Monday, 25 June 2018

Movement

We've accepted another offer 😃. Unfortunately, we had to go down with the price again, but that made it possible for a formerly interested person to finally make an offer. This time it's looking good, and we see this going through fine, hopefully within the next 6 to 8 weeks, which takes us to mid/end August.

Only the garden is difficult to leave behind

Every day, I've been walking along the river Thames in Abingdon with my little furry friend Jack, and every day I've been longing to live on a barge. It has been a roller coaster of feelings for me and us, and I'm glad we're both sharing this dream. I feel so blessed to be with my incredible man 😊.

Our Orange Blossom - Love it
What an incredible summer this has been so far, hasn't it. I love English summers, they are bearable. Where I come from, in Germany, the recent weeks must have been torture in terms of heat and mugginess.

We're looking at 25 - 27 ft long cabin cruisers at the moment, hoping to find one that is suitable for a tall person like me. I'm 6ft2, which makes it very difficult to find a boat I can stand upright in. If there's any advice out there, we'll welcome it.

I'm finding the in-between time of leaving the house and buying a wide-beam barge a difficult challenge to tackle. Where are we going to live? We thought we might be able to live on a cabin cruiser (which will eventually become our river taxi from boat to land and vice-versa). But I can't really see myself being happy with that. As I said, I'm tall. Ewan is a strong built man. We need space, and at our age, we also need some level of comfort, even if it's only for a few weeks. Maybe I get used to that thought and can adapt. Otherwise, we'll have to find short-term accommodation.

Lots to think about; and also lots of packing up into boxes as well. I can't quite find the drive to do that, yet, as packing boxes is not my favourite thing to do, and I'm a procrastinator. I'm sure Ewan will cheer me on 😉.

So, it looks likely now that we're moving to a barge this summer. Keep your fingers crossed for us, please. We feel we need a bit of luck.

We love sitting by the river and watch the sunset
In the meantime, I'll take care of my physical health, as I've been suffering from a bulged disk in my neck since October 2017. After lots of treatments, I feel there's now an improvement, and I trust I'll be in full working order again some time soon. I've been feeling very let down by the NHS. After all these months I've still not even had as much as physiotherapy - grrrrrr. I've been paying for all my treatments. But hey - I've also learned a great deal from my dis-ease, to be honest. So, it's all good.

Off to seize the day now. Surely I'll find myself by the river again today, as it's like a magnet to me.

Soon, folks, this blog will become a reflection of our experiences on the river and therefore more interesting, we hope. Wishing you all well and thanks for staying with us so far.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Stagnation

It's the beginning of June, and we still haven't sold our property. In case you didn't read my last post, our sale fell through Mid May. We were devastated, it really hurt. After that and a few weeks without house viewings, we felt we had to go down with the price even more, and we've had several viewings since. Most of them went well, and some of the people are really interested and are apparently sorting out their money situation in order to make an offer. Who knows if that's true. We've had no offer and are still hoping for our dream to come true any minute. We are both very impatient and literally can't wait, which makes our situation hardly bearable. Don't get me wrong - we are chirpy and cheerful most of the time, making the most of the time we have in our house. But there's this limbo situation. When we decided to live on the river, we wanted it to happen there and then. It's been 8 months. Our patience is being challenged big time. But what can we do.

Sorry for the whinging. I thought those who had been 'following' this blog might want to know.

In the meantime we've kept going with the sorting out process. We've now got rid of most things we don't necessarily need, and some boxes full of memories have gone into private storage. It still feels good to let go, and having all that time, we're letting go of more and more. Maybe it's good that we've had more time. Who knows what this is all good for.


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Being Bold to Be Bald for "A Band of Brothers" (ABoB)

I'm going bald!

Our house sale fell through (yes, devastating!!), so, I thought I needed some distraction. And here is what I'm going to do:

On Sunday 20th May at 12:00 pm (London time) I'm publicly getting my hair shaved off, on Abingdon-on-Thames Market Square.

I am raising awareness for the wonderful charity "A Band of Brothers" who mentor young troubled man and give them a better chance in life (and so, so much more). If you'd like to find out more about them, here is their link: http://www.abandofbrothers.org.uk

Here is where you can give as little as a pound or as much as you can:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SilviaSiret

And if you just want to watch this live online, you can click this link:

http://www.facebook.com/events/430982404030447/

Would be amazing if you actually sponsored me, even if you don't know me. And it would also be fantastic, if you shared this information with your social and professional networks. Every penny counts. I've so far only reached 54% of my target. But I'm confident that I'll get there.

Soon, I'll post what our situation is now. But this is my priority at the moment.

Mwah!

Monday, 5 March 2018

Life Is About To Change

As some of you know we've been looking after young people in leaving care - so called Supported Lodgers. That was my way of earning a living. The latest lodger, 17 years old, was with us since October 2017. I felt very warm towards him and cared a lot. Just over a week ago, we had to discover that he had stolen my debit card details and had tried to buy items online amounting to over £1,200. We never have that kind of money on our account, so, those attempts were fortunately declined. I felt betrayed, heart-broken and shocked. How could a young man do such a thing when he had the opportunity to be safe, cared for and looked after; when he had been given the opportunity to start building a future for himself? Did he have no sense of sensibility? No respect? No conscience? Anyway - he had to move out the next day. It just didn't feel safe to have him in the house anymore. Within one day we lost our young person. We also lost my income of £1,000 monthly. That's when the penny dropped. The Universe was giving us another chance to jump. We decided not to take on another supported lodger and turn the small guest room into an AirBnB. We also spoke to our mortgage company in order to get a 3-month mortgage reduction. Ewan's salary would not be enough. But we decided that we'd let go of fear and have faith that everything would be okay, and that the house sale was going to happen soon.

