In 2014 at age 43 I changed my world. It sounds dramatic but after working/living the norm I left land and joined my partner, Neil, on his self-built 38foot Wharram Tiki Catamaran.
Up until that time I had spent the last 7 and a bit years working for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Leamington Spa and dating/living with Neil. When Neil and I first got together in December 2006 he had just started to build Gleda, as she was already named, and I knew that his plan was to move onboard and leave the UK, probably long term.
As it took some years for the build, it was always a distant choice to make. To give up the bricks and mortar house, the permanent full time employment and go live on a boat with no guaranteed income. However, 2014 was decision year, the boat would be ready to be launched and Neil would be ready to go.
I have to say that my decision to give up a full-time permanent job was taken out of my hands when the Commission decided to close the office I worked in and I was made redundant. I would not have stayed in our rented cottage without Neil so my home would have changed anyway. Although the cottage was lovely, on my own it would be too expensive and too far away from town and family.
So there we were. Me, a non-sailor, not having camped, a lover of high-heels, stuff and comfort going to join Neil on a 38ft boat and join him in his dream.
Neil has blogged about the boat build since he started, see www.thegledaproject.com and I decided I would like to put my thoughts and ideas out there as a non-sailing sailor, plus any other random stuff I fancy.
Our time on Gleda ended in 2018 when after some family issues and some reality checks we decided that we were not going to be sailing Gleda as originally planned. Gleda was sold to a long time follower of the project who will be taking her to the places she was built to see.
Neil and I bought a fifth wheel caravan and are in the process of making this our new land based, but still mobile, home and plan to continue our travelling adventures.
- 1980’s girl at heart. Still sing along and like to dance to Wham, Fun Boy Three and Culture Club
- Born in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire in the heart of England
- Went to 3 primary/junior schools and 1 high/comprehensive school
- Moved house a lot with my Mum and 2 brothers until I was 15 (Mum and stepdad still in the same house today)
- Have the same best friend, Maria, from the age of 7 and I am Godmother to her 2 girls, Rachael and Laurel.
- Auntie to Claudia, Elliott, Harvey, Alfie, Eva and Zak
- Am known for being extremely organised, punctual and a little bit sarcastic
- Have learned the difference between need and want, how to wash up in 2″ of water and how to live without running hot water and central heating.