Living in the Ice
I don’t know how long the canal has been frozen in as I seem to have a lack of awareness of time, but what I do know is my water tank is empty. Very empty. Maffi's isn’t so I am scrounging the odd kettle full of water and being very frugal about it. Boots is not being frugal, he has decided that as it is winter he will drink more than ever… or perhaps I am just noticing how long he laps up the precious substance from his bowl. Each time I fill the kettle and use the water in ever increasingly imaginatively water saving ways I am reminded once again of how fortunate I am.
The nearest water point, other than Maffi’s ever decreasing supplies, is less than 5minutes walk, and if that is frozen up the one at Thrupp (15minutes dawdle) is not. Some people in other countries have to walk all day to collect their water, and even then it isn’t necessarily fresh.
Maffi ran out of coal earlier in the week and has been exchanging water with me for Coal for him, but Dusty, our local coal man, made a delivery by car (the boat is frozen in further north) so none of us are without coal.
That a boat is cold in winter is a myth and living without water in the tap is no great hardship considering there is water available. Living on a boat in winter is a joy – the views, the scenes, the atmosphere and community are wonderful, a real joy to be in.
Boating is, as always, a hard life, but it is a good life too.