TODAY WE SHARE ONE BOATER’S VIEW OF LIFE AFLOAT - WHY NOT SHARE IT WITH OTHERS?
“Huh! YOU’VE got a nice life!” Today, this remark came from a man on a disability scooter as he and the woman who was walking beside him passed me and Dru and Jim when we were sitting on the log bench outside our boats drinking coffee.
It was midday, or a bit later, and, had we been sitting outside a factory or an office block, I think it would have been assumed we were taking our lunch break.
Yes, I believe I have got a nice life. It’s one I chose, certainly, and I chose it largely because I wanted to live within my means. I could have taken the advice of people who understand finance, and invested the advances from two of my books in a nice little pension fund, and rented a nice little flat, and generally lived in a nice, conventional way. By now, the pension fund would have been looted by the fat cats, and a landlord would have taken most of my earnings.
So I rejected the advice, and I bought a boat, and I live on the waterways. For a while, I worked, I was a wage slave, which meant I had a permanent mooring. It was still a nice life, but now it’s even better, because I cruise. Continuously.
Those who claim to envy us our lifestyle might be surprised if they realized how much of what they take for granted in modern day living we have sacrificed. Hot and cold running water, as much as you need, two showers, or even baths, a day? Well, why not? You have to keep yourself clean, don’t you? I’d be searching for a water point every two days, and I, too, like to keep myself clean.
Main drainage for sewerage? Electricity? Yes, of course, what do you expect? Oh, I have electricity. My domestic electricity comes through three twelve volt batteries, charged with solar power and my engine, when I run it. So I need to be just a little bit careful. Washing machine, tumble drier, a dish washer …. Now, some boats do have them, but I couldn’t fit them into forty five feet of narrowboat, even if I wanted to, so it’s the launderette for me, or hand washing, and as for a dish washer, well.