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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

NB Valerie Has Sold

"If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello." ~Paul Coelho, Brazilian lyricist and novelist

   Four people contacted me about viewing the boat since I listed it for sale. Yesterday morning at breakfast another person sent me an email and today, yet another. Yesterday the first person came to view the boat. I met his wonderful family, and we spent two and a half hours going over the boat from bow to stern. He made an offer and I accepted it. If all goes well, I intend to be packed and away with everything settled, before Christmas.
   I am fortunate to have such loving, supportive friends both here and in North America. I will stay with friends while I arrange to have my personal belongings shipped back to the States. I hope to visit some of the lovely people who've become such good friends over the seven years I've lived here in the U.K. and then...I will be away, flying back to America and the arms of my family who are excited to have their mom and Grandmother coming back to roost amidst them; back to the bosom of wonderful friends on the other side of the Pond who are thrilled I am returning.
   I don't know where exactly I will end up. I am going to trust the Universe and bounce a bit, visiting family and friends while I see what comes up for me in terms of a place to settle down, and opportunities for good employment. I am nearly finished with my first book draft which I have been working on for eight years, and I will be submitting it to a publisher soon. Fingers crossed it is picked up for publication and goes right to the top of the best seller list! Everybody loves a good true love story right???
   Since Samhain on October 31st I have felt Les strong around me. I know he was with me yesterday and he continues to look out for me. He may be dis-incarnate but we are still in a relationship of true love with one another that transcends death.
   My head is spinning! I cannot believe how quickly things move sometimes. While I am sad to be leaving our lovely home and the community of fellow boaters who have welcomed, befriended and nurtured both me and Les, I am very pleased that NB Valerie will provide a wonderful home for a lovely new owner who hopefully will have decades of life aboard her and who will  feel surrounded and protected by all the love and care Les and I put into this boat and each other.


Dave,Beryl Bradshaw said...

Great News Hope everything goes well enjoy life back over the pond love Beryl & Dave Nb Sokai
at Foxton Locks.xxxxxxx

Unknown said...

Can I be the first to congratulate you
But, oh my! It's all happened so quickly Nevertheless I'm sure you're doing the right thing and it will be wonderful to be back with your family
And, in time, I hope your memories of your experiences over here will focus on the good times with Les
Looks like you are sorted out with help to make it happen quickly and I do hope you get home for Christmas with the grandchildren
I'm glad we met, however briefly, and if there's anything I can do...
Chris xxx

WB Jenlyn (steve jay) said...

Good luck and lots of love jaqueline xx

Pip and Mick said...

Congratulations Jaq.
We are so pleased for you. We'd been plotting a route back north that would mean we could get to see you before you left, thinking it would take a little while longer for you to sell up. But sadly it looks like we will miss you.
Please keep writing and let us know how your life back home progresses.
Good luck with packing and I hope Valerie's sale goes smoothly.
lots of love
Pip Mick and Tilly x

Sandra Smith said...

Hi Jacqueline, I think your wonderful attitude will serve you well . Your quote about saying goodbye resonates with me as I am in the final weeks before my husband and I are leaving Australia for the UK where our barge is being built, then on to France and a very different life on the water. Perhaps in many ways opposite to your circumstances but we have sold our long-time family home and I am in the process of saying goodbye to close friends I have known for years , knowing that there are many I may not see again if we don’t return to this city. I wish you well in your new adventures and I have a feeling that you will find happiness wherever you eventually land. Good luck and be brave. And Merry Christmas !!🌷🌷🌷

Anonymous said...

Wonderful and good luck as you start a new chapter in your life.
Best Wishes to you from Keith and Ann xx

Nev Wells said...

I know your book will soar as did your love affair. We all have to leave our mortal bodies, but love never dies, it just gets softly and rightly talked about a little less as the years and people pass through. Excellent news about the boat sale and someone is getting a real diamond of an opportunity to plonk their clothes in the draws and cast off for another adventure. I look forward to reading the love story all over again. Be good !

