Saturday, 13 December 2014


    It's a cold day here in southern England. Of course, that's a relative term. A Canadian would laugh at our -2 Celcius, while a Jamaican might see it as a *very* cold day. Not the best time to be fixing a boat engine, but at least it isn't raining.
    I feel at the crest of a huge wave that's about to break. Not one of crystal-clear blue water but of murky brown sludge, all my travails of the last year and a bit. Losing a parent, being comprehensively sidelined at work, losing my wife, and doing my RLE for an extended period without HRT due to fertility treatment. I don't think anyone could come through all that without effect, and though I've probably managed better than some people would I'm starting to feel the strain. This week I had to make an urgent trip to the doctor for a carbamazapine prescription, my atypical facial pain flared up. Peculiarly intense, that.
    So more hearings, phone calls with union lawyers, and honestly rather depressing stuff. I have to make as much fuss as possible though, for the sake of those who come after me. Even if it does little to make me Employee of the Month, and especially even if it means I'm out of work at the end of it. As a debt-free dotcommer with no dependants that holds no fear for me, my only question would be which startup idea to pursue first.
    One way to close the door on the past is to move out of my flat. Probably go back to my dad's place, a 40-something living with her parent. But the flat while great for two is a bit much for one, I'm much better off out of it.
    Which kinda brings me to my boat engine and its leaky fuel pipe. I lived on this boat, once. I wouldn't go back to those days, not least because I'm not in a residential mooring, but it is something I will now have more time and money to devote to. This river has been the backdrop to a lot of my life since I was a teenager, and in a time of trouble it's a fitting place to return.
    Next month the river will be in spate, a boiling mass of angry brown water with the boat lashed to its mooring to avoid it being washed away. By May though all that will be a distant memory; the water lillies will be coming through and the fish will be hanging lazily in the oxygenated stream from the weir.
    I'll still be here.


  1. It's been a year that I expect you'll be glad to see the back of. The boat sounds interesting, lets hope that you both get through spate intact and OK

  2. We have missed your updates and I can see why you might not have been too keen to be blogging. It is amazing that a world renowned business associated with a world class educational establishment is still in the dark ages with regard to our condition.

    There is a good chance that we shall be south sometime in the spring and hope that we can meet up again, perhaps inspect the boat. By then I would hope many of your setbacks will have been resolved. The spring can''t come soon enough.

  3. I expect you know about Dru Marland now living on a boat, and apparently finding it a satisfying experience, albeit full of little challenges. I hear that boats can be pretty snug to live in, but presumably finding a convenient mooring is the big problem.

    I hope the wave breaks nicely for you!


  4. I's been a tough year for you, Jenny, but you're optimistic and that's a good thing.

    Living on a boat.....sounds sort of romantic....

    Calie xx

  5. Living on a narrowboat, all the fun of living in a trailer home that isn't on mains sewage, without the social stigma :)

    So much I'd like to say but can't. :(

  6. I drove past a former travellers' camp on a lay-by near Tetbury, the other day, and thought how much less pleasant it must be to live in a lay-by than on the canal. And, of course, more hassle.... the lay-by has been isolated by great lumps of rock for about 20 years now, because we don't want the Cotswolds to be unpicturesque, do we?

  7. There's a group of travellers you'll see the whole length of the Cotswolds over the year, they even make it to our part of north Oxfordshire. Part of the local scenery as they have been for many years. But I guess they aren't what the arsoisie imagine travellers to be.