Only a week later, last Friday, in the afternoon, we received that call that we had been waiting for since October 2017: Our estate agent gave us the good news that a first-time buyer offered us the (recently reduced) asking price, and that their lender had no issue with our house having concrete walls, and that they had a sufficient amount for the deposit. Wow! The moment I heard that I was actually not feeling much at all. My mind felt happy to hear this news. But it hadn't sunk in. When Ewan arrived home, a bit later, I held his hands, looked him in the eyes and told him. It was that moment we had been hoping for. Telling him the news made it more real for me and I started feeling the happiness in my body, but for Ewan it was the same like for me, it had to sink in. This is what it must be like to win in the lottery - quite unbelievable at first.

We hugged, we bounced up and down, and we decided to accept. I asked him to call the agent and let them know our decision.

When we walked into town later to go to "The Northcourt" to see "The Secret Police" (a "The Police" tribute band), we finally both felt it. Our lives had just changed dramatically. We were going to sell the house, and we'd have about 8 weeks to move. It felt and still feels amazing. This can only be a sign of having taken the right decision (unless we're delusional).

View from under Abingdon Bridge (down the river).
Views like this is what we're expecting to see every day around sunset from about May 2018.
Exciting!!!

Over the weekend we sat together at the laptop and looked for wide-beam barges. All the ones that we had been watching on "Apollo Duck" were sold or under offer; that was sad. But after a lot of research, we found 3 new ones that had most of our criteria, and we contacted the sellers for viewings. This Wednesday we're off to Reading to see a real big barge, and coming weekend we'll be off to see 2 more further away ones.

It's all of a sudden so much more real; our dream is coming true. Apart from a few of our closest family, everyone is so happy for us, it's wonderful. And those who are not amused are just worried about us, I guess, which is understandable from their point of view. They do wish the best for us, but they also seem to think they know what's best for us 😉

Our thoughts are now circling around what we need to do in order to make this move as smoothly as possible. We need to find an affordable solicitor. We need to put more energy into clearing out, especially the man shed and the kitchen. We need to start thinking about what can already go into boxes and what we will need until the day we move. There is so much more letting go of  'stuff'; and we decided that all our CDs must become files on our hard drives, so that we can give them to charity. That in itself seems an impossible task, but Ewan is on it. We will only keep what adds value to our lives. And some memories we want to keep are going into safe storage.


We've been good at sorting things out.
Lots more to do.

Finding the right boat  shouldn't be a huge problem. But will it still be available to us, when we 'exchange'? That really does feel scary, and I keep having to stop worrying about it. All we have is faith that everything is going to fall into place smoothly now. Last time I took a huge decision like that (moving to the UK), it turned out to be the best thing I'd ever decided. So, if the heavens are with us, this will turn out equally perfect.

It's an adventure - it's a jump into cold water (as we say in Germany).
But - Together we're strong.

We'll keep you posted.


Sunday, 4 February 2018

Patience

Hello Followers of our Blog,

It has been quiet with regard to our house. We recently had a very good offer, but it was withdrawn the next day. The Lender had an issue with our house having concrete walls. Very strange! So many houses in this area have been build this way in the 60s, and we never had a problem getting a mortgage. We've had no viewings since last week, which challenges my patience. I'm seeing the first signs of spring, getting all excited, and I do want to move to our dream boat with Ewan before the summer. We've actually got a boat in mind that we both love from the pictures. We even had made viewing appointment, but when the offer was withdrawn, we cancelled. No point in setting our hearts on that one boat. We'll just have to trust it's going to happen when it's meant to happen. Patience!



It is cold out there, isn't it. Brrrrrrrr! Don't like such a cold wind, but I'm still going out with my Jack every day. I'm glad I've got him, otherwise the outside would never see me apart from when I go shopping. Certainly not in the cold season. It does make me think, will we be warm on the boat. But when I speak to boaters, they all confirm that it's warm on boats - they are well insulated and have several heating sources. Sitting in Annie's Boathouse Cafe at the moment and - apart from writing this post - I'm just enjoying the view onto Abingdon Bridge and the racing river.

The good news is: Spring is on its way, there is plenty of evidence.




Last night Ewan and I were pondering over the interior of our dreamboat.  We both feel it's got to have a slightly hippy look to it - not chaotic - rather calm and tasteful, but certainly with a feel of Buddha peace. No clutter anymore. I'm sure we'll both challenge that - haha!

I also felt a bit unsure if moving to a barge is the only option we can see for change.  After discussing several other possibilities we found that the boat life is what we both want, even though it feels challenging. It's the growth thing with us - we just don't want to stagnate. Growth happens outside one's comfort zone, and this is what we want.

I'm sure the Universe has heard us clear and loud, and it's in the process of sorting it all out for us.

If any of you in the boating community want to get in touch, we'd be very pleased to hear from you. It's always nice to chat with those who've been on this journey.

So much for now. I'll be back in due course (coarse/cause?).

AHOI!