Thursday, 10 April 2014

We're back........have you missed us?

PHEW!Well, what can we say? Firstly we have been away from our home for a total of 5 months........we both agree that this is too long so it won't happen next winter! 3 months MAX!......lesson learnt!

That said, we have had a wonderful time, visiting family and friends here in the UK. Having a surprise Christmas Day at the beginning of November (I am sure Sandie, Steve, Reece and Kayleigh were the first family to have the tree and dec's up in the country).....What a lovely thought it was!

Suzie and Sandie showing off their skills
at dressing a tree
So, it's off to Cyprus we go where we had rented a villa and car for 3 months followed by a week here in the UK seeing family then off to Spain to spend 6 weeks with some dear friends.
We didn't really know what to expect....needless to say, just like the last 7 months Cyprus was filled with fun, laughter, excitement, scariness, trepidation and with some sadness too. We made new friends with John and Mary (we will be back) who come from the same part of Southampton as us AND we have mutual friends too.....such a small world eh?
I got to see my first and last (I hope) Tarantula on the wall of the villa.
Not the one I saw, it moved too quickly
We swam in the sea every week, right up to the end of January.
A very happy wife playing in the water
We had Fred-I-am and Lisa from NB Chyandour come and stay with us for 10 days.
Fantastic time with two lovely friends, thank you both.

We had my Mum travel out on her own to spend Christmas and New Year with us ( A big THANK YOU to Tony, Lou, Claire, Dan, Pat and John for taking care of Mum this side....we love you all)
Mum and Suzie having a rest

You have got to love your Mum, I do!

Suzie's daughter Sandie and her hubby Steve came out to see us and took part in "come dine with me" Cyprus style......personally I think it was a fix and a waste of time and a rubbish idea.....(nothing to do with Suzie winning, Sandie and Steve in joint second and me coming last tho....honest).  All votes were cast in secret and it was great fun.

Sadly whilst in Cyprus my ex Father-in-Law passed away in Australia. I am not sure what to write here and how to say things but I made the decision (with lots of encouragement from Suzie) to go to the funeral after speaking to members of the family and was made very welcome. Thank you Pam, Jason, Diana, Val and David for looking after me at what was a very sad time.

A big thank you to Sandie for coming out and looking after Mum and thank you Steve for organising it. It would appear that they got a part time job whilst on their own!
Didn't know you could get a booster seat for driving a bus?
And that was Cyprus, so full of memories........

So, it's a quick flight home, wiz round and see all the family again and then off to sunny Spain where we stayed for nearly 6 weeks with our good friends Tony and Doreen. Our time with Tony and Doreen, like Cyprus, went very quickly. We spent time helping them in the garden and around the house, they took us up into the mountains, to the seaside, to markets and a beautiful place called La Marina (NOT!) La Marina is the largest urbanisation in Europe and is not the place to live!
Whilst there Doreen taught me how to make marmalade and bread and Tony taught Suzie how to move 4 ton's of sand and gravel in one day! (great eh? equal opportunities hehe)
Whilst there we took the opportunity to catch up with friends of mine from work and had a lovely meal out with Pete (Totty) Smith and his wife Morwen and then down to Allbox to catch up with Brian Mayhew and his wife Maxine who both made us very welcome. Having not seen either for nearly 10 years their lives in Spain are certainly doing the trick as they haven't changed at all!
Brian and I...just like the old days

Tony and Doreen kindly take Suzie and myself up to Valencia for The Fire Festival where displayed on every corner all over the city are colourful giant paper-mâché figures often 20 feet tall or even larger. These figures have been paraded through the streets and then placed towering at all most every road junction (it must play havoc driving around the city). Each one in some way satirises a political figure, or a soap star, or more exotic creatures from the movies, TV, sports idols, or simply imagination.
Look at the size of these

Some are very comical

Suzie and I in our later years

Some of them are grotesque – others playful and charming. Some of these can cost up to a million Euro's to make, all are stunning to see.....It's 4 day's of Parades, marching bands and fireworks all day and night and then they set fire to them......bizarre I know, but hey, a great time and go if you get the chance.

Night time fire, just a small one!

We just happen to be walking by.........

                                                                                 Stunning firework show around 01:00hrs

So, after a fantastic time in Valencia it was back to Crevillente for a few days of saying cheerio to some wonderful friends that Tony and Doreen have and then home!
Myself, Doreen, Suzie and Tony...
Thank you both. x

Oh, the last bit of news (always save the best bit till last).........My Daughter Claire and her hubby Dan took delivery of a beautiful baby girl called Amy Louise on 21st March a little sister for Ellie May and Jacob......congratulations, we love you all xxx

We are now back home on Swamp Frogs and just getting her washed down and cleaned up ready for our next adventure. After all the rain you guys had we were unsure if we would have had any leaks? Nope, not one.....well done Team Milburn for building our home, it has been surely tested for leaks this winter!
We are leaving Barby Moorings where we have made some very good friends in Malcom, Clive, Pam, Lyn and Mike who all at times have looked after our home and have cleaned and chased away the ducks from using our boat as a toilet! Thank you all so very much.....such kindness is greatly rewarded!

........WE'RE OFF..........YIPPEE
........WHAT A LIFE EH?

Since the last blog having gone from Barby-Buckinghamshire-Wiltshire-Southampton-Gatwick-Cyprus-Dubai-Australia-Dubai-Cyprus-Gatwick-Southampton-Wiltshire-Gatwick-Alicante-Valencia-Alicante-Gatwick and back to Barby (plus loads of places inbetween).....we have done a total of 21, 237 miles PHEW!
The boat tho has actually done 4 miles this gives a grand total of 496 miles 100 yards, 262 locks and 9 tunnels (tunnels over a 1000 yards only).


  1. Yay, welcome back!
    Yes, you've been missed, hope you had a good winter. Come out and go boating, the water's fine!

  2. But of course we missed you :-) I agree 100% with Andy

  3. Thanks Andy and Steve.....We are sooooooo glad to be back home. We have missed our life aboard but we are now out and about slowly making our way to the K & A. stop us if you see us :-)

  4. Hi Robbie and Suzie, its Heather the mad woman from Adlington. We now have our new boat 'Smile and Wave' and are also slowly heading our way south to the K&A, it would be great to catch up with you along the way. We are going to do the Llangollen first but are slowly making our way there trying to leave it until after the easter rush to reach it as we believe the Llangollen can be very busy at this time of year. We are due on the K&A July/Aug. Welcome back home, we hope you have a fab seasons boating. see you soon. xx

  5. Good to hear you're back and in one piece! You may remember we came to see your lovely boat last March when researching boat builders for our boat which was launched 25th March this year! In the end we had it built by Aintree Boats. They did a great job and we love it! It's called HSB, hopefully we'll see you around! Cath & Tony

    1. Hiya Cath, to be honest last year we saw so many people so we are truly sorry as we can't remember. But we are so pleased you know have your boat. Where are you moored? what are you up to this year? We hope to catch up sometime.......
      Take Care
      Rob and Suzie

    2. We have a mooring at Gayton, unfortunately Tony is still working on and off so we don't get out as often as we would like, but that is set to change soon, he tells me! At the moment we're usually only out for a week or two but you never know we might just see you around.


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