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.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Past Pity

Generally, I tend to be a pessimist - a 'glass half empty' type of person.  I'm not sure why - but for as long as I can remember, I've always found it easier to notice what I don't have rather than what I do, or what I can't do rather than what I can.  I'm having this challenged lately, as friends support me to look at what is possible in my life and encourage me to try new things, explore, and 'get out there'.  

There have been too many 'new things' over the past 10 months to count!  A new home, a new job, and new relationship status to mention the big changes - but along with each of those big changes have come dozens of smaller changes.  Despite having survived the past year (and that was an accomplishment in itself) I've actually managed to - dare I say - thrive a tiny little bit.    

It's easy, though, to think of all the things I've lost - a partner who I could share every intimate detail of my life with - a home which I'd had for 5 years and had really made my own - and a lifestyle which I've enjoyed.  Walking past a canal is bittersweet when I remember all the happy times I've had on my boat and happier times in my marriage.  

It's not easy to keep reminding myself that I'm going forward - not backward - and that new things are on the horizon - new things that I don't need to fear.  I have to work hard to remind myself that 16 years ago I arrived in the UK with one suitcase and no idea what the hell I was doing.  I have been brave.  I can be brave.  I have accomplished  fair bit in my life.  I can accomplish more.  

The worst thing about self pity - for me at least - is that it colours and poisons every aspect of my life - not just the things I'm unhappy about - but also the things I'm happy about.  It really is a poison - that contaminates and kills.  I may never become a 'glass half full' person - but I've got to become a person who looks at what I have rather than what I haven't, and what I might be able to gain instead of what I've lost.  

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Something new somewhere old?

Shropshire Hills
I'm finding it hard to identify what exactly it is that's holding me here in the UK.  I know that I've loved (and hated - but more often loved) living here for a variety of reasons.  Back in Canada, if something is 100 years old it gets a plaque slapped on it and becomes a 'heritage' building.  Here in the UK, it's all relative - 100 years is old, but 100 year old buildings are pretty common.  I love history - and being surrounded by it all the time can be pretty awe inspiring.  This is also a beautiful country - despite the best efforts of the English to ruin it!  If you ever get a chance, Bill Bryson describes England beautifully in his 'Notes from a Small Island'.  There are some dramatic landscapes, sure, but most the landscapes I've come to love here are the gentle landscapes - rolling hills, quiet lanes, small cottages, perfectly formed fields.

What this country doesn't have, though, is my family - and I do miss them.  It also doesn't have my husband - well, it does, but he's not my husband anymore - so I often find myself wondering why I don't just up sticks and go home.

And yet I don't.  Yet.

Sunday, 29 March 2015


I'm not by nature a tidy person - but every once in a while I like to have a good tidy.  I file away all my bank statements, sort out bits and bobs, maybe chuck out a few things too.  I am a horder of sorts - especially paper.  I've hung on to all the letters (remember letters?) my parents, grandparents, brothers, and friends sent to me when I first moved to England.  Reading through them brings me great comfort - and so I don't like to through away anything with actual handwriting on it!  

I've had a few days off and so I decided to do a bit of a tidy up and found my folder of 'wedding things' - all the cards were were given when we got married, a handwritten copy of the speech I gave, and photos of Andrew and I on our 'special day'.  I read through some of the cards - people wishing us a happy life together, and sending their love.  After a few minutes I had to stop - it was a bit too much.

I wondered, if I could go back in time to visit myself before my wedding, would I warn myself that the marriage was not going to last?   What would I have gained - and lost - had I done that.

Mostly, I felt a bit sorry for the two men in the photographs - Andrew and I.  They looked so happy - and they didn't know it was all going to come to an end 9 years (to the day!) down the line.  Then I realized that it wasn't those two men I was feeling sorry for - it was myself - and I can't afford to wallow in self pity these days.  So, I put the folder of 'wedding things' away.  It's not 'filed' yet.  Just set aside until the day when I feel ready to file it.  

Friday, 20 March 2015

Never apologise, never explain. Except when you explain. Let me explain.

Well, I have been gone three years, so I guess I should give a bit of an explanation.  Then we can move on and put all this 'you've been away for three years' unpleasantness behind us - so here goes...

When I left off, Drew and I were moored somewhere on the Grand Union - most likely around Braunston if memory serves me.  We spent the rest of that year on the Grand Union and then down the Oxford Canal.  That brought us to winter 2012/13.  We decided in 2013 to take a permanent mooring as we were finding it increasingly difficult to move the required amount to comply with the CRT's Continuous Cruising regulations (well, in point of fact, we later learned we were easily complying - but at the time we thought we might not be) and money was pretty tight.  The big plan was to take a risk by coughing up for a mooring in the hope that by being moored in one place most of the time would mean that Drew would get more work and I could get better paying work.

I did get better paying work - but as a Car Salesman.  More about THAT another day - I could write a whole BOOK on car salesman - but we puttered along, taking the boat out for short jaunts now and then - not really getting that much further ahead money-wise, but generally, I thought, 'alright'.

Then my marriage broke down.

Then I moved off the boat

And now, here I am.

I'm well.  I've found somewhere new to live that isn't as special as living on a boat, but it is also a lot easier.  I've found a new job that isn't going to make me a millionaire, but is paying me more than I've earned in many years, and is a job that I like.

I've come to a crossroads in my life - and am getting ready to make the journey back home - but not yet.

One thing the last year has taught me is that I tend to either make decisions far too quickly and without doing the "legwork" - or dither and not make any decisions at all - I either do nothing and fret, or leap into the unknown - usually when what is "known" has become intolerable.

This time, I've made my decision - I am coming home - but now it's all about timing.  When I come home, I want to be ready and strong enough to build my new life.  I'm getting stronger day by day - but I'm not quite ready.  I need to get all the tools together - a good reference, maybe a qualification, a bit of money, and I have to be able to leave England well.

I think I will.

What's 3 years between friends?

Sorry - I just stepped out for a moment.  A 3 year moment.
I had forgotten about this blog until someone reminded me about it and I found my login details. Reading what I was doing 3 years ago was, I've got to admit, was not easy.  

It's been a bit of a rough ride - particularly the last year - and the result has been that this novascotianboy is no longer floating, but is still afloat.  The NB Friendship floats on, but I don't float on it.

And now it's time to start the work of preparing for another journey.  One that will take me back to Nova Scotia for keeps.  I'm not ready for that journey.  Yet.  But I will be soon.