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.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Ughhhhh Leeches!

Sunday 23rd
Another grand day out to the centre of Sydney to peruse the markets and view the sights. I was surprised at how easy to find a parking spot, street parking for around 5 dollars and loads of spaces to be had considering it was Saturday. First stop view the restaurant we are going to be at on New Years Eve.

This the lounge area and the view is ................

 Only got the best place to see the NYE fireworks!!! Now very excited about Christmas and New Year.

This is the outside viewing platform form the restaurant
Having admired what was to offer at a place called The Rocks and deciding to wait purchasing anything until next year we then went to view the Sydney Opera house. It was decided to have a proper look at a later date as by now food was on our minds.

Waiting for our lunch. See that small blue thing on the table. Well that is a buzzer to let us know when our food is ready. No need for table numbers or numbers on a stand. Seems like a much better idea to me.

Me and my twin Bruv

Cadmans Cottage built in 1816 for the Superintendent of governors boats.

By mid afternoon Sally and Andre were beginning to worry about Ned. Having kept Andre awake most of the night with a dodgy tum, we headed back. Bless him he had tried to be good but a small mess greeted us on our return. So after cleaning the floor we all headed for the bush for his walk. Now over night we had rain so the ground was pretty wet. Thankfully Andre had told us to wear long trousers and socks because of the leeches and as soon as anyone stood still our shoes were covered in small brown ones. Forever picking them off we turned round to come home and check Neds feet. 4 were found sucking his blood in between his pad and salt was administered to make them drop off. Unfortunately leeches have a de-coagulant in their saliva so blood poured from his feet for ages. I got a bit paranoid and started lifting my trouser legs to see if any were on me. Didn't find any but then, on the floor, another leech. That did it for me. I was convinced I must be covered in the things and shot upstairs to the bathroom to remove all my clothes. That's when I saw blood pouring from a spot just below the knee. Having lifted my trousers I had obviously unhooked the thing from my skin and it was this leech I found on the floor. OMG now every time we take Ned for a walk I'm going to be paranoid! Yes that small spot bled for nearly an hour In the end a plaster was found and put over the wound.

Having a visit tomorrow from our nieces so a BBQ has been planned. Weather is very cool at the moment although sunny but that southerly wind goes right through you. I think we may have packed the wrong clothes! Trip to Sydney charity shops for jumpers maybe later this week if no improvement. Apparently it's even colder down in Melbourne and our trip with the caravan to the south starts next week.

And todays wildlife

Golden lizard

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Bull Ant the size of a 50p

Termite nest in a gum tree

Saturday, 22 October 2016

The time of the burn

Another beautiful day on the cards and as my brother Andre managed to get time of work, took us to Manly Beach. Taking only around 40 minutes we expected a pleasant day of chilling out and taking Ned for a walk. One thing he hadn't reckoned on was the 'Burn'. A controlled burn is carried out to prevent the devastating forest fires that occur in Australia. Only problem on today's burn was the wind direction and how near to the highway the flames came. Took us the best part of 40 minutes to do a 5kilometer stretch.

 Ned was the one relieved by our arrival. as soon as he were parked he headed for the nearest tree to give it a good watering.

come on dad...hurry up!
Loved Manly Beach and you can see why.

That Ned got loads of attention. It's that unusual colouring plus he's a cross Cattle dog/GSD.

Who else thinks Ian looks like a scout????
 Another walk took us to North Head to admire the magnificent views across to Sydney. If the Whales had been migrating (we missed this by weeks) this would have been a great position to see the spectacle.

 Sydney Harbour bridge

And now for the today's wildlife,

Friday, 21 October 2016

Wow. a canal in Australia

Typical!!! Not two days into the adventure and I come down with a cold!!! With the first of our nieces wedding (Liz and Rich) taking place in a little over a week I had better be over it and more importantly not passed it onto anyone else!

So what we been up to. Getting used to the heat was the first thing and remembering to slip slop slap.

One of the most successful health campaigns in Australia’s history was launched by Cancer Council in 1981. Sid the seagull, wearing board shorts, t-shirt and a hat, tap-danced his way across the TV screens singing a catchy jingle to remind us of three easy ways of protecting against skin cancer.
Slip, Slop, Slap! It sounds like a breeze when you say it like that Slip, Slop, Slap! In the sun we always say "Slip Slop Slap!" Slip, Slop, Slap! Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat, Slip, Slop, Slap! You can stop skin cancer - say: "Slip, Slop, Slap!

 Factor 50 is about all you can buy over here as they take this very seriously.

Jet lag hasn't really been to much of an issue. Adapting to the time difference relatively painless. We are beginning to sleep through the noise of all those birds competing with each other first thing in the morning but it's usually the Kookaburras that do it and wake us both up cos when they start...boy are they noisy but hey I love every minute of hearing their chattering laughing call.

Kookaburra beginning his laughing song

On Thursday we took my brothers car for a spin. This will be our mode of transport when we do the Great Ocean Road down south with a hired caravan after the wedding. Headed toward a place called Hornsby and Fagin Park. Its a park showing gardens of many nations as well as a homestead to walk around. Another typical moment when we turned up and the homestead was shut!. The gardens were fabulous though and here we saw our first Azzie canal!

The Blacksmith

The homestead.

Okay so it's not really a canal but a themed part of the Dutch garden

Adansonia gregorii, commonly called the Boab tree.

Red Gum tree's are huge
And now to the wildlife seen at the park

Meadow Argus Butterfly

Grey Ringlet

It's a coot very similar to ours

Pacific Black Duck

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