The Houseboat

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Some people live in a big house in the country, some live in a semi-detached house in a city and some live in an apartment. I’m a little different to most people because I live in a houseboat. My dad and I have lived in our houseboat for two years now. We used to live in a normal house until my dad lost his job. He couldn’t afford the rent anymore. Granny lent him money and he used it to buy a houseboat.

At first, I was scared, and I think my dad was too. I never heard of anyone living in a houseboat before, especially children. He told me it would be a great big adventure and we could travel all along the canals meeting new people every day. I didn’t want to but I didn’t have a choice.

I remember the first day my dad took me down to the canal. He pointed out our new home yelling “Ship Ahoy!” It was beautiful. The boat was as shiny as a jewel, painted in red, green and navy with the words “Life is Good” scrolled on the side with gold lettering. When we reached the boat he picked me up and plopped me onto it.

“Go on, take a look around” he urged while he unwound the rope from the post on the bank and used a long pole to push the boat from the side of the river bank.

I stepped inside to find a cosy interior. The sunshine came in through the windows and shone against the shiny wooden panels. The kitchen was small with lots of utensils hanging on the walls. Beyond that, there was a couch and a stove with a little bookshelf. I ran down the boat to a door to find a room with bunk beds with a fairy light canopy over it. Beyond that, there was a door that led to a small bathroom. I loved it. As I heard the sound of the engine I ran out to Dad while the boat moved slowly along the river and we were on our first journey together in the houseboat.

Along the riverbank, life was thriving. Lush green trees lined the river with their branches dipping into the water. Swans bobbed along peacefully while magpies chattered loudly on the bank. We even spotted a heron standing steady as a statue, waiting to pluck his dinner from the water. I looked into the river and watched the ripples of the surface while flies and insects danced upon it. Deep below, the water was teeming with small fish. People waved at us from the bank and the owners of other passing narrowboats greeted us like old friends. I knew then that I felt like home.

We’ve been living on the boat for two years now and we’ve had our ups and downs. Last winter was a bad one. One of our solar panels got ripped off in a storm and our pipes froze during the freeze. But mostly we’ve had great times. We know a lot of people along the canals now. We’ve also got a cat to live with us. Her name is Kit. My dad and I are like regular seafarers or river farers! We’re quick to patch up what needs fixing and always prepared for what comes next. Our boat is docked during the week as I go to school and my dad now works for the Rivers Trust protecting the river we call home.

Dad was right. It has been a great big adventure. Sometimes change is scary but sometimes it can be the best thing that ever happened to you.

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- Total nr. of readings: 3,357 Copyright © The author [2020] All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.

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