Shirley Collier said...

Very good news. I know it must have been so difficult to make the decision to sell the Valerie. I also know that Les was with you. I'm glad you will be back in the loving arms of your family and friends - loved ones who will keep you close and make sure you are taken care of. You did so much for Les; now let others do for you. With admiration and great fondness, Shirley Collier

Carol said...

Fantastic news Jaq, so pleased for you! Please let us know if there is anything ... anything at all ... that we can help you with. We hope to see you before you fly away. Love from both of us. xx

Lisa said...

Hi Jaq,
This is great news and you certainly made the correct decision.
How exciting to be landing into the arms of your family, it will be lovely I know. Plus of course the wonderful President Trump. Fabulous!
Good luck and keep us informed via the blog will you?
Lisa & David NB WaL

Arthur said...

So pleased for you, Jaq, at what must be a bitter-sweet time. We knew it shouldn't take long and we hope the sale goes through without any issues. Keep in touch and keep your spirits up, wherever you finally moor for the next adventure. Very best wishes and good health.

Jennie said...

We were delighted for your sake to hear your news. I am not surprised nb Valerie sold so quickly as she is a much loved and well cared for boat. We both wish you all the best back in the States and we will see you before you go. Take care and good luck. You will be missed. Jennie and Chris xx

nb Bonjour said...

Congratulations Jaq! It's sad to think we are unlikely to meet you again but you are returning to a loving family which is lovely to hear.
I hope you will carry on blogging as you are 'a good read' whether on boating or otherwise! I hope the 'NB Valerie' blog will stay online too.
Love and best wishes for the future
Debby and Dave

Lesley K said...

Wonderful news Jaq. Keep a warm spot in your heart for us Brits you have embraced over here and go back to join your family. X Lesley K

Judith nb Serena said...

So pleased to hear your news. Hope the sale goes through without a hitch. Be lovely for you to be back with your family in the States. Hopefully in time for Christmas. I also look forward to reading your blog from the next stage of life's adventure. Look forward to the book. Love and hugs Judith and John nb Serena XXX

Ali said...

That's great news Jaq, I did put a comment on the for sale blog but I think its somewhere in the ether. So I'll repeat it. I think you have done so well on your own, not something I would have done. We have only met the once, briefly at Bulls Bridge, along with Paul & Elaine, and a few passing waves & shouts over the years! Think you have made a good decision to return to your family, very best wishes for the future, love Ali & John nb Triskaideka

Anonymous said...

I wish you all the best, your blog has been such a part of my life. You have given me so much inspiration.
Take care
Thank you

Catherine H said...

Be sure to let all the readers of your blog know when your book is published. Looking forward to reading it.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Wonderful news Jaq. As the saying goes, One door closes and another opens. I know how hard the decision was to sell Valerie but it was the right one for you. The new owners are getting a lovely boat filled with love and laughter and if walls could talk.... eh? All the best for your new life and I agree with Debby and Dave, please keep blogging as you are a much-loved part of the boating family. Sending loads of love and hugs from us both and we wish you all the best for whatever the future will bring. Xxxx

Anonymous said...

How comforting it must be to be selling to someone you liked, and to know that a family will be enjoying your much loved boat. Lots of good luck for your future and, as others have said, please don’t stop blogging.
Kath (nb Herbie)

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Dave and Beryl,

Thank you for your kind thoughts on my future. I am so pleased we four had the chance to meet on the Caldon and catch up again in several other spots along our respective journies. May the water road always be in your favor!

Love Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Oh Chris this has happened far more quickly that I ever expected! But when things are supposed to happen in our favor apparently it all slots into place-bing! Bing! Bing! Ans so I am going with the flow!

I am so, so very glad we finally had a chance to meet, spend time with one another and what can I say? I will miss you! I will think of you often as Ceriog continues her travels and I hope you will continue to keep us all caught up on FB.

