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photo- where I work

photo- space: the final frontier. We’ve been scouring Gumtree (second hand site) for suitable seating. Furniture has to be multifunctional, narrow, foldable flat to get in, or all three! This is a Futon Company single futon

photo- when we get a second futon that will be our second chair and the folding chairs can just come out when we have visitors, or want to sit in the garden. It’s too hot with the wood burner if it’s a mild day so my husband bought an electric heater from Aldi for when a little heat is needed but not a roaring stove.  And then of course it turned cold again!

Welcome to my world

Right now, my ‘routine’ is as follows: Get up (not very early) (my husband has lit the fire and sometimes brought me tea in bed), do yoga, get dressed, do very minor chores e.g. sweep the floor, fill up drinking water bottles, do a few bits of hand washing, then have breakfast and go for a big walk.

In the afternoon I write for a couple of hours, then cook dinner. Breakfast is sugar free muesli with cacao, maca, linseed, chia seeds, a chopped apple or pear and soya milk. For dinner I cook something plant based from scratch; lentils, chickpeas, beans, vegetables, rice, potatoes, rice noodles, and coconut milk are all staple cupboard ingredients.

(In the interests of full transparency, during the day I often eat two iced buns or a Pot Noodle. I used to chastise my husband for living on Pot Noodles and cereal when he lived on a boat when we first met, but maybe there’s just something about boat life.)

In the evenings we listen to the radio- it’s so funny listening to Radio 4 again, it took a bit of fiddling to get the radio to work in the boat which is all metal, but it does, (as long as nobody moves); share a limited amount of data on my husband’s phone, listen to music, eat oranges, and talk. We have nothing to watch on Netflix, any recommendations please tell us!

Even though there are some nice footpath walks around, I’m currently doing a route along the A5 (a main road but it is quiet), with a good path along the side. I do this on average every other day and every time I go a little further. This is where my OCD tendencies come in handy! I am enjoying wrapping up and going for a walk. In SE Asia it was often too hot and the pavements in very poor condition, so this is a definite plus for the UK. I can already feel the benefit.

I have noticed how unfit I am from not having done anything much for a year. I can feel my arms and wrists working when I chop vegetables (admittedly my knives are rubbish, but still), or wringing out clothes, and I ached after emptying the cassette toilet even though I did it a day earlier than my husband would. (That would be a good fitness programme, empty the toilet after two days, then three, and so on…)

Up until now my husband has been doing the boat chores and DIY, as well as emptying the loo, filling the water tank, changing the gas bottle, chopping wood, fetching coal and lighting the fire, as well as all shopping, errands and all driving, as he wants me to be able to concentrate on writing. (I have a wonderful husband, I know.)

However I am going to make sure I learn how to do everything over the next few weeks. Today I plan to empty the toilet by myself, just as soon as I’ve had that iced bun…

PS My husband just arrived back with Greggs vegan sausage rolls! Greggs (a cheap and cheerful high street bakery) introducing a vegan sausage roll is big news in the UK. Actually we even heard about it when we were in South East Asia. Some meat eaters have been protesting (even though their pork sausage rolls have not been taken away); Piers Morgan, a presenter, spat it out after trying one on national breakfast television (even though according to my husband who can remember eating the meat ones the vegan ones don’t taste any different). So, civil war between vegans and non vegans, leavers and remainers, remind me again why we came back?!


photo- the kitchen, complete with iced buns!  The keys hanging up have a float, everything that can go into the canal, will go into the canal, they say

Thank you very much for reading

About the author

Sold house left job decluttered almost everything else.  With husband went travelling for a year, mostly in India.   Here are my India highlights.  Just arrived back in the UK and now living on a narrowboat.  Writing a book about everything…

For more photographs of the trip see Instagram travelswithanthony