There was an interesting thread recently in one of the several Facebook groups for boaty people. Someone considering selling their house and moving onto a narrowboat asked what others missed about the home they’d moved out of. Replies came in thick and fast.

I think the commonest reply, mostly from women, was, “The bath”. One woman said, “My bidet,” and a man replied, asking “What on earth’s wrong with an upturned shower head?” I didn’t look back to see her answer.

Several people said they missed their garden and the work they used to enjoy in it. A very common reply was, “Having reliable phone, TV and internet signal.” A lot of men missed their car, and a lot of women missed their neighbours. They didn’t say if they missed them “like I miss a hole in the head”, which is what one man said about his. King-sized beds were mentioned by many. “Space generally” too. One man, probably rather portly, said he missed “not having to walk sideways so much of the time”!

Interestingly, a minority of comments said they didn’t miss anything at all, but a lot of people challenged that. I’m almost in that category, but I do have to say that I miss our garden. I’ve never been much of a gardener, but I was once looking forward to doing a lot more and becoming more expert when I retired. But we chose the boat instead, and I’m very glad we did.

What else do we miss? Well, we share others’ frustration with the unreliability of TV, phone and internet signals, them being entirely subject to where you are at the time. Sometimes they’re excellent, sometimes they’re non-existent. We miss seeing our kids as often as we used to. (Why isn’t there a word for adult offspring?) We miss our church. I rather miss the dishwasher, and a freezer would be great.

Our narrowboat cabin is about forty feet long and six feet wide, and this limited space isn’t really a problem to me (though I confess that the long periods of time we spent in the boat during lockdown did occasionally give me cabin-fever) but it is an issue with Grace. She is a lady with many hobbies, each one being artistic or crafty, and they require work space and storage space, and she’d like everything to be readily to hand, rather than having to spend ages getting it out of various cupboards and holds. It’s very frustrating. It’s as well that we spend three or four months each year back at the house where she has her “studio” room.

How about you, boating readers? How many of the above “misses” do you share? What other things do you miss? Please, comment below, and share them with us.

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