Friday, 23 November 2012

Worth the wait.........

Well, It's been a hectic month since the last update of our blog.

  1. Suzie and I have now sold our house and moved into our temporary accommodation provided by our friend Gary Dyer......Thanks Gaz
  2. Our Narrow Boat arrived at Milburn Boats in Daventry, Northants.
So, you may say that the 2 highlights above is not that traumatic but it is for us and they both seem to have come at once. So, the house move.......this was made easier for Suzie and I as we  managed to sell every single scrap that we owned from our house and moved to Totton by doing 4 or 5 trips with the car as Gary's house is fully furnished and this is a great help to us as it saves us having to get rid of stuff next March when our boat will be ready. The only problem with the house is that there is a loo dedicated to Arsenal????. I have decided I can't use this loo as there is a picture of Gary with Arsene Wenger and it just so wrong to be in there doing personal stuff with Gary and Arsene looking on!

Our Boat.....We arrived at Milburn Boats early afternoon with Suzie's Sister Pat and Brother-in law John who both were desperate to be with us when our boat arrived. Swamp Frogs arrived at 14:30 but alas no crane..... The crane turned up about 90mins later with a driver who really didn't want to be there which disappointed us, we just could not understand how he wasn't as excited as us!

Anyways, it is now here ready for Andy, Pete and the team to fit it out to their usual high standards. Check out this review in Waterways World ( Milburn 100 ) and you will then understand why we chose Milburn Boats to turn our dream into a reality.

A few pictures of the arrival.....

It's here

Just need a crane!

The start of our dream

Easy does it

Mind the van!

Inches to spare!

Almost there

Andy Milburn looks on....What is he thinking?

Andy is going to try and push a 15 Ton Boat with a 2 ton Fork lift.....I don't think so!

Change of vehicle does the trick.

My darling wife takes the first step aboard Swamp Frogs.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

All signed up and raring to go.....

Well, it has been a busy few weeks for Suzie and I but it gives us great pleasure to say that on the 19th September we signed the contract to allow Milburn Boats to build Swamp Frogs. Please take time out and check out their work it truly is magnificent.
There is a lot of history with Milburns as the company was started in 1992 by dad John Milburn and is still going strong today with well over 100 boats having been built by Dad, along with sons Andy and Pete plus the rest of the team.

Suzie and I have spent many hours researching what  to have on our boat and also the layout of the boat as this will become our home for the foreseeable future so it is very important to get it right at the beginning. I mean where would I be without my Sky sports so, to ensure I get to see my beloved Southampton FC we will have a "in motion" satellite system installed! Suzie loves her problem we will have a corner bath installed!

Our shell is being built by TylerWilson and it will be Jonathan Wilson who will be constructing our shell. Again as with Milburns there is a lot of history with TylerWilsons as Jonathan was an apprentice to Mike Heywood who is well known on the cut and Jonathan has been in the business now for over 30 years.

The other thing that has taken our time is that our financial advisor Mike Baggaley from PQR has advised us to sell our house for tax reasons even though we had a tenant lined up for the next 5 years. Mike explained there were so many tax reasons why we should sell it and the longer we kept it the more it would cost. Please don't think that we have sold the house to buy the boat because this is not the case. We spent many days thinking about this and in the end we took Mike's advice and decided to sell.

So, we had an agent round and within 2 hours it was sold......not once, but twice! and they say the housing market is depressed at the moment? is all systems go now, we have sold the house (albeit quicker than expected) and will now go into rented accommodation till Swamp Frogs is ready sometime in March.........

........WE JUST CAN'T WAIT!!!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Soon.....very soon

Just 5 days to go.................will be reporting here on Thursday!
No more to add.........

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Not long now......

It's been awhile since I have written anything on here but the last couple of months have been very traumatic to say the least what with me having 2 total hip replacement operations and Suzie having to have a Blepharoplasty which is a modification of the eyelid and brow. I must add that Suzie's operation was for medical reasons and NOT cosmetic.

We are both now slowly on the mend....

We have also attended a pre retirement course provided by Esso for 3 days at Botley Golf and Country Club which was very informative and reassured us that we are doing the right thing. Every body has embraced our idea of renting the house out and going to live aboard our boat to cruise the waterways of the UK. We are also looking into cruising on the French Canal system and have started reading which is John and Irene Plunkett's adventures in France. This is something we will seriously be looking into within the next 2-3 years.

We are still following NB's The Cat's Whiskers, Jandai and Chyandour with great interest as having met both  Roger and pat (The Cat's Whiskers) and Fred and Lisa (Chyandour) they are really nice people and can't wait to meet up again. Suzie has been in contact with Jan (Jandai) and they both have a very similar sense of humour so I am sure we will all get on well when we do eventually meet.

