Saturday, 19 January 2013

Back to Land . . .

Here we are again!  Back in 'Wilanson', in sunny Lapford!  In late March 2007 we left here and started out on our 'a year afloat – but probably two' and just kept on going!

Being back in our home is strange!  For one thing, our boat 'Zindagi' has been our home for the last nearly six years, so coming back to Wilanson has been a strange mixture of moving to a 'new' home and returning to our old home.

Inevitably, as we have got on with what needs to be done, we have acclimatised and already we are beginning to feel a little more 'at home' here.

We came back on 6th January with a car load of things, enough to get us started, do a little initial tidying up and spend a few days here before going back to Zindagi moored in Blisworth on the 11th, taking our trailer with us.

Then the real packing up started!  When we came back again on the 15th, the trailer and car were both packed to capacity.  As you can see, the snow had been there for a few days, but that day the forecast showed no ice and no more snow, so it seemed a good choice . . .

Well, it was, but the first 200 yards took us 20 minutes!  Turning out of the gates of Blisworth Marina, the road slopes up to go over the railway bridge and the sun had not reached that far, so the surface was still very slippery.  We made it nearly to the bridge, but then the wheelspin was too much and we had to gingerly reverse (tricky with a trailer in icy conditions) and take a run at it.  Several runs at it, actually!  Each time, we dropped back a little further until finally we started from right back at the marina gates – and JUST made it over the brow of the bridge!  After that, the journey was fine and we made good time in good weather conditions.

It seems like a good time to come back to Lapford.  'Quit while you're winning' they say, and we have certainly not got tired of the waterways.  On the contrary, it is proving quite a wrench to tear ourselves away from them – but not completely, as we still have our boat 'Zindagi', moored at Blisworth near Northampton.  

We shall pop back there from time to time, to check on the boat and do any necessary maintenance and hopefully also get away for a few short breaks afloat.  Zindagi will change from being our home to being a holiday home – for us, and maybe for family and/or friends as well.  We shall sort that out as we go along.  Already, one friend has predicted that we will eventually return to living on board – who knows?

Visiting the boat will give us good opportunities to catch up with the good friends we have made in the Blisworth area.  They have adopted us as temporary winter residents and we have certainly spent more time there than in Devon over the last few years.

Similarly, being back in Devon gives us the chance to refresh old friendships – and maybe make some new ones as well!  

Meanwhile, there is the 'job in hand' of sorting things out at Wilanson.  We have needed to do some shopping and will need to do some more, but there is so much to do in terms of cleaning and repairs!  Redecorating pretty much all through, especially in one of the bedrooms.  Our tenants reported dampness problems there, but as far as we can see it was simply condensation, caused by not running the central heating!  After just a week back in residence, we are finding that any hint of dampness is vanishing – leaving just the redecorating!

The snow is here now, too!

Back on land, yes, but back to the land?  What about the garden? and the field?  Are we going to get back into market gardening?  To answer the last one first, the answer is 'maybe – but probably not straight away.'  There will a lot to do before then.  As we go on from day to day, we expect to discover what our longer-term plans turn out to be!

The strong winds of April 2012 snapped our large eucalyptus tree and it needed to be cut down by a tree surgeon.  Just as well; we have been thinking for some time that it would soon need some attention.  This picture shows it in December 2005, and it certainly went on growing after that!  We are just so glad that it didn't fall on the bungalow or shed!  We grew it from seed sown not long before we moved down to Devon in 1987!  It seems that its roots may have blocked one of the surface water drains, so perhaps some excavation will be needed to rectify that.  Meanwhile, there is a lot of firewood to cut, split and put away to dry!

Dave's specialist Garden Tools business has travelled with us on Zindagi for the last 6 years, and amazingly has grown all the time.  Having a fixed address should make it a little easier to receive deliveries of new stock, and Lapford Post Office will get some more business from us again!

We have put in a link to this new blog from our boating blog, and there is a link back to it if you would like to catch up with any of our watery travels from March 2007 to November 2012.  As we have looked back at some of the early entries, it has reminded us how new and exciting it was as we ventured into the 'unknown' of life on board.  We have really enjoyed these years and sharing them with all our friends and family who have joined us afloat from time to time – as well as those who just 'watched' via the blog.

For those who first got to know us through the 'Zindagi' blog, welcome to this rather different one!  If you find yourself interested in what we are doing here, we hope that you will re-visit 'Wilanson' and share our  return to the land.  From time to time, when we spend time on the boat again, we plan to post new episodes on the Zindagi blog, so you can keep up to date.  And, who knows, we may just end up spending some larger chunks of time on board again . . .

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