While spring is blooming in England, autumn is spreading it's magical colours across New Zealand. All the native trees here are deciduous, it's only those that have been brought in from other countries that shed their leaves, so it's never as bleak in winter as it seems to be in UK. There's a chill in the air now at night, and it's beginning to feel as though the time is drawing closer for these two old birds to fly north for the summer ...
Although I love living in New Zealand, at the moment it's associated with working full time (and more, some weeks!!); subsequently I'm now counting down until we leave and return to England to travel around the canals and rivers of the Midlands and south England. Barry is enjoying working again, but he's lucky to get just one day off each week, and I'm sure at the end of his 8 weeks will be more than ready to be at home again!
It really is a life of contrasts, we have a fabulous home here in NZ that I adore, but am not getting a lot of time to enjoy. But we do have a large 'section' of land, a three bed-roomed house and of course an automatic washing machine! Back aboard Northern Pride, space is limited and we'll be living in the proverbial 'corridor' once more with just the one 'fixed' double bed and no washing machine! I think that's what I'm mostly not looking forward to; but luckily the benefits of living on a narrowboat and travelling around outweigh the disadvantages.
The weekend before last we had a trip 'down the coast' and spent some time walking on the beach in the sunshine and a temperature of around 25 degrees, and then dropped into some hot springs for a relax with some student midwives who have come from Edinburgh to have their elective placement with the maternity unit.
Barry is excitedly planning where he wants to travel first on Northern Pride, and we're hoping to spend a couple of weeks at least, travelling around the Birmingham Canal Navigations. We did a trip in April 2007 from Tardebigge; 4 days and nights in a loop passing through the centre of Birmingham. It was all such a rush having to travel at least 8 hours a day in order to get back to the hire place on the Friday morning so we're looking forward to a much slower pace this time!
We moored up in our hired boat in Gas Street Basin and Barry couldn't believe that we were in the centre of Britain's second city!
A walk to The Mailbox for a spot of Tapas one evening
Barry at the helm of the hire boat in 2007; the beginning of his passion for the canals