Not such a wonderful living

Published: Wednesday, 28 February 2018

I AM afraid I am going to pour cold water on the wonderful living on the water (if that makes sense) writes Kim Gentry.

I was coerced by my 'other half' into moving from our house, though rather small to an even smaller narrowboat to spend the rest of our days paddling along the inland waterways, this I must admit after a rather good fortnight on a hired narrowboat in 2016.

Not all it was cracked up to be

So come the Spring of last year the deed was done, we had moved out and into our very own 60ft (I think) narrowboat, to find it was not all it was cracked up to be and perhaps explains why there are so many second-had ones for sale.

Hiring a boat to contain a fortnight’s belongings is vastly different to holding all your worldly possessions, as it just would not, so much had to go into storage, which meant trips back and forth, for there was always something wanted that was in storage, so we failed the first hurdle by having too many things. Boaters have to travel light.

Lack of decent shops

I just cannot understand how those I have spoken to can last weeks with just occasional shopping, they must eat frugally indeed.  We have always eaten well and varied, and the lack of decent shops, such as supermarkets, in so many areas was another hurdle that was a pain.

Washing and drying clothes this weather is impossible, and of course there is no mains power for any labour saving device whatsoever, and the promise that there are 'hook-ups' all along the waterways is sheer fallacy.

Missing the so many friends we associated with is another thing I really miss. During the summer many came to see the 'silly thing' we had done by living on a boat, and that was it.

It's freezing

I shall not go into the problems of getting fuel, water and moorings, all of you must know about that, but by far the worst is this blasted cold, and believing the salesman who would have us believe the solid fuel stove would keep us warm all winter though our bedroom is at the opposite end of the boat, was a big mistake.  It is not just cold, it is freezing.

Obviously I am not cut out for going back to such basic living, and my 'other half' now agrees, so there will shortly be yet another narrowboat for sale.

Any of you people who enjoy your hire on a narrowboat—take the advice of experience—don't let it go any further.