Nine years after his first successful UK visa application, Barry finally receives his British passport from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
During our second week moored in Liverpool, we went to a family wedding in Devon, then explored more of the city together and with a friend.
Twenty-twenty. It's been a traumatic, often terrifying, yet strangely transformative year few will forget in a hurry.
When I first persuaded Barry to accompany me back to England to meet my family, in April 2007, I had no idea what the consequences would be! The only way he'd agree to leaving his photography business for three weeks, was if we could fit in a narrowboating break. I paid his fare (I was … Continue reading Barry Becomes A Citizen At Last
We're celebrating this weekend. One reason can be shared by many. The other two are rather special for Barry and I. ~ In the northern hemisphere it's the shortest day (usually it's the 21st but I'm reliably informed this year it's the 22nd). Hoorah for the turning of the sun and the promise of lighter … Continue reading Celebrating On The Winter Solstice
Travelling back to Barry on Wednesday involved a variety of transport. Firstly a water bus to the airport, which took an hour. Very pleasant. Then a couple of hours wait turned into three, as the first flight to Amsterdam,was delayed. I'd been tempted by the offer to check in my hand baggage for free as … Continue reading Back on Board Before Retreating and Picking Up Barry’s ILTR Permit
We've noticed a prolific amount of posters titled "May You Live In Interesting Times", but not really investigated what they were promoting. Until that is, we decided to wander along the waterway after our buffet breakfast, and found a garden filled with spectacular sculptures. Wow! Again! Just before walking, we went up in the lift … Continue reading Day Fifteen – Living In Interesting Times and Good News to Report
I'd heard from my sister and brother-in-law that Venice was astounding. But to be honest it's not been a place I've ever hankered after visiting. It's quite different in many ways to what I'd imagined. And I adore it! Im not sure if Barry would, but I wish he'd had the chance to find out! … Continue reading Day Fourteen – Surprisingly Impressed by Venice
This whole trip has been amazing. Last week I crossed almost the breadth of France. Today we travelled from Colmar to Venice, via Basel and Milan. We began at 0921hrs, and ended at 2113hrs. What a journey! The trains in Europe are comfortable though a little cramped when you're sitting for hours. Out of the … Continue reading Day Thirteen – Crossing Four Countries in One Day
After yesterday's uplifting (pun intended!) experience, this morning felt as damp as the weather. Packing and cleaning and wondering why we bought so much bottled water and kitchen towels amongst other excesses! It was a short lived dampness though as the day definitely brightened incrementally. After a complex conversation or two, we managed to get … Continue reading Day Twelve – Plus Ca Change To Colmar
The Inclined Slope of St-Louis-Arviller, is one of the reasons Barry and I favoured this particular French canal and route when asked to choose by Kerry and Tony. Viaduc SNCF Construction began in 1964, and completed in 1968. In May of that year it was filled with water, though the first boats didn't go through … Continue reading Day Eleven – An Exciting, Albeit Unexpectedly Damp, Day
It's been another spectacular day here on Le Canal Du Marne Au Rhin. This morning we cycled into Saverne to find the centre taken over by a bustling outdoor market selling all manner of things. We'd almost run out of milk so decided to treat ourselves to breakfast at a cafe. Following that, poor Tony, … Continue reading Day Ten – Roses and Castle
We mirrored the unrelenting rain in UK this morning, so weren't in a rush to move from our quiet mooring. Once we did, thankfully we had the choice of inside driving. Such a treat! The first two shots below were taken by Kerry yesterday, aren't they great? We'd planned a stop at the factory shop … Continue reading Day Nine – A Slow Start To Astounding Saverne
We rather cocked up the locks yesterday. Remember I said our boat briefing was rather brief? Well we sort of realised last night, after the lockkeeper came to ask us if we were doing any more locks around 6.30pm, that we must've moored after one of a series of locks. Tony had written on a … Continue reading Day Eight – A Bakery, Bikes and Birds
We knew the rain was imminent today. And had prepared ourselves for the change. Luckily it turned out to be less persistent than expected. There was no-one to be found anywhere to pay for our overnight Marina mooring, so we had no choice but to dispose of our rubbish, fill up with water, and cast … Continue reading Day Seven – Wet But Wonderful
What a day! Wonderful mostly. I think I've aged ten years, but simultaneously feel energised by the amazing new experiences we've had. We all slept like logs last night. Kerry and I had stayed up late star and satellite gazing from the roof of the boat. It's likely we won't get the chance again till … Continue reading Day Six – Back to Strasbourg for a Scare …
I can't put into words what a poignant, special time it's been for me to spend 48 hours with our family friends Odile and Bruno. Dad met Odile's father Jean during his travels around Europe, by bike (he was a superb Time Trial cyclist), in the late 1940's. They remained firm friends and our respective … Continue reading Day Four – Au Revoir Cabourg Bonjour Strasbourg
Seeing a blood red sky last night felt rather poignant on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Normandy landings. Although here in Cabourg we share the same beach (it's many miles long), this wasn't the place where the boats came and many men were doomed. We've not noticed any disruption here, being … Continue reading Day Three – Blood Red Turned to Blue
Still no news on Barry's visa today. Nothing left to do to change that so I'm determined to make the most of each day and trust it WILL arrive soon. The overnight Brittany Ferry Mont St Michel went smoothly. We'd booked reclining seats which were in a small 'private' lounge. Not that you'd notice the … Continue reading Day Two – Making The Most of The Adventure
We knew it was a gamble when we impetuously decided not to 'Fast Track' Barry's ILR visa on the day of submitting the application in mid January. We've since questioned ourselves incessantly about the rationale of that decision. We recall thinking it was a possibility we'd miss our booked trip to Amsterdam in April (when … Continue reading Day One – We Never Expected This