Barry and I haven’t engaged with Christmas shopping for some years now, unsurprisingly it doesn’t feature on our ‘essential spending’ list! Years ago, when my children were growing up and we were surrounded by close family, I found aspects of the festive season enjoyable.

However, we’re keenly aware there’s no escaping the craziness of Christmas here in the western world. Whether we like it or not, we also have to sustain ourselves financially – and this year we’re caught up marketing and selling to all those people who DO love and actively participate in the festive season.

We’re over half-way through our Calendar Club commitments, and enjoying the simplicity of the work. So much so that we’re seriously considering applying for our own ‘shop’ or ‘mall unit’ next year. Read More

Working for The Calendar Club’s Tamworth store, whilst Barry works for the (downstairs) Merry Hill one, mostly means relying on public transport. Apart from when we’re moored at Merry Hill’s embankment (as we currently are) – well for Barry that is!

Last week we were moored in Tipton. Admittedly not the most salubrious of areas, but we’ve grown rather fond of it for a number of reasons – one of which is the closeness to a railway station into Birmingham!

Tipton SlasherThere’s a couple of small supermarkets, two fish and chip shops (if you’ve never tried lightly battered chips you haven’t lived – a Black Country delicacy), a Post Office, the ‘Tipton Slasher’, and of course Mad O’Rorke’s famous pie factory.

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The Home Brew Boat

After a couple of weeks in central Birmingham, we’re now moored in Tipton once again. It’s a short walk to the train station here, and much quieter than the big city!

You won’t be surprised to know that living and working on a narrowboat never featured in my long-term ‘life’ plans until the British summer of 2010 when Barry and I decided to leave our respective hamster wheels indefinitely – and live differently. It was a challenge to predict long-term how this would pan-out. Read More

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