(If the website does not display correctly on your tablet, please adjust your settings to 'request desktop site'.)
Ok - so we should come up with something clever and philosophical for here but that isn't really our style... in short, the whole point of a life on the canals is to get away from all the rubbish that bogs us down, day to day... mission statements, blue sky thinking and all that tosh. Why? we're here is quite simple - life is too short to waste stuck in a rut doing something that drains your soul. In our case, that was "work" or rather, working to earn money doing stuff of little value/pleasure. Don't get me wrong, in society everyone has a duty (ioho) to "work" doing their part and paying their way but for far too long, we were stressed out trying to achieve rather than LIVE. We didn't work it out until our late 30's (in my case early 40's) and now we're happy to be on the way down, rather than aspirational climbers like so many.
Call it an epiphany if you will, but to wake up one morning and realise so long as you have food, shelter, friendship and love in your life - you've made it... the order of importance may vary at times :-)
Our long term plan was to rent out the house and have a year (or so) chugging around the county exploring all the wonderful things the UK has to offer. After that, we hoped to be in a position to offer some kind of holiday experience to people who might otherwise be unable to have a trip on narrowboat... NOT a full -blown hotel but more of a 'come and spend a while sharing our life on the canals' kind of affair. The kind where a guest feels at home enough to help with washing the dishes or cooking dinner. THIS way, it won't feel like we're "working" but having the luxury of meeting new and (hopefully) interesting people to share our continued adventure with... AND doing it this way, it'll mean we won't have to charge folk as much as commercially operated Hotel Boats have to. We have NO intention of marketing the boat publically (other than the website and blog) so to anyone seeing us, we’ll be “just another boat” with happy people on board…
Sometimes things don't go quite to plan and just before I was about to have an operation on both hands (only carpal tunnel) I was made redundant. To some folk this would be a problem - to us, all it meant was that we could bring our life afloat forward... as such, we had to change the boat's safety scheme certificate from private to none-private status, sort out commercial insurance and apply for a business licence. We've recently both completed (and passed) the RYA Helmsman course and we're currently putting the things we learned into practice. Once that was all done, we began our inaugural cruising season in April 2018. – We had a wonderful fist year with a few lovely guests to accompany us. The "dry summer" did cause a few problems with canal closures and emergency stoppages due lock failures and the like but we made the best of things and NOW we're looking forward to our 2019 season and are also working on our routes for 2020... .