Little Monster // Update

Hi Lovelies, how are you all?

Today I just want to follow on a little from my previous ‘life update’ post, where I talked about my exciting plans to move onto a narrowboat and join the ‘live-aboard’ community.

Reading my old post, I was pretty hopeful I would be living on Lily (Little Monster’s nickname) quite quickly after uploading the news. However, nothing is always plain sailing *cough*, and it turned out that after the survey (much the same as a house survey) she was in dire need of some structural work.

Basically, my boat had to be pulled out of the water (which happened in January I believe) and have the entire bottom re-plated with steel. The original steel had worn so thin that it was too risky to live on, for fear of the bottom scraping a rock in the water and putting a hole in her.

Eventually, after three long months of waiting, my Lily was finally ready to go back in the water, though even that wasn’t the easiest task. I had moved ALL of my stuff on board, AND the bottom was very heavy with extra steel…

That said, she sailed perfectly to her home mooring which was a relief. She’ll stay there until I move her to the engineering mooring, where the marina let you work on your boat and have easy access to the workshop/chandlery if necessary. In that mooring I’ll have help removing the concrete ballasts at the bottom of the boat and change the layout of my bed space to make it a bit more ‘me’.

In terms of living on her, it was pretty daunting at first. I had originally hoped I would be living on Lils before going to Lanzarote, but because she was put in the water the day before I flew out, that hope became impossible.

When I came back I headed straight to my boyfriends house. I’d had a long day and I wanted a comfy bed and good company; the thought of having to work out how my boat worked filled me with a great deal of anxiety, so I thought it best to put it off for a little while.

The next day we headed to Tesco and grabbed some supplies, and I braved an afternoon on board sorting out my shit. Eight bin bags of stuff later and Lily was starting to feel a little more like home. I could get to my bed, I had electricity and gas, I was pretty happy, but…

I stayed at my boyfriends that night.

You’ll think I’m stupid, I’m sure, but it has to be said, there have been some incredibly unglamorous moments to document since moving on board.

The toilet, for example, doesn’t work properly; the shower is TINY, not great for a big girl like myself. I have to open the door every time I need top pick up my shampoo bottles, the water pressure is in dire need of improvement and OH LORD THE SPIDERS!!
For a while it felt like I was fighting a losing battle with those creepy arse-wipes, but I think I’ve finally got a handle on arachnid control (I think).

I’m making it sound a bit crappy, I know, but actually I’m really enjoying it. Of course the boat isn’t quite perfect yet, there’s still a lot of sorting and fixing to be done but I’m slowly finding the time to get on with it.

After decorating my walls with various different swatches of purple paint, I finally decided the best thing was to paint over the hideous pistachio green with magnolia. It sounds dull but my vision of featuring the oak flooring and multitude of copper accessories will be complimented well with the cream-coloured walls. (I’ve watched too many episodes of Grand Designs, I’m sure!)

The main thing is Little Monster is going to be my floating home for many years to come, so I have many years to work on and improve her. She’s my home but also a cool design project to distract me from other issues in my life.

Although I say she’s too heavy to be moving around, I have had to move her to empty my ‘poop tank’ (as it’s affectionately named). The first time I moved her (with help) was daunting, she took a while to start up at first but when she got going she moved easily through the water and I got her to the pump out station and back without any disasters. The second time I moved her, I managed to reverse out and pivot around on the spot before heading off to the station, something I was pretty proud of after a second go at moving her. That said, I wouldn’t want to go out onto the canal on my own just yet, I’d need a little more practice!

Right, I think I’ve covered everything for now, if you have any questions about Lily or narrow boating then don’t be shy, I’ll try answer them as best I can.

I’d better get back and do some painting!

Till next time,

love, Leigh


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