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 1 November 2009

Carpe Diem - seize the day

It's almost two weeks since I've written a blog.  Life certainly takes on a different meaning when you're working full time, and it's challenging to find some quality time to do the things, and be with the people, you love.  I feel so lucky to have had the experience of being on Northern Pride with Barry, and to have been able to stop and smell the roses for a while - unfortunately it has meant that we spent all our savings and now are on pay-back!  But that's OK, we'll be back on track soon ...

Barry's father is very poorly, but comfortable, in hospital, and it's just a matter of time before he leaves us bless him.  On the same day that he was admitted, a dear friend of mine arrived in the emergency department too and is having major heart surgery tomorrow.  So our thoughts turn to 'seizing the day' and appreciating what we have, as one never knows what's in store as each new day dawns.

Last weekend Barry and I seized a great Gisborne day out at the local Wine and Food festival, and drank rather too much wine in the glorious sunshine!  Barry was fine (he's had a lot more practice than me!), but I managed to embarrass myself by stumbling over in a car park and had a gravel rash down my face, and was then ill (apparently, as I have no recollection of the events!) in the local Fishing Club - not a good look!  I would put a photo of us earlier in the day on, but Barry hasn't been using his camera much since we've been back and the photos I took with my phone we can't find the programme to put them onto the computer!

So back to our favourite places from our soiree in England ...

The first canal we went onto, the Llangollen,  was definitely one of the best - and as we travelled in April and May, wasn't too crowded. 

P1000703The view from our first mooring on the Llangollen Canal, just outside of Wrenbury

I recall that Barry was in awe of the bright colours of the foliage, they were so fresh and green as spring brought new life to the canal.  The trees in New Zealand are mostly deciduous so we don't have the same contrasts of the seasons.  In fact, a fellow Brit who also emigrated here, said the other day that he thinks we have just two seasons in Gisborne - winter and summer!  

The Chirk and Pontcysyllte Aqueducts were incredible experiences, and of course since we traversed the latter it has become a World Heritage site - and rightly so.  It's the most amazing structure, and to think it was constructed over 200 years ago.  Breathtaking.  And I do recall my breath being taken away the night after driving over it when I thought of the 38 metre drop I'd had at my side, but funnily enough actually going over it wasn't a problem as I was just in awe of the beauty around me.

P1010342 Kath and Tim brave the Pontcysyllte - don't look down!

Llangollen itself was such a quaint and friendly town, despite the wet weather.  It was where we found the largest collection of ducklings in what appeared to be one 'brood' - we counted 29!

P1010151 Scrambling for a morsel of bread - we couldn't quite get them all into one shot!

We spent over a week on the Llangollen Canal, our first 'real' experience of living on a narrowboat.  Barry didn't take any persuading to be 'hooked' on the experience, and though I was certainly enjoying the time, I couldn't say I was persuaded of the merits of the alternative lifestyle at that stage - in fact that didn't happen until much later, and then so subtley that I'm not sure I could pinpoint the exact moment it happened ....


  1. Sandra and Barry
    If its any comfort, summer is well and truly over in England. We have had the first storm of the winter and most of the trees have been stripped bare.
    I came to your blog rather late (Macclesfield) so have had a very enjoyable afternoon following your first month afloat. Its a bit like starting a book, knowing that there is plenty of good stuff left to go.

    I am still blogging away on Captain Ahab - I have discovered a passion for the lost canals of the BCN, which should provide a good strand of material for the winter.
    Keep well.
    Andy and Helen

  2. I saw you at the fishing club you were very emotional and crying .I was comforting you in your time of need . Thank god I missed the technicolour dream. Till the wedding au revoir moi bonne ami

  3. Hi Barry and Sandra
    Passed your boat on her winter mooring today, still looking good, unfortunately I was a little late with the photo and it is not anywhere near your standard.
    We hope to catch up again next year, enjoy the Gisborne sunshine.
    Take care
    Dot and Derek