Rae, my daughter, and husband Dave, live by the Regent’s Canal and their balcony hangs over the Canal on the second floor. I have been staying with them this week and walked up and down the canal many times and in both directions. I have encountered boats of all shapes and sizes and have been impressed and amazed at how folk adapt to their surroundings and very quickly make their little patch of soil or boat roof, a garden. Sundry shaped mini allotments along the bank become lush oases of sorrel, mint, rosemary and sage. Narrow boats now have solar panels too along with the quirky, brightly painted panels that one associates with canal boats.
Life on the water appears idyllic on a bright sunny day with the sun shimmering on the water and the geese, ducks and koots noisily gambolling and frolicking. Cold short Winter days and long nights must be a real test of character when living on the canal and strong winds whip up the water. Skills of survival such as keeping warm and dry, acquiring fresh water and cooking food must balance themselves out with the slower more natural rhythm of Life and a constant connection to Mother Nature. I admire these folk for their resolute convictions and steely character!