I am humbly indebted to the man I call mine and want to mention a couple of the most recent reasons for my affection.
Firstly, the locks in London are very heavy and badly maintained (naughty BW…) and I struggle on my own because I am quite a little person. Thankfully he is very big and strong and as soon as the boat is secured he leaps to my assistance and as a team we are able to budge most lock gates. His strength also makes lighter work of carting around a number of 5 litre bottles of water and ensures that when I get stuck in toilets because of broken locks he can rescue me!
Secondly, he is better than a hot water bottle (actually more like a radiator) and has made sleeping on the boat a much more pleasant experience for me and the cat while the weather has been cold. Obviously this makes getting out of bed a bit tougher but I think that it is important for winter to have some plus points as a season and one of these should definitely be more sleep. Another is having the stove going all day and drinking lots of mugs of tea/coffee!
Thirdly, when he was away in Germany and I was moored in Camden, I had a bit of an accident. I went for a few drinks with a girlfriend and returned to the boat alone to find the back end drifting out into the canal… Some unkind soul had untied her and I fell into a very cold canal while attempting to right the situation. I had been on the phone to him when I realised the boat was not in the position I had left it but my plunge into the wet had rendered the phone useless to call back and let him know that I had resolved things. Having clambered aboard, stripped myself of sodden clothing, wrapped myself up in anything warm I could find and slipped under the duvet I then had police banging on the window to check that I was still alive!
It is reassuring that this man will contact the police from another country to ensure my safety.
I did two things after the misfortune at Camden; I bought a long chain and padlock for securing the boat to moorings and I got an iphone with insurance! I have not regretted doing either. I certainly don’t regret sharing my boat with such a useful (and wonderful) companion.