Thank you for you kindness, support and friendship over the past two years especially. Your friendship has blessed me.

Love and Biggs big hugs to you both,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Canal Digger (aka Jenilyn),

Hi Steve and Jen! Thank you very much. I wish you both many more years of great cruising and good memories. I will miss the cut and all the amazing characters on it.

Love Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Dear Pip and Mick,

I am so deeply grateful our bows finally met! I really thought this sale would take months to occur and I was looking forward to seeing your lovely boat hove into view! Thank you for your friendship and loving kindness, and for some good laughs!!

The packing is a frenzy and I am just working hard to stay centered on each day and not borrow trouble from tomorrow. The sale is concluded and the man who bought NBV is a lovely bloke. I hope he will be as happy as Les and I were, living on her.

This is a very bittersweet decision and I still breakdown sobbing when I think that in a matter of days I will no longer live on our lovely boat but boats cost money to maintain and it is clear to me that I will not find a decent job in my area of expertise over here.

I will follow along on your blog and live vicariously with you two and the cat!

Love and Biggs big hugs,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Sandra,

Our main circumstances may be different but you are going through the same thing as me. It is always tough to say goodbye--especially when one loves where one is and the people in one's life. The boaters I've met through the years have been solid gold characters and they have made life for me and Les very sweet with their friendship and camaraderie. I thought I would spend the rest of my life on this boat and on the cut with Les. We both loved it in deeply equal measures and life without him has been grueling--not living on the boat, that has been the easy part. It is all the rest that's tough. I am fortunate that he still looks after me and I can still feel him close by and I know we will always be connected by our love for one another in a very deep and mysterious way. I couldn't make this decision until I knew Les was okay with it.

Once I turn over the boat keys and walk away from NBV I will square my shoulders, hold my head up and look to the future, knowing Les is right there with me. And it will be okay. It has been a very lonely two years for me on my own and I am so looking forward to being with children and grandchildren again and good friends on the other side of the world but I will always stay in touch with the good friends I have over here for I carry them all in my heart.

Best of luck to you both in your new endeavor in Australia! There are some cracking boaters from Oz--we met them here and most have gone back there now. May the next phase of your new life bring you peace and joy.

Love Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Dear Keith and Anne,

Thank you for your kind thoughts for me and for your friendship over the years as our bows met and then continued onward. I hope you are both well, happy and enjoying life.

Love Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Nev!!

Thank you and many deep thanks for your friendship and support o f me and Les over these past eight years and for believing in my ability to write and produce a good book! I will be following your adventures on your blog and traveling with you and Rachel vicariously.

I will be good--I promise!!

Biggs big hugs to you both,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Shirley,

Thank you for your lovely words of support and kindness. Everything you say is true; I am looking forward now to letting others take care of me for awhile while my heart and soul and hopefully my body mends. Taking care of Les was a privilege; he took great care of me and showed me in a thousand ways--both large and small--how deeply and truly he loved me, and that lives on forever as does his spirit and our love.

Thank you too for all the times you checked me back in as I returned a fleet vehicle. You always made me feel taken care of and appreciated. WSU had an absolute gem in you!

I wish you well and hope perhaps our paths will cross again in Washington.

Love and Biggs big hugs,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Carol,

I could never leave without spending time with you and George. You are both so dear to my heart as you were to Les'.

It's a huge and heartrending decision and a giant leap to a new chapter in life but I have my memories and I take all of you that I love, along with me in my heart.

See you both in the New Year!

Love and Biggs big hugs,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Dear Lisa and David,

I will certainly keep you posted on what is happening. I will no doubt start a new blog and link to it from NB Valerie's blog which I will always keep up for everyone to read. It has been such a healing blessing to go back to the beginning and read Les' posts and travel forward with him. The blog is far better than a scrap book or a photo album.

