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 ...

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Sunny season’s greetings and Happy New Year!

We hope everyone has had a fabulous xmas and is looking forward to 2012.  It’s been a chilled one for us, Barry is on his third day off, and we’ve had his children Jamie and Tom staying.  Luckily the sun’s finally decided to come out, we’ve had more than our fair share of wet and cold weather recently – most unusual for Gisborne!

It’s a challenge for us to find something UK waterways related on our blogs during this time when we’re away, but we had a lovely surprise on xmas eve, as a friend of mine from work bought us the xmas card below …

IMG_0550 A ‘pop-up’ xmas card – found in a shop in Gisborne would you believe?

The card is sitting on top of my gorgeous new Macbook Air – I adore it, though am still rather clueless as to how to use it completely, so am currently sticking with my old desk top until I feel more confident!  It’s fantastic for Skype-ing for my Life Coaching course, and it’ll be an amazing tool once we’re back on the canals as I’ll do a lot of on-line work, so it was my treat to myself.

To pay for it, we’re renting our house out and we’re in the middle of sorting out and cleaning ready for the first group of people to move in for five nights from tomorrow.  We have the same people renting this year as last year, caterer’s at Rhythm and Vines, the New Year’s Eve festival here in Gisborne which is in its 9th year and winner of the 2010 Best Festival/Event NZ Tourism Award, is reported to be “the pinnacle of the best festival week offered anywhere in New Zealand.”  Our usual population is around 35,000, and there’s 30,000 tickets for R & V – and they’re likely to be sold out – so you can imagine how packed Gisborne becomes at this time of year, along with xmas holiday makers from around new Zealand.

So we’re off to the beach …


Barry putting the tent up – it’s a VERY old one, and we’ll be lucky if it survives the next few weeks intact!


 Here’s the tent erected – just a stone’s throw from the beach, and right next to a Pohutakawa tree …


 … and check out the view from the front of our temporary home – what could be better?

IMG_0547Tent’s up, it must be time for a drink! 

We’ve had a great year, it’s flown by, and so many lovely things have happened.  Barry’s shop continues to be extremely popular and I’m almost half way through my Life Coaching Diploma, we have a gorgeous new grandson who we see regularly on Skype, and our family on both sides of the world are healthy. 

So it’s happy 2012 to all of our readers, and we hope to catch up with some of you when we’re back in March.  Have a fun, but safe, New Year, and may you reach for the stars and achieve some of your dreams next year.  We’ll have a lot to do on our journey back to the waterways of UK by February 2013, so it’ll be a productive time, and I also want to see as much as I can of the Southern Hemisphere before we return to my homeland, so it’s very exciting!

Arohanui (big love) from Sandra & Barry.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Barry’s in Tall Spirits

Since our last posting, Barry has had his 56th birthday (6 December) and we had a few days away in the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula as I’d been in Auckland for the weekend on my Life Coaching Diploma.  I’d already booked the accommodation and his air fare before he opened up the shop, and we have a very competent friend who looked after 'ezimade' while he was away.  I know how challenging it can be for self-employed business people to take time off (having lived with Barry when he had his photography business when he hardly ever had a holiday) and I don’t want Barry to go down that road again, especially after he’s tasted three years of not a lot of employment!  It’s gone from the sublime to the ridiculous lately, but that’s OK, it’ll settle down and we’ll adjust.

We drove up the west coast of the peninsula, which hugs the coast most of the way so you’re almost driving on the golden beaches which are lined with Pohutakawa trees (NZ xmas trees), though sadly only a handful of them were in bloom. It’s one of my favourite places in New Zealand, having visited  many times with visiting family, but Barry has only visited a couple of places, briefly, many years ago – so I showed the kiwi some of his own country, just like he showed me some of mine when we were on the canals.

It’s tragic isn’t it that we often fail to see what’s in ‘our own back yard’.  “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?’  At this point I’ll apologise for the quality of the following photos – taken with my new ‘iphone 4s’, but by me rather than Barry so they’re not up to the usual standard despite it being a fantastic camera!

