Why canal boat tales? Last week I purchased a secondhand canal boat. It is moored on the River Thames and will be there over the winter. It is going to be my retreat from all my caring duties. For those of you who do not know, I currently am responsible for 3 teams of carers and also do some personal care myself. My husband had debilitating strokes some 15 years ago and although he can still walk with a pronounced limp he has a permanent cognitive impairment and now some dementia. He is childlike. He lives with me with “live in” carers. My mother has very advanced dementia. She is non communicative, probably blind now and needs all basic things done for her. She can do nothing for herself and seems not to recognise me anymore. She can be very active with her arms and legs though and will grab bits of people as they pass her. She is not too fussed which bits she grabs! She still lives in her home with a team of dedicated carers. My next-door neighbour (87 years old) is also dependent on me as she now has some dementia and unfortunately also has arms that do not work owing to injury.
I look after all these people and their houses. I realised recently that I needed to be able to escape occasionally. I needed something for myself. I thought about buying a flat in London but I cannot afford that and I would not use it enough to justify the expense. I decided to buy a boat. I am lucky as my boat is moored about 30 minutes drive from my home. I can be there very quickly but still be able to get home if needed. I feel as though I am on holiday as soon as I am there, sitting in my boat. Hence canal boat tales.
Canal Boat Tales – the beginning…
For those who have not visited the UK, a canal boat also called a narrow boat that is used on canals and rivers in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. I have included a link to the Wikipedia definition here. As you can see from the photograph above, such boats are narrow so as to navigate the narrow canals and other inland waterways. The top speed of such a boat is is about 4 miles an hour. The pace of life slows down immediately on a canal boat.
My canal boat has a bedroom, shower and toilet and a kitchen with a cooker, TV and fridge. I can sit by the river bank or cruise the waterways and still eat my salads. Bliss!
So, more canal boat tales soon!