I see this blog both as a storage box containing a collection of playful, inventive strategies for exploring a personal response to an old boat and themes relating to the Water Road; and a dynamic means of sharing and savouring just a few of the things I’d like to hold on to as we rush headlong into the 21st century.
My idea of boat includes not just the specificity of an actual old iron boat but also the symbolism of boat as a vessel for ideas or as a means of keeping afloat.
In fact I see the boat as a place, the genius loci, where I describe a journey of exploration into better understanding and appreciating the world around me. A space for making creative, imaginative, even playful connections between a personal involvement in a piece of industrial heritage (ie. the physical renovation of the boat) and different disciplines such as industrial, social and natural history.
I tend to use the word boat rather than the more specific narrowboat or barge when I write because of its wider cultural associations and idioms: ‘slow boat to China’ / lifeboat / ‘all in the same boat’ / pleasure boat / ‘missing the boat’ / sustainable transport / ‘rock the boat’ or ‘pushing the boat out’