I’m a Fraud – The Struggles of Life on a Narrowboat

Today’s blog is a confession, a confession that I am in fact a complete fraud. I’ve been lying to you all on this blog for months and months, but after this weekend it is time to come clean. Don’t worry I’ve not been hacking your calls or making up Brexit economy figures.

I’ve been talking so much over the last few months on how now (brown cow, sorry couldn’t resist!) I can’t see a life away from the boat, how we in fact no longer crave a house, how it’s no longer the goal. I’ve gone as far as to berate land dwellers and their choice to live in overpriced bricks.

I think I’ve mentioned before but my dad has just downsized, and this weekend gone was the first opportunity to go and visit. From the moment I pulled up, I fell in love. As I had the obligatory tour and sat on the sofa in front of the log burner, I could imagine James and I living there. Since that day the thoughts of should we be looking at a house haven’t stopped.

I know, I’m a fraud.

My browser history is filled with page after page of Rightmove daydreams. I felt so noble earlier this year when I wrote about the boaters worry and went on to write about how we must be confident in our decisions and not compare to others and feel like we should be doing more or doing differently. Whilst I may now feel fraudulent for saying those things I assure you at the time I really felt them.

The thing now is, I really don’t know how to feel about it all. Is it a phase because I’ve been somewhere pretty that felt instantly homely? Will I settle into how I was before long? I feel entirely conflicted by it, but as I look through the pages of Rightmove I’m able to imagine us more and more in a house, and not just the dream house, your run of the mill starter home.

Is the onset of winter just compounding the feeling, the dark dreary nights inside the boat with no view of the outside world? I honestly feel entirely conflicted. Is it a slump that was to be expected? Last year was the first winter aboard and we were so defiant in willing it to be a success, we wanted to prove to everyone that our crazy scheme worked. Of course the honeymoon phase was also still in place, it was all new, exciting and different.

This time last year we were four days away from about 3ft of snowfall, whilst that doesn’t seem to be on the cards for this year just yet, I’m dreading the true onset of winter. I’m dreading the cold, the mud, the soggy dogs which equal a soggy boat, the struggle for somewhere to pop your coat and boots to dry, the whirring of the dehumidifier, going to bed in as many clothes as you wear to go outside. I’m not saying that having a house alleviates all of this, but it does make some of those problems disappear, of course different problems arise but still.

I suppose what I’m saying is I’m struggling at the moment. I feel completely conflicted. I love boat life, of course I do, for all those fabulous reasons I list time after time in these blogs. But what do you do when something makes you doubt the conviction you once had? Is it ok to be living one way, but be able to imagine yourself living another way, and not working towards that different life you can imagine? I suppose I just need to accept this is the way our life is and whilst you can imagine it other ways, that isn’t necessarily what you want. Whilst I hate the term, there is no doubt that there are times when living a normal life would be brilliant.

I’m hoping that it is just winter this year which is bringing me down, we are so regularly sent emails and receive comments on our posts from land-dwellers (sorry it’s my new favourite term!), who long to live the way we do, perhaps I should reach out and see if anyone fancies swapsies for a little while. I do wonder how much of that is genuine, would they really want to live in the way we do? Is it just playing fantasies? Is that what I am doing now with a house?

I follow a lot of boating blogs, and I lot of people our age who have done the same as ourselves are getting to the point now of buying houses, so perhaps it is something that everyone comes to in the end. We equally meet people on the cut who have never looked back and could never imagine wanting a life in bricks. I am truly hoping this is just a slump I am going through, and it will all fade away.

James & Kirsty A diary of live aboard life

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