Well here we are within a month of departure and getting a bit frantic – so much to do, yet and time is running out. We have lots of administration, packing and cleaning, gardening and repairs, parties and celebrations and logistics to get Martin Kerry and I from our house to our new boat in Holland. The flights are booked and we are planning to rent a car to take us to our new boat when we arrive in Holland. Did I say new boat twice – well fingers crossed we have found 12.5 meter boat that is newer larger and apparently in better repair than most of the others we have looked at. Needless to say it is more money – so we are diving into our RRSPs ( they are for retirement aren’t they?) to find the extra cash. I think it will be worth it as the new boat has a lovely bathroom, hot water, heat and is more spacious. For the technical types it has a larger engine, and is reported to be better shape than the other ones we had seen on the internet. It is being surveyed and if all is well, we have a home to go to.
In the meantime we are all about clearing the basement – we had a garage sale that netted a grand sum of $150 – but that wasn’t the point – recycle reuse and reduce – that was the point and we were mostly successful. Thanks to Maria and Randy, who were great motivators and coffee providers, for their help in selling our old stuff . Martin, in particular, had concerns about letting go of anything that may be useful in the next ten years or was useful and/or an artifact over the last 50 years. He was so happy when his old old backpack (canvass with an external metal frame circa 1961) went off to a good home. It was bought and worn proudly by a neighbour from across the street , who promptly went off and filled it with veggies from the Moss Street market. My dads old camera – a Pentax ME supra – went to Ayja (Martins 19 year old granddaughter) who has taken up film photography and developing. I too was happy that it had a good home and still in the family. The garage sale was a hard mornings work and in the afternoon we headed up to Nanaimo to celebrate another Dragon birthday (my lovely friend Terry) and help move my son Tim to a new home.
The garage sale also generated a surprise guest – a lady who had grown up in our house between 1956 and 1974. She was delighted when we invited in to show her what our house looks like now. She was able to fill in some gaps in the house history location of bathrooms, walls and doors. She left to tell her mum, who had not been in the house for 40 years, about the changes in the house. Nice lady, who had such good memories of her childhood home. Now we can add to the house stories as 464 Stannard hits antique status and celebrates its centenary.
Now all we have to do is sell my car and find a new home for Niska – the Golder family cat (sweet creature who is 17 years old – a bit wobbly but very friendly).
Selling my 2009 Volkswagen Jettawagon has become a personal challenge – yes I have had a bit of interest and some offers but not quite enough money yet. It will sell I am sure to people who will appreciate its many features and it lovely colour ( beautiful pearl blue – a calming on road ragers and easily seen by people but not by the police). But if you know of anyone looking for a car please ask them to contact me.
Back to the boat – the survey was not quite as good as we had hoped and a decision had to be made – do we do the necessary repairs on the boat or find another one and have it surveyed. The survey and haul out of the water costs about $1000 – so Iwe agreed that we would rather spend the money on repairs than keeping surveyors in comfort money. The costs were not as great as I first feared as the owner was willing to cover 70% of the repair costs, and there were other things we could do to the boat while it was on the hard ( that means it was not in the water but in a boat yard). Black water tanks are not mandatory on new boats – but being enviroids we thought it was a good idea to install one so that is an extra cost.
Yesterday we received the signed contracts back from Holland and ‘Dolfijn’ is ours (we still have to get the money there) and we can spend our first night on it when we arrive in Holland on May 19. Still this little baby will have cost mucho euros when we pay for it, cheaper than a cottage in France but still quite a capital investment. Don’t forget our capital asset will be for sale in 2013 if anyone has the urge to have a pied de l’eau in Europe.
Dolfijn is located near Dordrecht in Holland ( not too far from Rotterdam) so we will be there for a week before heading over to the UK to visit with my mum She will be our first guest , together with young Joan, when we return to Holland sometime later in June.
This week party is time.
April 23 (St Georges Day, and Shakespeare’s birthday) was our wedding anniversary. WE choose this day 8 years ago because Martins confirmation name is George and I was born in the year of the Dragon. As we were so busy with our moving job we had a celebration lunch of beans on toast and champagne and then spent the evening at Swans pub (table 18_) dancing and supping cider. We bought each other boat stuff as gifts – lucky me I got a new electric flushing toilet Lovely auspicious anniversary!
We have a pub night coming up on April 27 – the first and only in 2012 when we will say farewell to all our dear friends from near and far, wish our 100 year old house well and go back to the 60’s again as I turn over the next page in my life as a mature woman (LOL). This is the Big 0 night .
After pub night we have Beltane April 30 to May 1st – so anyone who wants to join us down on Clover Point, Dallas Road in Victoria at 5:30 am to join the Morris Dancers, dance the Maypole and usher in May Day at dawn. (We can go back to bed after the dancing)
In the afternoon of May 1st there is an open house for champagne and birthday cake (16:00 – 19:00) for anyone who cares to join me celebrate my actual 60th birthday . So far so good – we are on our way in three short weeks.