Above: My new home, the good ship Alvracht

Life has been busy. Lots of interesting things happening, and I wanted to see how it was all going to start shaking down before I posted an update to my weblog.

Many things are still up in the air, but certain themes are starting to emerge – first and foremost, BOATS!

After 3 months of living in a Dickensian little garret above an antiques shop in central Richmond, I’ve now moved into a cabin on a 130 foot Dutch barge moored in Brentford. The good ship Alvracht is somewhat unofficially moored just north of Kew Bridge (OK, so we’re squatters!) but it’s a gorgeous boat, in a tranquil location, and just a stone’s throw from my old stamping ground of Kew Green.

I share the boat with four other humans and a very large dog. The captain of the ship is a one-eyed ex-mountaineer called Caie – the story goes that he lost his eye as he was skiing down off the Eiger. He stopped to adjust his skis with a screwdriver, and slipped, and. eurgh. Nasty.

We have our own generator, solar powered lights, and water purification unit. It’s a great opportunity for me to learn all about self-sufficiency, which will be handy, as I’m in the process of buying my own boat and want to get it set up to be totally self-contained and 100% eco-friendly. I won’t jinx the purchase by saying too much now, but after a couple of years of being a nomad, it seems I’m shortly to be a home-owner again.

It will be the best of both worlds – once I learn how to navigate my boat, I’ll be able to up sticks and move whenever I want. but without having to pack my bags!

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