Seven Months Later And We’re Back …

Goodness, we really have had a blogging break! We haven’t posted for seven months, as we’ve had so many other things going on. Our intention has always been to get the remainder of our NZ trip posted, and then keep you up to date with our narrow boating travels. However …

We’d drafted the NZ posts, and Barry had added his amazing photography in a slide show in each one. Since then, WordPress has changed all manner of things, and as we pay for a ‘Business’ website, and consequently have ‘plugins’ in order to have our Greeting Card and Online Jigsaw shop, something has gone awry with them. The photos in the draft posts went askew and Barry spent hours and hours recently attempting to right the craziness – to no avail.

We’ll make some time soon to just re-do those posts and get you all up to date.

In the meantime, we’re heading to Liverpool as we’ve got a passage booked to Albert Docks on Monday 11th April. We’d been booked to do this trip on 13th May 2020, but COVID had other plans for everyone. As it’s been so delayed, we’ve paid for an extra week in the Docks to make up for it.

Here’s a few reasons why we’ve been ‘off-line’ here …

Health & Family The Most Important Treasures

My younger daughter Kim stayed on board with us once again from late August to mid-October when she was finally successful in flying to her new role at an International School in Shanghai, China. It was wonderful to spend time with her again. Thank you COVID!

Sandra, Kim & Lisa at Nantwich train station October 2021

We’ve had a few health challenges since we last posted. Barry had COVID in October, and then a positive bowel screening test. Thankfully his colonoscopy came back with just a tiny polyp that was removed and benign.

Tragically a dear friend of ours wasn’t so fortunate, and died just over four weeks ago from the effects of bowel cancer, at the young age of 58. We’ve both been devastated by his death. He was one of the kindest, most positive, adventurous people we’ve ever had the fortune to know. He visited us in NZ in January 2009, kept Barry company while I was off the boat on the Llangollen Canal later that year, and has been on board Areandare with his soul-mate Tracey who he met shortly afterwards. They actually bought The Home Brew Boat from us just over two years ago, so were briefly on board again then.

Rest In Peace Tim. The world has lost an incredibly precious, irreplaceable person.

Big Brilliant News!

We’re very happy to report that Barry got his British pension sorted in January (a reciprocal agreement between NZ & UK), and his free bus pass last month. Woohoo!

On another more positive note, Barry’s son Tom’s partner Mir, gave birth to a boy on 10th January. He was only 26+4 weeks gestation at birth, weighing a mere 765g (1lbs 11oz for those who don’t work in kg!). His twin brother sadly died in the womb a few weeks beforehand. So as you can imagine, we’ve been very worried – and feeling quite helpless being so far away.

Thankfully he turned a corner around the time Tim died, and has been improving ever since. I’d like to think Tim had a hand in this – though I know you’ll think I’m insane. He now weighs over 2.3kg (5lbs 7oz), is in a cot, and had his first bath on Sunday. Still in the Neonatal Unit in Hamilton, but doing remarkably well thanks to medical science, his loving parents and possibly a kind-hearted spirit guide.

Here he is in the early days on the left, and just over a week ago on the right:

We’re booked to return to NZ on 28th November 2022, to spend time with Ludo Cave Teutenberg, his parents and auntie – with no return date yet. It’s likely we’ll stay around four months.

Ka Kite Ano – See You Soon

Only a very brief update, and I’ve missed out heaps, but thanks to Ade, a follower, for nudging me into posting again. We’ll get back on track soon for more regular updates and Barry’s fabulous photography …

13 thoughts on “Seven Months Later And We’re Back …

  1. Hi Barry and Sandra
    We spent 6mths on Darcy in 2017 and ran into Barry at Chester,
    Seems like an eternity and wonder if we will ever get back although we still have the northern canals to explore.
    Just wondering if you know what has happened to Sue and Vic on “XL No Problems” they haven’t posted for a long time and i’m hoping nothing bad has happened to them. I followed their blogs for years and they helped to inspire the 2017 trip and also may I add You and Barry were also instumental.
    Regards Tony Druce

    • Hi Tony. Good to hear from you and hope you can get back soon to explore the northern canals.

      We’ve had a few messages over the last couple of years enquiring about Sue and Vic. I’ve contacted them previously and she’s said that they hardly move the boat now so don’t feel that there’s much to blog about. As far as we’re aware they’re both ok.
      Sandra 😉

      • Sandra good to hear that they are OK, With the pandemic when you are over 60 disappearances are often suspected as the result of Covid. Although Australia has opened up Covid has not gone away as one of the more frightening statistics attests, there have been more deaths in 2022 than 2020and 2021 combined here. Stay safe and keep telling us about your adventures. Tony

        • Wow that’s a scary statistic indeed! We’re not even a quarter of the way through yet …

          If I hear anything further from Sue and Vic I’ll let you know.

          Take care and we’ll do our best to keep up the blog and share our adventures 😉

  2. Pingback: Narrowboating Over Winter 2021 to 2022 ~ Barry & Sandra's Adventures

  3. Good to see another post from you both. Glad to be of assistance!
    Take it easy don’t feel obliged to post updates.
    Some news update above sadness and very happy times. It’s what make us tick.
    Have a great time on the Liverpool link.
    Cheers
    Ade

  4. Welcome back to the world of blog. Always good to hear your news. Stronghold was sold in June last year, but appears to have gone to a very appreciative owner and is now just south of Preston Brook Tunnel. They say that ‘A man without a boat is like a prisoner’ which I now know to be true, but at 85, locking single handed was becoming a chore. Hoping to see one of you in Brighton again maybe.

    • Hi Ray! How lovely to hear from you. We recently went through Preston Brook Tunnel, but didn’t notice Stronghold. Then again we weren’t really looking for it! We’ll be more vigilant on the way back …

      I can’t imagine single handed locking would be a good plan at 85! A very sensible move I think. Though understand you’ll miss it.

      We’d love to come back to Brighton soon, we really miss our trips there. Hopefully one day …

      Stay well and keep in touch. Big hugs x

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