We have gone boating. We have shunned the land. We are at one with narrowboat. So at one that the current deluge is doing nothing to dampen our spirits. I say ‘we’ … I am currently draped full length across our very comfortable sofa while the Captain mans the helm. It is very English summer holiday weather: grey, drizzly, a tad chilly but obviously we are dressed in tee shirts and shorts. On the towpath, pedestrians huddle under bridges or hurry by head down in brisk fashion. Cyclists spray dog walkers with mud as they hurtle past. Fishermen hunker down among the reeds with only imaginative dreams to accompany them No, really, it was THIS big!
Beyond the towpath are hedgerows packed with pink rosebay willow herb, bindweed trumpeting her flowers and creamy meadowsweet vying for space. Honeysuckle spills over hedges. Tall stinging nettles grow up to greet low hanging hawthorn, ragwort splashes sunshine colour next to cow parsley bobbing under raindrops. Along the water’s edge red clover reaches down into the canal, greater celandine peeps out of the brickwork, graceful reedmace stretches skywards. Then carpets of yellow water lilies are paddled through by families of ducks. A solitary heron stands sentinel. Another narrowboat is moored, its roof lined with winter timber.
All this I see through the soft focus of my rain dappled window as I sip my rooibos earl grey from its china mug. The woodburner squats comfortingly in the corner of the cabin. It is not lit but still creates an illusion of warmth to the room. Our night will be spent near a pub where we will enjoy the food and possibly a bevy or two. And then our watery home will rock us to sleep.
You can see the appeal.