Yesterday at 10pm, BBC One’s Huw Edwards rearranged his eyebrows into a suitably stern expression to deliver the following headline:
“Provisional statistics from the Met Office show 2012 was the second wettest year in the UK national record dating back to 1910, and just a few millimetres short of the record set in 2000. We investigate: is the UK getting wetter?”
More info on the Met Office report
This seems as good a place as any to start a blog about moving onto a boat. But first, some background.
The Owl and I were married in June 2012. Sadly there was no pig, turkey, nor any boat involved at all, but having tied the knot and taken stock of the next 60-odd years, I set my mind to rectifying the latter. Or at least, I thought I’d see how far the idea got with the Owl who had never set foot on a barge, and at 6’3″ had some understandable reservations about his comfort. He also had reservations about there being enough space, generally; somewhat optimistic for any first home in London in my humble, biased opinion, but what can I say: he’s Australian.
Anyone who has known me long is likely to be pretty bored of hearing about how I bought a narrowboat to live on while I was at UCL in 1999.
Quickly for those who haven’t: I was 19 and I knew jack-all about boat life – but I needed somewhere to live and I’d always hoped that one day I might live on a boat like the ones I’d walk past in Camden to get to the Zoo each summer (where I face-painted as a student). I struck a deal for a loan with the bank of M&D, bought pretty much the first one I saw and moored it at Battlebridge Basin in Kings Cross. She was 65′ long, ex-charter and dubiously titled “Crimson Dream”. I changed it to the title of my favourite historical romance, “Savage Thunder”, and set about painting the interior – five plus textures of brown, 70s formica – all the colours of the rainbow. Despite the inevitable ‘challenges’, I completely loved it from day one, and wept when it was sold three years later.
My dad has intimated recently that I should probably get over it and get into property, but a semi in the suburbs just ain’t my style and I’ve been desperate to get back onto the water ever since – not least because frankly, with all this water around and more likely to come, the best thing I can think of is to get on top of it. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em etc etc.
Now, the Owl is a prince among men. I knew this already, but it’s always nice to be reminded. Not content to pat my hand patiently until I inevitably became distracted by some new embroidery technique or other, he took it upon himself to pursue the matter and found a friend of a friend whom we might visit at home, to put the idea through its first test. For that story though, you’ll have to wait until next time
And here endeth my first (proper) blogpost.