Saturday, 6 February 2016

It's Official - see you on 7 April!

..or, rather, 8 April - as my flight gets in after midnight!

I've taken the plunge, given my notice at work, and bought the ticket.  I'm coming.

I can't pretend that I'm not a bit scared - it's going to be a bit of an adjustment to move from a city of 2 million to a rural community of a few hundred!  I don't have a job lined up, and I've pretty much forgotten how Canada works.  The longest I've been in Canada since 1999 is 17 days.  

I do know there are some things I'll struggle to get used to - things that, if I'm honest, I think work better in the UK.  Little things.  Things like having the price you see being the price you pay (not having to add tax at the checkout) - and being able to use your debit card for free.  I counted yesterday - I used my debit card 7 times.  That'll get expensive in Canada...!

Things that I will very easily get used to?  Seeing my parents every day.  Seeing my brothers regularly.  Walks on the beach whenever I want them.  Snow.  Summer.  Community.

Now... how soon should I start packing?

Friday, 22 January 2016

  She started her journey with us in Slough and it has ended in a place we passed numerous times on our journeys up and down the waterways - Whilton Marina near Daventry.  NB Friendship is up for sale.  It's still a bit raw when I think about the last time I was at the tiller - taking her down the Grand Union through Warwick and Leamington after helping my ex through the Hatton Locks.  We had a lot of happy times on her - and I hope she will make more happy memories for someone else. 

The truth is, of course, she hasn't been "home" for me for over a year - but she was my home for longer than any other I'd known in my adult life.  I suppose this is what 'normal' people feel like when they sell their 'bricks and mortar'!  

Do you want to buy a boat?  Buy mine!  I'm only partly kidding - I'd love it if you bought her - but if you want to buy a narrowboat - buy one.  If not mine, someone elses - or have someone build you one.  I learned so much about the UK - and about mechanics and problem solving (!) living on a boat.  The sort of self sufficiency that being a liveaboard requires is something I think everyone should experience.  It really is a 'lifestyle choice' - and one I hope to be able to return to some day.  It won't be soon - life's got other plans for me - but one day I hope to be at the tiller of boat, with the only sound I hear being a diesel engine and a few birds.  I hope to be able to look over a hedgerow and see green rolling hills and wonder, "where am I" - and not to care where I am - because wherever I am, I'm home.  Finding a good, secluded spot, tying up and making a new place my new home - if only for a day or two. 

I'm getting ready to make a new home somewhere else - but I'll never forget the home Friendship was to me for 4 pretty incredible years.   

If you actually do want to make Friendship your next home - her details are here -

Monday, 23 November 2015

The final journey of NB Friendship

Early this morning - at first light, my ex started on NB Friendship's journey to Whilton Marina, where she will be sold.  My ex has lived on her since we split in October 2014 and has decided that he does not want to buy her, hence she is being sold and the proceeds divided.

While he is taking her on her journey, I'm at work - conscious that he has a difficult journey in quite cold English weather.  I'm joining him on Friday to take him through the Hatton flight of locks - but he will be taking the boat on the rest of her trip. She is empty now, aside from fuel and firewood for the journey.  All our personal possessions have been removed.

I recently signed up for Facebook's "reminder" service - where the app shows you what you posted as status updates years ago.  On November 20, 2009, I posted "I'm now the proud owner of a Narrowboat".  It's a little hard to imagine that at some point in the future I won't be.  The boat was my home for almost 5 years - and being a boater was a huge part of my identity.  Living on land in a flat somehow seems - well - quite ordinary.

I've said a lot of goodbyes and closed a lot of doors this year.  This feels like that last big door to shut before my divorce is finalised and the next chapter begins.  It's still not easy - but it is getting easier.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Going to bits over bits and pieces

One big bit - my home.  It hasn't been my home in over a year, but when you spend 5 years living in a place - or rather on a place - it becomes a big part of who you are - or were.

NB Friendship is going up for sale.  Almost 6 years to the day when we first bought her, she will be at Whilton Marina where, hopefully, she will be bought by someone who, like my ex and I, is looking for a new way of life.

The boat was good to us.  She was cold, she was cramped at times - but she took us up and down the UK, to corners of the country we'd not have seen otherwise.  If you've never seen the hills of Flecknoe - if you've not moored under a 200 year old wrought iron bridge - if you've not seen the detail and intricacy of the stonework on the aquaducts and tunnels that carry the canal through this UK - you won't know what I mean.  If you have, you will.

It's hard not to feel sentimental about it.  It's hard not to feel like something special is going - and I'm not able to stop it - nor should I - but it hurts a little bit.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Hurry up and wait

First week at work done and dusted - and only a few hours until the next working week begins.  

It's been a busy week - and yet it seemed to drag by.  Now that I've made the decision to return to Canada at some point, I want my Divorce, the sale of the boat, and all the other bits and pieces that need sorting to be - well - sorted!  These things take time, though.  Too much time.

Someone is coming to look at the boat on Wednesday to potentially buy it for cash.  I really have no idea what sort of an offer we'll get for it - but it's a starting point at least.  

As for the Divorce - that's complex.  Complex because I was married in Nova Scotia.  Complex because although same sex couples can marry in the UK, divorcing in the UK for a same sex couple is not as straightforward as it is for - well - straights.  

One thing at a time, I guess.  Get through another working week, and get through the boat valuation visit.  

How many days until Christmas?

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Still here - and still here

I really shouldn't read my old Blog posts - but that said, if it's confusing for me, it must be confusing as hell for anyone else reading it!

So, after some thought, I decided that I would start a new blog.  Or not.  Or maybe just forget this whole blogging malarky.  Or, as it turns out, not.

After further thought (I'm good at thinking) I decided - the point of a blog, perhaps, is to create a bit of a record of what's happened and what is happening.  If, every time my life took a twist, I decided to create a new blog I'd have dozens of blogs.  So, this blog will stumble on - if only as a way for me to record what I'm up to - you folks read if you want to - or don't.

I enjoyed finding this blog was still online when I rediscovered it a few months back.  It was a bit painful to read, but it reminded me where I'd come from, where I'd been, and helped me to reflect on where I'm going.  Not bad for a little corner of the interweb!  I'm glad I took the time, then, to record what I was doing and hope that in continuing to take the time now to keep a record - albeit haphazard - that one day down the line I'll look back at what I'm writing - well - today!

Put away your hankerchiefs.  I'm staying.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Another new start

Thankfully this one doesn't involve having to move, change jobs, or find a deposit of any kind.

I can't work out how to archive my posts in this blog.  I don't really want to continue using the blog in this format as it's - well - it's just not me anymore - but I don't want to lose the posts and the memories either.  So, I'm just going to stop updating it.

I might start another blog - in fact, I think I will - a blog about my journey back to Canada - but the "novascotianboy" is now a 38 year old man.  I don't live on a boat - I live in a bedroom in someone else's house.


That's it.