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, 20 August 2012

Tickets to UK booked - there's no changing!

Last week Barry's updated NZ passport arrived - it's so beautifully done, black (of course) with a silver fern on the front and back cover, and each page inside has intricate art work depicting the history of Aotearoa - it almost makes me want to apply for citizenship just to get one of my own!  

In New Zealand, for some unknown reason, you have to get a new passport every five years - hurrah for UK who only make us do that each decade (though the document is terribly boring in comparison)!  Barry only updated his previous one in 2008, the first time we were planning our narrowboat adventure of living aboard the canals for six months.  At that point Tom, his son, was coming with us too.  It's Tom's 22nd birthday today - Happy Birthday Tom!  However it was to be another year before our dream came to fruition, Barry's house and business just wouldn't sell, and by then Tom had all grown up and didn't come with us - here's our first ever blog from 17 April 2009, it feels like a lifetime ago.  

Anyway, I'm getting diverted!  As I previously said, in a June 2012 post, in order to apply for his UK residency visa, Barry needed to have a date of 'arriving'.  So to book the tickets he had to update his passport which still had another 8 months left - oh well, sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get where you want to go.

We'd seen a good deal on Malaysian Airlines for a one way ticket to Heathrow from Auckland for $1,200, so as soon as his passport arrived we went online and booked - we leave Gisborne on 19th March and arrive in Heathrow on 20th March 2013, just in time for my mum's 80th birthday on 24th.

The potential 'hiccup' of the ticket is that we can't change the date of it - that's when we will be going or we'll have to fork out lots more money (it was going to be >$1,000 to have that luxury - I chose to decline).  We're confident that this time our plans won't be delayed - we can't afford for them to be!

So we just have to sell the house, sell Barry's business and complete my Holistic Life Coaching Diploma by that time - no problem, of course it'll all work out, just a bit more of a journey for us before we get back to the waterways of Britain, this time to stay 'indefinitely' ...

Sunday, 5 August 2012

One man's trash ...

Today it was 'Second Hand Sunday' in Gisborne and we managed to give away a heap of 'stuff' that I sorted out from under the house yesterday.  The directions say to:

  • Put the items out at 0900 and retrieve anything that hasn't gone by 1200hrs
  • Put a notice on your letterbox to say you're registered for Second Hand Sunday
  • Chat to 'fossickers' as they delve through your give aways (!)

I set the alarm for 0730hrs and Barry and I took boxes of things up to the verge above our house, including glass shelving units, a CD player and speakers, photo frames, a raincoat, a compost bin and lots of other things - the letterbox is down the drive so no notice was put up.  I didn't think to take a photo of 'before' until too late - this was about half an hour after we'd deposited our goods ...

Then by 0845hrs, the scene was ...

Those few items left had also disappeared by 0900hrs, which is when it was supposed to be starting!  We chose not to do any fossicker chatting, though we could hear the conversations from the other side of the hedge - it's quite amusing listening to people discussing your belongings!  This certainly bodes well for the rest of our de-cluttering - and how wonderful to be able to give away things that other people can use - or sell, we don't care!  One man's trash is another man's treasure.

We also saw some slithers of blue sky today for the first time in weeks, we've had relentless rain which is most unusual for the east coast of the New Zealand.  Barry's sister, Jenny, and I, walked to see June, Barry's mum, in the Nursing Home where she's now living bless her.  It was fabulous to get out and have some fresh air and exercise - I can't wait to be on the canals again and able to walk in nature most days and see sights like this one of our river in Gisborne ...

The tiles are all up in the bathroom now, and Barry has finished putting the skirting board on - almost there now!  Just the bath to paint (well, we're getting a professional in to do that!), the heated towel rail to be put in, the new windows to be inserted and the walls and ceiling to be painted!  Hopefully it'll all be completed by the end of August.  

Barry's sent away for his new passport and as soon as we get that back I'll book our tickets to England for mid March 2013 - that will be fantastic to have a date!

In the past few weeks I've resigned from the 'Maternity Quality and Safety Project Coordinator' role - I had already planned what I wanted to be doing before we returned to UK, and that was just an extra 'hat to wear' that tipped me over the balance - it's ridiculous to be a Holistic Life Coach and have no 'life'!  I'm finishing a few things as part of the project, and will support the next person, but my priority is my Life Coaching Diploma (for which I have three more assignments to complete by September ...), and getting our house ready to put on the market by the end of September - oh and of course my holiday in Samoa, two weeks working back at Te Puia at the end of October, and showing two of my three sisters the beautiful country of New Zealand when they come for three weeks in the middle of November!

Awesome, our plans are taking shape nicely.