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.

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Time to make the Mini Beast ready.

 On this cold dismal grey day with nothing much to do except watch dross TV, I began to wonder where these last few months have gone to. Hardly weather for venturing out, there has been a lot of cleaning and sorting out of clothes. Three large carrier bags have made their way to the charity shops, mostly size 14 which I unfortunately no longer fit into! I suppose I could go on one of those starvation diets but at my age...well what the heck! A bit of extra fat keeps me warm! Anyway my thoughts also went forward to our upcoming trip in the Beast. In less than 2 weeks we head up North but for why? Well more of that in a later blog.

So getting MB ready was now a matter of urgency. Several problems needed addressing. Repair the water tank outlet, fix the reversing camera, try to get the radio to work, and today the screen washer packed up. Thankfully, a motor factors on the industrial estate in Ilkeston had a new pump on the shelf, so Ian high tailed it to the shop pretty quick. But for me, the utmost importance was to replace our cooker.

The cooker is a good cooker, has three gas rings and one electric hob. The grill and oven work fine, although like all calor gas cookers, to grill anything takes forever. We have always maintained that to toast bread it would have to be put on the night before! Anyway, my issue with the cooker was the oven door. It opened to the side which meant that if we were not one hundred percent on the level, a very hot door would shut on my arm! Too many times I nearly got burnt and in the end we had to resort to Ian holding the door while I took the food out. So a new one had to be bought. 

Looks like the oven door should open downwards, but it doesn't!

Anyone want a decent cooker for £150?

We were almost at the stage of choosing a new Thetford cooker from Midland Chandlers when, having mentioned this to Ian's sister, she then tells us an almost brand new Thetford cooker is sitting in her garage. Well....turns out this was a replacement after the glass top had shattered when the electric hob had been accidentally turned on when out with the camper van. A year later, the company who had sold it to her still hadn't picked it up. The deduction was it had been forgotten, hence why it was offered to us. All that was needed was a new glass top, and that can be easily purchased. Last week we drove down to Maldon for a few days so we could visit and fetch it back. On our return, Ian removed the old cooker and replaced it with the new. Excellent result, the new one works a treat, and I am now one very happy lady.

As to FS, she will be going into the Great Northern Basin moorings on Friday whilst we are away for a few days. Nice and secure, we never have to worry when she is in there.

Oh, and one sad note, the Great Northern Pub is up for sale. (Click Here) Changing its purpose to flats has been mentioned. Groan...I do hope not, but as far as we know, the days of it being a pub are now almost over.


Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Sideways opening doors are a pain - limited access as well as the needing to be on the level!

And I am pleased you won't have the issue of burning your arm in future.

Looking forward to reading about your adventures on the road soon.

Big hugs, Mxx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

I have just got to get myself back into writing a daily blog again after all this time of inactivity, but rest assured, a blog of some sort will be forthcoming. :}


Anonymous said...

Glad you are preparing to set off, it's good to have something to look forward to which gives you a reason to sort everything out in readiness.
Lucky you having a more suitable cooker, I was sometimes diplaying a row of red marks on my wrist with our old side opening oven, ugh.
I'm very much looking forward to your to new adventures ooop North, our favourite place to go exploring too. Plenty of lovely foaming waterfalls atm, hope the sun makes a return soon to lift everyones spirits.
Ann xx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Ann. The weather at the moment is bloody awful! Fingers crossed for our short trip away.
We have the boat in dry dock at the beginning of April and looking after Toffee over Easter, so we won't be heading off for the summer until after that.


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