Sunday, 1 July 2012

Bromley, Barleywood and Barges

Without exception, everyone we have told that we are packing up our comfortable lives in suburban London (or is it urban Kent) and moving onto our boat, has greeted the news with enthusiasm. Comments range from "lucky you" to "how exciting" and "sounds wonderful".  Neither of us, however, are under any illusions of how big a transition this will be. Moving out of a five roomed garden flat with high ceilings and plenty of space (including cellars) and onto a 50 ft narrow boat, is a massive step (even if it is a temporary one as our new Dutch Barge will have 4x as much living space).

Steve and I have both lived full lives and each of us had a home before we got together ten years ago.  As a consequence we have more accumulated 'detritus' than most. For example, have you ever met a couple with five silver teapots, three Wedgewood dinner services or three fondue sets? And that's just the contents of one kitchen cupboard!  The situation is not helped by the fact we are both bibliophiles, neither of us has ever thrown away a book since childhood. Apart from books, I am quite minimalist, but Steve is a hoarder. Our cellar was filled with things we mustn't throw away as they might one day come in use. The fact that we have carried this junk from one home to another, and none has ever been useful, does not seem to have dampened his enthusiasm.  Personally, I cannot imagine that anyone would ever find use for broken lawn strimmer or 26 quarter full pots of paint (not to mention a wobbly artist's easel or a wicker basket filled with Tupperware tubs with missing lids).  

The impending move has forced us, however, to rationalise our lives. Slowly but surely we have moved from room to room sorting our belongings. Today we sent the first van load to the tip and another van load has gone into storage. We have started writing and emailing the multitude of companies we deal with informing them of our new address. Next week Barleywood is lifted from the water and transported by road to Rochester, by the end of July we will have moved on board, with two cats, just one silver teapot and no lidless Tupperware!

Barleywood, taken a few weeks ago at Godalming Wharf

Our new Dutch Barge will be the same model as this one

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