Back to the UK for a quick pre-festive visit.

The MOT on the camper-van is due on the 12 December and our daughter and grandchildren have not seen us for a long time and although we have regular contact via SKYPE it is not the same as in the flesh.

So its off to jolly old UK for a short break away from the boat.

We were enjoying some glorious late autumn weather only a week ago but things have changed dramatically lately and now it feels like winter is upon us. Frosty mornings with haze on the water and cormorants catching fish in the basin greet us when we get out of the warm bed in the mornings.

The routine then is to lay the wood burning stove and light it; heave on a few layers of warm clothing and take Gladys out for morning stroll. They are building a new MacDonald’s right on the port here so its fascinating to see the progress made each morning. Its obviously a well tuned routine by the regular MacDonald’s builders so much so they are opening before Christmas and that should ensure a good Wi-Fi connection for the festive season.

Back from the walk with Gladys and a hearty but healthy breakfast and then clean the boat. We have taken to enjoying a regular daily game of Scrabble after chores by which time its time for Gladys and our lunch. After lunch its usually a short shopping trip to top up with fresh stuff and by then it is time time for the Gladys afternoon stroll and internet stuff.

Dinner preparation and cooking and eating come next and the day is almost gone in a whisker. By the time we get to watching TV or reading its my turn to start feeling drowsy and into bed with a book. I don’t know if its just age but the days fly by lately and they said you might be bored in the winter on the boat, no time to get bored there are always jobs to start or finish and the ‘To Do List’ on the blackboard seems to get added to rather than diminish each day.

Still enjoying it though and despite previous postings we are not selling Renaissance as we know we will miss this gypsy life so much if we were to move permanently onto the land just yet.

So into December now and Solstice only days away. People who know me well, know that I get very exited by winter Solstice. For me it is the turning point in winter when the days start to get longer and the nights shorter. I judge the year by events so after Solstice the festive stuff is upon us then into the new year and the six nations rugby, then the first flowers of spring and preparing the boat for another glorious summer, of long hot days laughing, eating and drinking with friends new and old on some canal side halt.

Marvellous and its what gets me out of bed each morning, that and Gladys of course.


This post was written by Terry Barrett

Photographs by Tes


  • Freda Bostock

    We loved your blog Terry as we have enjoyed reading all of them. We wish you Terry and Gladys a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year 2015! Also good travelling on land and sea.

  • Jac and Chris

    Wishing you three a lovely festive season and a very happy 2015. Hope we can meet up again next year if not thwarted by any early canal closures! xxx

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