Sunday, 7 November 2021

Bella holds a new family

We write from a house. Yesterday we visited Bella's new gorgeous family to help them understand her quirks and happiness. Yes, we've sold her and moved off.

For those for whom this is news, it was a sudden and unexpected decision! It was toward the end of June, a Tuesday. The idea popped into Elizabeth's head to move off Bella and live in a house. No warning, no build up of disliking Bella or the boating life. Indeed, in the months leading up, we'd bought a new mattress, replaced plumbing and continued to imagine our future in Melbourne Australia where we're to retire in just over three years. The moving off idea was tested with Pete who agreed in seconds. No shock at the idea, just immediate and sudden agreement. From that Tuesday to the Saturday of the same week, we decided to rent, found a house in Braunston and paid the deposit. That's it! We moved at the end of July, Bella went on the market in August and we had the offer two weeks ago. We signed the bill of sale exactly 14 years to the day when we moored up in Hillmorton to begin this life.

We've loved our floating life. It was a huge and challenging learning curve those first few months which is why we visited Bella's new family. A few hints and tips might help! We loved our years when we cruised a lot and loved our years when we hardly moved. We had no yearning to move off except the plan for Australia. It must just have been the right thing to do. Sealed, oddly, by this lovely family making the decision to live on a boat around the same time we decided not to. There we are. 

Sunday, 17 January 2021

New Year fuel

 What a year for us all! Clearly no cruising, but we still love the life. Here we are at the sink after brunch and out the window is Star Class carrying, our fuel supplier. Mark brings us the bottled gas we use to cook along with coal and wood for the stove. We simply enjoy the experience of this close connection to the things we use to manage this life. 

Yes, we know it's coal that we use for heating, but it's what there is and we reckon it's better than gallons galore of diesel for very ineffective central heating. In the colder months, we also use the solid fuel stove to simmer stocks, sauces and casseroles.  In the months of longer days, we have much solar power to fuel the occasional fan heater, let alone all the 
leccy needed for the computers for Pete to work from home. 

Life in many ways for us is the same as ever, with Pete doing far more water management from our home desk as he manages his team. Elizabeth is alone in her studio and all of her meetings and teaching are moved to online. We're lucky to have easy access to the outdoors and quite a distance from any neighbours. We are grateful and deeply aware of so many of you for whom this time has been terribly difficult. Our hearts embrace you.

Friday, 24 April 2020

End of the week

It's been quite a week for us all. Whatever, a glass of chilled white on deck is quite a cure.

Monday, 23 September 2019

The dawn

This is one of the reasons we like being moored northabouts for the winter. In the mornings, we can stand at the sink and look up at the glowing new day. Ahh.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Tiny equinox cruise

We decided that we wanted to moor northabouts for the winter. The solar panels will get much more sun and, well get the stern deck facing open water rather than our neighbours' boats.

What a gorgeous day! The wind was in our  favour, used well by tiller man Pete who gently turned us at Norton Junction. The wind gently nudged us back to moorings. It was a short cruise, but so delicious. We spent most of the afternoon just breathing in the September light and breeze whilst sitting on deck. Even Maxwell relaxed in the afternoon shade. Gorgeous day.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Back home home

Mr Well is delighted that the day is over. He hates locks. But he loves boating!!! This trip really reinforced how much he loves the cruising. As soon as the engine starts, his tail starts to wag and he rounds us up to go on deck asap. He spends the whole cruising time watching for dogs, especially standing when we slow down to pass moored boats. He stares at the sterns expecting a friendly yelp if possible. Yet he can't bear if one of us leaves the boat while journeying. Locks are a nightmare with one of us off at each one. So for locks, we leave him inside. Then he spends the whole time with paws variously on the dining room chair or the dining room shelf or the steps to the doors. Whining, he stares at us. Outside. Whilst he's inside. Not good. So with the final day's activity being the 7 locks of the Buckby flight taking just over 3 hours, he's shattered.  T
hat lump by the radiator is one tired pooch!

We set out from Weedon this morning then moored at the bottom of the flight. One of Pete's colleagues collected him en route from Buckby to Stoke Bruerne to collect Reg. P parked up at the top of the flight then walked the 2 miles back to Bella. The work up the flight included showers of both rain and hail, but there were enough breaks to dry off between. That said there are now 2 coats, 2 hats, and various things hanging to dry!

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Working our way back

We were very pleased to have the Met Office app available today. How not like our first years!!! We realised that we needed to set out immediately after breakfast and not at lunch. This is the no rush part of the trip so it was going to be a 1/2 day no matter.

We set out in sun with occasional cloud and the rain started at tie up to moorings in Weedon. Perfect. In the between showers spell, E collected kindling from the towpath hedges and P won a few killer sudokus. V holiday!

We treated ourselves with dinner at the Navigation at Stowe Hill. On the way home, we saw these cows who seemed to be in the wrong place!