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 ...

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