Feeling the benefits of inserting a pause

I (mostly) love our life. The infinite variety, frequent uncertainty, and adventurousness we experience.

Occasionally it becomes overwhelming. Especially the recent 14 weeks non-stop working portion!

I’m confident 2018 promises to bring many gifts our way; I’m also anticipating a few challenges. Mum will be a cause for concern as her Alzheimer’s continues to take a tighter hold. The quagmire of organising the support she needs to keep her in her familiar surroundings is a veritable minefield – I’m managing to stop either of us getting blown to bits so far! Additionally we have the final application for Barry’s Spousal Sponsored UK Visa application to successfully navigate. He has to pass his ‘Life in the UK’ test, which I’m sure most British people wouldn’t. At least a 75% pass is required – though if he ‘fails’ he can continue to take it until he passes, at just £50 a time! He knows more about UK than I ever have or will, so I’m sure he’ll walk it easily.

We have to pay another ridiculous sum to apply for his right to stay in his wife’s country with her – and prove, for the third time, that we are a legitimate couple having now been that way for 12 years. It’s rather tiresome to be honest. Continue reading

This is Mercia Marina not Morroco! 

Having taken up the invitation of a trade mooring at Mercia Marina in the winter of 2015, we got to know the office staff there quite well. Barry more than me which is just how it is while I’m a regular member of the ‘sandwich’ generation and consequently often absent from Areandare.

Once we left in January 2016, the idea of holding a ‘Floating Market’ there was postulated. Tony Preston and I chatted amiably about how if could work, but it wasn’t until it actually happened that we could highlight the challenges and the possibilities.

This year we were the only trade boat who returned – for a variety of reasons. A number of traders chose not to go back because of the narrowness of the ‘finger’ pontoons. They felt unsafe in there precariousness. And two boats had traded from one pontoon which made it more challenging. Continue reading

Mercia Marina’s First Floating Market

Returning to Mercia Marina last week, for their first Floating Market, produced many more magical memories for us.

Shortly after mooring up on the trade boats pontoon, at almost the same spot we spent November and December 2015, there was a knocking at the canalside kitchen window. We like to believe the playful swan  attracting our attention was the same one we got to know last year.

She saw us and wanted to show off her cute cygnets … Continue reading