If you are interested in reading more about living on a barge, then you should read Watery ways by Val Poore. It it a cracking read and would make a great Christmas present. Below is a review of the book taken from SunPenny blogspot. I can't quite work out how to repost, but if you go to the link you can see the full interview with more pictures.
About 'Watery Ways'
Trading life in the fast lane of Johannesburg for that of Rotterdam's serene Oude Haven, Valerie Poore packs all her worldly possessions aboard the historic Dutch barge, the Hoop, and sets about rebuilding both the boat and her life after divorce – and rediscovering herself and her own capabilities in the process.
Along the journey of renovation she is joined by an array of characters, including two dogs and a rather adventurous cat, a smiling but absent-minded ‘landlord’, a quirky friend and confidante, and an olde worlde charmer whose mastery at the helm wins more than just her respect. Before long Val has to learn to cope with the strenuous demands of acting as Skipper's Mate during numerous nail-biting adventures – frequently with hilarious effect.
When the Hoop, her rented home, is sold, Valerie relishes the new challenge of hunting down the Vereeniging, another picturesque barge aboard which she builds herself a new home and learns that, when life on the waterways is threatened by rust and insurance critics, it is those who band together to help who make the lifestyle so worthwhile.
Valerie’s touchingly sincere story is one of discovery and friendship, endurance and love and, most importantly, never allowing the landlubbers to get you down!
About Valerie Poore
Valerie Poore was born in London, England, and after completing her degrees in English, History and French, and a further course in the conservation and restoration of museum artefacts, she worked for a furniture restoration company until the birth of her first daughter. She lived a life of ‘self-sufficiency’ on a smallholding before going to South Africa in 1981 with her husband and very small children, where they lived on a farm in Natal (subject of her first book, African Ways). She currently lives on a barge in Rotterdam – a rather special lifestyle.