boat 1 – anchors away!

home sweet home

home sweet home

In April we found out the owner of the flat we rent wants to sell. It’s a ground-floor flat in a little house in a mews, behind gates, in a quiet, leafy, central part of the city. There is a wild, small garden with a summer house (as they say here) and a garden shed (for tools, seeds, and excess household crap), and car parking.

We expect it to sell fast and in fact we know there is an offer on it, we haven’t yet received the legally required 2-month notice to leave the property.

dispossession global north-style


… if feeling bothered by life’s fluff …

My partner and I were/are upset by this situation. We are losing our home, being forced to move at time when we’d rather not. We plan to move to Valencia, Spain in early 2016, so where will we live for this awkward 6 to 8 months-time? Moving twice in one year?

We asked the owner to consider our Spain plans when deciding whether to put it on the market now or in the Autumn. He didn’t see it our way.

We’ve talked some ideas up and down, we processed and released feelings about the situation.

I’ve come to accept the situation – it is what it is. I can’t control reality and the best I can do is step towards invitations and opportunities that come my way.

... is just stuff you can clear away by saying 'it is what it is ... '

… blow it away by saying ‘it is what it is … ‘

Together we decided that while we have no control over the sale of the house and that time line, we can find another place to live, set a date and give our legally required 1-month notice to leave. We can control that tiny bit of this situation.

And that’s what we did earlier this week. We went to see and found a canal boat we can borrow and by the end of July we’ll be living there full-time. Good bye bricks and mortar.

excited but also anxious

Wow, omg and all that. I know. Sometimes I still can’t believe it and I wonder if we’ve made the right decision. But that’s the plan!

Kennet and Avon Canal, Wiltshire, England

West Country canal

We have spent weekends and ‘merry-making’ times on our friends’ canal boat in the West Country, but that bucolic scene is so different to where we plan to keep the boat here in the city.

mixed feelings

mixed feelings

When I feel nervous, I acknowledge that and tell myself it’s perfectly normal – I am about to enter a whole new culture that I know very little about and to function well I’m going to have to learn a lot things about boaty culture in London quickly.

next home sweet home

next home sweet home

+-+-+- +-+-+

When I feel excited, and positive about my next home, I remind myself it’s ok to box up and treasure romantic notions of sunny morning coffee canal-side, but also to keep in mind doing old fashioned chores like filling up with water, dealing with the toilet, getting fuel, moving mooring sites every 2 weeks. The boat we’re borrowing has a constant cruising license.

constant cruising

Like I said, it will be like moving to a new culture because it is. At least to me right now it is. That will all change too eventually… watch this space.


7 thoughts on “boat 1 – anchors away

  1. Wow! I’m so happy for you guys. There’s something exciting about being outdoors.
    I didn’t even need to see the whole boat. But it’s beautiful compared to bricks and mortar.

    I understand the anxiety and excitement. You and your partner are going to make new friends, new community, new experience and gain new skills for life.

    The trees are green, I know they won’t be green in December. But for they are green that’s all that matters.

    Wishing you both a joyful and a long lasting experience.
    Go fo it!!!

  2. thanks for your encouragement, in my heart of hearts i also believe that, the first step is always a bit scary and then there’s all those mistakes i’ll make (more scary), also the fact that neither one of us really know how to drive / pilot one of these boats … but it will, as you say, most likely work out ok … come visit us!

  3. I know the practicalities are going to take some getting used to and you’ll probably have to store stuff, but can’t help thinking it sounds like an adventure and am bit jealous! Have you ever read Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald? Love that book, all about living on the Thames in 60s or 70s ..

    • What a wonderful insight into your new upcoming lives…I’m really jealous….all my life I’ve dreamed of living the canal life. Now the older kids have gone but bringing them up left me no money for a boat lol! Anyhow wish you all the best. You’ll have a great time.

  4. thanks grey squirrel, you mentioned this the other day, and i’ve been meaning to look it up, thanks for the reminder. and me too, i have my positve, oh golly-gee, what an adventure moments too. and i’m sure there’ll be laughter no matter what!

  5. i appreciate your enthusiasium, ‘jo loves life …’ yes, i wonder what’ll be like long-term? the longest i’ve spent on our friends’ boat is 3 or 4 nights, but those stays always had a ‘holiday-vibe’ and i expect living on board will ‘feel different’ … or maybe not … holiday 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month, …. ????

  6. Pingback: boat 2 | act, believe, change

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