The UK visa in his passport - hurrah!
I'm very disappointed in my country of birth I have to say. Not only did Barry not receive a hearty 'haere mai' last week, even when he received his visa in the post, it came solely with the paperwork we'd submitted as evidence of our marriage and finances returned. Not a single word of 'WELCOME' to the UK! I distinctly recall when I emigrated to NZ in 2005, the visa came with lots of information on living in NZ, and I had a friendly contact not far from Gisborne to contact at any time. And each time we return to NZ, they welcome me back.
Shame on you UK. Ah well, there was someone in arrivals who was very happy to see him, and I'm sure lots of other people here in UK, so we won't allow the lack of positivity to affect us ...
Just before Barry returned, our second article was published in the Gisborne Herald Weekender. Click on the link to read - it won't be on their website for long! The third in the series will obviously be about our 'indefinite' return. I'm comforted though that if our efforts to make this lifestyle sustainable are not successful, I and Barry, will be WELCOMED back to NZ! Only time will tell ..
Of course we're very determined to make it work. Barry has another five years to get 'Indefinite Leave to Remain', and a few more hurdles to jump through to acquire such 'privilege'. And there's heaps of things we DO love about UK, being close to my family, catching up with friends, oh and of course the Inland Waterways - just not the negativity that seems to abound in many bureaucracies here.
Back on board and look who else is very happy to see Barry
As the autumn weather and darkness descends on UK, I recognise other stark contrasts between the northern and southern hemispheres. Halloween, Bonfire Night, and Xmas, are all celebrated much more energetically and enthusiastically here due to the differing seasons. It'll be my first British winter for nine years - it's going to be interesting how we cope with it!
Yum! Pumpkin soup
Spooky face at the front of the boat brightening up the wet weather
So now our focus is on making this lifestyle sustainable. We've manifested our dream, and feel suitably proud whilst being aware of the challenges that lie ahead! Living on board such a confined space whilst 'working from home' has its moments, and already Barry has decided to set up his 'space' in the Boatman's Cabin at the rear of the boat. He's not silly - that's where the stove/heater is! Next year we hope to have one at the front of the boat too ...
Barry the Boatman (just for you Trish!)
There's going to be lots brewing in the coming days, weeks and months, so watch this space!
(For those with no knowledge of Maori, here's a translation from the post: Haere Mai = welcome
Whare waka = house boat)