Tuesday, 20 June 2017


A very successful weekend on our narrow boat at its mooring in Warwickshire, with our twin granddaughters for company.

Husband and twins on roof of boat
larking around as we do!
(Note TV aerial in background).

Enjoyable, but enormously hot!

Very successful as far as I was concerned, because when I was depressed or low I was convinced and worried that the girls didn't like me, and I felt that I 'had' to be entertaining and fun, which is bloody hard work when you feel like that. Not fun at all. I was also convinced that my daughter, the girls' mum, felt that I was hard work (probably was!) and didn't feel as close to me as I'd have liked. In the past, when Husband was caring for me, she and he became extremely close because of the situation, and she became independent very quickly because she had to, even to the point of looking after my son, three years her junior.

Three years after my 'crisis' and eventual cure, I'm loving them all! The twins are eleven and enormous fun, and daughter and her partner - who adores the twins - are easy to be with and I'm loving it. I no longer feel the need to be fun, funny or entertaining. I just 'am'. And when I want to be knackered and lazy, I can be.

Apparently it was my idea to buy the boat, some years ago after a canoe trip on the Thames when we came upon house boats. I've been boating - rowing - forever, and Husband introduced me to narrow boating. Sadly, depression visited me once again shortly after we bought Dotterel and I became neurotic again. Rivers tend to produce men in peaked caps 'in charge' of cruisers while their womenfolk sit beside them drinking wine (don't mind that bit) or lounging on the sundeck in bikinis.

Canals tend towards equality. More women 'skipper' narrow boats and men often operate the locks, although, on the whole, it does tend to be the women who operate the locks while their menfolk drive, often because it's harder to drive the boat (utter cods-wallop!), which, in truth, is a ridiculous way round because often muscle is required for some lock operation whereas tillering a boat requires a little skill and that's about it. Any Tom, Dick or Harriet can drive if they wish.

Anyway, I became neurotic on the boat because, within my state of mind I was determined to 'prove' that I was a very capable boatwoman, so to be seen in the galley/kitchen, or in the bows (beg pardon - the sharp end - technical term) was to be seen not doing anything boaty. That's how I felt, anyhow. Not good. I
became very anxious about activities such as turning the boat round, filling up with fuel etcetera, because I had to be tillering or I would be revealing any unboatiness about me. As for operating locks, Husband still does all that while I drive into the lock and show off my skills to other boaters. A very wearying business. Plus the fact that I disliked socialising.

Today, however, I no longer feel neurotic. I will happily wave to passers-by from the kitchen/galley and lounge in the sharp end. I'm enjoying it at last, and having the twins on board has simply made it even more enjoyable. We're taking them out on a boat trip during their holidays and I'm actually looking forward to it!


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