Saturday 26 September 2015

Messing About on the Water

I've always loved the idea of living in a narrowboat.

It just seems the right sort of environment for a nature loving writer to live in, painting a picture of properly bohemian - NOTE NOT "BOHO" - living with a tin cup of hot tea on the go, sailing from pretty riverside pub to pretty riverside pub, having adventures and then tying up in a city marina when you want a spot of more exciting living.

They are far cheaper than house. I'm looking at a lovely little dinky 32 foot narrowboat for £23,000, which is less than the cost of a deposit in many parts of the UK. A lot less, in the South. Scoot it along the water, plug it in to services, put some flower pots on the roof, and you're ready to rock...

...Once you've installed the essential crudely lashed on rickety TV aerial. Which all barges seem to have by law round here.

Alas, it's not as simple as that. Now it's caught on, mooring costs are rocketing up and restrictions increasing, someone as klutzy as me should not be out in charge on anything with an engine, the fear of late night break in by drunken thugs from those riverside pubs, cost of regular maintenance. The fact that at 6 foot 1 I'll probably end up looking like Mr Bump.

Then there is the toilet. It's all getting a bit Alan Partridge and his Dundee cake now. Toilets are fine in themselves, but for Mr OCD extreme, having to do all the, ahem, emptying like a 1970s IRA prisoner is a bit distasteful to say the least.

The Thetford Cassette toilet? What on earth could that be? I don't see an old fashioned C90 being all that absorbent. And as for what I see referred to as a "Mactator toilet", this creates a frankly terrifying image of some kind of satanic chewing maw taking place mere inches below your nether regions.

I don't want all that going on every time I wish to visit the little boys room!!!

So, maybe, the idea of a life on the water should just be regarded as an idle fantasy. But when you see all the lovely boats around here, it does make you wonder.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.09.15

Canary yellow

Yuppies at sea

Merlot aboard the Merlot sounds a nice idea

A Dutch barge

A baby barge

Rickety cruiser for sale

Steptoe and Son at sea


  1. Rent for a holiday and let us know how it is! I really enjoyed your photos.

  2. Oh Si, How I laughed. You are a romantic at heart but you want all the mod cons as well. Join the club; I am a founder member.

  3. Until recently there was a narrowboat cafe on the Union Canal in Edinburgh, which gave a nice short taste of life on the water...

  4. Wonderful photos Simon! Living on the water sounds very romantic but having friends who lived on a boat for over 20 years, they couldn't wait to get into a house at the end of it.

  5. I think you have to be a certain type to live on the river.
    I had a boat many years ago. We used to stay on it at weekends....that was enough to tell me it was not for me. I do know people that live on boats, and they are really happy :)

    Good post Simon, you bought back lots of good memories for me.............

  6. Thanks for dropping by, my classy friends! Lovely day, and lots of lovely boats out on the river today. Some really big broadbeamed houseboats, two hundred grand plus.