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Piers and Lin du Pré are the owners of the Fleming 55 Play d'eau, based in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350.

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A Year of Firsts

When this year began we had no idea some of the ‘firsts’ that would happen.

Lin and our four boys. They won’t tell us the joke they’re sharing….
click to enlarge

In October 2012 we spent a week in Guernsey making sure we knew the practical details surrounding our move to the island in March 2013 where we’d live on Play d’eau in the privately owned Beaucette Marina.

The first first – Furniture

We could store all our furniture in Guernsey but would it fit when we bought a house? Instead, the decision was made (not easy) to keep only those pieces that were family ‘heirlooms’ or had ‘special reasons’. The rest could either be sold or given to our sons. Their choices and requests were mostly able to be met and thankfully there was no falling out over who had what!

So, Jan 22 2013 saw most of our furniture being collected to be sold at auction. The rest was to go to long term store in Guernsey.

We slept on our mattress on the floor; we started married life that way but on a different mattress, I hasten to add! It was not as easy to get off the floor to get out of bed, age was creeping up on us. Our garden tables and chairs were used indoors and one sofa was kept for comfortable sitting.

We culled our bits and pieces into what we needed and could use on the boat now, what we would use later, and gave the rest to charity shops or sold. We became ebay masters! The remainder would go into short term storage in Guernsey where we could access them, if necessary.

I found I had squirrelled away loads of toiletries when they had been on special offer – they will keep us going until at least next year!

Second first – Houseless

We had been renting a house in Chetnole, near Yeovil, since selling Orchard Gate in Nov 2011. Now we had to vacate and clean the rental property so moved into a holiday let at the other end of the village for a week. We left this on 9 March 2013.

Third first – the Fox

I took the first car (our little Fox) to Guernsey at the beginning of March 2013, taking the fast ferry from Poole and back later that day for Piers to collect me.

Fourth first – Snow

We ‘first’ departed the UK on 9 March 2013. Piers had to go to USA so he flew back the next day leaving me to hold the fort. The following day saw the island assailed by a blizzard. The wind was gale force north-east and the snow was horizontal. It was exciting yet daunting. Guernsey had not had such bad weather for over 50 years and the airport was closed for 2½ days.

Fifth first – Cessation

We are no longer employed. Piers had started Onaphone in 1979 making his first sale the next year. Later, the company name changed to du Pré plc. It was really strange being cessated by our own company! Our last day of employment was 21 March 2013.

Sixth first – Guernsey

It was 22 March 2013 and finally we arrived in Guernsey to live on the boat. The longest time we had holidayed on her in one stretch was 10 weeks in 2010. Now to live on her with our belongings and in the winter as well! Guernsey self-store has been brilliant for those things of which we have no immediate need.

Seventh first – A Fiancée

Toby, our youngest son, proposed to and was accepted by his girlfriend Amy. He did ask Mark, Amy’s dad, for permission, beforehand. They will marry in South Africa next April.

Eighth first – Piers was officially old

Piers was 65! We had a huge gathering of all the family in May – the weather was very good to us and brilliant memories will be cherished.

Ninth first – Exploration

We have been away exploring since June 18 and ventured further south than ever before. We reached Rochefort which is up the river Charente (south of La Rochelle) and a lovely place to visit. From there, we’ve started the return back north, visiting places we missed on the way down.

Tenth first – Another Fiancée

Adam, our third son, proposed to, and was accepted by Perdita. Wow, two future daughters-in-law in 4 months. So exciting for us all. How come this all happens when we are not in the UK?

We still have another 4 months of this year. How many more ‘firsts’ are there waiting for us?

Lin
From the Saloon of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

You can get in touch with us any time by using our Contact Form.

6 comments to A Year of Firsts

  • Pip

    At least you haven’t been idle this year and have much to show for it! Look forward to hearing about some more “firsts” in the coming months!!!!
    Pxx

  • Pip

    That definitely would be a first! Fortunately for you I’ve already used up Pete’s holiday entitlement on our various sunshine holidays! At least we’ll have the pleasure of seeing you both next February when you stop off in the UK en route to your holiday. Nice thought though. Once Pete retires there’ll be no stopping us!
    P&Pxx

  • Marion Blue

    Fabulous website. Lovely to hear all your news and a few wistful moments of memories from Bourne End! Love the cooking blogs. Stuffed eggs, you served them to us at Bourne End once, I’ve used the Recipe several times, delicious. Hope to hear more news soon, lots of love Marion x

    • Hi M, Thanks for the lovely comments. Wow, memories of about 40 years ago! What fun times then, eh? So pleased you like the site. It takes a lot of time but Piers enjoys it. He is supposed to be retired!!Love Lin and Piers

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