Showing posts with label longing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label longing. Show all posts

Monday, 30 July 2018

In Limbo

Hello fellow boating enthusiasts and followers of this humble li'l blog.

The sale of our house is still seemingly going through (our buyer has started filling our shed and garden with stuff), yet, it's the not knowing that is causing some stress, in me anyway. Our buyer is looking at exchanging contracts on 8th August. But we haven't heard a peep from our lawyer or our estate agent. It's really quite a challenge for me not being involved in the selling of our house at all. They leave you all out of it, and no one knows where things are. So, so, so strange. We do get the same type remark every time we speak about our house sale, which is, "yeah, house sales are very stressful". Why does it have to be like that? And why does it have to be all behind doors and us being kept out of the loop??? I don't get it. But here we are, waiting more or less patiently until someone lets us know about dates. Well, we're not only waiting. We are also being very active, not losing sight of having joy and happiness in our lives. More about that later ...

2 shelves are gone from our dining room cum workshop space, plus a bureau. All things are now packed.
The office desk has come down into the lounge. It will go last with some other furniture we give to charity.
The lounge has become storage for the stuff that goes onto the big barge, eventually.
Family collecting furniture. Niece and nephew are moving into their own first homes and were grateful for the wardrobes and other furniture.
Wardrobe gone in one corner of the bedroom.
Another wardrobe gone from another corner of the bedroom.
The ex-office is now a storage room for boxes and suitcases.
A mess in kitchen & lounge while moving stuff around.
Yet another lot of clothes and bedding to go to charity.
Looks a bit wild, doesn't it. But does no longer look like this anymore in every corner ;) We've tidied up, as we're still living here and want to feel comfortable. Our living space is looking like this now and giving us an idea of how it could be on a barge:

And the lounge is now the storage for the stuff we still need to access from time to time, as well as some things that go to friends:

The bedroom is now really spacey, and we brought the hanging rail in:

...and on my side (the corner bedside table is empty). All clothes I need right now in this weather are in those 6 containers plus on the clothes rail:

The ex-office is now holding all winter clothes, mattresses, bedding, washing, ...

...the vacuum cleaner and some small things:

The guest room, which we rent out via AirBnB, has only got empty furniture and some bedding. This will be emptied in no time, and all things in there go to charity:

Do you think we're ready? I think so. Upstairs is pretty much packed, downstairs it's the kitchen, the utility room and under the stairs. All of this could be done in one day.

So, here comes the news, which is not news to our closer social networks, as we've posted pics on FB. We've borrowed some money and bought a Birchwood 25 River Cruiser - apparently a much loved old timer on the English waters. And here she is:

A beauty, we think. We decided that it would be best to have a small boat before we buy the big barge, as we'll be cash buyers, and we won't have to fret about where to go when we complete and haven't got the barge to go to. It will be a huge adventure, as there are several challenges: I can't fully stand upright in there, I don't think I'll use the shower, the fridge is super tiny, and when it's stormy like now, we'll have to learn how to handle a floating home like this. Last night I had this horrible vision of us being on the river, enjoying ourselves and suddenly the engine stopping to work. What the heck are we supposed to do if this happens?? Okay - there's an anchor. Phew! Then call some emergency number and get rescued, I guess.

We bought this boat on 20th July, my birthday. We decided to take her out with some friends straight away. This was our first ever journey on her, and the winds picked up and the rain came down just as we moored back in Abingdon. It took Ewan 4 attempts. Not bad for a beginner. I was well chuffed. But I was also wrecked and reality kicked in for me. This is what we'll have to deal with when it comes to 'weather'. After a night of stomach ache and fear, we took her out again the next day with some of our children. It was sunny, it was fun, I was much more confident that we would tackle this. Ewan has been a beacon of steadiness and self confidence. Amazing.

On that day we also met George and Carol from "Still rockin'" again. What a joy. They had been the first, kind all-time boaters to introduce their beauty to us and tell us everything they thought we might need to know on this journey. Such wonderful people. We found ourselves again in their living space, catching up on all the news. It already starts to feel like becoming part of a new community, that is warm, welcoming, kind and helpful. We're so grateful.

