Reflections from Brighouse to Huddersfield

I’m betting you’re thinking “You”re a little out of synch Sandra!” from the title of this post – and you’d be right!

We’re actually currently moored in marvellous Marple, and Barry’s trading here opposite the services for a couple of days.

We’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Melina (hope the spelling’s correct?) who read my previous post, took the initiative and called Barry up to see if he wanted a hand up the 16 locks of the Marple flight. Initially he said he would be ok I believe, but he was very thankful that he accepted as they’re a bugger to do as a solo boater he soon discovered!

The reason for the disjointedness of places and posts is I haven’t had chance to publish Barry’s photos from much of this latest journey yet. So here’s a start – and expect the remainder, with a bit of luck, before we set off for Cornwall at the weekend!

The very jovial Jim, from what used to be Starcross and his wife, are coming to boat sit while we’re away. So don’t be surprised if you see AreandAre with people on board you don’t recognise.

Brighouse and the calder and Hebble

We stayed a couple of nights in Brighouse, where the ‘Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band’ originate. It’s an interesting little town, not as affluent-seeming as Hebden Bridge or Todmorden, but has a lovely comfortable ‘vibe’ to it.

Having said that, we experienced for only the second time in five years of narrowboating, a challenge with some local youngsters.  They’d been hanging around by the side of the moorings at the back of Tesco late into the night, and Barry suddenly jumped up in the early hours and shouted ‘OY‘, as he’d felt them pull the mooring pin out at the back of the boat.  They ran off swiftly, just a silly spur of the moment harmless prank.


Barry sees beauty in old and crumbling buildings


A stunning building in Brighouse – probably an old grain silo


Our mooring, opposite an old Mill building converted into apartments


The basin at Brighouse


Lots of old mill buildings around Cooper Bridge – this is a reflection of the building in the water


And another beautiful building and its reflection


Here’s the proof!


Breathtaking bridge – and yes, another reflection!


On the River Calder now


A lunchtime stop in Mirfield


Shepley Bridge Marina on the River Calder


Watch out for the weir! Mr heron takes a break and a look around


Back onto the Calder and Hebble towards the Huddersfield Broad Canal


A last look at the river

The Huddersfield Broad Canal


On our way to Huddersfield – a scenic and serene journey


Lots of floating greenery here


Looks like plenty of water


A colourful canal boat passes us by


Viaduct across the canal


Looks like the ivy has taken over this ancient Mill building


A huge recycling plant along the journey – doing a great job but goodness, what an eyesore!


Once again, Barry finds the beauty in the mundane


Magnificent Mill chimney and lift bridge on the approach to the moorings in Huddersfield


Working out how each one functions is always fascinating


A veritable feat of engineering


Aspley Basin, Huddersfield


Not finished with the reflecting yet!


What a wonderful sight – a timeless shot


A stunning vista from the basin


The black and white makes it an even more timeless shot


You can just see AreandAre in the distance


The view from our mooring – not bad aye?




 We did leave the marina too – there’ll be a few images of our meander around Huddersfield, the town of my father’s birth, in the next post.

On the subject of reflections, we have a photo of Barrys’ on Pinterest of Little Venice in London, with amazing reflections of trees and boats, that’s been re-pinned countless times. What a shame we don’t get any income from re-pinnings lol!


Through Barry’s lens – Kiwi friends on board …

We’ve so much to blog about it’s ridiculous, but things went awry while we were plagued by a distinct lack of internet signal for the wifi whilst in Huddersfield and Standedge (apparently there was a dysfunctional Vodafone mast).

It’s okay, we’ll catch up again. And we’ve had other priorities to ponder on, as you’ll know if you read our last post below.

Barry’s now making his way to Marple by Monday (so yes, for those who’re wondering, we DID make it through the tunnel ok). I’m at my parents until Monday – though it could be Tuesday if I can’t sort out a few issues here in time!

Anyway, I digress. Onto the purpose of this post …

Precious and priceless moments

I’m aware we’ve already posted about the places and people in this blog.

This time the images are Barry’s, so they’re definitely worth a share, especially for our dear friends the Weatherley-Libeau’s who spent two extraordinary nights on board AreandAre recently.

These are for you Alison, Gary, Dylan and Jade – by the time this is posted they’ll be back in Aotearoa and the paradise that is Gisborne.