With regards to Swamp Frogs we think we are there now but have yet to sign the contract. I am hoping to publish news next month.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Sad Times.........

Well, what a last few weeks this has been.......
When we decided to write this blog I said "I'll do it" as Suzie thinks I will get bored on the boat but I am sure there will be plenty to do!

So, it is my responsibility to have to break the news.....
At the beginning of the month we had to pull out of having Swamp Frogs built by John and Mick at Kingfishers.
So it is back to the drawing board looking for a builder. I am sure we will get there and that Swamp Frogs WILL be on the cut sometime in the first half of next year.
Had a great time at Crick boat show met lots of like minded people and learnt quite a bit more as the seminars run by BW were worth the entrance fee alone. Met up with Rob and Gill (Linton Lass) again and had a lovely meal out. I wonder if they have bought their boat forward to September as they were having the slot after us.

Nothing else to say at the mo as we both feel a bit down (nothing to do with the constant rainfall)
Hopefully I can report better news soon.............?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Time moves on....

Somebody told us that time will move quckly and that before you know it you'll be cruising on the cut....well, I think they are right as time moves quicker the older you get. We spent 2 days in Nottingham last week and popped to see Lee and Gary at XR&D to have a chat about Suzies idea's  for changes that will make our boat unique from all others. Great blokes and they are up for the challenge apart from the glass bottom may work in the Caribbean but not sure it will work on The Grand Union Canal!

Lee and Gary striking a pose!

Where The Swamp Frogs will be built.

These Nissan Huts at Ollerton were made from corrugated steel. They were then used by the first colliers in the 1920's and their families until the first pit houses were built...looks abit drafty to me?

Next morning on to Trent Lock to Kingfishers to see John and Mick whose pictures we failed to get but we will do soon. More questions we had for them and even more changes to The Swamp Frogs (will now be known as TSF) but at no time did we feel rushed so a good couple of hours spent and more information gathered.
As The Cats Whiskers was still morred up we popped aboard to have a drink with Roger and Pat, and a very pleasant afternoon it was and ask them some questions about their we envied them when we left, we so wish our boat was built NOW!
Back home and back to work but for just one week then spent a lovely Sunday afternoon with Rob and Gill who are having their boat built AFTER ours.....The KOG's are growing!!! (Kingfishers Owner's Group) What a lovely couple they too and like us, they want their boat NOW also.
Suzie had a lovely email today from Jan and Dai who own the boat Jandai oddly enough and what a great email it was, I thought Suzie was the only person to use the number 60 million but there is another in Jan. Thank you for the advice Jan, and yes you will see us in September. Suzie is trying to get enough info for when we take the plunge and live aboard and I am begining to think it will be sooner rather than later (plan was for 3yrs time)....we'll see?
That's enough for now as I am off to hospital to collect my new hip (just a little nervous)

Oh, I nearly forgot, here is the first part of TSF, Suzie's birthday last week and I couldn't resist it.

Suzie with her very own Tiller Pin. Happy Birthday darling. x

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Getting just a little closer....

Off to Nottingham tomorrow to see Gary and lee at XR&D to discuss some minor changes to our shell....."The boys like a challenge" says Mick from Kingfishers, I'm sure Suzies latest design will pose no problems for them!!!
We'll then be checking into what will become our second home.....good 'ol Novotel, just round the corner from Kingfisher Narrowboats where we will see John and Mick Friday morning. We have alot to discuss and the most important item will be a gas free boat! lets hope it all works out?

Rob and Suzie.
Oh and Sandie......leave us a comment :-) x

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Life changes

So, what do a Husband and Wife do as they approach retirement?

It's our belief that you have to start a new life together and with this in mind we looked at what direction our lives would go. By pure chance 18 months ago we came across the programme Waterworld and that was it, we were hooked.

Robbie (my husband) and I knew then that a life aboard a Narrowboat was for us and so it begins.....
Here we are, still very much in love (only been married 13 months) and on Thursday 4th April 2012 we shook hands, paid our deposit and signed up with John and Mick Day (Kingfisher Narrowboats) for them to build our Narrowboat.
We met both John and Mick on the Wednesday and fortunately for us their last build The Cat's Whiskers had just returned for a engine oil change. This gave us an opportunity to meet with Roger (The Cat's Whiskers owner) and to chat with him and ask how he felt the build went. Roger could not be happier. He was like the cat that got the cream (just to keep with the cat theme). This and with the attitude of both Mick and John who were both keen to listen to our idea's and to develop them made us keen to sign up.
So, off we went to our Hotel, chatted for all of 5mins and made our decision. They were the builders for us.
Our Narrowboat will be started in September and all being well will be completed in April 2013......
That's it......our lives have changed! We could not be happier.

Watch this space........