There's one thing you can be sure of when you manage a project - there will be variances from the original plan! Having finally managed to brainstorm all the jobs we'll need to accomplish prior to returning to the canals in 2013, including those things you do to make your house more saleable, yesterday we discovered a blocked drain from the kitchen sink (and horror of horrors, dishwasher!). The plumber hasn't yet discovered where the blockage is from, but we're suspecting it could be a rather large bill and not one we've budgeted for.
However, that's just money and 'stuff' that has to be done. What's much worse now is that Barry's mum is poorly (more so than ever before), and in hospital, almost certainly she had a stroke on Sunday morning, and all we can do is take it a day at a time as to what the future holds for her. Just two months ago she bought herself a brand new car (she felt sorry for Barry when I was working away and he was travelling the ten minutes to work by bike, so gave him her 'old' car, bless her!), was playing golf, and going to line dancing each week - at an incredible 88 years of age. Her mother lived until she was 103, so she'll be most disappointed if she doesn't manage the same or a similar achievement. Last December she travelled by herself to Australia, to visit her youngest son and daughter, so to now see her so unwell is heartbreaking.
It's also been unseasonably cold here in Gisborne, which doesn't help matters, but the shortest day is tomorrow and it's also Matariki here in New Zealand, which is the Maori New Year and the name of a group of stars known as Pleiades star cluster or 'The Seven Sisters'. It seems logical that we should be looking at a New Year when the nights are long and winter is well and truly upon us - the same time of year that it is celebrated in the northern hemisphere.
So we get to consider New Year's resolutions twice in this beautiful country. Mine will be around trusting the universe that all that's happening is as it's meant to be, that I be mindful of how easily I can become passionate about midwifery work to the detriment of other, more important things in my life (i.e. people such myself and Barry!), and to not be afraid of the challenges and changes which we'll be facing over the next year as we begin the enormous changes necessary to move from one hemisphere to the other.
We are greatly inspired by so many lovely people who contacted us when we were enjoying the canals aboard Northern Pride in 2009 and 2010, and have completed or almost completed the journey before us as a long-term prospect - Tom and Jan from narrowboat Waiouru who have had to overcome so many hurdles on their road to the cut from Australia last year, Paul and Elaine from NB The Manly Ferry (aka Narrowboat Caxton) who got to England this year from Manly (who we had the pleasure of visiting there twice) and of course Elly and Mick from NB 'yet to be determined', who sadly I read are also experiencing the challenge of a sick mum as they are almost ready to travel to the UK - our hearts and hope are with you.
Happy New Year!