About Jan and Brian - as a couple

Written by Brian, but approved and signed off by Jan, July 2018 - all hyperlinks are to pages within www.augurswell.org

First meetings


Jan and Brian first met in December 2009.  At that time Jan worked in France but was in England for a few weeks around Christmas staying with her daughter and son-in-law.  Having met by chance they saw each other a few more times before the end of the year.  By that time Brian was well ensconced in his own house in Swann Lane.  Phil Todd, Builders, had completed the garage / workshop extension and the latter was fully functional and (lacking “distractions”) was well used!
Early Jan 2010 Jan went back to France and later that month Brian flew across to see her.  The earliest photos of them together were taken during that week.
Shown here is "Leffe Day" and Jan's dog "Bentley"
Running a long-distance relationship, they saw each other a couple more times before Easter, including during one crucial business trip Jan had to make to Birmingham NEC when they discovered their mutual love was not just for each other but for narrowboats too.
Fate then started to make everything fall into place.  Jan had been looking to return to England, but had been looking in vain for jobs in Cheltenham.  Fortuitously a recruitment agency informed of a good fit job in “the Manchester area”.  Following a telephone interview they wanted to meet her.  No probs as week later she was due to be staying with Brian for a few days.  Previously only knowing this vague geography, on Jan’s arrival Brian learned the actual location -  in Hazel Grove, less than 3 mls away.  Cupid’s arrow plus fate – what else could they do?  Jan got the job and accepted Brian’s offer to move in with him !

Augie the narrowboat


The major annual narrowboat show takes place in Crick, Northamptonshire each May.  Having already decided a narrowboat had to be bought, Jan & Brian went to view some.  Perhaps irresponsibly an order for a new-build was placed.  Through the summer of 2010 the design was finalised and construction commenced.  Jan named him “Augurs Well” although the boat was always known as “Augie”.  The URL www.augurswell.org was acquired and anyone who is interested in Augie can read as much detail as they can tolerate by clicking here.
Perhaps more significant to this story however was the way Augie allowed Jan’s “nest building”, new-home-together desires to be met.  30 yrs beyond the ideal age, but better late than never !  Brian enjoyed much skilful DIY to add numerous features, again covered in detail in these web pages.
Many wonderful holidays ensued, along with many friends & family trips.  All chronicled in detail here
Following Brian’s father’s death in Nov 2006 his mother had moved to a bungalow very near Swann Lane.  By 2014 her health was deteriorating and long trips away on transport which moved at 3 mph was impossible.  Augie had to be sold.  He had done his duty and everything augured well for Jan and Brian’s future together.
By this date many local friends were saying what a better, calmer, happier, person Brian had become.  Much more significant for him, his mother concurred.

Train trips and Cruises

 to date

Because of Augie, little quality time had been spent at 34 Swann Lane.  It remained distinctly a bloke’s house.  Clearly that had to change.  A new kitchen was fitted, a new roof and the orangery extension was built. Much of Brian’s old furniture was replaced.  Flowers appeared in the garden.  Cushions appeared everywhere.  Beautiful antiques too, with drives to numerous auction houses to collect.

2014 was the year of their 60th birthday celebrations.  Firstly at Bryn Tanat between the actual birthdays.  Then in June, a fabulous 3 week Interrailing trip around most countries in western Europe, finally in late November, to Sharm el Sheikh.  The Interrail trip met a mutual preference for rail travel.  Both had seen quite enough airports already via work.

2015 – the year of the dog.  Brian finally relented to Jan’s desire for a dog.  In March Aston arrived in their lives.   By that date a holiday driving to Italy had been booked for June.  So Aston got a pet-passport and went to Tuscany.  In November they returned to Egypt for a Nile cruise and Ei Gouna.

2016 included a wonderful few days in Rome and later in the year a second Interrail trip, this time just within France and the Moorish cities of Spain.

2017 saw the onset of Cruising.  Wanting something different for the now traditional between-the-birthdays trip, a 1 week Mediterranean cruise was booked.  So enamoured were they by cruises they returned and booked a 3 week cruise from Genoa to Rio de Janeiro in November.  Before the end of the year another 4 week cruise from Dubai to Tokyo had been booked for 17 months’ time in April 2019.  Then another for March next year in the Caribbean.  On a roll, over Christmas whilst Will, Abbie and Hugo were staying, another very sociable cruise, October 2018 in the Med was booked - for those 5.  Along with friends from Eyemouth/Zurich.

2018 and very much subsequent to all 3 cruises having been booked, Brian proposed the idea of getting married on the Med cruise.  A couple had got married during the Brazil cruise and they liked the idea.  Jan thought long and hard (!!!) and said YES. The opportunity to get married not only on a cruise, but when family and friends were there to participate, was just too hard to resist.