The Things Which Change When You Have A Narrowboat – Even If You Thought They Wouldn’t

In my last post I talked about the things which I expected to change from living aboard which in the end just didn’t, this exercise of course made me also realise the things that have changed, some of them unexpectedly! So in the interest of fairness (I’m sure you’re all aware this blog is very BBC) I will now cover the things which have changed.


Clean doesn’t quite mean the same as it did

Back in the good old days of brick my idea of clean was pretty strict, these days however that’s changed somewhat. Coal dust is the worst, it gets everywhere, even when you are trying your hardest for it not to. You can also guarantee that the second a spec of it drops a dog paw will find it and leave a santa style paw trail across the boat. If it isn’t coal dust it’s towpath mud, or towpath dust, boats and the environment they are kept in are messy places! That is unless that environment is the Crick Boat show of course.

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You will get boaty

It’s kind of inevitable, I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming. I always thought I wouldn’t get that boaty, I thought we would remain quite removed from it, I was wrong. Don’t get me wrong we are not what I would refer to as ‘proper boaters’ but we can now be found walking the towpath commenting on a nice paint job or pondering how they see over that top box. We’ve even been known to offer advise here and there! I mean who are we!

tenor (2)

You will have neighbours … and you will like them

Disclaimer here this may not be a big change for a lot of people, I appreciate a lot of people have lovely neighbours and lovely communities, but not everyone does, and not everyone wants them. I was one of those not wanting them people, I am not a people person, I am a head down self to myself let James do the socialising on our behalf person. Boating, well it kind of brought me out of that a little, the boating community, on the whole is lovely, people are friendly and nice and just good people. I like *some* peopling at lot more now.

giphy (2)

Warm will mean something different

Houses and indeed some boats have a wonderful thing called a thermostat, allowing you to keep your home at a lovely temperature all year round. Our boat does not. What I have found is you will be at the right temperature for approximately 28 days a year, that’s two weeks in spring, two weeks in autumn. The rest of the time you will be fighting one of the following:

  • The sun has turned us into an actual oven.
  • It is so cold in here I might sit in the fridge.
  • The fire has made it so hot in here we need to open every available door/window.

The perfect temperature is a bit of a thing of the past.


Houses don’t seem all that they were

So you have two bedrooms that you don’t use but need cleaning, a garden that needs to be ‘gardened’ and a mortgage that will take your entire working life to pay off … yeah sorry remind me why these are so desirable again? Houses have lost a bit of their shine for us, if we do find ourselves looking at one we now spend a lot of time thinking what we would do with all those rooms, rather than how can we consider somewhere without three bedrooms … for the two of us.


You’ll find yourself opening up

To complete strangers, who you’ll likely never meet. I honestly did not understand blogging two years ago, let alone did I think I would be fessing up small details of my life to one. Now I can’t imagine not having the Living Narrow blog, it’s lovely to sit and write about our lives, offer bits of advice wherever we can, or just give insight to screen dreamers. Granted there are times when we have no clue what to blog about, but I’ve found the last few months, opening up not only about the practicalities of life aboard but also the changes which can be seen to your lifestyle. It is really rather therapeutic so thank you all for your readership, comments and praise, we appreciate it immensely. You’ll find a lot of boats which blog about their experiences aboard, ever wondered why? Probably because boats can be a rather brilliant and creative place.


It’s easy to say your life will change no matter what, but I really do think boat life has changed some things that I not only didn’t expect to change but that probably wouldn’t of changed if not for the idiosyncrasies of boat life.

James & Kirsty

A diary of live aboard life

2 thoughts on “The Things Which Change When You Have A Narrowboat – Even If You Thought They Wouldn’t

  1. I used to have a 24′ SeaRay out on Lake Michigan. I know exactly what you mean about boat people. While I can’t imagine living on the SeaRay your accommodations sound much more spacious. and your journey sounds lovely.


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