It’s an infinitely fascinating life living on a narrowboat, cruising and trading on the canals as we do.
Unfortunately the weather’s been attempting to drown us with squally showers and intermittent hail, with a dash of sunshine thrown in to keep our spirits up. I’ve had to keep my waterproof trousers and coat on, as well as wellington boots. I even wore my thermal long sleeved top under my clothes for a couple of days as it was so cold.
Travelling down south wasn’t on our itinerary this year, so it’s been a delight to unexpectedly return to canals we’ve not seen since 2009.
Consequently the captain has been in his element snapping away, and he’s given me some images to share (there’s a few more to come from Tardebigge but I’ll save those for another post) …
The week so far has been amazing – and it’s only Friday! There’s still the weekend to come which holds much promise – expected and otherwise I’ve no doubt.
Meeting fellow boaters
Not long after we started our journeys on Areandare, we met Leonie and Ray from ‘NB Firefly’ at Calf Heath. They’d been blog readers for a while and had arrived in UK in April 2013 ready to do their own narrow boating and blogging adventures. Originating in Napier, New Zealand, they lived in one of the closest ‘big’ towns to Gisborne, Barry’s home town. Hard to imagine here in England, but that’s a three-hour drive along a mostly winding, single lane highway.
I had a coaching client Wednesday morning, and Barry had a Home Brew Boat order delivery to make. Shortly after finishing my call, I heard the engine of a passing boat and a knocking on our roof. Peeking out there was Ray and Leonie standing on the back of their boat, with a couple of their friends from NZ. They’d already seen Barry and had a chat.
They were all enjoying a final trip on Firefly, delivering it to the new owners. Like Paul and Elaine, from NB Caxton, they’re now the proud owners of a motorhome and are planning a European adventure in the near future.
We wish you lots of happy times exploring the beauty of our neighbouring countries.
Mooring a while later in Braunston, I heard a knock at the side hatch and saw a couple standing with Barry. I looked carefully for signs of recognition but am ashamed to admit I had no idea who they were!
Andy and Sue from NB Festine Lente who have been regular commenters on our blog for many years. Barry met them previously on one of the (many!) times I’ve not been on board. They’ve been cruising for two years now, popping back occasionally to their home on The Isle of Man.
We enjoyed a few drinks with Andy and Sue at The Plough in Braunstone on Wednesday evening, then last night moored up nearby and continued getting to know them convivially on the towpath and aboard Areandare. What lovely people – so envious of them being retired at similar ages to us and having an income!
Then again, if we weren’t trading on board we wouldn’t have met so many people or been in the news …
Humans of the Waterways
You may recall a blog post from Middlewich in April (click here to read), when we spoke of meeting Alice and Adam from Manchester? Their organisation had been given a 12 month contract by CaRT to produce stories of ‘Humans of the Waterways’, and we chatted to them at length about our journeys.
We’d almost forgotten about this until Barry opened up an email yesterday morning and saw our faces smiling back at him!
We ARE the faces of the current CaRT newsletter, and the most recent story from the Tumblr Blog – http://humansofthewaterways.tumblr.com. They’ve written an inspiring piece about us which is very timely as we approach Crick and our upcoming seminar ‘Running a Business on a Boat’ alongside Sarah Henshaw of The Book Barge, and Helen and Andy Tidy of Wild Side.
There’ll be much more to share with you from the coming few days so watch this space.
Next week I’m back up in Malpas granny sitting while Barry moves Areandare back up north slowly. Our next event is Funtastic Facepainting at Throckmorton Airshow on Saturday 6th June – though we’re definitely not arriving there by narrowboat!
3 thoughts on “Being human on the waterways”
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Hi Sandra and Barry, Lovely to read your post this evening. A bit of the NZ 2 degrees of separation thing happening when I read it, as a friend of ours in Waikanae asked us to get in touch with her step-grandson who is learning to be a chef at the Cape of Good Hope pub. So it was lovely to read about it. I am also keen to catch up with Leonie and Ray if at all possible – their blog is so funny. Ray has a wonderful way with words esp when taking the p*** out of himself!
We hope that Crick is a wonderful weekend for you. Cheers, Marilyn
Kia ora Marilyn
It really is a small world! Next time we pass it by we will definitely go in. When we were here in 2010 we went to a pub in Anyho, and a young man working there said to Barry – “I know you. You used to take my school photos in Gisborne!”
Hope you get to catch up with Ray and Leonie – are you back on the cut soon?
Crick has begun with a challenge of having no mooring allocated, and took around three hours to sort! So we feel it can only improve …
Sandra & Barry 😉