IMG_0352 Stunning beaches and Pohutakawa trees line the road


Me and Barry on the eve of his birthday, in Coromandel town, at the Pepper Tree restaurant in Coromandel town – one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever tasted!

On Barry’s birthday we went to the 'Driving Creek Railway', built in the bush by Barry Brickell over a period of years, and then drove along the '309 road' which is 22 km of winding gravel road that cuts across the Coromandel Peninsula from west to east and has a few attractions along the way.  The second one I’d been to three times before, but it was Barry’s first time.  When I said we were going to a water park, he thought I meant slides and pools – ha!  Little did he know what fun he’d have …

IMG_0368 IMG_0383  At the Driving Creek railway station and in the train, high in the bush, overlooking the Coromandel

IMG_0426 IMG_0438 In the Waiau Waterworks Park, Barry plays out his inner child!!!  56 or between 5 & 6?

After the water park, it was a visit to the waterfall, book into the accommodation at Hot Water Beach, and a quick walk to Cathedral Cove – sadly there’s been some rock falls here so it’s cordoned off (no that it stops most people!)


IMG_0467 Sadly the tide never went out at Hot Water Beach, so we didn’t get to dig a hot pool, despite waiting around with our spades for almost two hours!  Ah well, we’ll have to go back one day …

The time away together was far too short, and it was soon back to the shop for Barry – not that he minded!  He’s loving the new opportunity and has been unbelievably busy since he opened.  New Zealand is one of only three countries in the world where it’s legal to brew your own spirits, and it seems that having somewhere with the equipment for spirits, as well as beer, wine, cider and cheese and yoghurt making, is a very popular place to frequent in Gisborne.  He’s even just been featured on the front page of the national home brewer’s magazine …

Barry in tall spirits But don’t worry, despite  his success his main aim is returning to the waterways of Britain early in 2013, all of the things we’re doing here in New Zealand in the meantime are working towards that goal.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

You’re never too old to diversify – the three faces of Barry, looking outside the box - lessons in putting it out there!

For anyone reading wondering what one earth this blog has to do with the waterways of Britain, let me explain.  Barry, my husband, and I, bought Northern Pride, a 45 foot narrowboat in April 2009 and spent the next six months travelling almost 1,000 miles around the canals and rivers of England and Wales.  We returned to New Zealand, as Barry is only ‘allowed’ to stay in UK for a maximum of six months, until May 2010 when we returned to complete another five month journey.  In February this year, we sold our beloved boat to some beautiful people who keep us in touch with what is happening with her, and we’re back in New Zealand, Barry’s home country and my adopted country, while we plan our return to UK by February 2013 to buy another narrowboat and live aboard ‘indefinitely’.  So, in the meantime, we’re continuing with the blog to keep us inspired and focussed on our vision …

In April 2007, a year after Barry and I got together, I dragged him back to England to meet my family.  His proviso was that he would come, and leave his successful photography business and not earn any money for 4 weeks, so long as we could ‘do a canal trip’.  So we had four days and nights aboard a hire boat with my parents and my youngest daughter Kim, and did the Birmingham ring.  Barry was hooked!  When we returned to New Zealand he dreamed of returning, buying a boat, and living aboard.  It took us another two years to get there, but by September 2008, I had sold my house and moved in with Barry, he had sold his house and then sold his business – a professional photographer of 35 years with a very high profile in his local town of Gisborne.

Since that time, Barry has had a few short term contracts in between our trips to UK, but realistically found it an enormous challenge to get a ‘real’ job, despite sending in numerous CV’s, application forms and covering letters.  Feeling that maybe employers were looking at the fact that he’d only really worked as a photographer and not seeing his transferrable skills, as well as possibly believing that at 55 he must be ‘past it’, he was becoming despondent.

But Barry isn’t one to let things get to him, and November 2011 has seen a complete change of his life!  From having no job, he’s had three!  From having much of the past three years off, he’s spent the past month with hardly a day not working.


