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.

Thursday, 27 April 2023

Back in good old blighty

 April 26th

We have arrived back in the UK. Flight leaving Singapore was on time, we had the emergency exit seats so plenty of legroom and could move around without disturbing anyone. A meal was served at 12.45 am, Ian declined opting for a couple of glasses of JD and coke instead. I tried the beef curry, very nice but at that time of night, couldn't finish the meal. Both of us managed to get some sleep, I had at least 4 hours and watched three films. We landed UK time at 6.35 am after a 14-hour flight. The sun was peaking up over the horizon. Managed to take these with Ian's phone.



Our son Colin was waiting, gosh how I have missed his hugs. Iwona was at work in London and the grandsons were at school. Can't wait to see them later. Toffee was ecstatic when she saw us. 6 months away and I did wonder if she would remember who we were. Colin took this not long after we had arrived at his place.


 It's great to be back although didn't think much of the 11 degree temperatures. We will stop with our son until Friday. Get over the jet lag and then take the National Express to Langley Mill. I expect FS will feel cold when we arrive. Then comes the mammoth task of making beds, filling with water, shopping and collecting the car. Until we have our vehicle we can't get over to see Christine and Kev and our other grandsons. Can't wait to give them massive hugs as well.


Wednesday, 26 April 2023

Sentosa Island and a Singapore Sling

 April 25th

Today we fly back to the UK but not until 23.30 tonight. Ian paid for a late check out, meant we could have showers and repack the bags later this afternoon. In the meantime we took ourselves off to Sentosa Island. First by taxi to Mount Faber Peak and then cable car across to the island.



The $28 tickets allowed us to ride on the Mt Faber line and the Sentosa line. A real bargain although for us the Faber line was only the means to getting to Sentosa to do a bit of exploring and not to do all the attractions at the theme parks. We saw the sea life centre as we glided over.


 
Cable cars to the Luge track



The Sentosa line took us to the beach, a real treat to see the lovely golden sands almost devoid of people. Here we stopped for a drink. A cocktail made from Peroni. Sounds weird but was delightful and very refreshing.





Mid afternoon and we headed back to the hotel. A quick change into smart casual gear and off to Raffles for a Singapore Sling. Ian's claim to fame was that he was once escorted out of Raffles for wearing the wrong footwear. It was back in 1983 but he was determined this time to get the drink he was denied all those years ago. So I wore a long skirt and Ian changed into trousers and closed shoes. We needn't have bothered because it appears that they are so much more relaxed than they were. In fact several men went in wearing shorts and thongs (Jandals for you Kiwi's) and some ladies with tank tops revealing their midriff and very short shorts! A queue was outside the Long Room bar. Took a good 15 minutes before we could be seated. 



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Peanut shells littered the floor and old fashioned ceiling fans swayed in unison from above. Small sacks of peanuts were on the table and you were encouraged to help yourselves, crack open the shells and throw them on the floor. There they stayed for the rest of the day. All very strange that the shells were left without being cleared up but a sign was on the wall stating,

Quite possible the one place in Singapore where littering is actually encouraged. Never would we suggest you break the law. But at the Long Bar at Raffles, feel free to brush your peanut shells onto the floor…

We ordered the drinks, didn't get a chance to see what price they were, got a shock when Ian went to pay the bill though. $37 each and tax still had to be put onto that! Wow, now that was one very pricey cocktail!



Not sure what to make of the drink. It had the taste of a liquid fruit cake. Not really my cup of tea and probably won't ever want to try it again. Ian thought it delicious, but he would seeing as spirits are his thing. For me, it was much too strong but glad I tried it anyway.

So I am writing this at Changi Airport. We are sitting in one of the lounges enjoying a drink or two. The flight isn't for another three hours. It's going to be a long, long trip home.

Qantas flight to London not the BA flight




Tuesday, 25 April 2023

Rivers of Wonders.

 April 24th

Taxi to River Wonders cost a tad under $30, not bad considering how far away from the centre it was. Took a good 30 minutes and most of that was spent trying not to breath in the awful spicy aroma coming from the air con. Most unpleasant although Ian said he couldn't smell anything. I must have a very sensitive nose when it comes to smells.

I loved the place. So much to see, the aquariums were all really clean and fish easily seen. A few mammals also about especially along the river quest ride. This was more like water themed Disney affair with three downhill sections making those in front get wet. Glad we sat at the back!





Three things made this a memorable visit, the Giant Pandas, River Otters and the Manatee.








The only downside to this park was the cafรฉ seating arrangements. A queue to be seated so we joined. We were then approached by a waiter skipping those in front. A table for two was found, but then we had to order at the counter. Ah, now we knew why we were singled out. Those in front were queueing for food. For us also to order we now had to rejoin the queue at the back! With us only wanting drinks, Ian sort of pushed in. Told the waiter what we wanted and he got us to the counter first. But I ask you. What an idiotic set up. They would do better to adopt the wait until a table is vacant and the ordering can be done straight away. 

Now for the photos





Having spent a good 4 hours it was time to leave. Yesterday I mentioned taxi returns and the hope that there would be someone to organise this. Well it was nothing like the Botanical garden setup. We joined in the queue, must have been at least 6 people in front and then we waited. Taxis came and went but none picked up from the rank. An hour later and only two of the six had been collected. Still taxis didn't stop. Then came the rain, torrential and very glad we were undercover.

I suppose watching the parking attendant robot kept us amused for a short time, Never have I seen one of those before.


In the end Ian phoned the taxi company we had arrived in. Luckily their number was on the receipt. Within 5 minutes it arrived, gosh we got some dirty looks from those in front. I'm sure if we had continued to wait eventually it would have been our turn but glad our wait was over and we could head back to the hotel.

That night we decided to do the Bay of gardens light show. Ian was convinced it started at 7.45 pm so a meal was had first. By 7 pm we decided we may as well walk surely it can't be that far? OMG, the walk was much, much further than anticipated. With my poorly heel I tried to be as quick as I could but we still almost missed the show. In fact all we saw was the last 4 minutes! This was all we got.

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Then the walk back. Ian wanted to hail a cab, we continued walking but by the time one may have been found we were almost back at the Hotel. Gosh, I suffered for that walk. Would you believe it was almost 3 miles! Goodness knows how I will be able to sleep. Plenty of Paracetamol which will hopefully do the trick.



 

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