Postcard from… my mother’s narrow boat
“Postcard from” is my regular series of non recipe Saturday mini blog posts.
“Really?” people tend to say when I tell them my mother lives on a narrow boat, “What? All the time? Isn’t it cold?”
Yes, I reply. All the time for over ten years. And no it isn’t cold because she has central heating and since it’s a small space it heats up quite easily. She also has broadband, electricity, a tumble dryer, everything you’d expect in a flat.
It’s not a life for everyone, least of all me. I can never remember how the toilet works which has to be hilariously explained to me each time I visit. I have too much clutter too, I would need another boat trailing behind us full of cookery books and kitchenware.
It always seems to be icy when I visit and I dread walking down the jetty covered in chicken wire incase my heels get stuck in it. In summer, there is no ice but it is more likely that lots of boats will be out meaning you walk treacherously down the gang plank to where she is moored at the very end with nothing either side to grab onto if you lose your balance.
But once you get inside it’s very cosy. The kitchen is actually bigger than you’d get in many flats (always a consideration for a food blogger). The picture below is of her old boat which was previously owned by a youth group and decked out inside with over a dozen bunk beds. The more practical layout you see here is a living area, kitchen, bedroom followed by bathroom and engine area. Her new boat is more modern meaning stuff like the electricity and water heating works better when they’re on the move.
Hmm looks like I was picking my nose but I promise I wasn’t.
Come holiday time I receive postcards from destinations like Coventry and Wolverhampton. I’ve tried persuading her to come down to London in it but it would take the best part of a month to travel here and back so unless she took a sabbatical, it’s sadly not going to happen yet.
One of the big advantages of taking a holiday in your narrow boat is that you don’t need to pack. Just fill up on supplies from the supermarket and off you go, like a snail in it’s shell. That really appeals to me.
In the mornings, ducks peck the side of the boat and wake everyone up. Imagine having an alarm clock like that!
What would you like most about living on a boat?
The peace and tranquility of it all apeals to me.
the feeling i epxpect of really getting away from it all when you go home. id like them to be a bit wider ( tho then they wouldnt be narrow boats would they!)
water is calming ( unless your drowning!) sorry…….
everyday a holiday.
Fresh Local and Best says
So cool! She has all of the luxuries of being on land with the freedom to move!
Wow, that looks really cool. I love the idea of being able to just head off somewhere without all the hassle of packing, etc. And I bet your Mum's kitchen is bigger than mine!!
Kitchen Butterfly says
I guess the freedom to travel in it would appeal to me the most! Superb post. Really enjoyed it
That is so cool. Whenever I visit Oxford I love to walk along the Thames Path and look at the colourful houseboats.
How wonderful – your Mom looks like such a fun person. I think I'd like the part about taking off and not have to worry about packing. I'm really enjoying this portcard series Sarah.
I heart cupcakes says
I really love the idea of living on a houseboat and regret an offer I had to live on one a few years ago near Richmond as I was scared frogs would get in and attack me (I was about 17!)
I love the idea of being able to pootle off somewhere without the need to pack up everything. Also the sound of nature being so close while you sleep appeals to me.
Barbara Bakes says
I can see the beauty of living on a boat and being able to roam whenever you felt like it. If I were to live on a boat it would have to be somewhere warm and tropical. And I have to get a new husband because this one gets seasick!
Rambling Tart says
What an adventurous life! I would like the freedom of traveling at the drop of a hat with everything I love with me. It would be fun exploring and meeting new people.
I am the "mom" on the boat. Lovely post Sarah. Yes we have freedom to travel which is lovely- at present though as we are both still working we're not yet quite as free as we'd like to be. You can only travel at 3 miles per hour so when you've got to get back again you can imagine you don't get far. A typical three week holiday would see us cover arounnd a hundred miles round trip. Once we retire though we will have the freedom to get around with no time constraints. High on our list then is a spell in London – down the Thames- (yes it can be done) there's loads of places we want to go. For those curious – no it isn't a cheap way of living. To live comfortably it costs around the same if not more than living in a flat. Regards to all- Rose
That looks like so fun to get away from land….a wonderful floating world! I think I need that 😀
that's so fantastic! I'd love to live on a boat. Lovely photos and all.
faithy, the baker says
Interesting post! Although it is cool to live on a boat, but i don't think i can since i get sea-sick easily..even when the boat is not moving but if there is a bit of movement in the waters..i can feel it and i'll feel terribly sick.
deer baby says
Wow – how fascinating. And lovely to hear from your Mum. That first picture is beautiful. I think I would like that lifestyle in theory but maybe not in practice. But what an adventure!
I like this 'Postcard from…' it's a cool bit to your blog and adds so much character! Oh man, holidaying in that boat sounds like so much fun. Like going to a cabin up in the mountains that's already got all the stuff you need. I need a holiday….:D xx
The Cooking Ninja says
Those boats reminds me of canal boating I did with my 2 girlfriends in 98. We had a fantastic 1 week travelling from one town to next with lots of adventure of course. Nearly fell into the dirty canal once after I push the barge away from the jetty. LOL!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
I loved this post Sarah! Whilst I don't think I could live on a boat, it does have a rather cosy looking appeal! 🙂
We have a narrowboat right in the centre of the City of Lincoln – we are currently selling our house to go and live on it – its a beautiful way of life.