More About Us

Barry

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,  ‘Ezimade’, using his extensive knowledge and experience to interact with his customers!  Barry sold the shop in September 2013.

Sandra

Sandra (Walsh) was born at home in Solihull, in 1959, and is a qualified nurse and midwife. She had a 35-year career in the NHS and New Zealand, in a wide range of clinical and leadership positions.

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!

Strong together

6918_154997049272_575054272_2540715_6268751_n[6]Barry and Sandra married in 2009. Initially in England, on the roof of their first narrowboat ‘Northern Pride’, on a sunny September day. Then back in New Zealand for Sandra’s dream beach wedding in December. Sandra chose to retain her maiden name of ‘Walsh’.  Teutenberg is just too hard for people to spell (and she often got it wrong!).

Between them, Barry and Sandra have four grown up children; two in NZ, one in UK, and one currently in Nigeria of all places! They also have two gorgeous grandsons in England.

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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 their house, sold, gave away or stored their belongings, and returned to England on 20th March 2013 ‘indefinitely’. Sandra spent a large amount of time over the next five years caring for her elderly parents, who have now sadly both died.

They purchased a narrowboat called ‘AREandARE’.  At 60′ 2″ long, she has room for family and friends to come and visit (which they frequently do!), as well as space for Sandra and Barry to run their businesses.

Making Their Floating Lifestyle Sustainable

In March 2013 Sandra completed a Diploma in Holistic Life Coaching with Life Coach Associates, Auckland, NZ, and coached clients online. In November 2016 Sandra took a break from coaching,  due to the vagaries of narrowboat living.

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Facepainting at Tipton Canal Festival, September 2017

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.  By 2018 she’d mostly let go of Facepainting,  finding it too challenging to succeed travelling around, and with sparse storage space on board.

During March 2018 Sandra began an online ‘job’ with a brilliant company called ‘Ad-Extra‘. This is a self-employed contractual position, fitting around travelling and family events.  She’s building and managing Google Ads accounts for clients, and thoroughly enjoying the new challenge and steep learning curve. 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 to trade on wet fields!

Newly painted Duck Food box

It’s not quite as much fun as facepainting though – which is why she’s also painting Canal Art as time allows, 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). For four years he’s sold everything you need to make your own beer, wine, cider and spirits. As we near the end of 2018, he’s still trading – but there’s changes afoot – watch this space!

Barry has often had photography published in Waterways World – with a scoop of their front cover page in June 2015! His winter scene at Hopwas was a ‘picture of the month’ earlier this year, and is one of his Greeting Cards. In March 2018, his image of ‘Little Venice and reflections in the canal’, appeared in an article in The Wall Street Journal. Check out his extensive range of stunning waterways images on Greeting Cards and framed pictures.

Sandra’s had articles 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.

 

The Home Brew Boat at Middlewich FAB Festival, June 2017

It’s been a work in progress following the successful first stage of his UK Spousal Sponsored visa application in October 2013. The second round was successfully negotiated in July 2016; the culmination of the final ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ stage will be applied for in February 2019.

 

 

 2017 Lichfield Calendar Club store

Our Three Spires Calendar Club shop in 2017

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. From October 2017 to January 2018, Sandra and Barry ran a store at the Three Spires Shopping Centre in Lichfield. And loved it. So much so, they’re repeating it in the 2018/19 season.

Barry and Sandra are determined to make their chosen ‘alternative’ lifestyle sustainable …
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