After 30 years of working within the public sector, many of which were spent staring into a computer screen dealing with inane E-mails and the like, I began to realise my own insignificance. This was positively reinforced when the boss didn’t immediately collapse in tears when I announced I was leaving but instead collected my coat and held the front door long enough to ensure it was firmly closed behind me


Nina equally became somewhat disillusioned years earlier after working in both the private and public sectors and decided to go it alone – entering the world of fabric, curtains, blinds and shutters. Something she had always loved.

Together we developed our business and have been privileged to work in some beautiful houses meeting many bold and brave customers, some of whom have become lifelong friends. It has been a truly rewarding experience to have been trusted by so many.

The success of Finetrax was such that we became slaves to it and we realised this was eating away at our lives.  It was time to discuss ‘where do we go from here?’ We wanted to plan our future before it overtook us and any opportunities passed – this was in 2014. And so it was that April 1st 2018 became our D-Day. The planned start date for the next chapter in our lives.


So what followed was four years of endless discussions which necessitated drinking a European wine lake, a few arguments, preparations, and spending money – lots of it!

Why a ‘chapter’?  Well I’ve often thought of life as a book of chapters and we must fill each chapter with intrigue, amusement and occasionally test or scare yourself witless (Nina hasn’t signed up for this bit!), just to check you’re still alive and as with all good books, the chapters should get better as you read on.

Having said that, I often wonder why we’re leaving a lovely, sound, comfortable home and moving onto a boat where everything wobbles and anything you want is always an irritatingly long walk away and usually only reached by wearing a raincoat.

Our new life will no doubt test us as a couple, way beyond that of working together, but the reward will be visiting new places and countries with sunsets and sunrises only seen by us.  As my dear old Dad once said “We’re all heading for the nursing home it’s just whether we arrive with a head full of memories or head full of regrets”…..   so we’re taking the memories option.

Are we being reckless, well apart from swapping a house for a boat our constant worry is for our children but it’s clear that they have all inherited our courage and daring for life and are probably fed up with us orbiting their own chapters and giving them the advice of parents who have made just about every mistake a middle aged person could! Any case, they’ve learnt to judge us slightly too often these days so perhaps it’s time to for us to move on as they’ve all become fiercely and proudly independent. That being said, I suspect they’ll be jumping in and out of our lives, after all, this is their trip as well.

Personally my inspiration comes from a passage from “Wanderer” by Mike Sweeny which I will share with you ….. I only wish I could take full credit for it however I could never be this poetic …..

“…..What does a man need – really need ? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we all know it.  But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry and playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in the dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where then lies the answer?

Which shall it be – bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?……….” 

So there we have it, our plan is to keep going until we’re too grey and broken to leap off boats or work out exchange rates. We are ready to start filling our heads with memories..