Time for another adventure

Time for another adventure. We’re off for another six months of meandering lazily around the waterways and I won’t be sorry to get away. We love the marina we live in during the winter and it’s been great to have the time to do work on the boat but the swallows are here and it’s time to follow their example and get moving once more.

OK, elephant in the room, no blogs all winter I know. No excuses I just haven’t felt inspired to write for some reason so with the full intention of making up for it over the next few months I’ll start with a quick run down of our second winter on the boat and the first of our retirement proper.

I say proper because after retiring in April last year it felt like I was on holiday until we came back to Rufford in October. I got no real sense of what retirement felt like and to be honest I was a little bit apprehensive going into the winter months. Newly retired folks seem to fall into two categories, those that get bored really quickly and either go back to employment or throw themselves into voluntary work and those who say, “I don’t know how I ever had time to go to work”. I appear to fall into a third category, that of enjoying doing lots of things whilst revelling in not having to do any of them. Choice has never felt so good. I’ve always liked choosing. Choosing a book in a library, a meal in a restaurant or a route for a walk or a bike ride, but being able to choose just about everything I do is totally liberating. But there’s a catch. It didn’t take long to work out that whilst I could choose to be idle all day every day, or spend every day busy as a bee it turns out it’s all about balance. Isn’t it always? I’m getting the hang of it but maybe it will take a little longer to fine tune things and who knows, I may even choose to write more.

Nice to be home

Coming back to Rufford was a joy. Like a real home coming. We were enthusiastically welcomed by old friends and warmly accepted by all the new floating residents that had moved here in our absence. The marina is full now and it’s such a lovely community to live in. Totally relaxed, peaceful, stress free and friendly. We are surrounded by nature and in tune with the ticking of the seasonal clock. I have loved being immersed in the transitions from autumn to winter and eventually spring. To really have the time to notice the falling leaves, first frosts, frozen water, snow drops, catkins and daffodils and now, our first fledgling mallard ducklings have marked that passage with a reassuring sense of inevitability. Our regular walks along the tow path have rewarded us with so many sightings of kingfishers we have reached the point that it’s disappointing not to see them. Barn owls, roe deer and hare have all surprised and delighted us whilst the sight and sound of thousands of pink footed geese passing overhead are as much a part of winter as frosted window panes and frozen hose pipes. I have loved it all.

Piggy backing: an early sign of Spring

Converting the spare bedroom on the boat into a sitting and eating area with storage has kept me busy while Gill has been honing her skills as an artist. She seems to have uncovered a treasure chest of hidden talent whilst I have become a dab hand with a tin of emulsion and four inch roller. It’s been great to ‘put our mark’ on the Golden Girl and she now feels well and truly like home. We are now frantically finishing a long list of final preparations before departure and wondering why we didn’t start the list sooner or at least make it shorter. It can feel a bit pressured until I remind myself that since we are actually going away in our home with everything in it there isn’t really a departure day at all. Like the seasons, it’s much more of a transition from our stationary winter mode to what we hope will be another wondrous wandering summer.

Gill’s painting is really coming along

Our route this year is no more precise that ‘vaguely heading south’ but we will be passing through some glorious countryside. I don’t like to promise but I’ll try to blog a little more than last year and if anybody fancies meeting up at a waterside hostelry or two it would be lovely to see you.

Teenagers in the making
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11 thoughts on “Time for another adventure

  1. Great to hear from you again! glad you are enjoying yourselves . Gill , your painting is exquisite – impressed! We are still , after over a year, tying up loose ends from the sale of the farm, so only just beginning to feel properly retired and getting used to living in Dornoch. About to get back on the bike after 18 months off, but not the previous distances because my hands are suffering nerve damage; I’m busier than ever since I started playing oboe again after a long lapse, and am suddenly in demand for orchestras!. Lots of travelling, but a good way to meet people. Narrowboating sounds like a superior form of camping – in touch with the outdoor surroundings, but much more comfortable ! Enjoy the summer. Janet Walker

    • Hi Janet, great to hear from you too. Good luck with all your changes, it sounds very interesting. Say hi to Anthony from us. G&T

  2. You seem to have found your “life balance”! You will decide one day right we’re going! Remember the jobs go with you to do another day ? Enjoy your meanderings. Full has an amazing talent…… I can see another “Roving Trader” emerging?

  3. My, how time flies! Both the “stationary winter” and the first year of “retirement”. We left London for the South Coast just about a year ago, with Adam taking early retirement when he turned 55 last June. And now of course he is busy busy busy with setting up a community cycling hub, first from an unused corner of someone else’s warehouse and now looking for permanent premises. While I do not regret for one minute shaking the dust (and worse) of London from my feet to embark on my historical dressmaking venture. But, yes, phew, what a first year! I do hope you find both time and inclination to write about your adventures this summer, Tony, as you have both skill and flair with words and we always look forward to seeing where you’ve been and what you thought about it. If by chance you make it as far as the Chichester canal, do give us a shout over on Facebook. We’d love to come out on our bikes to meet you for lunch. All the best, Rebecca Olds and Adam Bell

    • Thank you Rebecca, what a lovely response. We won’t make Chichester this year but in the long term anywhere with a canal is fair game. Good luck to you both in your new ventures I will be sure to follow things in FB. Cheers, G&T

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