Thursday 22 November 2012

Water Gypsy Gets an Address

My five year old had only been in school for a few weeks when we decided we needed to move schools. When we applied for a school place last spring we were continuously cruising and so we picked a school roughly in the area where we cruise. But then we got a residential mooring and I don’t drive, so I ended up  cycling with the children in a bicycle trailer for half an hour each way to get to school and nursery: That’s two hours cycling a day, and it was going to get cold for the kids doing that in winter. Plus, they are growing too big for the trailer and it was starting to be really hard work!

So we applied to change schools to the little village school near our mooring, and you know how important an address is to a school application. The school is so small, there are only five children in reception class. One of the children in that class also lives on a boat, so I asked her mum,
“How did you do the paperwork, I mean without an address and everything?”
“Well, I just use the boater’s post-box.”
“The what?”
“You know. There’s a little post-box nailed to a wooden pole on the towpath. All of the boater’s post goes there. I can cut you a key if you like.”
Wow! I am going to have an address that is actually near to where I live! I was so excited. I have been travelling for ten years and explaining to doctors and other authorities that I do live within a certain area code, but that my post goes to a mailbox service in a different place. I actually have a post-box, and get to receive letters addressed to my boat name, in our little village. How cute!

A few weeks later I bumped into another boater at the bus stop.
“There’s post for you in the post-box you know.”
“Really?” I was surprised. I have hardly even told anyone my new address yet. It must be some admin thing from the school. My youngest and I walked down the muddy towpath and opened the little box with our key. There was a little letter addressed to our boat. Inside the letter was a home-made card from the five year old daughter of my friend who lives in a house in the nearby town. The card has a hand-drawn picture of our boat on the front and inside it says, “Hope you’ll be very happy at your mooring and at your new school/pre-school.”
What a lovely welcome to our new life in the village, and what a brilliant thing to get for our first bit of post.


Amy said...

Oh, what a lovely story! xx

Alice said...

wow, that's so cool! I wish I had one of those! Hope the new school goes well - sounds idyllic :-) xxx

Narrowboat Wife said...

Thanks Amy and Alice. Amy have you got a postbox? Alice, will you be on board for Christmas? xx

Elly and Mick said...

What an absolutely fabulous idea! They should do this more for boaters!!

Amy said...

Nope, we don't get a postbox with our mooring. I use work. Hope your little one enjoys her new school!

Narrowboat Wife said...

Yes Elly. I don't know if it was provided by BW or if some local boaters just got together and sorted it out :-)

Sarahmumof3 said...

oh thats lovely! I really would pack up now and live aboard especially if I could find a mooring with a postbox.. well thats if I had the money for a slightly bigger boat than the one we have currently ;)

Narrowboat Wife said...

Maybe 2 boats, with 3 kids and a dog Sarah? :-)