Some impressions of that Saturday:

My friend's daughter made this b'day cake for me: A boat in my favourite colours, and even Jack is on it. So very special :)

We jumped into the Thames and played Frisbee with a plastic plate.

So handy, that little step outside on the back, but also a nice jump from the roof possible.

Ewan's oldest found us a muscle.

Ewan's youngest and her oldest bro. Unfortunately Ewan's middle son couldn't make it. Neither could my oldest daughter and her husband, as they live in Germany.

A peaceful journey back to the mooring.
It was such a fabulous, beautiful day, which we ended with pizzas, marshmellows and drinks in our garden. My youngest daughter and her partner had catered for all of us for the whole day. I was truly chuffed about everyone's efforts to keep me put (as my neck was still quite bad that day).

This post must come to an end, I think. I could waffle on forever at the moment - haha. 

Please wish us well for a smooth transition from house to boat and then to barge within the next four weeks. Thank you.

Monday, 25 June 2018


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.

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.

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


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?).


Sunday, 7 January 2018

Hanging in there

I know, I know - we haven't been exactly good at keeping you all updated. Well - it was Christmas. But I admit, I also couldn't get myself to write a post, as there is not much news, still. We're waiting for the house to sell. Had 2 viewings this week - no luck. We're basically getting on with more research, talking to people who've done it, finding websites where boats are sold or hired out and thinking about having our barge made from scratch. Lots of brain-storming going on; also thinking of boat names. It's a bit like being pregnant - we know it's going to happen - and we have kind of a time frame - but we just don't know exactly when.

Every day we walk along the Thames in Abingdon,
and every day we ask ourselves,
when is it going to happen, that we see this kind of
scenery every day for the rest of our lives.

I (Silvia) have been suffering from a trapped nerve in my neck since the beginning of October, which has now affected my left shoulder as well. I'm managing, but it's truly affecting my energy levels. By about 3pm I'm done, and all I want to do is lay down and rest my body. Can't do that, of course, as I've got to go to work in the mornings and build my business in the afternoons (and whenever I get time). So, basically, some things are very low on my agenda, and this blog is one of those.

In my mind, some of my/our our habits are going to change, when it happens (I mean when we've moved to our new floating home):

  • We'll eat much, much healthier, and mostly vegan. Being aware of what's going on in the world in order to keep and feed animals, and what's happening to pigs, cows/calves/male chickens/chickens etc is making me sick whenever I see clips on my FB timeline. I don't look away anymore, and my conscience is weighing quite heavy on that topic. We still eat cheap Tesco or Aldi meat, and my excuse is that we can't afford the organic stuff. Rubbish, of course. Less is more - we both know that. It's our habits and cravings that make us do this, and there is no good excuse. Making step-by-step changes seems to be the way forward for us.
  • We won't have a big TV screen. We'll both have laptops, as we do need them for our jobs and hobbies. So, watching stuff together will still be on the cards, but we won't allow space for a big TV screen, we'll sit side by side on a sofa and watch stuff on a laptop together, and only things that we agree on together. We kind of do that already, to be frank.
  • I will read more. I used to be a "Leseratte" (a reading rat - sounds so wrong) when I was young. Where's this gone?! I will read the books that are still in my possession and go with us onto the barge, and I will read all the books I've bought and downloaded to my Kindle.
  • I will be more creative. That journey started a little while ago by attending classes like "Art Journelling" or "Creating A Soulbook" etc. I enjoy creativity in a group setting with a facilitator. But will I enjoy it doing it on my own? Not sure, but the intention is set.
  • I will be better at keeping those piles of paper down. I have a two piles that don't seem to ever get any smaller. They're things I want or need to attend to, and then I forget about them. Some of them don't go away, though. Procrastination is the word that comes to my mind. I'm good at that. I want to change and attend to things much more immediately.
That's enough change, isn't it. 

