It’s taken a while to pluck up the courage, but here we are at last!

We’ve been blogging about our adventures on the canals and rivers of the United Kingdom for five years now, beginning on Blogger in April 2009, after buying our first narrowboat ‘Northern Pride’. That year, and during 2010, we were incredibly fortunate to experience ‘The best of both worlds’, spending six-months in UK and the other half of the year in New Zealand.

Can you imagine missing out winter for three years – our seasons were summer, autumn, spring, summer, autumn, spring, summer, autumn, spring, summer, autumn, spring, summer!

From someone who dislikes cold weather (one of the reasons I immigrated to the sunny east coast of the North Island of NZ in 2005), it was blissful.

In April 2013, our plans to stay in England for much longer came to fruition. We bought a longer narrowboat, and returned to the Inland Waterways to live ‘indefinitely’. Having now experienced my first British winter since 2003, and Barry’s first ever, I’ll reluctantly admit it wasn’t so bad really (I know, I’ve heard, it was a mild one thank goodness!).

Today we’re excitedly launching our first post on WordPress, having toyed for 12 months on whether to continue with the existing and popular blog, or shift allegiance and upgrade ‘Areandare’ to her own url (like all loveable females, she won in the end).

Main Line Canal, Birmingham

Travelling along the Main Line Canal, Birmingham

As we’re now not only ‘liveaboards’, but also ‘Roving Canal Traders‘, it seemed sensible to celebrate the shift with a brand new blog.

So here we are!

I’m Sandra, the author of the posts, with a focus on sharing our life aboard a narrowboat; its trials, tribulations and tantalising tales. And unashamedly we’ll be promoting our quest to make living this alternative lifestyle sustainable, while accepting we’re committed to following the ‘rules’ set by the people at the top, to gain Barry’s UK residency. This entails us successfully negotiating a series of interesting hurdles and obstacles, over a period of about five years.

Barry, my other half, is the photographer in the partnership – though it won’t always be his images featured! Frequently I’ll be both writer and picture provider, as by the time I’ve managed to get the stunning photography from my kiwi husband, it could be days (or weeks) after the events! Admittedly, they’re always worth waiting for …

On Saturday we’ll be trading as ‘The Home Brew Boat‘ at The Spring Market, The Bond, Digbeth, Birmingham from 12 midday to 1800hrs.  We have a wide and interesting stock available, an amusing banner to delight the punters, some colourful bunting, and a float with plenty of change sourced from Birmingham’s Barclays Bank.

Most importantly, we’ve a wonderfully willing, and very knowledgable home brewer available to show and sell his delightful wares to anyone he can persuade to share the fun and cost savings of making their own beer, wine, cider or spirits.

And I’ve discovered today, that if the stars align with dry weather and a suitable place to set up my small table and necessary supplies, I could be entertaining younger visitors to the market with some funtastic facepainting …

Birmingham's Spring Market

Birmingham’s Spring Market

If you’re in the area do come along and say ‘hi’. Or we’d be most appreciative of any support on our ‘Facebook‘ page with a ‘like’, a share or two, and/or any supportive comments.

Photos to follow – and they may even be some of Barry’s …

 

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