Firstly there’s been his photography workshops which we mentioned in a previous blog.  The September dates were a non-starter, probably because it was such short notice, but suddenly a few weeks ago he had people wanting to book and was full for November with bookings now in place for the February workshops too!





Then of course, he opened his homebrew shop 'ezimade', on Thursday 17 November and has been like a pig in s—t ever since!  Business has been amazing, with huge interest from local people.  He’s open six days a week, 1000hrs to 1800hrs Monday to Friday and 1000hrs to 1600hrs on a Saturday.  So from having him at home for seven days a week I now hardly see him - we’re like ships narrowboats that pass in the night!



Then yesterday, Saturday 26th November, Barry was the manager at one of the local polling stations working from 0800hrs to 2200hrs!  He’d applied for a job with the elections some time ago, and without even asking had been appointed as a manager.  Not that he craved such notoriety, we suspect anyone who knew anything about the elections would have declined – experience is a great thing in retrospect isn’t it?!  A 16 hour day for a pittance – ah well, that’s life.

So the message is that however low you may feel, and even if you think that you’re ‘too old’ to do what you want to do, it’s like anything in life - “What you give energy to grows and expands’ - so put it out there, whatever ‘it’ may be for you, and rest assured it’ll be given to you.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Embracing technology and ezimade takes off!

Goodness me!  My aim has been to write a blog each week at least, but things have been full on here lately, and I haven’t quite managed to fulfil my good intentions.

On 11th November, unbeknown to me at the time, the new iphone 4s was launched.  On that day, I had some time to visit our local Vodafone shop and invite of the sales assistants to tell me about what phones were available to update the Motorola phone I’d had since early 2007 – without even knowing it I was persuaded to buy the very latest iphone and went away thinking I’d never be able to work it out but incredibly discovered that actually it was (and is) the simplest and most useful phone I’ve ever purchased!  I adore it and have finally begun to embrace all this newfangled technology!  All in the name of working our way towards returning to the waterways of UK by 2013.  But more on that to come …

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of organising and partaking of a cycling winery tour with some of my midwifery colleagues, courtesy of Gisborne Cycle tours, cycling 22kms whilst visiting four local wineries sampling their wine and tasting some delicious food – awesome fun!  I was the lead on a tandem bike which was pretty scary to begin with, but we managed to get the hang of it pretty swiftly and stayed upright throughout the day with no mishaps.


Nikki and me and our tandem bike


The cyclists about to leave Stonebridge Wines on a beautiful, sunny Gisborne day

The day after the cycling I’d organised a two day experience courtesy of Walk Gisborne, with a friend from my life coaching course, and we did an awesome walk on Tuesday of last week with them.


On the walk with my new ‘drink as you walk’ water siphon over my shoulder – what a fantastic invention!


Looking out onto Makorori Beach, Gisborne


Not a bad part of the world :-)

Due to changeable weather conditions on the Wednesday, we decided not to do the next walk but return to Gisborne and visit Barry in the about to open shop and help out with his opening evening.






Barry outside his new shop, with the signs being put up




Welcoming his new customers

The shop is going well, it’ll be a week since it opened on Thursday and the interest has been awesome!  Today, Tuesday 22nd November, Barry has a business profile published in the local paper, the Gisborne Herald:

ezimade article

ezimade article 2

So anyone who had the pleasure of meeting up with us on Northern Pride in 2009 or 2010, and sampled Barry’s home brew, will appreciate the passion and commitment that has gone into opening this new venture which is part of our plan for returning to the waterways of England early in 2013.

Ezi Made - Barry Teutenberg

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A nail biting final, and Barry’s new venture takes shape

We had a fabulous day at the Gisborne Wine and Food festival on Sunday 23 October.  Sadly the weather changed from a glorious sunny morning to an overcast and rather cool afternoon – and there were some scantily clad people who wished they’d packed some extra clothes around!

