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.
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 loved gaining experience and becoming proficient painting at canal festivals, land based events and children’s parties over four seasons. In 2018 she’s mostly letting go of Facepainting, as once again it’s a bit of an uphill struggle to make it worthwhile due to travelling around and lack of storage space on board.
In March 2018 Sandra began an online ‘job’ with a brilliant company called ‘Ad-Extra‘. This is a self-employed contractual position, and fits around travelling and family events. Her title is currently ‘Business Development Manager’, contacting businesses already using Google Ad-Words who look as though they could do with improved support for a better return on their investment. Her ‘boss’, Dom, is currently (May 2018) climbing Mount Everest, and she’s really hoping he makes it up and back safely so she can start taking on accounts to build and manage. This ‘work’ is what she’s been looking for as it’s completely location independent and flexible, and doesn’t involve carrying gazebos and cases!
Not quite as much fun as facepainting though – which is why she’s also doing some Canal Art to sell, and selling Duck Food (both added to their CRT trading licence for 2018).
Barry set up a home brew supplies business from the boat, built a magnificent website (The Home Brew Boat), and has had his photography published in Waterways World – with a scoop of their front cover page in June 2015! Most recently (March 2018), his image of ‘Little Venice and reflections in the canal’, has appeared in an article in The Wall Street Journal! He also has a range of stunning waterways images on Greeting Cards and framed pictures.
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. What Barry and Sandra are focussing more on in 2018, is their writing and photography partnership.
It’s all been a work in progress following the first stage of his UK Spousal Sponsored visa being successful in 25th October 2013, the second round successfully negotiated in July 2016, and the culmination of the final ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ stage being applied for by the end of 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 the 2018/19 season.