Fazeley to London and Digbeth with a Challenge to Overcome

Taking ‘A’ levels was never in my plan at Grammar School in the 1970s. However I did choose to study for English Literature A Level in the 1990s. I can’t recall now the reason I only completed one of the two years at Sutton College. I do remember adoring Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra‘.

“Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.”

William Shakespeare

That quote spoke volumes to me in my thirties, and continues to do so in my late fifties.

Recently reading Carl Honore’s brilliant new book Bolder, I was happy to see irrefutable evidence of ways to celebrate and live well whatever age we are. He especially shares ways of eschewing the prejudices society seems to have perpetuated that being old means you’re ‘past it’, ‘on the scrap heap’, or any other derogatory term you’ve heard or spoken. I savoured every minute devoted to reading this book – finishing it on the trains to and from London last week (note affiliate link below).

I’d like to think Barry and I are doing our bit to prove that life is for living as joyfully and impetuously as possible. For grasping opportunities, for daring to be different, for not sitting on your laurels accumulating wealth to leave it to your descendants, or holding onto it all ‘just in case’. Using it to make magical memories, have adventures, and share experiences. And we have, for thirteen years now (it’s exactly thirteen years today, 29th January, that we got together in Gisborne New Zealand), and will continue to do so as long as we can.

Fun on Land and A Power Challenge Overcome …

It goes without saying that living on a narrowboat continuously cruising the waterways of England and Wales is a joy – most of the time. There’s certainly infinite variety all around.

But …

In the nine years we’ve been boating, we’ve travelled most of the 2,000 mile system. So this year we (well ok, I!) decided we’d explore further afield. Making the most of our health and fitness while we’re fortunate to have it. Who knows what could be just around the corner. We’ve a number of trips away planned – though at least one may not eventuate if things don’t go smoothly. More on that in the next post!

Last week we ventured to London to see the amazing Matt Bond feature in a three-night production called The Mob Wife, at The Cockpit Theatre. The show was even better than expected. Fabulous script. Amazing acting. And of course spectacular singing from the whole cast especially Matt (we may be a little biased!).

Barry, Matt and Sandra at The Cockpit Theatre

The evening before leaving for London, the alternator had decided to pack up on board Areandare, engulfing the engine room in noxious smoke. Admittedly it was quite scary (for me) – but Barry nonchalently found a way to get it sorted, and by the time we returned on board late Friday afternoon, he’d secured a replacement from Auto Electrical Services in Tamworth. we were so impressed by their outstanding service – coming to the boat to remove the old one, altering the replacement, then returning the same evening to fit it and make sure all was well. Hurrah! Without it we had no way of charging our batteries or moving the boat.

Subsequently on Saturday we could leave the boat and hop on the 110 from Fazeley to Birmingham and walk to the Irish Club in Digbeth, to celebrate a good friend’s 50th birthday. She’d called the magnificent milestone an ‘unmentionable’ age. So I’ve suggested she read Carl’s book, re-frame her way of seeing life and the wisdom and fortune of owning and loving every age.

Sandra, Alison and Fran – almost a decade between us and all beautiful and un-withered in an infinite variety of ways
Fran, Barry, Martin and Sandra – we stayed overnight in Shenstone with these gorgeous people

Back to reality and ‘work’

On Monday we moved Areandare from Fazeley to Glascote in Tamworth, where we’ll stay for a week or so. It’s an area we know and love – close to lots of amenities. We’ll be heading up to Fradley next week to go through the locks before they’re closed for repair.

For a few days it’s time to get our heads down, fill in our Tax Returns (I know! Talk about leaving it till the last minute!!), and do some work on our businesses …

It’s not all fun and frivolity, sometime we have no choice but to be like almost everyone else 😉

4 thoughts on “Fazeley to London and Digbeth with a Challenge to Overcome

  1. It’s great to follow your posts from Barry’s little home town: Gisborne NZ. I hope the UK Visa/Citizenship application is successful. This little Gisborne town is famous as being “discovered” in 1769 by UK’s Lt James Cook who sailed HMS Endeavour into our bay. He named it Poverty Bay. Its summer here and hot, but still green. Regarding the cold UK waterways. I wonder about the damp atmosphere around the water in winter. I imagine it is like our little gem: Lake Waikaremoana ? Is the damp atmosphere an issue?

    • Kia Ora Wayne from Gisborne! How lovely to receive your comment this morning. Captain Cook was ‘discovering’ NZ around the time the canals were all being dug by hand here in UK.

      Looks like you’re having a hot one this year! We’re frozen in at Hopwas near Tamworth this morning.

      I can’t say bring on the canals is anything like the spectacular beauty and remoteness of Lake Waikaremoana. Barry and I walked around the lake in 2011. Stunning scenery. However, the damp atmosphere I suspect is true – not just around the water but everywhere in UK a lot of the winter. Definitely not my favourite season!

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