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 each other as they passed overhead (presumably beginning some long journey…) and then by bats, the swallows of the dusk, darting about me as I wandered over to the toilet block to wash.
As the sun set, the farm became even more peaceful. Lights glowed in the farmhouse and the canal reflected the dying pink sunset as I walked over the bridge, a long line of narrowboats stretching away along the bend.
A fish butty (my first every), a whiskey and ginger and a candle or two made my little Swallow home for the night. I sat a while, writing, curled on the sofa, enjoying the nip in the air and imagining what it will all look like when it’s finished. I wished for my stove, and my bed started to call me, so I took myself off. I felt lonely and happy and tired. All I could hear was the regular creak of my boat against the tyre against the jetty, the odd car on the road, and the quiet, gentle lapping of water.