Sunday 6 February 2011

How our pipe dream became a plan

On our return home to Oz from our 2007 trip, I began reading narrowboaty things on the internet and one day stumbled across a blog about a retired couple who lived on their narrowboat : Sue and Vic on nb No Problem.  Goodness!  Now I had something to read on a regular basis, and reading I did – every single weekend. Our neighbours down the road shared a subscription to Canal Boat magazine with us and we waited eagerly each month for the magazine to arrive.

I daydreamed of us buying a narrowboat and cruising around the English countryside.  Mick must have thought I’d lost the plot.  We live on the other side of the world!  It took him some time after our return to get over his first overseas holiday.  He’d been homesick at the end and although he’d thoroughly enjoyed the trip (especially the few days on board the hire boat) he wasn’t thinking about the next trip like I was.  When I mentioned my narrowboat daydream he laughed it off.  Eventually he too started talking about our next trip

I kept showing him photos from the blog and reading him interesting entries.  We especially loved the fact that No Problem was also home to Lucy the border collie.

One day I clicked my way to another narrowboat blog and to my amazement the bloggers were from New Zealand!  It was Derek and Dot on nb Gypsy Rover.  I went right back to the beginning of the blog and read every single entry.  So there were actually people from our side of the world who were in England on their narrowboat.  If they can do it, so can we.  If I wasn’t addicted to reading these blogs before, I certainly was now.  Somewhere through 2008 Mick came round to the idea of spending a year in England on a narrowboat.  It would be our retirement plan. 

The start of 2009 saw us talking more and more about it.  Just like 10 years ago as our plan of retiring to our weekend home had turned into a two year plan to move out of the city, we started thinking of making our narrowboat dream a shorter term plan as well.  

Mick has worked like a Trojan for as long as I’ve known him (24 years now).  He does everything in a hurry.  I’m sure part of the reason he so much enjoyed narrowboating was the forced slow pace.  He now looks forward to his "long service leave", although being self employed he won't be paid for it. 

I was increasingly dis-heartened in the job I’d worked at for the better part of the last 20 years.  Amazing how one unpleasant work mate can change your entire feeling for your work.  Although I’ve learnt to deal with her regular put-downs and trouble-making, I certainly don’t feel as dedicated and enthusiastic about going to work.  I either need a good rest from the place (taking extended long service leave) or to get out altogether. 

So here we are, on a mission to achieve our next dream.


Tom and Jan said...

Hi Elly,
As you may be aware, unless you are a UK citizen or have a visa, you can only stay in the UK 6 months. We are in the middle of obtaining a visa for me. If you'd like to know a little more then either email us or leave a message on our blog (
Tom & Jan

Elly and Mick said...

Thanks for the tip. Mick has a UK passport and I have a Finnish one (EU). We are lucky we don't have visa issues! Elly

Tom and Jan said...

You are indead very fortunate! Best of luck with the boat hunting.