So now we have been with boat for an entire year, whilst the time has flown it’s also quite difficult to remember the time pre-Fantine, isn’t it strange the way that happens! Looking back at the post where we first announced that we were narrow home owners it’s hard to believe she is even our boat, I barely even recognise it. Whilst the changes we made were minimal and mainly cosmetic she feels entirely different now, I guess that’s all the bits and pieces which make a place feel like home.
So in a changing rooms style this is how she looked:
And this is how she looks now:
It’s mad to believe that we’ve been with her for a whole year, whilst this was originally a ‘Let’s give it a go’ idea it’s now transformed into life, and we couldn’t imagine it any other way.
We’ve had to learn a lot, from the rules and regulations, to the terrifying driving and even down to the idiosyncratic chores and noises. We’re now at a point where rather than seeing Fantine as a short term solution, we see her as home, and are planning developments with hopes for both a new kitchen, and floor in the next twelve months.
Has it changed us? I honestly struggle to see how it couldn’t, yes while our day to day going to work life is the same, our habits on the whole have altered. Whether that’s the extra long dog walk of an evening because you have so much beautiful space to explore, not the block after block of houses of before. The sitting out on the front of the boat with a beer, while the latest batch of ducklings cackle around, before going out into the garden on the nice day would entail three hours of battling the mower followed by 4 hours weeding, just in time for the sun to go in. Or for me the inability to hoard rubbish, over the last year the amount of pointless stuff I buy has continued to dwindle, which has resulted in Mr Lloyds Bank being much happier with me!
I like to be careful that I don’t go too over the top in these blogs, I worry about presenting a version of life that is too rose tinted. Boat life has it’s difficulties, you have to be prepared to sell your soul to be able to keep buying coal to keep warm, and to risk frost bitten feet if you want to run for a wee in the night. You get great annoying games like water and gas roulette, and days where the power has gone out, and you realise that unlike with a house, some overall wearing superhero will not be out to fix this, or if they do you’ll be trying to find someones soul to sell to pay for it, nope in the first instance it’s down to you.
Where as before I spent so much time trawling through rightmove, trying to find glimmers of the things we liked in row after row of houses, I now spend my time looking at the boat sales pages. Looking for inspiration on layouts, interiors and design options.
Whilst it’s crazy that it’s been a year already, time has also flown, and we are so settled into this glorious life, I can’t imagine it any other way!
James & Kirsty