It’s been a crazy year so far. Travelling to Nigeria, Northmoor and New Zealand in the space of three months has been incredible.
It does now mean we’re a quarter of the way through already – time flies when you’re having fun!
I recently spoke to a couple of people in their 70s, who are still gainfully employed. One of them full-time. They revealed to me that not working wasn’t really an option for them. They couldn’t comprehend what on earth they’d ‘do’ with their time in the space that would be open to them.
I’m thankful that’s not a problem I/we have.
However, having been so reckless and impulsive as to stop ‘working’ in the usual way prematurely, we’re also very aware of the need to settle down a tad for the next nine months and bring in some much-needed income to support our flexible floating lifestyle.
Of course ‘settling down’ isn’t quite that – travelling is our constant companion and that’s how we love it.
A pictorial journey from London to New Zealand to Gloucester
The time Barry almost had to stay in New Zealand!!
Luckily we’d left plenty of time to chill at Auckland airport, despite the flat tyre on the seven plus hour journey from Gisborne. Not having access to a printer, we hadn’t checked in on-line.
I went to one of the Air New Zealand check in booths and put my passport in. All good. I said ‘yes’ to checking in another passenger, and placed Barry’s passport on the scanner. REJECT!
I was aghast. Surely there was some mistake.
So I went through the whole process again. Same thing.
My heart was beating a little faster by now. I called Barry over and said it wasn’t taking his passport. Then I realised …
It runs out in August 2017. To enter UK as a foreigner, you must have a minimum of six months left. He had less than five.
Oh dear …
There followed an anxious half an hour as we found someone to help, initially queueing in the incorrect place. During this time I was frantically trying to work the implications of Barry having to remain and me flying off. Barry in the meantime, as per usual, was as cool as a cucumber. I’m not sure how he does it. But it’s one of the many things I love about this.
Sure enough, it was fine.
Because he has his residency visa, which is valid until March 2019.
Back on board
We arrived into Heathrow on Saturday 1st April, and headed up to mum’s by tube, two trains and a taxi. Barry headed back to Areandare at Hawne Basin the following day, and I drove up to my daughter Lisa’s on Monday 3rd for our youngest grandson’s fourth birthday on 4th April.
I finally got back on board Areandare, after an absence of almost three months, on Thursday 5th April. I have to say it was wonderful to be ‘home’.
Since then we’ve meandered down to Gloucester, a trip we’ve been wanting to do for many years but never quite been able to squeeze in before.
On Wednesday we caught a bus, a train and another bus to mum’s once more. Then we drove to Birmingham – I bought Barry tickets to see The Who for his birthday in December last year. It didn’t quite fit into our cruising schedule but hey ho! That’s yet another joy of our flexible floating lifestyle!
Today, Easter Friday, Barry is (hopefully) mooring up at Shepherd’s Patch, on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, near to Tudor Caravan Park, to trade for the weekend. I’ve remind at mum’s as I’ve got a facepainting booking at Hadley Bowling Green Inn, not far from here, on Easter Sunday. Then I’m driving to Brighton on Monday to see my youngest daughter who had knee reconstruction surgery three weeks ago so is on a break from her teaching job in Nigeria until May.
Then in two weeks time, it’s the start of our season of festivals – commencing with St Richard’s in Droitwich, where we’re absolutely delighted to welcome back Helen and Andy, of Wild Side, after their unexpected year off.
I’ve finally figured out how to post from my phone, so my intention is to blog more frequently, and shorter. We’ll see how that pans out aye?
Have fun everyone. Life is too short not to.