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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.

Monday 6 November 2023

From around the prop came a dog toy.

 On Sunday we would have moved from this mooring but both were in a state of food coma. We stayed to have lunch at the Plough which consisted of a roast with all the trimmings and not just any roast but one to share. What appeared in front of us was enormous, the two Yorkshire Pud alone took up quarter of our plates. This was the menu for the share platter.  

Beef strip loin, Slow cooked lamb, Pork with crackling, Served with Roast Potatoes, homemade Yorkshire puddings, Seasonal Vegetables, cauliflower cheese and a Rich Gravy; 

No photos taken by me but this was on their FB page  No wonder we could hardly move after eating that lot!


We would have left that afternoon but as I stated both of us were too full and not inclined to leave. And why we actually stayed for the Sunday lunch and didn't leave that morning was really our son's fault. 

So the day before Toffee was to go home. A table for 6 had been booked for 1 pm for all the family but  midday arrived and we got a call from said son to say he was unwell. Long story short the symptoms of cough, headache, sore throat etc all came down to what we think was Covid. Serves him right for gallivanting off to Mexico! Anyway Toffee was collected by our daughter-in-law, Toffee was ecstatic at seeing Iwona but baffled as to why the the rest of the family wasn't with her. She kept racing to the car then back to Iwona and as soon as the car was opened, in she jumped. I had hoped she wouldn't want to leave but obviously she regards Colin, Iwona and boys as part of the pack and had missed them all! Anyway,  not wanting to totally cancel the meal we went in and explained the reason why there was only the two of us. So another really nice meal was had and somehow the owner coerced us into staying another day to sample their Sunday lunch.


Finally left after 10 am. The day was glorious although a tad chilly. Having been at the Plough for 5 days the cassettes had to be emptied, which meant we would have had to move today anyway. Nearest facilities was at Gifford Park, a couple of hours cruise away, The leaf carpet covering the water was now becoming a problem,  reverse had to be carried out frequently to clear the prop. The towpath was also awash in many places and at one bridge a Crack willow had snapped and obscured our approach. 


And passing Campbell Wharf marina where we stopped whilst waiting for that bread maker to arrive, well it was now winter moorings on both sides of the marina entrance. Good job our plan was to continue and not stop there.


We met Nick on the Jules Fuels boat again near to the facilities. A boat was being service with fuel and coal. BlAST... wish we had known they were nearby because it wasn't until we stopped at the facilities that Ian realised our coal stocks were low. Looks like now we will have to find another outlet on route. Passing the butty we both looked back to see Nick lying across the back deck with the pole trying to free whatever it was dislodged around his prop. A quick conversation with another of his crew and she held up a dog toy slightly worse for wear having been chewed up by the blades. Unfortunately there was even more still wrapped around the screw, but oh....not the easiest way of clearing the prop.

It looked like Nick anyway.

The tap at Gifford Park was very slow. It took about 40 minutes to fill the tank, One poor chap arrived with his large water containers, we apologised for how long it was taking but luckily for him, another five minutes of wait and we were full.  

A lovely quiet mooring spot was found at Stantonbury Bridge. Shame we no longer have Toffee with us, just over the bridge was a huge field which would have been perfect for her to run and play with her ball. 

This was Toffee at Gifford Park at the beginning of her stay with us.

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