Histroic, heavenly Hebden Bridge from our mooring last month


A delightful town, such a convivial and co-operative atmosphere


Amazing canal-side homes


Houses built into the hills all around


Bunting remains after Le Tour de Yorkshire/France


A green and pleasant land



Colourful shop fronts – locally owned and managed, the only large chain store here is the Co-op! And I’m reliably informed that a huge % of businesses are owned by women


Ali, Jade and Gary – looking chilled


Off we go to do a spot of locking …


Passsing live-aboard moored boats


And the first lock of the journey


Dylan’s in charge already!


Nonchalantly walking to the lock as if they’d done it a thousand times before!


No problem at all – what a team!


Like father, like son – laid back and happy


We look quite jolly too!


The lovely lock ladies


Mesmerised by the deepest lock on the system


Only just room for the two boats


An abundance of statuesque old mill buildings all around the area


How’s this for a perspective?


Sowerby Bridge hosts a magnificent tribute to working boaters


Sowerby Bridge weir


Barry was highly amused by this – I’m not so not sure it’s terribly PC to publish on a blog!


A group photo after a meal at ‘The Moorings’ – the menu hooked us in as it looked and sounded fabulous. Sadly the food wasn’t as expected, but the company more than made up for it


Captain Jade – took to it like a duck to water


Look at the focus in their faces!


The iPad went everywhere, taking photos – Ali’s behind there somewhere


The most unusual lock paddle mechanisms on the Hebble and Calder Navigation


The quaint lock cottage at the first of the Calder and Hebble Navigation


We’re all eagerly waiting to see whether AreandAre will make it through the next two locks!


Opening the gate for Barry


oo-er! That looks like a tight fit!


Fast forward to the last lock of the day (there’s more photos, that Sandra took, of the shortest locks on a previous blog post)


Incredible structures, Guillotine locks – in the past few weeks we’ve encountered three having never previously done any!


What a mighty fine team!


Thanks guys – you were all amazing!

It was sad to see them leave us, but we totally understand how many places and people there are to see when on your overseas adventure. Getting to spend two days and nights we’ve this gorgeous family was something we’d been looking forward to for a long time, and will remember fondly forever.

We do have some wonderful friends and feel very blessed.

Haere Mai/welcome back to Gisborne – we miss you all!

Saying goodbye to June – an eerie experience

Last Thursday afternoon we received the telephone call from Barry’s elder brother Ray we’d been both anticipating, and dreading. Sadly, Barry’s mum’s life drew to a calm close in the early hours of last Thursday, 24th July, New Zealand time.

Her quality of life had been unsettled since the end of 2010 when she became increasingly unwell. Due to a catalogue of challenges with the higher echelons of medical staff, and her daughter-in-law advocating on her behalf with insider nursing knowledge gained over many years (I’m certain that if she’d been 20 years younger her treatment would’ve been completely different),  June finally received a diagnosis of Aeromonas infection five months after her sickness began. By that time, she’d also been infected with ‘C-Diff‘, the bacteria that returned to visit her body recently, and I believe finally overcame her.

We then, to our dismay, tracked back the start of her problem to a dinner she’d shared with Barry and I, shortly after we returned from our second UK narrow boating trip in November 2010, which included marinated fish for starters.

Be warned readers – never give raw/marinated in lemon juice fish, to the elderly or young children. A fact subsequently etched indelibly in my mind.

The past three and a half years brought her much discomfort, too many hospital admissions, and a variety of unsavoury exploratory investigations. Fortunately, these were also interspersed with some incredible adventures and nourishing times with family and friends.

From this experience, and the journey I’m on with my own parents, it feels as though Barry and I are increasingly experiencing one of life’s significant lessons. Being fortunate enough to live to a ripe old age can be looked upon, and experienced, as either a blessing or a curse – depending on the quality of your day-to-day life.

An inspirational matriarch

Being the eldest of six children may’ve been what helped define June’s stupendous strength of mind and iron will. In adult life she was an English teacher, prolific swimmer and surf life saver, wife to Frank, and mother of four children. She often told me that the best day of her life was the one when her youngest child, Jenny, a much longed for daughter, was born.

Like me, she didn’t suffer fools gladly, and spoke her mind when she felt strongly about an issue. This got her into trouble at times – something I can definitely relate to!

June’s fortitude, courage and uncomplaining manner has been amazing to witness.

