Mud, glorious mud

I have spent the last week or so moving all my worldly goods from my winter quarters ashore to my summer residence – an elderly but charming houseboat  in the middle of Woodbridge. I will be the boat’s caretaker for the summer, kicking the bilge pump if the river threatens to get the wrong side of the floorboards, and generally splashing plenty of white gloss around in cabin and wheelhouse to cheer her up (and me).

Deben dusk

 View from the wheelhouse…..

I seem to remember telling people that moving home is easy because I don’t have much stuff. I lied. I have wobbled up and down the gangplank with more boxes and armfuls of gear than I dare to admit, and there is more to come. I embrace the minimalist lifestyle in theory but struggle on the practice. I don’t own furniture, or a single dinner plate. I have a saucepan and a frying pan (useful as emergency bailers). But – and here’s my downfall –  I do have several hundred books, four autoharps and associated gear. There is also a large oriental table lamp that my mother bought in Singapore, virtually my only family heirloom. I never cease to be impressed by the amount of stuff that fits in the back of a Fiat punto – two more loads should do it.

goldie books again

A few of my books……

goldie books


..and a few more…

goldie books in wheelhouse

and more…

goldie more books

… and just a few more…

In the meantime I am getting to grips with the rhythm of the tides again. The weather has been glorious and I still have much to do on board, but it was good on my first morning afloat to enjoy the sunlight flooding into the wheelhouse, listening to Bach on the stereo to the background of oystercatchers bickering in the mud.


Ah yes, the mud….. when I say I’m living afloat, that’s only true for a couple of hours a day!

I’m itching to get back to watercolour painting rather than gloss painting; I’ve been doing some enjoyable teaching sessions, but haven’t picked up my own brushes in earnest for a week or two. So next blog post there will be sketches. That’s a promise. Once I’ve found space for all my books….

1 thought on “Mud, glorious mud”

  1. Tony says:

    What a wonderful life. Good luck with the bilge pump

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