It will be a blessing and joy to be in the arms of all of my family. They have worried about me these past two years and everyone is ready for me to come back. My favorite oldest daughter Jesse said, Come home now Momma. You've had your European adventure!"

Please keep writing those amazing blog posts that make us all laugh, sigh, and enjoy traveling along with you both. Should you ever come to the Pacific Northwest you always have a place to stay. I can even arrange a visit to a local family farm if you like!!

Love and Biggs big hugs,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Arthur,

Well I am so very touched by your faith that the boat would sell quickly! I really did expect it to take months and months which is why I put it up for sale when I did. I truly am amazed that the very first person to view her decided to buy her. I am also greatly relieved she is going to an lovely man who has lived on boats for decades, is well known among very good boaters, and will truly love living on NBV. He will take good care of her and I needed to know that in order to sell her and begin the process of letting go.

Thank you for your friendship, support and loving kindness to me and Les throughout the years Arthur. Knowing you really blessed us both and I will always keep you and Jen in my heart.

Love and Biggs big hugs,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Jennie and Chris,

You two are like family to me and Les and I were so very blessed in knowing you. While our bows never actually crossed, our lives have done so with mutual boating friends who are also family to me and Les. Your friendship has warmed our hearts and added joy to our lives.

I am so looking forward to spending time with you both soon.

Love and Biggs big hugs,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Dear Debby and Dave,

I am so very glad our bows met although briefly. Thank you for your kind thoughts for me, and for your support of our blog and my writing. It means a great deal to me. I certainly will keep blogging although from a new blog which I will link to from NB Valerie's blog. I could never take the boat blog down--it is such a wonderful way to connect with Les again. There is so much of him in his posts although he never thought of himself as a writer and he was always pleasantly pleased and surprised when readers commented and people followed the blog. It is so full of his love of the cut: canal history, and life on the canals. His sweet, true voice rings through it as does my own when I joined him.

May you and Dave continue to enjoy many years of cruising and living aboard. Please think of me and Les as you go along.

Love and Biggs big hugs,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Lesley,

Thank you for your kind thoughts. You and Joe may count on my keeping all the lovely Brits in my heart, including the both of you. My deepest thanks and gratitude to you both for your unstinting support and friendship to both Les and me and for bringing weight to bear at a crucial moment when Les' life really did depend on it. My gratitude will never wane.

May you both enjoy many decades of life together finding new adventures and revisiting old and treasured ones.

Love and Biggs big hugs,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Dear dear Judith

I am so blessed to have met you and John and to have your girl--friendship!! The boating community is such a good circle of people. It is even more special I think amongst the women boaters who connect with one another. I so appreciate your support for my writing and there is a book out there with my personal signature on the fly leaf for you!! ;)

Take good care of each other and we will stay in touch via FB.

Love and Biggs big hugs,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Ali! I remember that day at Bull's Bridge. Thank you for your kind words. It has been a grueling two years without Les but I am so glad I did it. I had to prove to myself I could to it, and I needed to wait for Les's spirit to come to me and let me know we are still deeply connected and he will travel through this world with me until it is my time to pass through the kissing gate to the other side. Les will be waiting for me. Now that I know this and I know I have his blessing to sell the boat, I can move forward. I could not have survived the past two years without the boating community which rallied around me, and buoyed me up. Boaters are really very special folks. I am so glad our bows met although briefly and I wish you both decades of happiness as your cruise.

Love Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Carol VK4GH,

Thank you and I certainly will do. I cannot wait to get it off to a publishers and begin working on the next one:The Further Adventures of a Yank on the Cut!

May all your cruises be safe and sunny!

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Anonymous!! I wish you had left your name so I knew who it is that has experienced such an impact from our blog. A writer can have no better acknowledgement that knowing that one's words have made a positive impact on the lives of others.

Thank you for following along on our journey and continuing to read our posts.

