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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, 16 May 2021

My cringe moment

 Friday 14th. 

Gosh, I was on tenterhooks today, will the camera be ready for collection? I kept checking emails almost minute by minute and although Ian wanted to get going and leave the campsite, I persuaded him to stay until we absolutely had too (11 am).Then at 10.30 am the long awaited reply from the camera repairers and yes, it was ready for collection, phew!

We found the industrial estate in Tunbridge Well, parked up, and while Ian was finding a route through to Maldon in Essex, I went to the reception to pay. Well I must have been all a fluster because keying in my pin, payment declined kept coming back. After the third attempt I decided I should get Ian in to help. Well....before I rushed out to get him the girl behind the reception glanced my way and said "It would help if you place the card in the card reader" Doh....there was I keying in the number and my card was still in my left hand. Ever felt a complete idiot??? 'Cos I certainly wished the floor would open up and swallow me whole!

Back at MB and Ian took a peek at the invoice. Total cost of replacing the eyepiece, servicing, cleaning and making sure it all worked was £114. Total time taken to do the job, 1 hour! The cost of labour was £80, the rest being for the purchase of the eyepiece. Blimey...£80 quid an hour.... if only my 'man that can' could do the same job I reckon we would be rich! 

It's been years and years since we last travelled through the Dartford tunnel so before we set off we scrapped around to see if any small change could be found to throw in the toll baskets. We hardly use coinage or paper money these days so the task was quite a challenge. Needn't have bothered though because there are no toll booths or baskets any more. It's all done by number plate recognition now and there are signs on the approach stating payment must be made within 24 hours. Crikey our little grey cells aren't the best these days so let's hope we remember!

Queen Elizabeth 11 bridge over the River Thames


Called in to see Ian's sister Sheila and brother-in-law Chris. Like Alan (Ian’s brother) it had been 18 months since last clapping eyes on them hence the detour to Maldon. Then it was back to Langley Mill for a very quick stop.  Seeing as how we were on the M1 heading North to Yorkshire and because Ian realised midweek that he had only packed enough underpants for 3 days, and because turning them back to front and inside out to prolong their usage was NOT in my opinion an option, we made the 5 mile detour!

So stopped at Brigg Garden Center for the night once we got underway again. Tomorrow we head for York and hope to do as much as possible in the 4 days we had planned for the visit. Restrictions will have been lifted so most indoor places are now open.


And today's wildlife.


Barbara said...

Loving your adventures, enjoy York we will be coming up to Yorkshire in June to see the grandchildren we haven’t seen them since August so a bit excited. We used to live in Scarborough before moving on board and we love heading back up North when we get the chance. Enjoy xx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thank you, Barbara. It's many a year since York was visited, so very much looking forward to it.

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