Friday 6 April 2018

[Video] Narrowboats: Is it Cold in Winter?

What's it like living on a boat? Is it cold in winter? How much does a narrowboat cost?

These are common questions when living on a narrowboat. Sometimes there are silly questions too. At Easter I went to visit my friend Lina, and helped her to move her boat to a new mooring. I made a short film, just for fun, asking her some of the common questions we get asked about boats, and adding some of the sillier questions too.

I've blogged about Lina before; 

"She was gentle and hippy, witty and funny, and her boats (there’ve been a few) are always full of candlelight and cats, the smell of wood-smoke and the sound of relaxing music. To be with her is like living in my favourite part of my brain. To share a bottle of wine in a country pub is to laugh relentlessly, listen intently and glow internally. I always come away feeling like a much bigger and better version of myself." 

I hope you enjoy meeting Lina here, and seeing some of the countryside around Banbury.
(Music by UK rock band Cleaner.)

These are all actual questions Lina and I have been asked about living aboard.

Do you live on a canal boat? What questions have you been asked about your lifestyle? Leave me a comment below!

Friday 2 February 2018

"Beautifully written. Warm, funny and charming."

"More! More!! Wonderful. Beautifully written. Warm, funny and charming. I do however have to put you on notice that I shall be pinching that Mark Twain quote!"

That was the first ever comment on my blog, when I tentatively put my writing "out there" for the very first time.

The blog was originally my friend Star's idea. She sent me a text in the summer of 2010 saying 'I'm just reading 'Agent Pegworth - Licensed to Cruise'. Why don't you write poetry anymore?'
I replied,
'Because I'm writing my memoir The Real Life of a Narrowboat Wife!'
 She wrote, 
'That's brilliant! You should start a blog called that - you might get a book deal, like that chick Wife in the North!'
I was about to retort with how unlikely it is that I could become one of these 'blogs to riches' stories whilst also being a hypnotic-motherin-multi-tasking maniac, but then I stopped myself. After all, you've got to be in it to win it. So I put My Real Life on the inter-web. For all to see. Since then my readers have described me as constant, addictive, intrinsic, perceptive, lyrical, tranquil and super! (comments on this post).

Through my blog I met dozens of other mummy bloggers and narrowboat bloggers, went to many blogging conferences, did online courses to make my blogging better, joined Twitter and made a Facebook page! I also started a supportive online group for Boat Families which now has over 600 members. I ended up freelance blogging for a living, writing for several narrowboat businesses and charities, and began having articles published in the waterways press. I guess I actually was a "blogs to riches" story after all!

But I never wrote that book.

So this year I'm going to start sending you stories from my real life, stuff that I will turn into a book. Old blog posts that you can't remember, or maybe never read in the first place. If you like what I send you, you can share the article. Blog it, Facebook it, Tweet it and re-Tweet it. Start by sharing this article. And maybe, just maybe, your friends, sister's colleague's nephews wife works for the people who published Wife in the North, and they are looking for another quirky mother's memoir right now...

To receive an article once a month sign up here, and I'll also send you the free e-book, Narrowboat Families. 

And if you have an idea, a creative idea, to write a blog, or a book, or create something new, and you're tempted to think that it could never be a success. Stop. Begin it. Do that thing. Because you never know where it could take you.
Lotsa love from,

Blogger, artist, narrowboater.