looked on in bemusement but I was determined to get to those Deer and I wasn't going to let a bit of muddy water stop me. So finally, very muddy and with wet socks...(you may remember my waterproof boots were not waterproof) I managed to get within 10 feet. Sorry folks but loads of piccies

I loved this.

Blog Archive