Barry (unsurprisingly, as he seems to know a large proportion of the population of Gisborne) bumped into a number of people he knows at the event, and took the opportunity to promote his upcoming ‘home brew and more’ shop that’ll be opening in November.  James Milton of Milton's Winery in Gisborne, listened intently as Barry enthusiastically talked of his plans.  Barry can’t compete with their organic and biodynamic wines - my favourite is 'Muskats at Dawn', which in 2011 has a slight sparkle and is absolutely divine.

DSCF1757 Barry tastes a glass or two of Milton’s wine with James Milton

The day was a sell-out of 5,000 tickets with around 1,500 of them to folks from out of town.  For the third time this year we socialised with our niece Emma, Matt and their friends from Wellington which was cool – especially as they had packed a picnic rug so we could share that when we wanted a rest!

DSCF1759 Barry, Lois, Matt, Emma, Charles, Lana and Charles!

The venue for the day was the Waiohika estate, which has two natural amphitheatres and is also the venue for the huge New Year festival called Rhythm and Vines which accommodates an amazing 25,000 people, and won the 2010 Best Festival/Event NZ Tourism Award.  It seemed just right with 5,000 people, plenty of room for everyone, but it must be buzzing with five times that amount of people – almost the same as the total population of Gisborne!

DSCF1767 The main stage where ‘Fat Freddie’s Drop’ were the headline act – the ‘R & V’ sign can be seen in the background

As dusk fell, the crowds moved to the smaller amphitheatre to watch the big match – and what a tense,  breathtaking final it was!  There was a time when I was thinking I should’ve bet $100 on France, rather than just $20 (just to soften the blow if the worst happened!), but was thankfully ecstatic to lose it.  What a shame there weren’t more tries though as the whole crowd rose to it’s feet and roared at the All Blacks only try - electrifying!


DSCF1804 Yaay!  We are the champions of the world – Richie’s in the background kissing the Webb Ellis cup, and you can tell we’re delighted and relieved

So it’s all positive for New Zealand and great for our economy.  Hopefully that ‘feel good’ factor will also help Barry’s new business to get off the ground.  We have the keys and Barry has put up most of the shelving now and will be putting his first order in tomorrow – very exciting!  Here’s a few snaps of the up and coming shop …

ezimade logo 2


The logo we chose after much deliberation



P1450651 Lo res




The shop is on the end of a line of premises, on Peel Street, Gisborne

P1450724A An abundance of shelves just waiting to be filled with home brew kits, cheese making kits, and who knows what other surprises …

Friday, 21 October 2011

A very proud Grandma and Grandad Kiwi - and a positive thinking nation anticipates a long awaited victory!

I've been pretty impressed by the changes in our lives this year since I commenced my 'Holistic Life Coaching' diploma with Life Coach Associates.  Barry hasn't had much paid employment since selling his business in September 2008, and despite applying for many jobs hadn't been getting anywhere.  I've been talking about leaving midwifery for years, and having given up a senior post and returned to 'the shop floor' in 2010, have been investigating other opportunities.

Well 'the law of attraction' has certainly been working for us, and I've heard and seen other peoples experiences too, both positive and  negative.  Basically, what you give energy to grows and expands, so if you think you're going to have a bad day, guess what?  You're right!  Obviously the converse is also true - at the end of the day the choice is yours.

Life for us is pretty special right now, and we'd like to share with you some of the reasons why:

