Tag Archives: family

Jan 2020: Back to the UK for a while

Back in the Shire.

In mid-January, we arrived back in the UK.  We checked up on Linea in her winter berth at Base Nautica Flavia Gioia in Gaeta with our neighbours there and were assured all was well with her.

After a quick visit to Keira in Oxford and Paddy, Sarah, Sam and Louis in London it was immediately  time to sort out a house that a vacating tenant had left in disarray (to say the least!) We emptied, cleaned, re-painted, re-carpeted and cleaned some more. We were very pleased with the results; especially the kitchen units which we (well Jake!) stripped of vinyl and painted.  They look great. 

Ian delayed his departure back to Gaeta whilst I landed the plumb job of dog and house sitting for Claire and Nick in the Shire.   I was so thrilled to be home and enjoyed some great walks and catching up with people.  Although there was an incredible amount of rain in February; and snow; and wind!  But I LOVED it!

Ian set off back to Gaeta and cracked on with boat jobs.  I completed a couple of proof reading jobs and time flew by.  Most days I drove my friend Paula to Leeds for her treatment and relished the time we had together in the car to catch up and chat. 

COVID 19

On the 3rd March Ian popped back for a quick visit prior to us both returning to Italy to go to the Six Nations Rugby in Rome, and then further developments on the Covid 19 front really began to kick in.  We decided not to go back to Rome for the rugby, which was postponed soon after in any case. We phoned our winter liveaboard friend in the marina and asked them the remove the cheese, yogurt and random vegetables from our fridge!

Our friends for whom we were house sitting decided to come home early.  Over the following two weeks the situation began to worsen and it became clear to us that we needed a longer term solution for our accommodation. Whilst Nick and Claire, were incredibly kind in letting us stay on with them it wasn’t feasible for too much longer.  We started to make enquiries about renting an unoccupied holiday home.  No one seemed interested.  We put out feelers on facebook and in the post office window and finally, a landlady in Kettlewell agreed to have us to stay.

Whilst all this was on going we were concerned about Erin and Josh in India.  We knew that they had just arrived in Delhi because they were staying briefly with the son of an old family friend.  Thank you, Cam.  They then planned to take a train to Jaisalmer and other areas of Rajasthan. On the Monday 16th March they caught the night train to Jaisalmer, half way there we sent them a message to suggest they come straight back! 

They stayed long enough to complete their overnight camp in the desert and then they returned to Delhi.  The train was deserted.  Lock down was beginning in India.  In the meantime they tried to book flights.  All too quickly, they were booked by someone else prior to them getting to click the ‘book’ button themselves.  It was all quite stressful.  With some luck they did book a flight with Emirates via Bahrain and were on the last flight to leave India pre-lock down. 

So, we now had a place to live for the foreseeable, our youngest on her way home, and our eldest saying she would like to come up north for lockdown, if it happened. 

Ian drove down south.  He picked Erin and Josh up from Josh’s parents and whisked over to Oxford to pick up Keira.  They arrived back on the 23rd March about 5 mins before Boris Johnson’s lock down broadcast on TV!

It was a massive family reunion.  We had not seen Erin and Josh for 18 months as they had been travelling and working in Australia, Sri Lanka and India.  We had a wonderful time. This is all recorded for posterity on Erin and Josh’s You tube channel The Travel Tapes.

Soon Ian had secured a job with Tescos working in the on line orders team.  Erin and Josh soon followed working as pickers.  Keira was beavering away at home in the cottage in Kettlewell using the ironing board as a makeshift table!

Once Paula’s treatment was completed in April I too would begin to look for work.  I found a job in housekeeping at a local care home.  So we were all gainfully employed but found Kettlewell a little far away and so we were lucky enough to find a lovely cottage down at Linton Falls which meant that I could walk to work, and we were more back in our own welcoming community.

On our first day there I found a note stuck to the windscreen of the car demanding that we go home, as tourists and visitors were not welcome!

Needless to say we were a little shocked.

