I like to think of what’s to come rather than what’s been and gone, but we can’t help but look back at an amazing year. This time last year we celebrated New Year full of anticipation that Firecrest was ready for us to begin our new adventure. Leaving Suffolk on 13th January 2017 in the snow was hard, but after several years of planning, nothing was going to stop us now.
Frustratingly we were thrown a last minute curved ball, being told we needed electrical certification before Peter from Braidbar would sign off the boat ready for licensing. Eric had planned to complete the work leisurely whilst we were cruising, but instead we spent the next few months moored on the Macclesfield canal, working in inaccessible places, tweeking wires and ticking boxes.
But it wasn’t a wasted time. Despite all the difficulties of working in such cramped conditions, we made the most of our ‘confinement’ by getting to know an extremely beautiful part of the country.
And making some amazing friends, I became one of the family at Wiseheart studios in Whaley Bridge.
Infact those frustrating few months actually helped us really grasp how special our new life was going to be. There’d be many inconvenient annoying problems to face whist living on a narrowboat but despite all the anxieties ahead of us, we would be surrounded by people who took us into their hearts, made us friends, nurtured and supported us. And as experiences overtook our naivety, we hoped we would start being able to give back to the community we were now calling home.
Eventually on 1st June we waved farewell to Braidbar, to James and Donna who had worked so hard to help Eric fulfil his vision for an electric boat, and Jo and Lawrence who’s boats were in build alongside Firecrest,
We were now well behind schedule to meet up with our friends from Suffolk who had planned to holiday in Wolverley, near Kiddiminster. This meant instead of taking a leisurely meander along the Macclesfield canal, Trent and Mersy, and onto the Staffs and Worc, about 90 miles, 70 locks and several tunnels we hurried down without stopping to smell the roses. Not something we’ll choose to do again although being able to see Anne and Richard to drink pink prosecco did make up for it, and we were finally able to relax.