The final question we still get asked, or at least the last one that I’ll be writing about in the series; well it isn’t really a question, it is in fact a statement, I know I’m such a fraud aren’t I? It’s something which I believed would of died down with time, the novelty has worn for us and I believed it would of for other people. But no, regardless of what situation you find yourself in you can guarantee this will be your introduction:
‘This is Kirsty, she lives on a boat’
You then have to stand there awkwardly, and act surprised when they run through the reel of questions, is it cold, where do you keep things, does it sway, so what like a canal boat. You have to be polite, you have to sit there and go through the motions, and act like you haven’t answered these questions for everyone you have met from the day you first thought about buying a boat. We really need to get those FAQ cards printed!
It becomes your interesting fact. We appreciate it’s novel for people, and for myself, someone who is not great at conversations with new people, Fantine is actually a great help. I am passionate about our lifestyle, and about sharing it with as many people as possible, so having to rave about it to strangers, I’m alright with that.
But you do have to be prepared for the fact that your boat, and your lifestyle choice will become an extension of yourself. You could of solved world peace, you could of wrote 10 Times Bestsellers or save puppies for a living, it will all pale into insignificance if you choose to call a narrowboat your home. It’s kind of lovely in a way, that people find it so wonderful and interesting and we get to call it life.
I would recommend having your speech ready, and getting used to smiling and nodding as you’re met with another round of, so what really you live on like a canal boat, on the canal?
Another handy insiders tip here, have a folder of boat images on your phone ready for these exact moments, cause you can bet your last pound that as soon as people find out they are going to want to see it, people struggle to visualise it all. However when it comes to 18 months down the line and you find yourself in this situation, do you really want to be wading through the pictures of your dog, that insect bite you didn’t like the look of on your upper leg and god know what else to get to the perfectly angled image of your living room … thought not, be prepared boat folk!
Do we gloss over the bad bits … well obviously! Boat life is wonderful, you should try it, only not really cause we like the waterways at their current level!
James & Kirsty