We have traveled to Canada and spent a wonderful Christmas with Louise and Martijn and their friends and family. We have visited France to see friends and to experience the locks in the bad weather (which nearly put me off!). We also went to a ball in Portugal and had a surprise retirement presentation, it was wonderful with our friends Mick and Pam.
We have traveled many miles to boating festivals, up and down the north of England, gathering our research for taking the boat to France. We have been lucky to have so many people join us on the boat from around the country for trips when they had the time, for cups of tea or help us do the locks! We have been helped in many different ways on our journey. Some angels appeared at times when we needed them, help came in many different forms... giving moral support and giving tons of love and encouragement when we needed it most, bless you all.
Michael came home in January and just turned up unannounced after 10 months travel around the world. Once the hundreds of pictures had been gasped at we set him to work packing up the house! Louise joined us in June for two weeks from Canada... and enjoyed it so much she stayed an extra week. All the family on the boat traveling down the river.
There was some fab weather and we had lots of fun. Traveling the Leeds and Liverpool was an experience and a half, I would not have missed it for the world... our story was even on local radio in Liverpool thanks to my brother Frank.
Reaching the Rochdale Canal Summit was a golden moment for us all, being only the third wide beam to travel on the Rochdale Canal since it re-opened in 2001, it had been closed since 1952. Again we appeared in the local papers, our boat is so well known now. Traveling through Manchester city centre was also a huge highlight for me too.
I am writing this from Leeds where we are helping our son Michael re-paint a boat he's living on. The weather's not being too kind and we are waiting for a few dry days to finish it off...at which time we'll be ready to set off again.