Calling All Families! Get out on the Waterways, and enjoy a micro-voyage of discovery yourselves…

One of the drivers behind our decision, last Summer, to buy a boat was the fact that Molly was still young enough, at 9yrs., to enjoy the adventure of the Big Outdoors without too much pre-teenage angst getting in the way; and the boys were accelerating out of toddlerdom towards becoming full-on little boys who needed constant physical interaction with the world around them.

The boat’s proved to be a huge success with all of them.

Obviously it’s hugely stressful for Claire and I, you really do need eyes in the back of your head at all times, but it’s really worth it for the moments, no more than moments, the whole stretches of time that are quite simply MAGICAL.When the kids are engaged, engrossed, content… and don’t need the TV, and can simply stand in awe (or fear!) of spiders, swans, tiddler-fish and butterflies or can get covered in mud, engine oil or grease and come up grinning!

I hope these photos capture just a little of what I’m getting at…

Although all the basic services are plumbed in, our Eileen remains a basic kind of boat, it’s more camping afloat than 5star cruising. In many ways though that makes the adventure more real, and even brewing a cuppa or washing the pots becomes something that’s fun to do, and even more fun when it’s shared…
“Mum, MUM, let me have a go! PLEEEASE…”
Molly is contentedly developing the art of working the locks one legged!
Could it be tiddlers, or perhaps spiders, that’s keeping Mol and Fin engrossed???
The delight of spotting early blackberries, and coot chicks in the hedgerows…
“Moored up, at last a chance to feed the swans, and ducks… Daddy why’s that swan hissing?”
And, when a pub has a beer garden with it’s own pigs (and piglets!!!) it’s ace.
“Mmm, now how did you say these umbrellas worked???”
And yes, at nine, it’s still fab to enjoy a wild game of chase!
Mol loves the boat.
Joe’s getting to grips with the centre rope, as we pass under the old Great Central main line, and he hears a train whistle sounding….
“Daddy, just look how big this spider is!”
Six hands are better than two when it comes to haiuling open a lock gate. Joe continues to ask a thousand questions, and slowly they both get the hang of what’s needed. Essentially it boils down to: DO AS MUMMY/DADDY SAYS!
Happy times.
Oh yes, and the boys also found photography – this is an image taken by Fin, yep, he’s nearly four and can take a damn fine photo!

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