In 2009, we had an inkling that she was planning to come and see us on our first UK narrow boating experience. She’d travelled to Europe, alone, for her big Overseas Experience (or OE as the kiwis call it) in her 70s (I think, Barry can’t recall exactly), and like her son, loved England. She really hoped to re-visit Cornwall.

Unfortunately, six weeks into our six-month trip, Frank was diagnosed with a brain tumour which put paid to anything she may have been pondering on.

Barry and I are going to Cornwall for a holiday in a couple of weeks, with my daughters, son-in-law and grandsons, so we’ll think of June often and hope her spirit follows us there.


Our Wainui Beach wedding, 26th December 2009, less than two months after Frank’s death – he’s in the photo at the front with the Teutenberg clan present on the day (Jamie was missing as she was in England, and Amy wasn’t able to come from Sydney)


Such a smartly dressed lady, she had such fun that night and even declined going home early with her granddaughter as she wanted to dance the night away! Good on you June!

In between her illnesses, in August 2011 she travelled with us all to Queenstown for her granddaughter Emma’s wedding.


Jenny, Ray, June, Sandra and Peter in Queenstown


Keeping each other warm waiting for the boat trip


On board the TSS Earnslaw

To cap it all, she decided she’d spend her 87th Christmas (2011) in Australia, visiting her youngest son Peter, adored granddaughters Amy and Sarah, and daughter Jenny. Not knowing how long she’d stay, and wanting flexibility,  she flew to Sydney on a one-way ticket! How cool is that?

During this period of fairly good health, around 18 months, she was able to return to her beloved golf – and line dancing. I used to go with her whenever I could – line dancing that is, not golf! We had such fun together. Her mind was as sharp as a tack, and she beat Barry and I at scrabble most of the time, just like I’m informed her mother had excelled in her time.

She also delighted in a holiday with her younger brother, Dick, and his wife Gail, to Brunei and Hong Kong.

The beginning of the end

Around this time of year two years ago, after more exploratory investigations to find out what was causing a repeat of her problems (going privately this time due to the trauma of cancellations and mis-communications), June suffered a number of strokes. For a few days she was unconscious, and no-one expected her to survive.

But survive she did.

And then some!

Some time later, as she recovered slowly, a family meeting was called. The consensus of professional opinions of the nurses and physiotherapists was that June was unlikely to ever walk again, and it was recommended by the team that she go to a hospital wing of a nursing home.

Guess what happened the very next day!

Yep, you guessed, she garnered all the strength and focus she could muster, got up and walked.


Taking part in the activities at Te Wiremu – an Easter Bonnet day I seem to recall

Sadly June never became well enough to return home, but she did choose a wonderful place to spend the remainder of her days – Te Wiremu House, in Gisborne. She’s been cared for wonderfully there for the past two years, by the nurses and carers, and made lots of friends with her fellow residents. In many ways it was a blessing, as she was never alone. I would love to find such a comforting place for my dad to be cared for in, close to his home. Maybe such a place exists – if anyone knows please tell me as his time for such intensive support may be drawing near.


June having a break from the rest home, in our previous house in Gisborne, with Suki-Lou, our cat (who still resides there happily)


Another of the many get-togethers organised at Te Wiremu House – NZ summer 2012


Enjoying a lunch date with her daughter-in-law, at Cafe Villagio


Saying goodbye, March 2013

Barry saw June again after his March 2013 goodbye, last August to October

Barry saw June again after his March 2013 goodbye, last August to October

A virtual funeral

Last night we had a surreal experience. I reckon that if there’s such a thing as life after death, and you can be a witness to your own funeral, then Barry and I had a taste of what that could be like.

June’s celebration of life and farewell, was held at Evans Funeral Services in Gisborne. David Parker and his team are the most fantastic people. When I die, I’m hoping they’re all still around as that’s where I want my gathering to be.

We ‘live streamed‘ the whole occasion, from the first people arriving to the last leaving. We could see and hear everything, but couldn’t be seen or heard ourselves. It was a little freaky, but also fantastic to be able to feel a part of her farewell from the other side of the world.

I’ve only known June since February 2006, but in those eight years she became a very special part of my life, and it’s painful to accept she’s no longer in this world. I’ve missed her from the day we left Gisborne in March 2013, and am so sad that when I return to Gisborne, which I know I will do one day, she will no longer be there.

But she will live in our heart and memory forever, as not just a mother and mother-in-law, but a dear friend and role model.