A few months ago my wife Alisha and I bought a narrowboat. We’d been living in Australia together but had to return to the UK for a couple of years, so we decided to live on the water while we’re here.
Alisha has had to conquer her fear of water but she’s taken to this new lifestyle very well. It’s wonderful to be moored in the countryside and wake up to the sound of coots’ babies waiting outside the hatch wanting to be fed.
Audrey Too is a 60 foot long cruiser style narrowboat. It’s quite a change from my last boat, a Dutch barge style narrowboat. No cabin to sit in: we stand outside to drive. No steering wheel: this boat has a tiller. Audrey Too is only five years old and is well fitted out, whereas my old boat was built in the 80s and falling to bits inside. She doesn’t have the graceful lines of Bristol Fashion – she’s a long blue tube – but I really appreciate having a newer, less troublesome boat to live in.
We bought the boat in Northamptonshire and brought her down the Grand Union Canal to London. We’re currently moored in Kensal Rise and tomorrow we head to Camden for a week. After that, maybe a couple of weeks in Islington, then we head slowly up the Thames towards Oxford and on to Manchester and Yorkshire.
It’s so good to be afloat again.