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 ...

Friday 18 October 2013

The next chapter in the adventure of 'Barry and Sandra' is about to commence ...

Life in the Marina (when I'm here that is!), will be changing considerably from next week when Barry returns from New Zealand - yay! I did however chat with him on the phone yesterday, and found myself saying I had some trepidation about his return as I've grown accustomed to having the 'space' of the whole table to work on, and I'm going to find it challenging to adjust to begin with! I suspect I could easily live alone on a boat - so long as I didn't have to move it anywhere - though I reckon I could even do that with a bit of practice ...

Life in the Marina is nourishing. I thought I'd miss the variety of changing the area we 'live' most days - but I don't! I love:
  • Electric hook up
  • Water whenever I want it
  • Being able to get my shopping delivered to the end of the gangplank (thank you Tesco)
  • Having a rubbish bin at the end of the gangplank
  • Knowing there's pump-out only a short distance away so it's fine to wait for the 'red-light'
  • Having the teenage cygnet coming to visit and the three mallards who've decided AreandAre is THEIR boat (and fight off any intruders)
  • Being a five minute walk from a fairly frequent bus service to Chester or Whitchurch
  • Being a twenty minute car or bus journey from my eldest daughter and grandson (and fantastic news - they're about to welcome a new addition to the family)
  • Being across the road to the Ice Cream Factory so when I have the honour of caring for our grandson we have somewhere to 'play'
  • Having some lovely fellow boaters around who are friendly and helpful
  • Having a reliable 'Three' Mifi signal so I can 'work from home' on my business
This is all helpful to me to recognise that whilst I love Barry immensely, and really will adore having him back beside me, I also know I love 'being' with my self - which is something as a life coach I help to bring out and nurture in my clients - such a vital key to happiness.

Talking of which - look at this for a beautiful photograph depicting the bliss of a hug from a very special friend ...

Rivka and Richard made a detour on their travels to visit me at the end of September, and are now back in Gisborne (arriving the day Barry left there!), and today I 'discovered' this picture on their blog.  So many people and places I miss about Gisborne - so I won't even begin to broach that subject, but know you all live in my heart.

Onto the past week ...

Well I had a wonderfully inspiring five days in Northern Ireland. Prior to leaving, I visited the hairdresser for the first time since March - I decided to 'step-up' and look a little more like the woman on my business cards instead of a crazy boat-woman! You'll see the difference below.

No photos of the country though, as that wasn't on the itinerary (though I saw Belfast from the motorway and it reminded me of Wellington, a beautiful horse-shoe shaped harbour and houses on the hills) - this time. It was a combination of 'work' and play, though to be fair I don't consider what I 'do' as a life coach to be 'work', it's so different to what I've been used to calling that and I'm loving it. 

Here's a shot of the group of coaches, social media gurus, holistic therapists and all sorts of fascinating business people who gathered to discover more about sales and marketing. It was amazing to be amongst such positive and proactive people, and I know my horizons expanded greatly from the time spent with them. Thank you Bernadette Doyle (she's the beautiful woman just under my chin).

I even spoke up - which for many people reading this isn't surprising, but for me it was out of my comfort zone on the first day in front of a room full of people I'd never met before!

The deciding factor for participating in the weekend's conference, was to spend time with a dear friend who I knew when I lived in Hampshire, in 1985 to 1987. We haven't seen each other since that time, and our lives have taken many twists and turns along the way, but it was like we'd turned back the clock. Thank you Alison and Alan for your amazingly warm and generous hospitality - I shall bring Barry back over to see you at some point in time - or come and experience a different lifestyle aboard our floating hallway! 

Alison, Alan and Sandra about to go out for dinner

This afternoon I have Enterprise picking me up from the Marina, and I'm off to spend ten days with my parents - oh yes! And pick up my husband next Friday morning from Heathrow!

Here's a shot of the Marina for you Barry - not long to wait now and you'll be back with your beloved - and your gorgeous wife :-)


  1. Sandra, I know just how you feel!
    I thought I'd hate the time Mick was home in Oz at the start of the year but I quite enjoyed it. I missed him but in a way it was refreshing to have to be self sufficient. In fact when he was back on the boat we were niggling at each other for the first week. I'd become used to things staying right where I put them and had my own way of doing things after nearly 2 months on my own. In the blink of an eye we were back to our previous "twosome" way of life but it is nice to know that you can live on your own, isn't it.
    We're so glad to see things are on track for you guys. Will hopefully catch up with you before our time in the UK is over.
    Elly x

    1. Hi Elly - thanks for that - forewarned is forearmed! We'll be aware of the challenges that are bound to come up to begin with, until we get used to living in the small space together again :-)

      Yes it is uplifting to know we can plan for the future now, and fingers crossed we catch up before you leave - when will that be do you think?

      Sandra x