  • I started a business hiring TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) machines out to pregnant women for their use in labour - the electrical waves via four pads on the back distract the nerve endings and prevent pain impulses from giving the brain a negative message.  I have eight units now and have had some amazing results from women who have managed to proudly labour with no other interventions than the TENS which is drug free.  How awesome is that?  Of course once I've recouped the money I've laid out I will earn a small income as well, but for me the beauty is empowering women to have more control.
  • We rent our house out through Holiday Homes, and have successfully done so twice so far this year.  This weekend coming it's rented for three nights, and we've spent the past couple of weeks de-cluttering and cleaning in preparation - it's certainly not money for nothing, but it does mean we've Feng Shui'd our home;
  • My life coaching is going well, having experienced the power of being coached myself as an integral part of the course, and I'm now working on my 100 hours of client case study hours.  I'm loving the challenge of embracing and learning the skills which will lead to a successful, future career, and the clients I've worked with to date are making some significant and powerful changes in their lives which, in turn, brings more clarity and focus to mine;
  • After much sustained effort changing my eating (bad) habits and exercising more, I've lost 5.5kg since we were in Queenstown - that's almost a stone for those still working in old fashioned measurements, and I feel so much happier with myself.  When I thought about it the other day I realised that 5.5kg is more than the weight of most babies - and I know how heavy they are as I often cuddle one for a few hours when I'm on night duty to give their mum a rest (a good excuse!).  Isn't it amazing what we can do when we put our minds to it?;
  • The midwife I've been mentoring since January is doing a great job and gaining in confidence each time we meet; she'll soon be able to drop the title 'New Graduate' as she'll have achieved everything she set out to do in her first year of practice;
  • Best of all, my eldest daughter and her husband adopted a little boy called Leon on Monday 10 October.  I have never, in all my time as a midwife, seen two happier, more deserving parents.  It's been a long, unexpected and often painful journey for them, and it's so heart-warming to see them so fulfilled at last.  Of course it means that Barry and I are now grandparents, and we introduced ourselves to Leon on Skype on Wednesday - Grandma and Grandad kiwi!  We can't wait to see him in person in March 2012;
  • Barry, having advertised for his photography two-day workshops, had given up hope when no-one had registered for the first course in September, and by last week no-one had expressed much interest at all in the other two.  Then suddenly, late last week, he got an influx of texts and emails and now has six people registered for his November workshops, and two for February;
  • He's also gained employment as a manager of one of the polling stations in the general election in November - not a great earner, but something different and some extra pocket money;
  • The other huge piece of news, is that on Thursday, after weeks of pontificating and putting it out there, Barry signed a lease for a shop in Gisborne to commence selling home brew kits and other things such as cheese making kits.  New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world where it's legal to make your own spirits, and we supply many other countries with spirit 'flavourings' due to it's popularity.  Of course there's beer, wine and cider to delight the appetite too.  Barry made a very lovely Pinot Grigio recently in around five days - it would be difficult to tell the difference between this and a bottle from a winery (unless you're a serious wine buff of course!), and the cider I can verify is extremely drinkable.  Everyone he's spoken to in the past few weeks have had a tale to tell about what they want to make, from our dentist with his abundance of limes wanting to make a type of lemoncello (is that how it's spelt?), to the landlord who said he's always wanted to brew his own beer so could be the first customer!  We reckon it's going to be a huge success - and by the law of attraction if we think it is then of course we'll be right!

Away from our influence is the other amazing and exciting event to come this weekend - the Rugby World Cup Final!  You can feel the pride and joy of a nation everywhere as those magnificent All Blacks saw off our biggest rivals the Australians last weekend - and didn't they play well?  They have such a presence on the field and the Haka sends shivers down my spine every time, they also have what most other teams don't have - an awesome team spirit.  Richie McCaw is one of the best leaders I know; he's pretty gorgeous too (and Barry knows I think that so it must be ok, lol!).  We'll be watching the game at the Waiohika Estate Winery for Gisborne's Food and Wine Festival, and the weather seems to have just turned into summer so it promises to be a fabulous day.  Just in case the French win, I've put a $20 bet on them to win so that I shall be happy either way - problem is that I foolishly left it too late.  Earlier in the week the odds on them winning were 26:1, today they're only 6:1 - I should've grasped the opportunity when it arose, another lesson learnt.

Ah well, GO THE ALL BLACKS!!  It will be priceless if they win, and there'll be a few photos of the celebrations on the next blog ...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A few of my favourite things, and a disappearing Barry…

For numerous reasons, but mostly time constraints, I’ve chosen not to follow through on our proposal to write a blog about ten of our favourite places from our 2010 journeys on the waterways of Britain.  We’ve taken so long to just get up to date with the blog that I feel it’s time we made a commitment to write more regularly, and as much as possible in ‘real time’. - well, apart from a few snaps from our trip to Sydney on the return journey to New Zealand last November!

