Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Alternative Lifestyle?

My new boss has been bombarding me with questions about the barge and living on a boat.  I didn't know if he was doing it as part of 'getting to know me' or out of general interest.  He then mentioned that he had a fascination and admiration for people who chose to live an alternative lifestyle.  I have never thought of the way that we live and what we are trying to achieve as 'an alternative lifestyle'.
Working for the MoD, my job is very much part of the system, my qualifications etc put in me a 'middle class' bracket (although certainly not a label I would use!!!), we own a house (albeit mortgaged), two cars and three boats!!!  Yet it is also true that we have chosen to drop out of the rampant consumerism of today's society (also by necessity if we are ever going to get the barge finished!) and try to live a simpler life, to do something that will give us a chance to enjoy our retirement and also to give us the 'home' and 'lifestyle' of our dreams.
Living on the water certainly makes you more in tune with nature. For a start we live by the tides. In the beginning we frequently got caught out by a high tide and couldn't get on or off the boat, one soon learns! But seriously I have felt a lot more at peace since living here. The depression that I suffered from for years has now lifted and life is great.
There is always plenty of wildlife around. Laying in my bunk at night I am never quite sure whether it's birds or rats running up and down the decks, but hey as long as they don't join me in bed I'm okay with both!
Anybody who has anything to do with boats will tell you how boat people will almost always go out of their way to help you and are generally very friendly and sociable. Our little community is no different, everyone is lovely and we all get along just dandy.

I honestly don't think that I would like to go back to living on land. I enjoy our alternative lifestyle, be it ever so humble it's now life afloat for us.
High tide in Tollesbury


  1. Good Morning Fran, I never thought about the tides. We were always on an inland lake. I can imagine they would take some getting use to. There is such a tranquility about being on the water. It is easy for me to see how that helped with your depression. The best sleep I have ever had as an adult was sleeping aboard our sailboat. The gentle rocking was like being in a cradle. Never having been on large barge . . . I really do not know what that would be like, but there is something about the water and the wildlife it attracts, that is smoothing to the soul. I am so happy that you can spend your retirement in this fashion :)
    Be it ever so humble there is no place like boat.
    Have a stupendous day.
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

  2. I couldn't have put it better, Fran. It's all absolutely true and I know exactly that feeling of peace. A lovely post that touched my heart.

  3. I know how you feel. I am only really happy when I am at our float cabin. Right now my life is tied to the city to care for my mother, but when I do get to go home, I treasure it even more. - Margy

  4. So Very True ! And I found Tollesbury on the map. Looks Nice,
    not so far away from my roadmap

  5. Hello Fran, thank you for dropping in at Thriftwood, you're very welcome! Your lifestyle sounds fabulous, love the idea of simpler living, and looking forward to hearing more about how you're moving nearer to your dream. Living on a barge sounds just perfect!

    Love Claire (your new follower) xxx

  6. Connie - you are right, there is nothing better than being gently rocked to sleep xxx
    Val, Margy and Ib - I knew that you would all understand where I was coming from xxx
    Clair - welcome aboard and I too look forward to getting to know you better xxx

  7. Hi fran,
    Thank you for becoming my latest follower and introducing me to you lovely blog. I shall enjoy seeing your progress to fully realising your dream.
    Sarah x

  8. Welcome aboard Sarah, great to meet you xxx