We are about to move off the boat and leave her in the hands of the Thames and Kennet marina to find her new owner, although the thought of her being empty seems all wrong.
When we moved aboard Eva Luna, she was called ‘Grace and Favour’ (long story!). She hadn’t been lived in for a while so as soon as all of her systems were tested in anger (which happened quite quickly as an unusual cold snap set in early in the year we moved in) it all went wrong. It didn’t take long to get her up and running really, but everything is now in full working order, she passed her boat safety with flying colours and one way and another, I’d hate all of that hard work to be wasted, and hope her new owner arrives soon: several people have expressed an interest, but as she’s a liveaboard, most are waiting for their own sale to go through, be that of another boat or a house.
It is reassuring though, and at least we know now that she’s at the right price, just waiting for the right owner at the right moment.
We wanted to hold a bit of a leaving party on Monday evening, but that was pretty much vetoed and as I don’t have the energy to sort out something else, quietly slinking away it shall be!
Our pirate flag was folded away this week. I did think about leaving it flying, but it doesn’t necessarily make the best first impression, apparently. We’ve slowly been moving our things into storage until we can have access to the cottage. I am amazed by how much ‘stuff’ we stuff have. I thought we had pared down our lives. A 50′ storage unit tells a different story, with old friends such as marbles (keeping those for some art work), vuvuzelas (ouch!) and a pair of silk shoes making a reappearance.
Our attempts to find somewhere to live on land have met with some shocking discoveries – the rental market in the area is nothing short of ‘mental’, with properties being snaffled within hours and agents behaving very, very badly. (More on that later.) Being boaters has defined us for the past few years and I have met some lovely people that I would otherwise never have met. My new home will be a cottage on land, shared with the boys – it’s all bitter sweet- excitement about our new home, sadness for leaving this one with so much left undone.
However, I think we’ll be better citizens going back on land. Living on a boat teaches you about the value of what so many take for granted – not wasting power or water; knowing when to put the heating on and when to stick on a cardigan; the value of services pumped to your door like gas, electric , water and sewage services. We haven’t missed them – the boat has everything we’ve needed – but you do value them more when you have to think about them and manage them.
We were blessed to find this boat at exactly the right time for us – our children have had an amazing youth, and one I hope that they will look back on as an amazing period of their lives.
We’ll miss her!