Messing around on Boats

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

I grew up around canals and rivers. My parents have had a boat for as long as I can remember and most Sundays of my childhood were spent on the water, then a week away each year during the late May school holiday.


Mum & Dad still have a boat and are currently on an extended trip during which they've travelled from the Sharpness Canal in Gloucestershire up to the Albert Dock in Liverpool. Star Castle is named after this hotelotel on the Isles of Scilly where they spent their honeymoon back in '68.



It's all mod cons inside ~ there's a fitted kitchen, fridge, cooker and space for washing machine, plus a bathroom with shower, toilet and sink. The boat sleeps two, but can be adapted for four when needed.


So I have a real fondness of the waterways and anything and everything connected to them. A trip along the canal is so relaxing ~ the pace of life is calming and the people you meet are generally friendly folk. You'll not get a better night's sleep than when moored up in a quiet place, after strolling back to the boat along the towpath from an evening in a nearby pub. Waking up in the morning and emerging into the fresh air is a great feeling. It's a bit like camping but without the backache, dampness and skanky shower block!


I love the particular style of narrowboats. The portholes...


The coiled ropes on the roof...


There are lots of traditions which go along with the decoration of narrowboats: roses and castles are seen a lot...


as is the traditional design at the front of the boat...


The striped tiller bar at the back (used to steer the boat) is one of my favourite things, held in place on Star Castle with this beautiful kingfisher pin. The rope fenders are handmade...


Mum and Dad have added a few personal touches as well...



We love to spend a day down on the canal when we're back in Gloucestershire...


And we've been along to a boating few events, like this festival in Gloucester Docks where we dressed the boat with bunting...



 
Being in such a natural setting has lovely benefits, such as picking wild fruit growing near the banks...


...and breathing deeply the fresh air, while sitting back and relaxing, watching the world go by ~ I just love it!


Time to take stock and reflect on life...


I think that one day Mr DI and I will probably invest in a boat. It's definitely in my blood and he caught the bug too when helping my Dad with the interior design for Star Castle. In the meantime, we continue to enjoy the boating lifestyle when we can, enjoying all the canals of England have to offer...
 

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