Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Monday, 5 April 2010

Six weeks to go - time for spreadsheets

Six weeks from today we'll be on our way back to the northern hemisphere to rejoin Northern Pride and travel the canals of the south of England.  We leave Gisborne at 0630hrs on Tuesday 18th May (oh so early, but the cheapest flight!) and have about four hours in Air New Zealand's 'Koru Club' lounge in Auckland airport (free food, drinks, TV and papers, etc) prior to our flight to Sydney to stay a few days with Barry's brother.  We have the two passes to the Koru Club because Barry travelled from here to England and return twice last year, so got upgraded to silver card status!  It'll be my first time in Australia, so I'm excited about seeing what's on offer 'across the ditch' as they say here.

We leave Sydney on Sunday 23rd May and arrive in Birmingham at lunchtime on Monday 24th May.  We'll go to my parents house in Ombersley for a couple of days initially before returning to Ammington and our boat around 26th May.  My dad celebrated his 90th birthday last week - how amazing is that?

In the meantime we're doing the necessary planning for another extended period of time not earning a salary.  We've produced a financial spreadsheet of approximate costs, being better informed this time of how expensive or cheap (depending on how you perceive it!) living on a narrowboat can be, with experience from our travels last year.  Unfortunately, despite working full time and saving hard, we'll still need to borrow some money in order to make the trip possible.  This scares my 'sensible' side at times, but I mostly manage to rationalise it as we've no mortgage on our house here and own Northern Pride outright, so we know we won't get deeply into debt and of course have our house rented while we're away.  As I get older, I'm also very much of the 'seize the day' attitude, when the reality of my mortality kicks in with a vengeance - you just never know what's round the next corner ...

We realise we're unlikely to ever be 'rich' in monetary terms, and don't aspire to such heights (though wouldn't turn it down if attainable!), but believe we're blessed in other more important ways and want to make the most of 'living' without the main focus being on earning more and more money to buy 'stuff' that we don't need.  I recently read a book called 'The elegance of the hedgehog' (stop now if you're reading this or plan to in the future!) where at the end of the book the main character, a poor but extremely intelligent 54 year old concierge in a Parisian apartment block,  unexpectedly dies in an accident just when she meets her (very rich) soulmate who enables her to let go of the past and finally accept that she's as good as any 'wealthy' person - how ironic is that?  I also tried to read 'The girl with the dragon tattoo' by Stieg Larsson (sorry Captain Ahab, I know you loved it, but it's just not my 'type' of book - I may revisit it!) and was saddened to discover that he'd written a trilogy of three books that are now bestsellers, but he died shortly after submitting his manuscripts!  Shame!  He must've spent his final years doing nothing but writing and never lived to discover how much people would love his work.  Why not just write one book, then live a little before the next one?  Such a waste, yet another note to self.

So we're not waiting until we've saved up enough money to retire before we do the things we want to do, we're coming back to England to live on our narrowboat once again for at least five months, maybe longer, depending on whether we find a way to earn a few more pounds to make it possible, and we plan to truly live and appreciate every single moment of it  ... 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Barry/Sandra,
    We are moving our boat from GT Haywood to Crick marina so will be cruising the canals that you will probably cruising, hope to meet up with you both (this time have a couple of beers maybe)
    Kev & Ann