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Author: Beth Maiden

All change

Well, here’s a long-overdue update! I can’t believe it’s been 10 months since I last posted to this blog. So much has changed since then…but I’ll keep this short. First and foremost – Swallow was sold back in February. After a few viewings, the perfect owner came along and, understandably, fell in love with her. …

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T’other way: Todmorden to Manchester on the Rochdale Canal (on Emma’s boat)

Autumn is here, and it’s time for Emma and I to set sail from Todmorden to Manchester along the Rochdale Canal. We did this journey with Swallow in the opposite direction in October 2013 (you can read about that here).  This time, we’re taking Emma’s boat, Flo. As Flo is 8′ wide, we can’t take both …

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Before and after

One year on from moving aboard Narrowboat Swallow, I thought it would be fun to do some before and after shots to illustrate the changes I’ve made to my tiny floating home. Entrance I’m really proud of the new entrance hatch, built by my friend Noah Rose. Here’s a little more about that. Bow Kitchen When …

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A busy evening

Gosh. You do nothing on your boat for months, and then on one sunny evening suddenly make crazy progress like nobody’s business. Here’s what got sorted tonight: 1. Removal of nasty leaky plastic flue/mushroom thing (and yes of course I shoulda done that before painting…) 2. Fitting of beautiful brass mushroom Classy, huh? 3. Continuing …

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On doorways

The entrance to your home is important. You encounter it over and over and over again, each time you go out or return. I suppose a good doorway is one which you don’t notice you’re going through, and a great doorway is one which you truly love to go through – one which welcomes you …

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Costs so far

For the sheer thrill of it, I’ve been recording the money I’ve spend on my boat so far. This does include travel to and from the boat when it was in Chester, and to my parents’ in Shrewsbury. It doesn’t include the cost of the boat itself! I haven’t yet finished the windows, installed the gas, …

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Migration 4 – Chadderton to Todmorden

26th October – Chadderton to Punchbowl Lock, Littleborough Rochdale Canal We ploughed on through some fairly boring canalway, through Rochdale was a highlight – despite the main lock on the centre being a pretty tough one, we were greatly encouraged by three drunk guys who helped us out and shut the gates behind us. But…we …

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Migration 3 – The Manchester 18

25th October – New Islington to Chadderton Rochdale Canal – the ‘Manchester 18’ locks For me, this was the most gruelling day of the trip. We did more locks on other days, but these particular 18 locks, running from Manchester city centre to Failsworth on the outskirts, truly are challenging. Big heavy gates, often-faulty mechanisms, …

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Migration 2 – Manchester and the Rochdale Nine

Thursday 24th October- Manchester City Centre Bridgewater Canal to Rochdale Canal This was a toughie – the notoriously difficult ‘Rochdale Nine’, the first nine locks of the Rochdale canal taking you through the city centre. It all started off beautifully though – waking up in Sale was just gorgeous, a sunny, cold autumn morning and …

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Planning my route

The weather is getting colder and nastier with every passing day and I’ve decided that I need to set off moving my boat in a couple of weeks’ time. The engine is (nearly) fixed, the electrics are (nearly) in and despite dreams of cruising a finished houseboat down the canals at a leisurely pace, I’m …

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Scrubbing up

Nice clean white roof after some cleaning.

Inspired by a sunny session cleaning Emma’s boat yesterday, today I headed to Golden Nook Farm early to do a little scrubbing of Swallow’s roof before the electrician arrived to give me a quote. I was sad to see how much flaking and deterioration of the paintwork had been allowed to take place beneath the …

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Narrowboat bagua

Can you do Feng Shui on a narrowboat? I thought I’d try, by applying a Feng Shui bagua (an ‘energy map’) to a plan of little Swallow. The idea of a bagua is that it shows you where the different ‘energies’ in your home lie, so you can ensure you’re making the best of each …

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First night aboard

As the day drew to an end and the sun dropped lower over the fields opposite, I packed away my tools and wood and began to potter about the boat, making it as cosy as possible for my first night aboard. The day’s playful swallows were replaced, first by a flock of geese, calling to …

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Jumble sale

My flat has been a jumble sale for the past week, as I tried to get rid of my possessions. At first, this was kinda fun, but after a couple of days, living in a junk shop with *stuff* everywhere was starting to grate. By Sunday Emma and I had had enough. We called around …

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Swallow

I’ve been re-thinking the future name of my boat. She was called Tingletrees when I bought her but we’re just calling her ‘the boat’ for now…I don’t want to rename her until she’s all finished and lovely and I can move on board.) Page of Cups had been the favourite until Sunday, when I started …

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Golden Nook Farm

On 30th August after our first day cruising together, Swallow arrived at Golden Nook Farm where she could have her engine serviced, and hopefully a lot more besides – there’s an engineer who says he can help with my stove, electrics, gas and plumbing so the idea is to keep her here for the time …

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Maiden voyage

Not the boat’s maiden voyage, obviously. But my first trip out on her. Today Dad and I said goodbye to Taylor’s Boatyard and set sail to…well…we weren’t really sure where. All we knew was that we had to go south, then east, through a few locks and along til we reached a farm where the charming Eric …

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Interior – first sketch

The steel box I plan to live in is 30ft long and 6ft wide, and my head *just about* touches the ceiling when I stand up nice and tall. So it’s not very big. Designing the interior of a boat to maximise space and incorporate as much storage and comfort as possible is an art …

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Downsizing (1)

Okay. So I rent a tiny flat in Todmorden – it’s not like I have a house full of stuff accumulated over a lifetime the way some people do. But still, moving from a land-lubbing home to a teeny tiny boat is a major downsizing project. I’ve got a wardrobe plus baskets plus boxes plus …

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