Reasons I could NEVER live on a narrowboat

Living on a narrowboat can be great fun. In particular:
1) Doing the washing up and having two swans drift past your window about a foot away.
2) The gentle rocking motion is very soothing. Apart from when you’re drunk, then it is just confusing as all hell.
3) Wood/coal fires – so warm, so very warm.
4) Everything is all cosy and compact and in its place. It can be very satisfying to live on a well ordered narrowboat.

That’s not even touching on the whole romance aspect of being on the move; the appeal of “the road”. The bonhomie and camaraderie of the waterways. Messing about on boats is something which has always appealed.

The Aged P has lived on a narrowboat for the past decade and is currently cruising the waterways of the UK just because he can. He enjoys it. And I do too, when I go to visit for a few days, but there are a few reasons I could never do it full time.

1) The plumbing.
Low water pressure, camping toilets, elsan…

2) The manicure.
Boat living is HARD on nails. Look at mine! They were lovely and within half an hour of stepping on board, snap. Rip. Ouch. OK, so we were fitting out, and doing such fun activities as welding chimneys and messing around with fuel filters, but even normal boat living involves catches and ropes and water. It’s a bad nail environment, with a capital BAD.

3) The concussion.
I loose track of the times I hit my head every time I stay on the boat. Not to mention the number of times I bang my shins. Or my elbows. Or toes. Or back. You name it, you WILL bash that body part. It is inescapable, when inhabiting a space 6ft by 58ft. Especially when clumsy like me!

4) The spiders.
Proper boat people claim to like spiders. They lie. They are lying to themselves because they know there is nothing they can do about the spiders. Yes, spiders are useful against the mosquitoes and flies in the summer. But when you find yourself waking up, nose to leg with the biggest Fred in creation, YOU tell me that you are OK with spiders. It isn’t that they can hurt you, it is just they constantly SURPRISE you. One minute, you are innocently washing up, and the next there is a spider hovering at eye height from the ceiling.

There are other reasons that mean the decision to move onto a boat aren’t really right for me – mooring in Oxford for one! – but I did really consider it for a while. And every now and then I have a moment when the life afloat appeals. Then I remember the spiders, and the manicure, and the mysterious bruises. And the plumbing. Oh god, the plumbing.

These things keep happening

Stuff has always happened to me. Bizarre stuff. Stuff you could acuse me of making up, if we both didn’t know my imagination wasn’t that good.

I used to write about this stuff and then I stopped. Writing, that is. The stuff kept happening.

Take the latest – being knocked over at the bus stop. It happens, I can hear you think. Where is the funny? The funny is in the fact that I was STANDING STILL at the time. Any fool can fall flat on her face from moving. I’ve done it before and undoubtably will again. But this time i was stationary. In the queue. With people around me.

One minute I am standing there, minding my own business, queuing like the good English woman I am. The next thing I am aware of is being flat on my back with a moderately sized drunk man sprawled over me.

Kind people hauled the drunk off and helped me to my feet, then we all chuckled wryly for a second and returned to our British queuing.

I’ll be honest, my pride was probably more bruised than my body. I was slightly worried I’d buggered my foot again and would be walking with a stick once more till it healed, but I was fortunate.

And now I know how a bowling pin feels, should I ever be called on to write a story from the POV of a bowling pin. Though thinking about it, pins probably have some awareness of what is about to happen to them. A squished fly. Yes. That is more like it. A fly that has been merrily chomping on some jam and then *swat* jam no more.

All things considered, universe, next time I end up sprawled flat on the pavement, can it at least be under Richard Armitage?

How book recommendations work

From my family and friends who read/liked Dan Brown and/or Clive Cussler (and/or Twilight, 50 Shades, and countless others) footnote

From my friends who only read based on the NYT Best Sellers list:

From my friends in the publishing industry:

(I take NO credit for the originality of this post or the gifs contained herein. Please see here for the original I have shamelessly ripped).

footnote I have read all of these books. I have even posted a review or two. I do not deny that these books have an appeal to a certain audience, they just aren’t for me.

The Publishing Crush

girl in love image

The one thing about working in a small company is that there is a DISTINCT lack of RLOs (Random Lust Objects). My life is currently bereft of pretty people who it is appropriate to have inappropriate thoughts about. There was one in the building, then I saw him shuffle down the corridor, and *poof* he lost RLO status. What can I say? I am fickle. I do, however, have a Publishing Crush. He can’t have true RLO status, because he isn’t in my day-to-day life enough. And RLO implies just physical attraction, it doesn’t take into account personality.

So what makes a Publishing Crush? It’s more than just he looks fine. He also has an interesting take on the industry, and I like the way his mind works. I can imagine interesting debates about topics I am passionate about. I love him. I love his mind. I love his shoes.

(I know I am not explaining it well, but shut up. This is my blog 😛 )

So how do you get a Publishing Crush of your very own? Obtaining a Publishing Crush has several key steps. It is important to follow these or else who knows what might happen.
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All Good

I’ve found my soundtrack to 2013 – “Good Old Days” by Pink.

Just listen to the lyrics. Yep, I’ve got a good feeling about this year.

Cute Little Black Holes

“I’m starting to realise that babies are a bit like little cute black holes: they have gravity far in excess of their apparent size. Our lives are inescapably bound to them, orbiting faster and faster around their tiny pink event horizons”.
Brother Dearest, 26.11.2012


There have been one or two times over the past three decades where life has delivered me some pretty big kicks in the teeth. I make no secret of that and have blogged some of that here over the last ten years. The telling of the stories has, more than once led someone to say “my word, don’t you wish it had happened differently?” and my answer has, time and again, stumped them.


No, I don’t wish a single thing had been different. There is not one single thing I look back on and go “that, I would change”. I am not saying I would want to live it again, and next time around I hope I remember enough not to make the same mistakes, but it happened. I lived. I learned. I moved through it. I am still here.

I firmly believe I am the person I am today in part because of the experiences I have had throughout my life. Change one thing, bad or good, and you have changed the total of my experiences. You have changed me. There are times I am not sure I am the biggest fan of “Me”, but I am a work in progress. A work that will keep going, constantly evolving, continually learning, until the day I take my last breath.

I looked in the mirror the other day I was surprised by what I saw. I saw a future. Once upon a time, within the life time of this blog even, I didn’t see a future. The sheer possibility of reaching 30, and contemplating with something akin to anticipation the next 30, escaped Younger Me. I couldn’t wrap my head around the enormity of it. I could see no pattern my life might fit. So I didn’t think about. I just moved from experience to experience, trying to stay true to my heart and…

You know what?

It has all worked out. The pattern is a little rough around the edges, but I look back and EVERY SINGLE STEP I have taken since the age of 16 has got me to where I am today. It didn’t always make sense at the time. Hell, it doesn’t always make sense when I look back on it now! But EVERYTHING I have done has somehow mixed together into what I am today.

I think I like who I am today.

And more importantly?

I think I am going to like who I am tomorrow even more.

P.S. Remind me I posted this next time I’m having a wibble, ‘kay? Love y’all. Cxxx