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 17 February 2019

A walk down the Stoke Bruerne flight

Took ourselves off for the weekend to visit no 1 son, daughter in law and the Grandchildren. A request had been made by the boys for nanny to join them on the PlayStation for a game of Kung Fo Panda, a game that beats the sh*t out of Tai Lung an evil warrior. Only one problem...as far as those sort of games go I'm a dinosaur and have no idea how to use the controls so instead I was made to watch as the boys clicked, waggled and pressed buttons on the controller at amazing speeds both determined to be the victor! Anyway, after trying to show interest in the 'said' game, I was very glad that a suggestion made by me to go visit Stoke Bruerne Locks followed by a meal at the Navigation was agreed upon. And the day couldn't have been better with rising temperatures and sunny conditions. The boys were fascinated by the lack of water and a barrage of questions had to be answered. Oliver's concern about what had happened to the fish was, I thought, quite touching. Without a camera and with Ian's phone dead because he forgot to charge the battery I resigned myself to just viewing the work being done but then....a brilliant idea by Ian, why not use my Samsung tablet. Although I had never used the camera on the tablet the quality isn't too bad even though the glare on the screen from the sun made the taking of the photos 'Pot Luck.'

The Navigation was heaving and without a booking, we felt sure we would be turned away. But a table was found, drinks and meal ordered and then we waited...and waited...and waited some more. A whole hour went by and only by Iwona asking when the meals would be coming out was anything done! Anyway, another 15 minutes and the meals were brought to the table. Such a shame about the wait because the meals were well cooked and quite delicious.  It has put us off going there again though.

Friday 15 February 2019

BBC pays a visit.

Slight change of plans to when we leave. No longer is it to be next weekend as the NHS has taken a hold of us again! Nothing serious but nevertheless a necessary visit. So maybe the beginning of March will be our new 'escape' date. In the meantime several things have occurred, one of which you may find welcoming.

 Remember the post back in December about restrictions to the residence during restoration work to expose the first lock on the Derby and Sandiacre canal? Well, the work to excavate the lock was changed from the beginning of December to February this year.  Ian popped down last week to see how far the dig had progressed and was pleasantly surprised to find most of the work completed. There had been one major setback though when a second sewage pipe was found. Only one had shown on the plans and unfortunately, the second pipe had been damaged during the work. So the expected works, which should have been finished within the week, ended up a tad longer than expected. With the brickwork exposed the Trust are now in the position to repair the lock walls and cill at a later date. A more detailed explanation can be read by visiting The Derby and Sandiacre web page  Maybe the canal WILL be finished in our cruising lifetime after all!

Then yesterday our Chairman, Norman (ECP&DA) had a message to say the BBC East Midland team wanted to take a trip on the societies workboat, Pentland, to see what sort of work the society was to undertake for C&RT. One of the first jobs is to replace the rubbing plates on the bottom gates of Eastwood lock. Today, then, bright and early Carolyn Moses (presenter) and Boris (cameraman) boarded Pentland and, accompanied by Roland, Mac, Mike and Norman, made the two-mile journey to Eastwood. Muggins here walked the route to take photos and I must say I only just kept ahead of Pentland as this workboat certainly had a good turn of speed. Considering she is nearly 40 years old and has a reconditioned engine, she's not doing badly!

Being filmed going through the swing bridge.

Into Langley Bridge Lock.

Norman posing for the camera

The plate is positioned

Carolyn Moses
 Hopefully East Midlands Today will show this on tonight's programme at 6.30pm and fingers, toes and anything else that can be crossed that no major news bulletin will take precedence over today's feature.  If it is shown then those not in this region can iplayer it at a later date.

Thursday 7 February 2019

Winter Update

Here we are into February and finally, I get to put pen to paper (figuratively speaking that is). Christmas long gone and only 320 days to the next! Presents this year was as every other year...zilch! Well, not quite zilch as this year our daughter decided we must have something to open so Ian got a book on how to be an OAP (This made amusing reading) and I got a cross stitch kit of a Bee to attempt. I ask you, can any gift be more difficult to master. I tried, I really did, counted all the squares across and down to get to a middle point, looked at the pattern and decided my brain was not clever enough to work out where to start! And to make matters worse the cotton were not colour coded so working out what colour goes where....well forget it. I suppose I will try again, maybe when my brain has recovered from drinking all the wine consumed over the festivities (and still carrying on into this year!)

Before Christmas, I had to close down the blog for a short while. I had too many hits during a two week period (over 1000 a day) which one would think would be a good thing, but not these hits! Seems my blog was being used as a means to get to a porn site. Thankfully by changing the settings from public to invited readers only seemed to resolve this.  So apologies to those that clicked on the blog and was unable to access it but I think most will understand why I felt it necessary to do this.

We have not been ideal since moored at Langley. Both suddenly agreed that the boat needed some TLC and this time inside instead of out. So armed with a colour chart and some idea of what colour to paint all the panels, we came away from B&Q armed with a mix of cream paints (B&Q do this for you) to get the correct colour. Over three days we washed walls, removed plates and wall furniture and masked everything which needed to stay wood. Then I set to giving all the panels (lounge, kitchen, corridor and bedroom) three coats. Removing the masking tape was fun. Fingernails ground down as I attempted to remove those bits that had torn when pulling the tape and then there was the 'touching up' with a small brush as paint came away at the same time as the tape! Anyway, ever the gluttons for punishment we are now starting on the bathroom!


Now can anyone tell us why there is no Newark Boat jumble this year? All set to go this weekend when a friend informed us it wasn't listed on the Newark Show Ground web site. Hmmm, that's scuppered our chance of getting Bitumen for blacking the hull at a cheaper price and we were hoping to replace the ropes!  Thankfully we know the trip to the Motorhome show in Brum is still on mid-Feb and who knows what will be on offer there.

Our plans to leave Langley has now been talked about and sort of agreed. Weather permitting the last week of February seems favourable so I don't expect to post again until then.

And on the feeder, (and below)


Long Tailed Tits


Wednesday 6 February 2019

Has Spring Sprung?

6th Feb and already the Daffs are out! The seasons must be changing!!!

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