Friday, 16 November 2007

The Beginning

Hmmm...the beginning...always a good place to start, right?

I decided (well, was encouraged) to write this blog to pick up the tradition started by Xav documenting his adventures onboard his narrowboat Black Bottom Girl last winter. Have never been much of a writer myself, and am going to struggle to match his male sense of humour but I'll give it a shot and see how things turn out.

I bought my boat, Muddy Waters, in July this year and have lived on board since August. Things got off to a bit of a turbulent start, as I had to move out of my previous (rented) accomodation earlier than initially planned and the boat was far from ready. I spent a couple of weeks sorting through the mountain of boxes, throwing away things I didn't even realise that I owned and dispatching the rest to my parents' garage and making the place feel like home.

Between then and now there has been a lot of work done on the boat to bring her up to BSS standard and I have gradually relieved her of the flowery curtains and other decor which wasn't to my taste so she is finally starting to feel like home. Pretty candles, cushions and girly stuff have now taken over! I will get some before and after photos posted soon.

There have been dramas along the way including a slight electrical hitch that occupied the majority of a weekend, and a rope round the propeller as a result of my stupidity, but everything is coming together nicely now and I am almost ready to set off cruising properly. Just a couple of vents to install and a bank of batteries to secure and we'll be there I think!

I've spent most of the past week without gas / electric whilst the welding work was completed in the engine bay and have really started to appreciate the simple things in life - there's something almost magical about spending an evening or three reading by candle light in front of a burning stove, boiling the kettle on the fire to make hot chocolate. Long term I don't doubt I would hate it, but for a week it was quite cosy and made me think of families living like that permanently on their boats in years gone by. They probably didn't have an mp3 player for company though!

On a boat, there's definitely a fine balance to be found between things you want and actually need in life. It's taken a while, but I am genuinely surprised how little I need in order to live comfortably. Gone are the days of electric kettles, 2000w hairdryers, big tellys and lava lamps but I'm happier than I have ever been. Fingers crossed I'll still be saying the same once we get into the depths of winter!

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