Life here in the southern hemisphere has been pretty mundane of late after all the excitement of the wedding, xmas, New Year and our lovely visitors from the northern hemisphere. In my opinion we live in a paradise, but it's easy to take it for granted and not find time to appreciate our surroundings ...
It's been work, work and more work for me, with only occasional days off and hence hardly time to catch my breath so the blog has taken a back seat. It's difficult to find inspiration to write about the canals when we're so far removed from them.
However, we've been talking about different routes for our return, and I think we're pretty sure that we won't do the Bristol Channel due to the expense of hiring a pilot and of course the inevitable potential for time delays when the conditions aren't right.
This weekend we're travelling south along three hours of winding roads to the art deco capital of New Zealand, Napier, where in 1931 an earthquake destroyed most of the buildings. As often happens, disasters can be turned to an advantage and Napier was soon rebuilt in the style of the era and has been an iconic place since then drawing tourists from around the world. We're off to a 'Motown Party' at The Mission Estate Winery, and will be away from Friday to Monday - yaay, four days off in a row and in a hotel! Bliss!
I know it'll be worth all the hard work to get back onto Northern Pride and have the luxury of time and space to relish the lifestyle of the canal world once again. Barry soaks up all the blogs from fellow boaters who are so good at writing daily posts, and today he's put the map of the waterways up on our study wall - having just redecorated our two spare bedrooms it's sort out time now!
The inland waterways map of Great Britain takes pride of place!
I have a fixed term contract until 14 May in my role as the Midwifery Educator at Gisborne maternity unit, and we're in the process of recruiting a replacement so I can hand over the reins when we leave. The plan currently is to sell Northern Pride at the end of our voyage this year, and we have a return ticket to NZ at the end of October. However, we're not actually sure that we will return here; maybe we'll stay in England for a while longer, depending on whether Barry gets 'permission' from the Home Office and what events transpire while we're there.
Meanwhile, Barry has a job as from 17th February - he's going to be working full time for about 8 weeks as a 'Vintage Cellarhand' for Montana Wines. I'm not sure what exactly that entails, but it's something to do with alcohol so I'm sure he'll be like a pig in the proverbial s--t!