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Irene and Ian,

Your friendship, support and loving care has been instrumental in make Les and I feel welcomed and a part of the greater boating community. We are kindred spirits and as I have told you both before my only deep regret is that Les didn't get to meet you both in person. He would have been chuffed to bits and hit it right off as though he'd known you both for years and years. Being accepted as a part of the boating community has been one of the greatest honors I've had. Not everyone as you well know, could fit in and I am so grateful for the loving welcome I was given by all of you.

Thank you and I will continue to blog and keep people posted and know that I will always be reading your posts and traveling along vicariously with you both. May you travel with joy from strength to strength in good health,

Love and Biggs big love.

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Kath,

Thank you for your friendship and acceptance; for your kindness and offers of assistance to me and Les and for your and Neil's amazing blog which Les and I devoured every time a new post popped up. I will be traveling vicariously with you both through your posts. May you both cruise for decades to come in good health and great joy.

Love and Biggs big love,

Jaq xxx

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Jaq.
Well done on the quick sale. Take care on the next step on your journey. We'll miss you.
Lots of love, Geoff and Mags, Seyella.

Katie said...

Hi Jaqueline, Phil's daughter here �� it was lovely to meet you on Tuesday, your boat is such a wonderful little home. My dad will take good care of her for you. I will be reading your blog from now on and keep you posted on how Valerie is.
Once your book is published I will buy it for my dad to read and keep on the boat.
Looking forward to seeing you again soon.
Katie x

Anonymous said...

The lurker from Madison, WI. :) It has been wonderful reading your blog since 2014. It has really made me reassess many things in life and widen my scope of what constitutes "opportunity". Blessings to you during the dark of the year and with the turning of the wheel may new joy brighten your life.

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Geoff and Mags,

Thank you for your kind thoughts. I am so very pleased we four were able to meet and get to know one another. Your blog is one that both Les and I enjoyed and of course you share Les' passion for canal history so it was doubly fabulous to spend time with you. Mags, I loved meeting you and I so enjoyed all the wonderful stories you shared about your life. May the two of you continue to cruise in good health,

Love Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Katie!

What a lovely surprise! I know your dad will take good care of the boat and bring her back to her former glory. While this is a very traumatic step for me, letting go of my home and all the memories of Les built into every precious foot of NB Valerie, my heart is lightened with the knowledge she is going to be a wonderful home for Phil and I hope he feels that right off once we hand over the boat. She couldn't go to the better boater, so it is a win/win situation for us both.

Thank you for your kind words!

Jaqueline x

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Dear Lurker,

Many thanks for following along all these years. It is through the supportive blessings of folks like yourself that I feel myself buoyed up on a new wave of opportunity waiting to carry me towards a new life. I think it's appropriate that I am handing over the boat on the Winter Solstice!

Blessed Be to you as well and may wonderful new opportunities sprout from the seeds which have germinated in the dark of winter.

Jaq xx

Alison said...

I wish you well with the next step of your journey. I can only imagine how difficult it was for you to make the decision to sell Valerie. It holds a whole host of memories for you but those memories will live with you forever in your heart.

Do let us all know when your book is published, I for one, look forward to reading it.

You are such an inspriation and I hope that you keep blogging.

Safe travels,


Barbara said...

Congratulations on the quick sale of your beloved boat it sounds like you have found a lovely family to look after her. I’m so pleased we met you this year after all the years of reading both yours and Les’s blog we want to wish you all the very very best for the next chapter in your life and really hope you carry on with your blog. A very happy Christmas to you and all the very best for the coming year. Love Barb and Phil xxx

Unknown said...

I will miss you but I am so happy that you have this new adventure before you...we will always be friends beautiful lady xx

Unknown said...

Hi Jaq.
I don't know whether to be sad or happy that you are going. I'm sure you will have made a decision that is best for you. Haven't seen you for a while, but was looking forward to seeing you as I travel north this year (my glasses need cleaning). Ho hum!
Have a good life

Cuddlesceridwen said...

