It is so good to be back on the boat.
It has been convenient to live in a house over winter. Easy to keep clean. Things don’t break as often. Plenty of space. But I have missed the boat.
The new kitchen was finally finished on Tuesday, so I drove down Wednesday with a car full of everything we need for a season – clothes, towels, crockery, cutlery, bedding. I am very pleased with the work the boat yard have done and they have kept the boat relatively tidy. Last year I had to clean lots of mould from surfaces. But this year a quick steam clean of the floor, a wipe of the insides of the cupboards, and we are fine. I have learnt that the key is to allow plenty of air circulation, so moving the bed away from the wall, having several windows open a little, and giving everything a good clean before we leave the boat in the autumn. All these things have helped.
I’m heading back to Scotland later, and then will return with Mandy and the dogs over the weekend. My plan was to get going early next week, with our first trip on the Lllangollen and Montgomery canals through Wales. But the forecast is that the current snow and sleet will continue all week, so I will have to do some pretty fancy negotiating to persuade Mandy that it is better to travel than to hunker down with the cozy stove in the boat.
Gongoozlers (people who like to watch the boats but don’t have one) often ask me if it is cold living on a narrowboat. You might think so because there is just a single metal skin and little insulation. But in fact they are very easy to keep warm and do not use much energy because there is such a small airspace inside. As I write this, it is lovely to watch the snow falling outside while feeling cozy and warm inside, with the boat very gently rocking in the wind.
But I have a list of jobs to be done. I would like to give the kitchen walls a quick coat of paint to make them look as fresh as the new units for when Mandy arrives.
I’m ready for the summer – in the snow. Are you?