Barry (Teutenberg) was born in Gisborne on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand in 1955, living there all his life apart from 6 months in 1976 when he travelled to England with some friends and initially caught the ‘boating bug’ after spotting barges on the Norfolk Broads.
He ran a successful photography business for 35 years before selling it in 2008 to pursue his dream of travelling the waterways of Britain by narrowboat. Having spent many years photographing weddings, schools, family portraits and commercial work, Barry loved nothing better than capturing the beauty of the canals and places along the way, taking the majority of the photos for the blog during 2009 and 2010. In 2011 Barry opened up a ‘Home brew and more’ shop in Gisborne, New Zealand, using his extensive knowledge and experience to interact with his customers! Barry sold the shop in September 2013.
Sandra (Walsh) was born at home in Shirley, Solihull, in 1959 and is a qualified nurse and midwife, having practised nursing and midwifery in a variety of roles and places for 35 years. She fulfilled a long held dream and immigrated to New Zealand in January 2005, meeting Barry in January 2006 who subsequently persuaded her to return to England for six months in 2009 to buy a narrowboat!
Barry and Sandra married in 2009 – firstly in England on the roof of their narrowboat ‘Northern Pride’ in September, and then back in New Zealand on the beach in December. Sandra chose to retain her maiden name and vice versa! Barry and Sandra have four grown up children between them, two in NZ and two in UK – as well as two gorgeous grandsons in England.
Over two six-month periods in 2009 and 2010, Barry and Sandra travelled almost 2,000 miles on the waterways of England and Wales, following which they sold their beloved ‘Northern Pride’.
After much thought and planning, they sold up and packed, sold or gave away all their belongings, and returned to England on 20th March 2013 ‘indefinitely’, purchasing another narrowboat called ‘AREandARE’. She’s 60′ 2″ long, with room for family and friends to come and visit, as well as space for Sandra and Barry to run their businesses.
Sandra’s had articles published in nursing and midwifery publications, the Reader’s Digest, Waterways World, and the Gisborne Herald Weekender, and is the author of the words of the blog posts.
In March 2013 Sandra completed a Diploma in Holistic Life Coaching with Life Coach Associates, Auckland, NZ, and coached clients online, people looking to change something about their life in order to increase their sense and love of ‘self’, find more balance in their life, enhance personal happiness and fulfil their potential. In November 2016 Sandra took a break from coaching, as it wasn’t working as well as she wanted due to the vagaries of narrowboat living.
In the spring of 2014, she set up a facepainting business – ‘Funtastic Facepainting by Sandra‘ – and has loved gaining experience painting at canal festivals, land based events and children’s parties.
It’s all a work in progress following the first stage of his UK visa from 25th October 2013, the second round successfully negotiated in July 2016, and the culmination of the final ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ stage in October 2018.
In the winter of 2016, they each worked for other live aboard boaters who were running their own Calendar Club outlets for three months. The self-employed ‘season’ of this venture, fitted in perfectly with the trading season, so from October 2017 to January 2018, Sandra and Barry ran their own store at the Three Spires Shopping Centre in Lichfield – and loved it. Their intention is to repeat this in 2018/19 and 2019/20.