For various reasons I’ve been unable to spend much time at the boat so far this year. In the coming months I’m hoping to remedy that, starting with a trip across to Braunston in time for the Historic Boat Rally at the end of June. Although it’s only a relatively short trip in terms of miles covered, psychologically it’s an epic filling my head and crowding my thoughts. A welcome distraction at a difficult time.

This week, the school half term week, I’d planned to ready the boat for its journey and move it just a few miles from our home mooring at Grimsbury Wharf to the village of Cropredy a couple of hours up the canal.

It was an excuse for a solo night afloat, a rare ‘sleeping bag camping out’ escape.

Things didn’t go to plan.

Eileen’s engine has an electrical fault. Now, I’m inept when it comes to things electrical/mechanical so this had the potential to undo my plans.

However, instead of ‘plunging off the deep end’ and over-reacting with a  ‘The whole trip’s ruined!‘ response I found myself ‘listening’ to the boat. Instead of the theatre of over-reaction, I simply sat on the back deck and allowed myself the time to be soothed by the diesel-y familiarity of the boat.

Being there, in that space, enabled me to draw breath, Eileen – ‘iron lung’.

I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I calmed down. I made a few phone calls and was reassured by those who know far more about these things than I do, that the problem would be identified and rectified and I’d likely be away next weekend instead.

The boat’s magic, for magic it is, in stressed times is to act timelessly. She’s a precious point in space where it’s possible to slow down.

This time I may not have moved her, but she ‘moved’ me, she affected me and improved my manic mood.

I gave her interior a Spring clean. She’s ready to move, and move she will – in time.

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