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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.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Me? Butterfingers???

 Dropsy...the true meaning is An old term for the swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water. Well I now have a new meaning of the word, one who is continually dropping things, namely me! Couldn't believe how clumsy I've been today. Firstly my boiled egg! In its egg cup, on a plate and me carrying it to the table. How it slipped from my grasp I have no idea but the splat as it hit the ground was shocking. I suppose I should be grateful it wasn't a raw egg but having retrieved it from the ground, and decided I was still going to eat it as only the shell was cracked, took some doing. Ever tried peeling an egg with hundreds of shell bits to remove? Took forever and I still managed to find bits after spreading the egg on my toast.  

Secondly the coffee. Not just once but twice and both times as I took Ian the cups on deck. Coffee running all down the cabin top and sides, and we had only just washed the boat this morning!

Then there was the incident at Tesco. We had stopped at Rugeley, walked to Tesco and discovered our masks were still hanging up inside FS. Ian walked back, I waited and in the meantime found a trolley for the shopping. The cleaning station was right by the door and first thing I usually do is gel my hands and then tear off a piece from the blue tissue roll. That immediately hit the floor. Red-faced I pick it back up, I tear off a single sheet, then I take hold of the spray bottle and that promptly hits the floor too! By now I wished the floor to open up and swallow me whole, but then this nice lady from behind said "We all have days like that." "Too true" I said, "But my day isn't finished yet and what with dropping my egg and the coffee this morning, I beginning to dread the rest of the day." And then it was Ian turn, not to drop anything, no it was the hint he gave me as he picked up a bottle of Rum. "I suppose I will just have to treat myself!" Oh, eck...I had only forgotten it was his birthday today! We laughed it off but I feel mortified that I hadn't remembered. Anyway, needless to say I didn't drop into the canal, twas always possible on days like today. Quite glad of that really!

Only took 4 hours to reach Great Hayward and that was with the Tesco shop as well. We did have a few hold-ups, one at Armitage narrows and one at Colwick Lock.

Armitage narrows, (used to be a tunnel) is a very narrow channel fit for only one boat. No passing places here! From the direction of Rugeley all that can be seen from the boat is a black hole therefore the yellow sign at the start is something to heed.


Ian was sent and suddenly a hand signal given to hold back. Yep, a moment later the headlight of an oncoming boat appeared.

At Colwick lock CRT with their workboat had beaten us to it. In fact a passing boater told us the lock would be ready, and not a sign of a boat on the lock landing. But then a blue CRT workboat appeared as if from nowhere and sailed straight in.

Blue work boat disappearing in the distance (at the bridge 'ole)

Empty lock landing.

Tomorrow we move to the Anglo Welsh yard. Not sure how long it will take to sort our FS's engine, not worried though as we are now well ahead of schedule.

And a job not for the faint-hearted. 

Lovely colours this time of year,

And wildlife,


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