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 18 April 2010

The story of stuff

As we work through our 'to do before we go' plan, we become more aware daily of one of the big adjustments we'll be making once again living aboard Northern Pride - there's very little space for 'stuff'.  We seem to accumulate more depending on the size of our home, but I know that we're perfectly able to manage with very little.  A friend told me about a 'you tube' video called 'The Story of Stuff' which I checked out yesterday, rather long at over 20 minutes, but it reiterates the things I've been talking about and have felt for many years - there are far too many people in the world working harder and harder to buy more and more stuff that they don't have time to appreciate because they're working so hard!  When they get in from work they're so tired that all they can do is slump in front of the TV where they get bombarded with adverts telling them what they must have so on their days off they shop and buy more stuff they don't need so then they have to work harder, etc, etc.

Apparently this phenomena can be linked to the end of the second World War when, to 'ramp up' the economy, the American government set about making goods that were not designed to last - what is known as a 'planned obsolescence' - they planned  to make goods that would not last.  There's also now a 'perceived' obsolescence whereby people pressure each other to have the latest phone, computer, car, fashion, etc.  One of the reasons I love living in Gisborne is because for the majority of people, having the latest of anything is NOT a priority.  We don't follow fashion, cars are owned until they don't pass their Warrant of Fitness rather than having to have a new model every two years, most people keep their mobile phone until it breaks, not until a better model comes out and so on.  As soon as I get back to UK I notice the stark difference and it scares me because I so don't want to get caught in the trap again - so many people there seem to have been brainwashed to believe that if they don't have the latest whatever, they have less value than their mate who has just got the best, most up to date gadget phone/computer/ipod/house/car, etc, etc.  I hate it!  It makes me feel as though I'm suffocating by the banality of it all and I want to scream at everyone - STOP!!!!  You really don't need that, you could stop working so hard and have more leisure time with your family and friends if you just stopped buying so much bloody stuff!

There's a great web site linked to the story, it's a little American but apart from that it's very thought provoking and I recommend you watch it at least twice to really appreciate it.

On a similar vein, Captain Ahab's wife hijacked his blog the other day to ask whether boaters are using biodegradable substances to clean their body parts and clothes as anything used on board is drained into the canal.  It would be interesting to take a poll and see what percentage actually do consider the environment and how easy it is to find such goods to use.  However, I also see that Halfie has suggested that all products now have to conform to environmentally friendly status so all we're doing is paying a lot more for ones that say they're better - hmmm, it's a tricky one ...

As to working too much, at the moment Barry and I really are like ships passing in the night, or at any time really!  He's on his 13th day in a row now and I'm on my first day off for 7 days.  I'm then working two nights tomorrow and Tuesday.  We don't have time to buy much 'stuff', nor is that the purpose for our current mindless working pattern, but we're certainly looking forward to having time to DO stuff and spend time with family and friends in UK in just over four weeks time!

On Friday I flew to Auckland with a new graduate midwife I've been mentoring since we returned to NZ, for her 'Midwifery Standards Review'.  As we live in such a small,isolated place, we usually have to travel out of Gisborne for anything; very few people deign to venture here to meet us.  But that's OK, we had a cool day out and managed to take a ferry ride across Auckland harbour to Devonport for brunch - my first boat trip since leaving Northern Pride in October last year!



I love the Auckland skyline with the Skytower dominating the view - it's taller than the Eiffel Tower and has a revolving restaurant towards the top.

There was a large P & O cruise ship in port looking almost as big as the high rise buildings!


We were stoked to see a photo of Northern Pride on 4Evermoore's blog last Tuesday as they passed her on the mooring in Ammington, Tamworth.  I'm so looking forward to having time to smell the roses once again.  Thirty sleeps to go ...

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