Ian found out who had written the cowardly note and gently explained our provenance and our situation but things were never overly warm and friendly between us and our new neighbours after that.

Time flew by.  The weather was amazingly good.  We had virtually no rain at all.  We missed seeing our friends but we did manage a Thursday night quiz with the Wharfedale gang and Saturday night quiz with friends and family spread around the world. 

There was talk of allowing some travel.  Josh went down south to see his parents.  We needed to get back to the boat as the prices were set to hike up to level ridiculous in July.  So we booked a flight for the 21st June.  (I was sorry to be leaving the nursing home but had been suffering from some dreadful eye and facial allergy and it was being exacerbated by the warm working conditions so it was time to say goodbye.)

It all went ahead.  We moved out of Linton Falls.  Keira packed up the little car we had bought and drove down to Oxford, re-packed and then set off to France to be with Sam, her boyfriend, who had been living there since the end of his season in Val d’Isere.

Our time together was coming to an end.  It had been such a good time; good weather; good food, good walks, games, virtual quizzes, jigsaws, cooking, sour dough, V E Day street party, neighbours, old friends.

The Dales.

Terra firma.

Bliss!

The calm after the storm…and the last part of Paddy and Louis’ week

The storm passed overhead to continue to cause such havoc further down the mainland coast towards Split that it was mentioned on National News sites. Luckily, we slept like logs in the cool air after the cold front had passed.

We awoke at a leisurely pace.  Paddy nipped ashore to buy a few supplies. We set off to go round the headland and south to a lovely anchorage between Uglijan and Pasman.  There was no wind today so we motored all of it.

Having anchored in the protected bay, we went ashore and explored the village.  A cute holiday village.  Next morning, we set off north again.  Despite my ordering calm seas and no wind, there was some swell  between us and the mainland it would be best if P and L could catch a ferry from Preko on Uglijan, to Zadar. Subsequently, they could catch a bus to Trogir and the airport.

I whizzed the boys ashore in the dinghy and waved them off feeling rather choked.  It had been a lovely week for us despite the many thrashings we received at cards!

Next, we venture further north whilst we await the arrival of Keira and Lucy.

Two months in ‘The Shire’. –

After winterising Linea (Bavaria 430 Lagoon) and leaving her safely tucked up in the Porto Turistico di Marina di Ragusa, Sicily, for a second safe winter; we set off for Longridge and caught up with June, Ian’s mum, and the rest of his family, which was lovely.

We arrived back in Linton, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, a few days later, excited to see Keira freshly returned from a job in France; and already living and working at the Fountaine Inn, Linton.   We were soon to see Erin, too, as she was to travel up from London the following week.

We hit the ground running with a spate of socials and sessions.

 

Bryn and Jill fro ‘Fly the Coop’ who we managed to meet up with.

Soon, like everyone else, we were in full swing for Christmas.  Inevitably this involved more trips to the Fountaine Inn, Linton; and eating lots of food.

 

 

We did manage to fit in a good few walks when the weather was bright (and sometimes when it wasn’t!)  It was just lovely to be back in the Dale and experiencing village life again.

 

 

 

 

 

Erin had very little time off from her new job as Assistant Manager of the Miller and Carter Steakhouse in Worcester Park London, so she drove up north after her late shift had finished on Christmas Eve and arrived at 0200hrs in the morning!  A flying visit as she had to head back down south on Boxing Day morning.

We had a wonderful day on Christmas day culminating in an evening of hilarity at the Vyvyan’s.

We enjoyed a hearty walk and refreshments with the Heanes, Hodgsons and Plumbs in between Christmas and New Year but I was unable to muster the strength (due to being proper poorly) to join them all for the annual Inn at Whitewell walk from Chipping.

As predicted, time was flying on and we still had so much to do and so many people to see.

Happily, we were able to do a little farm, dog and house sitting which made a nice change.  Also, Ian was able to catch up and support his beloved Wharfedale Rugby Club.

I enjoyed going to the gym occasionally in a vague attempt to lose some of the weight I had piled on after a summer on the boat eating far too much feta cheese!