Did you know that Ewan is a Radio DJ?
Tune in every Tuesday from 19:00 (GMT),
live, either online on
on Radio 105.1 FM (Destiny) in Oxford area.
He plays an amazing range of more or less known
Rock and Blues tracks till 22:00
(and on FlashFM the Rock & Blues playlist goes on until the morning hours)
Show is being repeated every Sunday morning from 9am.

Meanwhile we're now emptying the attic and getting rid of more stuff. We have been very lazy the last 2 months. Shame on us. The shed is next.

It's nearly 3pm, and I can feel the strain on my neck. So, I'll give myself a break, feeling satisfied that I've written another post.

Bless you for reading and following. We do appreciate it.

Lots of love to all our readers.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Caterpillar Is Very Hungry

I know you don't see much of us here (even less of Ewan than me), but we're just having such a busy time. I'm building up my business as a life coach and group facilitator, and Ewan is in a full-time job, being a radio DJ and a very committed member of "A Band of Brothers" in Oxford (they're looking for men to volunteer, by the way). But we also have been meeting 4 Estate Agents within 1.5 weeks and are constantly letting go of stuff. We also look after a 'supported lodger' (a young person in leaving care, being housed with us) and have a dog. Well, and there's of course all those unimportant things like shopping, cleaning, tidying, cooking and keeping friendships up, going to the pub ..... You get the picture.

Ready to go to the charity shop

Most importantly, we are not yet living on a barge. So, there's not a huge deal to report from that position. Yet, we have contracted an estate agent to try and sell our house, it's going on the market (hopefully) this Saturday. Tomorrow we'll have taken pics of the house (God - I still need to hoover, dust, tidy, clear the garden from all those bl...dy leaves...), so, we're well on our way. We're hoping that we're going to sell real soon (within 4 weeks, please, dear Universe!!!), as we absolutely can't wait to live our dream. Yet, there is still just soooo much  S T U F F.  Absolutely unbelievable, what we thought we 'needed' to keep. It was only 4 years ago that we moved to Abingdon-on-Thames. We had let go of so many things then, as we downsized. I remember promising myself that I'd never accumulate so many things again. And here we are. I'm at the stage of "do-i-really-need-to-let-go-of-this?", so, at least I've rid myself from everything I didn't have any attachment to. Now I'm starting to feel the pain of letting go beloved and more meaningful things. Ewan has yet to deal with his man-shed (I think I'll take a holiday when he's attacking that one). But at least we've mostly emptied the garage. I won't be able to run away from emptying the attic, though. This will be my absolute biggest challenge, as I've got memories stored there, and old VHS cassettes with German films on them, CD collections .... Urgh! But we'll do it - I know we will. We're so focused and determined - if I was our friends I'd be admiring us. I believe we're doing an amazing job. We've done good research, we've spoken to people who've done it, we've spoken to friends and family, we've been following related blogs, we're blogging ourselves, we've started letting go before we even decided to go on a barge, and we're being very disciplined with the getting-rid-of-stuff. Once we've sold, we can move on without huge 'baggage', we'll be totally ready to find our dream boat and move in.

Why did I give this post such a strange headline? Some of you might have already guessed. I feel Ewan and I are in metamorphosis, stage 1 of 3, and we'll come out of the cocoon as beautiful shiny butterflies 😋

I would like to share with you the collage I made recently in a little workshop:

I love my creation, as it reflects my vision of the near future. I didn't find a barge, unfortunately, but even so, these pics reflect my longings. Sorry for the German words, I used German magazines. But I will translate them for you (in no particular order):
- Departure
- Beautiful Life
- I look forward to new pathways
- Onlookers welcome (that is snales, birds ....)
- Finding an oasis
- In time I recognised that I don't need to be perfect in order to be loved
- Seeking stillness and finding freedom
- Oozing love
- Coming home
- Together strong
Those words say it all. The snowdrops symbolise my wish to have moved by the end of winter 2017/18.

Wish us luck!