Why I Thank My Lucky Stars Every Night

Good living on narrowboat James

Good living on narrowboat James

Before I knew anything about boating in general and narrowboats in particular I thought that people who lived on boats were unfortunate, unlucky and should be pitied. When my eldest son first started playing football for the local team, there was a boy playing alongside him who lived on a narrowboat with his parents. I can remember thinking what pleasant and well adjusted people his Mum and Dad were before I knew that they lived on a boat. After they told me, I thought that they lived on a boat because they had to; that they couldn’t afford anything better and that they were struggling financially. I was wrong.

There home was a lifestyle choice. I was fortunate enough to be invited to their boat for a drink. I was amazed. It was a beautiful and well appointed home. Dave had an internet business that was doing very well. Since his son’s birth, he had been cruising the canal network with his wife and new baby. They had all the luxuries of modern day living. They had television and top of the range music system, an internet connection for their work computer, a full size washer dryer and produced enough electricity to power all of their devices wherever they cruised or moored. But most of all, they had a quality lifestyle that I could only dream of.

Now I live on a narrowboat. I don’t earn much working at the marina, but I don’t really need to. I used to live in a fairly large house, have a new car at least every three years, go abroad twice a year and spend what little free time I had on fancy nights out in Birmingham and London. I don’t have any of that now and I don’t miss it at all. I don’t feel the need to spend money to compensate for working too hard earning the money to fund a lifestyle that I don’t really want.

I live in a small space but it is more than I need. I have a roof over my head and I’m warm (most of the time). I’m two steps away from the beautiful countryside that I enjoy so much.I’m so close to it that I can hear it all as I lay in bed at night. And because I don’t feel the need to spend money on cars and holidays and toys that I can’t fit in the boat, I can spend a little extra on the food and wine that make every evening a pleasure. I’m going to have a glass or two of that wine now, enjoy the tranquillity and thank my lucky stars that I’m living on a narrowboat

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Paul Smith

After six and a half years living on a narrowboat on England's inland waterways, Paul and his wife Cynthia wandered Europe by motorhome during the winter, and on the Dutch and French waterways in the warmer months on their 35' Dutch motor cruiser. However, the pull of England's muddy ditches proved too much for them. Now they're back where they belong, constantly stuck in mud in a beautiful traditional narrowboat.

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