All in all, it was the most marvellous visit home, with added poignancy, since we haven’t been back for any length of time for almost two years.  We miss ‘The Shire’, our family and friends very much.

Remember, we would LOVE to welcome you to the boat during the summer if you fancy a bit of camping on water!  Please just ask and we will try to coordinate.

Next Time:  Keira heads off to Holland!

 

 

 

 

Naxos and Paros with friends and faaaamily!

As soon as we arrived we deployed the dinghy and Ian went to the jetty at Agia Annas to collect the Hill-Cable gang.  They all came back to the boat and Sam and Louis were soon jumping in and defying each other to do more and more intrepid leaps off the boat.  Sam, who had stayed with us in June, was in charge of showing everyone around and explaining the use of the heads!!

We enjoyed a few chilled beers with everyone and I loved showing Sarah and Paddy around Linea.

They headed off to freshen up and and we all met up later for dinner.  Deciding to wander up towards Prokopios we came across an open air cinema showing Zorba the Greek.   It was an interesting film with a young Alan Bates in the lead role and Anthony Quinn as Zorba. It was fascinating to see Crete of old and to learn of the harsh amoral ways of the society then.

The following day Louis was poorly and so Paddy and Sam came out to the boat to chill for the afternoon as the wind was picking up and we didn’t really want to leave her.

My pal Jane, who I used to work with at Malsis, arrived to stay for a few days.   She was thrown right in at the deep end with a trip to the cinema to see Mamma Mia with Bryn and Jill. We all had a good sing!

Next day, Paddy and gang were heading off to Paros.  Jane and I took a bus trip to Naxos town and had a lovely afternoon wandering around the Chora… me reminiscing about the time I spent a night sleeping in the park there with my friend Stephanie Minto in 1979!  (Don’t tell Ivan and Carol!)

 

We were just heading out of the bus station when i heard a familiar voice.  I turned to look and recognised Nikos, whom we had worked for at Powder White during our ski season.  It was quite an extraordinary coincidence as a couple of seconds either way and I would not have seen him. 

On the Sunday, we set sail for the north part of Paros to a wonderful anchorage with safety from winds from any direction.  We anchored in the NE side of the bay and it was stunning despite the power station far off on the south coast of the bay.  Unfortunately, it was a long and exposed dinghy ride to and fro the beach where Paddy and gang were.

Nevertheless, we did manage for them to come to the boat for a day, and for Louis to stay over and watch the meteor shower with us.  We had a good walk along the shore, some snorkelling, a bit of beach time and an exploration of the marina and town of Naoussa.

The town is a lovely jumble of alleyways and squares.  The marina is an interesting place with lots of anchor knitting and big motor yachts taking up a lot of the space.   We decided that we would have to stay at anchor.

We spent lovely, all too few days with the family.  Paddy and gang were due to depart on the Wednesday from Mykonos so we dragged ourselves away just after the sun had gone down and the wind picked up and set off across the bay to the boat, waving a fond farewell as we went.

We were happy to get back to boat after a thorough drenching in the dinghy in huge waves and in the dark!

Spotting a weather window we decided to sail back to Naxos on the Tuesday so that Jane could get back to Athens.  We had a fantastic, heeled over sail back from Paros to Naxos.   We sailed into the anchorage at 8.5kt.  The wind was over 35kts in the bay.  We put away the head sail and switched on the engine.  Just as we were just about to head up to the wind to get the main sail down the engine would not give any power.

Oh shit!  We were quite well into the bay and in reasonably shallow water so we put the anchor down and let out a lot of chain.  Ian went down to inspect the engine.  We were holding nicely. We let out even more chain, cause its better out than in!, and tried to fix the engine and get it started again. 

We took Jane ashore the following morning in relatively calm winds of 22kt. We had sailed only about 50 miles all week and spent most of the time with a load of random people she’d never met.  She handled all this brilliantly, as I knew she would, and we really enjoyed our week with her.   We hope you’ll come again, Jane.