That’s January in the books and coincidentally the first month of us living on a narrowboat full time and we’ve learnt a tonne of lessons and muddled our way through plenty of things that seasoned liveaboards will find laughably easy, but that’s all part of the fun.
Despite the fact that we’d had the boat since November, a combination of working combined with me leaving Olivia for the whole of December to drive around Europe in our campervan (I was apologetic about leaving her but when she found out I was dealing with -13C temperatures in Germany she forgave me pretty quick) meant that we started the month living around boxes that needed unpacking and tools in need of being used. Despite being only 40ft renovating a narrowboat sure does take time and it’s only toward the end of the month that we are starting to channel our Marie Kondo and got those boxes cleared out and made the living area, well, liveable.
This month some of the basic narrowboat tasks we tackled included refilling our water, winter proofing the boat, learning to clean, light and maintain our fire and getting ourselves plugged into shore power (I can hear people laughing at how easy those all are!). I’m not going to lie, these were pretty easy for the most part, that is if you ignore the broken hose, soaking wet feet, smoke filled boat and freezing cold mornings we’ve endured actually learning what to do with these tasks.
While we’ve enjoyed all of the DIY, making the boat liveable and learning about all the day to day tasks you need to know when living on a narrowboat it’s not all been plain sailing (I hate myself for using that pun). January also saw us both being struck down by the flu and a full week in bed ensued. This is where we really learnt that a narrowboat bed is not a full sized double and that two very sick people in one tiny bed is both disgusting and not conducive to the restorative sleep you’d hope for. This bout of flu really slowed the progress of our renovation down and it wasn’t until the last week of January that we really got stuck into updates.
The focus for the next month is very much finishing off the remaining larger jobs we have to do, a new splashback for the kitchen as well as additional rooftop storage is on the cards, not to mention the seemingly never ending purchasing of plants to fill the boat. In addition to physical boat related work we have also recently launched our narrowboat Instagram account @theserollingwaves which we are enjoying growing. It’s been a chance for us to take what we have learnt from when we started our first Instagram account @theserollinghills and try and grow and connect with a whole new community, this time hopefully a lot quicker than before! Right now though I’ll settle for a month where we are not sick and a night where we can keep the fire lit for the entirety.