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 ...

Sunday, 21 June 2009

You shall go to the Ball ...

Saturday 20 June
I took the train from Lapworth to Four Oaks and caught up with my oldest sister Kath, my nephew Mathew, niece Vicki and her partner Phil. Of course I also got to spend time with my ‘great’ niece Ria-May and what a great Aunt I was! Isn’t she just gorgeous? I forced the proud parents to go out for an hour so I could have her all to myself!!

Leaving Barry alone in Lapworth for the weekend ...

Proud great aunty Sandra and Ria-May

Proud parents Vicki and Phil and Ria-May
It was then back to Kath’s to get ready for the Ball – it was a great night, I love to dress up now and again and go dancing - it doesn’t happen often and it’s not really Barry’s cup of tea. It was fun catching up with some old school mates though embarrassing that the current headmaster of our senior school from 1971 to 1976 announced that someone in the audience had come all the way from New Zealand and could she please put her hand up! Ah well, attention seeking as usual without even knowing it! I did of course inform him that I hadn't come all the way across the world just for the school Ball!
You shall go to the Ball Cinderella!

At one stage I had 3 drinks to choose from - Baileys and Malibu (yes both in the same glass, delicious!), red wine and vodka, soda and lime - no signs of intoxication or a hangover!!

The Willmott Crew - Russ, Sarah, Dave, me, Steph and Rich

Barry spent the day walking around the canals, retouching his photos, meeting up with fellow narrowboaters, as well as visiting a few public houses! He managed to visit 'The Navigation', 'The Boot Inn' AND 'Tom’O the Wood' where he spent a very enjoyable evening with Peter & Tina from narrowboat 'Apollo'.
Another Piccie of Lapworth Junction locks

Lovely canal side house and garden next to the bridge to 'Tom o' the Wood' pub

'Tom o' the Wood' pub

Hotel boats passing 'Northern Pride' in the background

The rear boat is towed (it has no engine)

Shrewley Tunnel. The little tunnel above was for the horses to cross through. It leads up to one of Shrewley's main streets, between the two houses below

Looking back down the tunnel towards our boat

Sunday 21 June
I stayed the night at my friend Sarah’s parent’s house and then got the train to catch up with another friend in Erdington, Arlene where we had a couple of hours catch up girlie chat - fabulous for the soul!!
I continued onto Birmingham where I managed to miss 2 trains (they were every 2 hours on a Sunday!) and spent over 4 hours at Moor Street Station before getting on the train to Hatton where Barry had moved the boat to – I was so engrossed in the book I was reading (The Kite Runner) but managed to finish it which is good. I so love having the time to read books again, when you’re working full time it becomes a luxury that you rarely afford yourself.
Barry moved the boat up to Hatton Park next to the railway station. Then spent the rest of the day cycling round the area and checking out the towpath ahead.
Tomorrow we'll be travelling to Warwick – 21 locks between here and there so that’ll be a big day with plenty of fresh air and exercise for us both!!!


  1. luv the colour of the canal water, could be a few large snappers hiding in there.

  2. Absolutely! The canal water must hide many things, it's dark and murky everywhere. We've seen many large fish, but all dead and floating rather than those below who will be swimming - and lots of fishermen though why anyone would want to eat fish that have lived in canal water is beyond us!