Our mini-break for my birthday at the end of September was lovely and relaxing; we were even blessed with so much sunshine that I got sunburnt.  Most people’s daily lives these days have been taken over by technology, ours included, so it was wonderful to have a couple of days where we didn’t have access to the internet or mobile phones.

Mahia peninsula is just less than an hour's drive from Gisborne, and is one of my most favourite places.  Check out these photos and you'll see why ...









Our picnic table on Taylors Beach, a 2 minute walk from where we were staying

P1450371 An optical illusion, or some rather large pumice stones?




A collage of cabbage trees

P1450410 Somewhere amongst the trees down there are two homes

P1450404 How about that for a view?









An abundance of wildlife - turkeys and goats check us out ...

P1450457 ... and the odd curious cow










Packing up the picnic and leaving the beach bach (short for the 'bachelor pad' of old, New Zealanders are renowned for their bach's at the beach)

P1450487 A little bike ride on my 52nd birthday - a little uphill section

P1450489 The spectacular view from some sections of land for sale

P1450544 Scrummy Galaxy chocolate from Lisa for my birthday - a real treat, they don't sell it in NZ!

P1450624 Hard to imagine but the waves are crashing against some abandoned railway carriages

Although it's fabulous to escape the 21st century occasionally, I’ve recently ordered one of the new, 6” Kindles from Amazon for a xmas present to myself.  I’m having it delivered to my parents address in Worcester, and won't get to play with it until we come in March 2012.  I love my books and have a bookcase full – though not as full as it used to be as I’ve recently sorted through and am selling or giving some away.  Barry has yet to make a start on his vast collection!  The Kindle I’ve bought holds up to 1,500 books, which I thought sounds as many as I would ever need.

On Sunday, Barry gave away his New Zealand boat, ‘The Final Cut’, which hasn’t seen water (apart from rain) since I met him almost six years ago!  It was going to be sold when we moved here in 2008, until we realised that there was so much parking space at the house we bought together, that it could come with us - so it’s been sitting at the bottom of the garden ever since.  Now it’s in new hands, they may even find the time to do it up and get it back into the water – just the beginning of us downsizing our ‘stuff’ in preparation for returning to UK around February 2013.

We were sad to see that Paul and Elaine didn’t achieve the price they were hoping for at their house auction recently, and hope that it’s just a minor glitch in their dream.  How frustrating to have sold your house once and now look likely to have to sell it for a lot less than someone was willing to pay for it just a few months ago.   Who knows what the market will be like in New Zealand this time next year, but there’s no point dwelling on ‘what might be’, “what you give energy to grows and expands" is one of my Life Coaching mantras, so I’m putting it out there that our home will sell for a good price towards the end of 2012 so we can return to the cut.

The All Blacks remain in the Rugby World Cup, thank goodness!  At the end of the first half I was wondering if they were going to go the same way as Ireland and England!  Barry and I are going to be at the Gisborne Food and Wine Festival on Sunday 23 October, and we'll be watching the final on the big screen in the open air.  Fingers crossed for fine weather and the kiwi boys, though Barry's said all along that Australia are going to win, so it's maybe more likely to be an Australian/France final.  We shall see …

Talking of Australia, here's a few shots from our few days with Peter, Barry's younger brother, last November:

P1410939A-Panorama1 Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House









New development Ceinwen, Peter's daughters' mother, is overseeing is in the foreground


Little and large














A very fascinating tour of the Opera House

P1420102 A rare picture of the two of us


The Harbour Bridge is pretty spectacular isn't it?CCF10102011_00000

Barry's green t-shirt faded into the background of the green cloth that the photographer used! 

P1420135 Meeting up with Paul, from 'Nb The Manly Ferry' for a drink in Manly

P1410912 Bye for now Sarah, Peter and Amy