Hi Jaq
I’m so happy for you that the boat has sold and you can cruise off to a new adventure. I look forward to your book being published and to your new blog keeping me updated. You are right, when something is meant to be it all just clicks into place, this is what happened to me. The great news for me is that we have just purchased a boat. It is 17 metres and has been beautifully cared for. Musti will do daily and 3 nightly trips. It may not be long and narrow, but it floats and that is good enough for me. Maybe one day you can come over to turkey and enjoy a few days out at sea? I wish you all the luck in the world with your journey back to family and the packing. I’m sure NBV will be loved and cared for just as much as it was with Les and yourself. I count my blessings that our paths crossed and I got to know you both. Much love and light Carol xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Alison,
Thank you, and yes I will keep blogging. Selling Valerie was a truly heartrending thing but it was also the right thing to do both for me and for our boat. She is in very good hands now, and so am I for the present. I haven't begun the grieving process involved in selling my home but it will likely overtake me once I am back in the States.
Kind regards,
Jaq xxx

Oakie said...

Hi Jaq, Well that was a speedy sale and I wish you everything you want for back in the States. by now you may still be in the UK, but I will keep your blog bookmarked as always since we met in Weedon on that extremely hot day, when you were welcomed aboard Stronghold for a drink and requested a
glass of water with ICE! I found you are one of the easiest women to talk to and we got on like a house on fire from the word go. I also well remember after going through Braunston tunnel how I asked you to breast up to go down the remainder of the locks to a mooring after my throttle cable broke - no hesitation, but you were scared stiff of navigating solo, let alone breasted with another boat - admiration indeed. Good luck, but you will once again be with your family.
Ray XX nb Stronghold

The Mechanic AKA. Mick Lomax said...

Hi Jaqueline

I am sorry to hear that you have come to the stage where you have had to sell NB Valerie, but your health is important as well as family. Les would understand the reasons behind this. It will be a shame to see you leave and go back to the States, I was hoping to catch up with you and Les when he was still with us at some point if you were sailing near to us.

My best wishes for the future and with the book that you have been working on. Please try and keep in contact if possible via e-mail, etc. You never know, we might make it over to the States at some point in the future and pop around for your lovely Apple Crumble.

Have a great time and keep the happy memories with you. Enjoy tell your friends and family back in American about your adventures along the British waterways and life on the canals.

All the best.

Mick Lomax

West Yorkshire

NC said...

I started reading your blog after my dear friend Patti sent me the link. I reconnected with Patti after my husband’s sudden death 2yrs ago. I have a connection to the UK also. He was english, we met there some 35 yrs ago. His mom lived in Abingdon and Oxford. So the water is everywhere. It was refreshing to catch up with your adventure, you’re braver that I would ever be. I hope you continue to update the blog but first take care of yourself.


Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

HI Nilgun,

I apologize for taking so long to reply to your comment. Between selling the boat and moving to America, there has been a lot of Administrative work I needed to complete to severe ties with the U.K. and reconnect to the States.

I am sorry to hear of you husband's passing. My husband died two years ago January 24th so it appears we both became widowed about the same time. Patti is such a treasure!! It is nice to know we have friendship in common too.

Les and I never made it to Abingdon but we always hoped to do so.

I will continue to blog and I thnak y8ou so much for your support and for following along on this journey.

Kind regards,


Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Mick,

I apologize for taking so long to reply. There has been an avalanche of things to deal with between selling the boat, shipping my things back to the USA, severing ties with the UK and reconnecting with the USA.

Before Les died we discussed the possibility that I might have to sell the boat and he was very supportive, as always and in all things. His body might be ash but Les' spirit is alive and well and watching over me. The boat sold so quickly and easily, it could only have happened if Les' spirit was behind it.

I will stay in touch Mick and if ever you are over to my neck of the woods you are more than welcome!!

Jaq xxx

Anonymous said...

Wow.... we didn’t see this coming did we......::

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs