It struck me when we were steering ‘Eileen’ back to her home mooring on Saturday afternoon that our vague plan for a more extended Summer trip on the boat needed a lot more planning if it was to be (relatively) stress-free and as child-friendly as possible.
In my Journal I noted the following ‘Lessons Learned’:
- Take more practical things for the kids to do
- Don’t go over two hours cruising at a time, then arrange an off-boat distraction
- Boys are puppies that need regular vigorous exercise
- Create headspace for the adults at times in the day
- Divide and conquer!
- Work on the boat’s controls and make them easier to use
- Walk the towpath with one or more kids, and make sure you’ve lots of things to keep their heads filled and active
- Lots of sticks
- Late starts and early finishes
- A fire pit, tin kettle, marshmallows etc.
It’s the last bullet-point that prompted this post.
I like it when my boat-related thinking coincides with work-related thinking too. During the Summer months we’re planning to upgrade the external learning spaces of the inner-London primary school where I’m head teacher; and one of the things that’s being created is a fire pit.
I love a fire!
Nothing better for soothing the savage beast than prodding a stick into a fire; the woody smoke, a meal cooked on an open fire – my idea of simple bliss!
I’m actively looking at the available kit to go with a fire pit – the camp fire tripod, the fire tray, cooking pots and the like, and essentially a kettle.
It looks like the Hart ‘Kirtley’ Kettle is favourite – for use both at school and home I reckon!
ps. before anyone writes in to castigate me for potentially scorching the towpath with an open fire; let me reassure you that the kind of kit we’re looking at for the boat includes a raised fire bowl, the flames are well-contained and well clear of the ground.