I felt like I needed a break from the marina. There are many pros to living in a small community, but over recent weeks I had found I was becoming increasingly antisocial (not in the ASBO way, in the pretending-to-talk-on-my-phone-to-avoid-small-talk-with-real-people way. I am approaching expert level at faking phone conversations.) So me and the good boat took a trip down the river to my favourite mooring spot outside Sainsbury’s.
It was only meant to be for a couple of days, but I was enjoying myself so much (relative anonymity, 5-minute cycle to work, easy access to baked goods), I decided to stay the full two weeks. Bliss. However, it was not without drawbacks.
Hot water as the first. In the marina I use the shower block (have I mentioned just how great the showers are?) and boil the kettle for the washing up, so a lack of hot water in the summer doesn’t really matter much. (I only have hot running water when I have run the engine or the radiators.) However, it matters a little more when that means the only local showering option is decidedly cold. There’s only so long I can convince myself that is character building.
Second is washing. I have no convenient onboard laundry facilities. (The sink seems arduous and messy, the river seems counterproductive.) I have just enough underwear to last two weeks (if I didn’t I wouldn’t be admitting it here), and I ended up wearing scrubs a fair bit at work when I ran out of uniforms.
During the two weeks, I had planned to go away for the weekend. Not a problem in the marina – it is the most secure place I have ever lived. But I was nervous about leaving DF unattended just moored up by the canalside in a public place. Luckily, two friends volunteered to check in on her while I was away. Emily (of Stuart the Swan fame) said she would swing by on her way home to check everything was in order. Richard (of broken lock fame) offered to stop in and make a cup of tea to make the place look lived in. I was much reassured and skipped off to Wales.
I didn’t tell one about the other. I got a text from Emily saying there appeared to be someone on my boat. (I didn’t get this until a day later when burglars could be long gone.) And Richard reported hearing an odd conversation between two passersby, who were surprised that someone seemed to be on board. The boat was still there when I got back, so I think Em’s public announcement of the non-emptiness of my home worked a treat. As did the actual non-emptiness of my home.
The last issue was that of the fridge. Without mains electricity, all my appliances were being powered on the solar panel alone. Which could just about handle three hours of fridge time. Milk turned to yoghurt in no time at all. At least I was only 20 metres from a supermarket.
The two weeks in the wild were lovely. But I don’t think I’m quite ready to move out of canalboat suburbia yet.
This blogpost was brought to you by ‘Just Can’t Get Enough‘ by Depeche Mode.