A blog about our big adventure on our narrowboat 'Amarantine'

Monday, 10 March 2014

Bye bye all

After a five year fight Lynda lost the last battle with the dreaded cancer she died at peace and in my arms at 7.25pm on December 13th.
So Amarantine which has been our haven for the last five years has had to go, we've laughed and cried on her, partied, got drunk, laid in bed and watch telly all day, but mainly we've done what the song says," we've been everywhere man never no trouble or care man we've been everywhere."
 Amarantine has always been a happy boat And i know her new owners are going to have as much fun and happiness as Lynda and I did and i wish them all the best.
 I will try and put some photos of Lynda up but as she always did the blog i may not manage it, anyway love to you all.


Monday, 24 June 2013

Amarantine calls time!

For those of you who have been following my blog or Facebook you will know we have had a pretty rotten time of it recently.

The trip has now turned into an impossibility completely.  I have to go into hospital every day now for treatment, not compatible with boating.

I am home and Ken is now in the process of getting our boat back to Peterborough yacht club on our home mooring.

 We are planning on doing other things this year now.  We have a little Sportscar Z3 so will be able to make a bit more of her.  We're also toying with motorbikes.  

We won't be bored, I'm sure.

So on this sad note I am afraid I am calling time on Amarantine's Adventure for now.

Bye folks and thanks for following my blog. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Plodding along

My apologies for not blogging more frequently just lately.  From my,previous post you may have gathered that we have both been very much not ourselves.

My last log was nearly three weeks ago.  Since then I have been back to Peterborough yet again and Ken has had more medication to try and fix his wheeziness.

I am pleased to report that Ken is now much improved, almost better than he was before.  Unfortunately not a lot has changed for me.  Still suffering with the shingles.  To add to this my regular treatment has now been scheduled for every week.  This has seriously messed up our holiday.  The plan is to now pootle around on the canals within about an hour and a half from home.  Please come and visit someone.  I am missing our travel buddies Brenda and Mick who have gone on to do the original trip.

I am also peed off because I cannot work it how to put photos onto this blog without chopping off people's heads!!

We will be home for a night on the 19th then every Tuesday after that.  If you want to visit contact me on Facebook or email at Lynda.freeman@btinternet.com.

We are moored at Rugely for tonight, tomorrow we are heading to one of our favourite places - Alrewas.  I hope to be able to post something more interesting in my next blog but at the moment we are not the ravers we usually are!!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Not part of the plan!!

Not part of the plan!

After months of planning, the plan went wrong!  We had no sooner waved Pete and Sharon off and the pain that had been nagging me increased to a crescendo!  We needed to get back to Peterborough.  With my history you never know what the problem might be.  Jon came collected us and dropped us off at A&E in Peterborough.  After five hours and some pain relief they sent me home with painkillers and a rather loose diagnosis of shingles.  I had this confirmed at my normal clinic appointment which had been due two days later.  I am probably the only person in history to be glad they only have shingles!!  Now we knew what was wrong we could get back to boating.  So we caught the bus back to Northampton and met up with Brenda and Mick who just arrived on their boat as we got back to ours, what perfect timing. 

Travelling with two boats does minimise the work involved at locks, so we have pushed on despite me feeling well under the weather.  I have had a couple of ok days, but if I just say, no alcohol has passed my lips you will know I am not myself at the moment.   Most days we have moored up and then collapsed into bed.  We are nearly at Coventry which I haven't been to before on the boat, so we will have a day cruising now with no locks.  Ken has been very wheezy the last few days, so I think it might be wise to call at a walk in centre before Ken ends up poorly and we are even further from home.

Well everything went to plan today.  Cruised to Coventry, moored up and hit the walk in centre.  Marvellous service.  Didn't wait long and very good attention paid to Kens ailments.  Chest infection diagnosed and anti-biotics dished out.  Ken has to go back in two days to double check that he is improving.  Plenty to do in Coventry so don't mind being here one bit, even though it wasn't part of the plan!

Monday, 13 May 2013

What a lovely start to our trip

What a lovely week!

Well it started out that way.

We have been travelling with Pete and Sharon in their boat Venice.  We started out at Peterborough Yacht Club with a right royal send off by Barney and Val Barnes.  The wine was cracked at eleven'ish and the snacks came out.  By twelve we were on our way in bright warm sunshine.  It was the best set off we have ever had.  We decided to moor at Elton for the night. 

As we have all done the Nene many times we settled into a natural rhythm.  We only had to tow Pete and Sharon off once, when he stopped paying attention and hit a shallow bit.  Well, it couldn't all go too smoothly now could it.

Elton was beautiful and we moored next to some friendly people on NB Brass Buckle.  

Next day we cruised to Oundle.  Beautiful sunny and warm day.  Popped into Oundle and hit the pub.  Lovely afternoon had by all, followed by a few more drinks on the boat when we got back. 

