Tuesday 14 June 2011


Image Credit: Hemel FM
‘Sleep is for The Weak’ Writing Workshop has given me the opportunity to reflect on how my narrowboat life has changed over the last ten years.  I’ve been writing this blog for over a year now, through depression and bereavement. People always ask me, ‘What’s it like, living on a boat with kids?’
My blog is the answer to that question. But now, with a bigger boat, my beautiful boat girls and my handsome Doctor I think I can gingerly approach Contentment, perhaps introduce myself to her, and see if we can get along. So at the same festival that I went to ten years ago, I notice how my attitudes have changed...

Boxmoor Canal Festival 2011

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the 2011 Boxmoor Canal Festival.
For more than twenty years you have been supporting the famous Tring Canal Festival organised by The Wendover Arm Trust (or WAT) to fund the restoration of the Wendover Arm from Tring to Wendover.
As we are unable to hold the festival at our usual site in Tring, from this day forth the festival shall be known as The Boxmoor Canal Festival! You can expect to see decorated narrowboats, traction engines, fairground rides,  live music, a real ale bar, birds of prey, a craft marquee and boat trips on offer throughout the day. Later on you can see the Ellesborough Silver Band and the Fun Dog Event – best canal dog.  If you have children you may not see the inside of the beer tent this year. You are more likely to be standing beside the swing boats or the merry go round in the rain. But the real enjoyment this year is watching the eyes of your children transfixed on the falconry display, seeing an owl and a vulture swooping up close. Then you watch expressions change from fear to  delight as your three year old becomes absorbed in her first ever Punch and Judy show; oblivious to the rain she stands up at the front to shout out a reply to Mr Punch.

Note that the boat with flower pots, a bicycle and fire wood on the roof with washing hanging off the tiller is a live aboard boat.  These people do not really mind fishermen or Rosie and Jims.  You can ask them three questions. Is that your boat? Do you live on that? And; Isn't it cold in the winter?

Try asking that Boat-Wife there, the one with the fancy new boat. (She ought to polish her brass.) I asked her one little question, that was it and she was off!

Yeah the festival Wendover
In the beer tent I recall
She held our table spell-bound
With her stories that are tall

And cruising down the Cut
She told me all about it
She said when you get a boat
I know you're gonna like it.
And you won't believe the people
And the things that people do
But they're lovely water gypsies
In fact they're just like me and you.

(Read the full poem on this post http://narrowboatwife.blogspot.com/2010/07/angel-islington-to-uxbridge.html)


Narrowboat Wife said...

Josie, sorry I can't make your badge work. The quotation marks appear to be in the code, but my net technical expertise is so limited! Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Awww, your life sounds wonderful. I feel almost quite envious! I used to live by a canal (it was literally outside the front garden) and I always wondered what it would be like to live on a narrowboat. Fantastic insight into a life out of the ordinary x

Fivr Go Blogging said...

This has taken me right back. I used to live in Boxmoor and walk Misty Moo (our dog) along the path daily. Must go back soon!

Narrowboat Wife said...

Aah... Spent lots of last summer in Boxmoor. Such a beautiful area. And the Crown pub is kid friendly! http://narrowboatwife.blogspot.com/2010/09/broxbourne.html

Narrowboat Wife said...

By the way 5 Go Blogging, loved your heart warming post with surprise ending for the Writing Workshop. Tried to comment but my work computer won't let me today!

Yacht Dubai said...

Boxmoor Canal Festival 2011 was took place over the weekend of May 28th, 29th, and 30th. It was such nice event.

Narrowboat Wife said...

Really Yacht Dubai? I'm suprised your yacht made it over here for the weekend to our lil' UK festival! Are you spamming me?

Josie @Sleep is for the Weak said...

How lovely! I love the sound of your different, adventurous but slow-paced life. My Dad owned a narrow boat for a year and we spent a wonderful summer on the canals - I can really see the attraction to that way of life.

Wishing you a future filled with similar contentment and happiness - it sounds like it's been a rough road along the way. I hope you get chance to enjoy some calmer times now.