Our Diary UK Part 1

Spring has sprung, the grass is green,
Where have Christine and Keith been?

The answer is nowhere! But it's been great reading all your newsletters, blogs and Facebook posts - dreaming and reminiscing about sun swept white sandy beaches… How lucky we all are.

We have now settled into our house and "stuff" - things which have been in storage for 14 years - important at the time but probably destined for charity or E-bay. Boat maintenance has been replaced by house maintenance - every room has been redecorated, additional power points installed and new floors laid (well nearly!). And to fund our current and future lifestyle we have both picked up a couple of contracts. Christine is working as a management accountant for Oyster Yachts. They couldn't believe their luck to find an accountant that knew about boats! Keith has also picked up a contract sorting out a business issue for a contact lens manufacturer.

Apart from decorating, our focus has been to catch up with family and friends - old and new. With too many of you scattered across the globe and with so little time this has not been easy. That's what happens when you drop back into the nine-to-five slot! We managed to catch up with Peter and Toni from Tigger a couple of times - they have taken

a few months off and left Tigger in Reunion. Also, Gill and Aidan ex Dunwurkin stayed with us over Christmas which was fun - especially as they had to finish decorating their bedroom before they could move in! Maggie and Trevor Kouba have welcomed us again - we have known them for years - and we've enjoyed going to a few live rock music gigs with them. We've also visited the Cruising Association with them to hear Trevor's talk about hidden gems in the Bay of Biscay. We have been thankful to Mike and Jill ex Altair - for their cups of tea and forbearance as we transit from cruisers to homemakers - they transitioned a few years ago. And new friends Ann & Steve and Richard & Jan from the Ashlett Sailing Club have made us welcome and we enjoy Friday night pub meals with them and Maggie & Trevor. So our social life has gradually grown in scope - not quite as busy as the cruising life, but working definitely puts a cramp on your style!

It has also been great to catch up with family and seeing Rosie develop is good fun - she's now about 2½ years old and delightful. Charlotte and Rachel recently announced their engagement - so another wedding is in the offing! Emily and Jon are going from strength to strength in Australia's many Marathons and Iron Man events.

Now the weather has started to warm up at last and we hope to come out of hibernation - luckily it has been a reasonably mild winter - but we do have the central heating set to 25°!!!

So more of the same for the next 9 months or so. At the end of this year Keith retires again - officially this time! Retiring early and cruising the world is a hard act to follow but we are kicking around some ideas. Top of the list is extended travel through the Americas. We enjoyed our stay in the US 10 years ago and would like to catch up with all the people we met then. Maybe an RV trip and overland through South America… It's good to dream!

That's all for now…