We pressed on the next day and stopped at Thrapston.  The weather had changed by this time and the wind was horrendous.  That meant a day sitting it out.  I personally didn't mind as I was nursing a hangover from hell after Oundle.

With no sign of the weather changing we really put our backs into it and pressed on towards Wellingborough and then Northampton.  Cold, wet and uneventful cruising followed by some seriously early nights.

We had a farewell drink or two in the Malt  Shovel at Northampton on Saturday night and waved Pete and Sharon off early this morning.  They are eager to hit the canal and get off down to London.  We've had a lovely time with them and really do enjoy their company.

We are now settled in at Northampton until next Friday when Brenda and Mick on NB Ada Apple catch up with us ready to hit the canals and some serious cruising.

Suppose this gives me time to do all those little jobs like, cleaning windows etc. oh joy!!!

Sorry no pics haven't got to grips with pics and iPad on this blogs spot yet, bear with me.!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Eight days till we leave and counting!!

Well we are well and truly on the countdown to leaving.  We have been frantically getting the boat all spick and span and all those little jobs sorted that seem to get left year in year out.  Is been scrubbed and washed, painted and polished.  Not a square inch has been ignored.  Anyway, less of that and more of the interesting stuff.

We are going to be going rather a long way this year, over a thousand miles and 800 or 900 locks - we are gluttons!

These are the major places of interest in order on our route, starting off at Peterborough:

Stoke Bruerne
Paddington Basin

If anyone would like to visit us on our travels they are very welcome.  We can't always let you know where we are until we are nearly there, so it tends to be short notice, but if you can fall in with that, great.

We will be travelling Brenda and Mick on Ada Apple once again, its nice to have company.  Just want to get going now.

I'll be signing in again next week.  So don't forget to follow our blog.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Birmingham and Back - Our Short Trip 2012

 Brenda locking at Foxton

 For our 2012 trip we planned to go to Birmingham with Brenda and Mick on their narrowboat ‘Ada Apple’.  For anyone who doesn‘t know, Brenda is Ken’s sister.  This was always going to be a short trip and we planned to leave mid June and be back around the end of August.  This was also always going to be a challenging trip.  The day we set off I had my first cycle of my third round of chemotherapy.  We were going to have to return to Peterborough every three weeks for the duration of the trip for me to have my treatment.  Oh well, so be it, we will do it!

I should also tell you that sadly we no longer have our little Max.  He was such an adventurous little soul, but he adventured a little too far one day and had an argument with a car.  RIP Max.


The trips home were only the first of the problems.  We had a drought and there was not going to be enough water for us to get through to the canal system on the Northampton arm of the Grand Union canal.  The arm was only going to be open at certain times.  So we were on a tight schedule.  Then there was a chemical spill which held Brenda and Mick up at Stanground so they could not join us to set off as planned.  We waited at Peterborough Cruising Club for four days till they could join us.  It was a very lazy, laid back and frustrating wait.

Eventually they arrived on 27th June and we set off at break neck speed up to Northampton to get up onto the canal during the open window.  We were only about a week behind our original plan.

 Drinks with friends

As we invariably do we stopped at Northampton Boat Club for the weekend.  Lucky us, our visit just happened to coincide with a party.  Met old mates and caught up on the gossip as usual.  The weather was still rather nice at this point.  However, the following day, by the time we hit the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union the heavens opened and it rained all the way up.

As I wasn’t quite as fit as I would have liked we decided that I should take the boat through the locks while Ken does all the hard work.  I was very nervous to start with, but after a few locks, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.  Brenda was adamant that she wasn’t going to take her boat through and continued to do the locks while Mick took the boat.  She soon decided she wasn’t going to be outdone by me so took the helm of her boat and followed us through the locks.

So our trip began and continued uneventfully.  We hit the pubs and cruised leisurely for the next three days.  Then it started to rain.  We arrived at Kilby Bridge and moored up.  We couldn’t go any further.  A visit home was required and news was the Soar was flooded.  This was going to hamper our trip.

After a week and home visit done we managed to move on to Leicester.  Only to be delayed again.  Quite a few boats were moored at Leicester and it ended up like an impromptu boat rally.

 Boat Rally Leicester!!

Eventually we were able to move on.  We visited the Dudley Living Museum, which we loved.  Then onto Birmingham itself, which we absolutely loved.  We wanted to stay longer, but by this time we were on a tight schedule to get home.  Ironic!! Two reasons, the Northampton Arm was going to close and Brenda and Mick were booked to go abroad.  It really wasn’t going too well.

We did have a good time, but it is always better if you feel free to go at your own pace and not be dictated to.  So, we high tailed it back to
Peterborough.  The weather was on and off as it had been throughout the trip.  We got back on 29th August, a week before the arm was due to close.

 Loved this big fella in Birmingham

The plans for 2013 are in the making.  This will be a big trip starting on 5th May 2013 and we plan to be back around end of August or September.  I will up-date you shortly on the route.  My plan is to blog once a week.