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 ...

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Five weeks and counting ...

'Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.' ~ Andre Gide

Well courage is definitely something Barry and I are needing in abundance at the moment as we navigate the massive changes we're sailing through to de-clutter and let go of people, places and things.  I've been through this process previously when I immigrated to New Zealand in early 2005, but it's still challenging.

It is however, also very cathartic.  The amount of 'stuff' we 've collected between us is staggering - much of it was stored under the house.  We managed to sell almost all our furniture within four days in January - though a lot of it is still with us until a week or so before we leave.  One or two things that are precious will be stored here by people - personal photographs and memories of Barry's for instance, and a recycled Rimu coffee table that I made at woodwork classes here before I met Barry - priceless but far too big and heavy to ship back to UK.  Some friends who have just built an eco friendly home will care for it lovingly, and even though I may never have it with me again, I'll always know it's 'mine'.

The garage sale was a huge success and we made around $500 - there's still a heap of 'stuff' left, and discovered following the sale after further sorting, so we're having another one on 23rd February.  Following that it'll be Trade-Me (New Zealand's answer to Ebay), the local buy and sell publication 'The Trader', charity 'Op' shops, Second Hand Sunday on 3rd March, or the council dump/tip!

One of our cars has been sold and taken, and a couple of people are interested in the other one.  The bike is sold - but we need to hold onto that until just before we go so we each have a mode of transport apart from walking.

This Sunday, 17th February, we're having an auction of Barry's superb photography collection.  Lots of people had been asking me if they could buy one of his pieces before we left, so to make it fair we decided we'd ask a friend who's a trained auctioneer, if he'd help us out.  It promises to be a fun afternoon and hopefully we'll make some more funds towards our future water gypsy lifestyle!  If anyone wants a catalogue of what's available, email Sandra or Barry.  We can ship overseas, but obviously you'd need to pay the postage.

A leaving party has been arranged by some friends for us, to be held on Friday 8th March.  It'll be fabulous to have around 100 people to come and say a fond fare-thee-well-for-now, though I know it'll be tinged with sadness too, especially for me, as I don't know if or when I'll return to Gisborne or New Zealand.  Barry will be back in August to apply for his UK visa.

Barry's business 'ezimade' hasn't sold as yet, but there's a few people who've expressed an interest.  We have a contingency plan if it doesn't sell before we go - which will stop people who may be waiting until they think we're 'desperate' and then putting in a silly offer!  It's such a great little business that Barry has put his heart and soul into, and has a large, dedicated, enthusiastic and growing customer database - once someone buys a still or a beer making kit, there's a high chance they'll be back for more supplies!  Everyone who comes into the shop says how amazing it is - especially people from out of town who don't have anything with so much variety.  We're just waiting for the right person to come and make us an acceptable offer - any day now ...

The information needed for Barry's visa is being collated, and the required money is in the bank in UK - so six months from 5th February will be D-Day, depending on when Barry re-enters New Zealand.  We've put together lots of evidence of our relationship and marriage that will need to be sent off - though I think all they really need to do would be to read this blog?!  What more proof would you need of our commitment to each other and returning to UK to live on the waterways?

Last Sunday at a friend's beach wedding 


  1. Good luck with it all, we wish we were there with you to help sort things out and bring you back to the UK with us. I really can't wait to catch up with you both soon. So funny how a chance meeting and an evening eating fish pie and drinking moonshine can evoke such a bond and such fond memories of a wonderful couple. With much love. Dave, El and the boys x x

  2. Ah, how lovely, bless you and thank you El and co - we'll catch up with you all before the year ends I'm sure!

  3. Nearly there.... or here as I see it! Keep going... Nearly there, or here! ;-)