I have always loved the winter months, especially aboard Hannah the Narrowboat. Somehow it seems more cosy and peaceful especially in the evenings when the fire is roaring and we are eating my wifes wonderfully simple Irish stew and dumplins whilst Hector the Jack Russell sits alarmingly close to the stove. For me, this is an idyllic time of the year. Sure, the toilet seat can get a bit cold but I’m sneaky, I will hold out until the lady of the boat has warmed it first! Yes, we get through a lot of coal and the fire can be a messy affair, in fact from November through to March I have a constant battle with the coal and my fingernails – you can spot a winter boater by looking at their finger nails!

Even before we moved aboard the narrow boat permanently we always spent extended periods aboard her over Christmas, partly for the reasons explained above but also to get away from the madness of a big town over the festive period. I am not really one for battling the crowds in the shopping centres and pubs, maybe I’m just getting old but I prefer marina and village life now. Don’t get me wrong, I love a few beers and fatty, sugar laden food with friends as much as the next person but you honestly can not beat the tranquility of a narrow boat over Christmas.

Christmas lights

Of course 2020 is a bit different with all these nonsensical rules we are supposed to remember even though they are being made up and changed every bloody week all for an illness where we have a 99.7% survival rate, the average age of death is higher than life expectancy itself and less than 400 people have died from it under the age of 60 who had no underlying conditions. That’s the facts of the matter although the BBC et al would have you believe otherwise. Let’s also not forget that Lockdown V2.0 was based on incorrect data.

Having said all that I am not going to let this nonsense ruin my Christmas, sure it’s going to be different but as I said, I don’t like over crowded pubs so the ‘substantial meal with a pint’ nonsense will not bother me too much but I do miss gossiping and having a laugh with the locals down the Royal Oak. Social distancing in the shopping malls won’t effect me either as I discovered a few years ago I can do all my shopping online and avoid the crowds all together! In fact I have been avoiding everywhere that we are required to wear a muzzle.

Perhaps the only thing that does sadden me (apart from us both losing our businesses) is that both my and my wifes mums are scared and we won’t all be gathered around the table this year. Maybe technology will help us as we have discussed having a ‘vitual’ get together over Facetime or something similar so we can at least raise a glass together! We have also now got enough subscribers on YouTube to do some livestreaming so perhaps we will do something with that too.

Whilst things will be different this year we will make the best of whatever we are ‘allowed’ to do.

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