Monday, 10 September 2012

Neighbours


About two years ago we were travelling the waterways with two very young children. My love of the gypsy life-style and exploring the beauty of rural England was arguing passionately against my cravings for adult company and a good night’s sleep. I had a critical inner monologue that berated me for being unhappy and I wrote a wish list to try to figure out what exactly was lacking in my life: Friends, neighbours, a community, a washing machine, more storage space… it goes on. 

But I notice that my first three wishes were for other people; human contact.

Now here we are, settling in on our residential mooring and enjoying the full benefit of neighbours. The couple on the boat next door introduced themselves on our first day, shared their homemade elderflower wine and offered to babysit sometime. Next-door-but-one is a lovely lady who grew up on a boat. She’s brought up two kids on a boat and took me and the girls on a countryside ramble; a short cut across the fields to show us the way to the farm shop. When our alternator belt snapped we couldn’t run the engine to charge the batteries. I was working at home and knew that before the end of the day I would run out of electric; no lap top, no fridge, no fun. Our boating neighbours recommended a handy boater moored just opposite who agreed to come and fit a new belt as soon as he’d finished his cup of tea. At the church playgroup the lady who delivers the parish newsletter assured me it would be no trouble for her to make a detour down the towpath on her deliveries, so that I can be kept updated with community events.

I did moan on this blog about the price of our new mooring, but did you know that neighbours, other people, human contact, are sometimes worth their weight in gold?

(The story of why and how we got a mooring: The Continuous CruisingControversy.)


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