Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Meet The Boaters 2 - Mark

This is a new series I'm starting on the blog - a chance to meet some of  the diverse bunch of people who live on boats on the canals and rivers. I've asked them all to answer a few questions about themselves and their life afloat!

Mark is a good friend of ours, and fellow Cam boater.

Picnic out at Bottisham with Mark and friends
Mark, 31
Outspoken Delivery, Assistant manager

How did you end up living afloat?
I had just returned from a cycle trip to Kenya among other things in Africa. I was looking for somewhere to live, but really hated the idea of renting and living in what I felt was a boring house share (compared to what I had just done).
A few people I had worked with and made friends with at Outspoken Delivery, Rob and Peter, and Andy all lived on boats, so as an unlikely option I had a look at boats for sale in Cambridge. It just so happened that a perfect one was for sale, in term of cost and location (the railings so I could move on straight away) 
Around the same time as this I was diagnosed with Cancer, without a doubt this was the thing that pushed me into buying lovely Susie Q, at the time I didn't know for sure if all would be well with my health after the operation, so the boat was a pretty good thing to focus on, a live for the moment type of thing too. And I have never regretted my decision. The cancer was beaten and I still appreciate living with my feet on the ground!

What is your favourite thing about life afloat?
Without a doubt the community: everyone knows each other along the river, or if not, knows someone who knows them. You see people a lot more than you do normal neighbours on a street, and you have a lot in common, so you have time for people, you help people with what you can and vice versa. Gossip, friendly chat, sharing warm fires and a tea in the winter or cool beers and a river cruise in the summer. River life is always fluid and interesting, challenging and rewarding. Why wouldn't you want to live on the river!?

And your least favourite?
In all honesty, above the cold, toilet emptying and few 'yobs', it's the way the two bodies in charge of the Cam, the Council and Cam Conservators seem to be so hard and unhelpful to the narrowboat community!

Has living afloat changedyou at all?
For sure, slowly helping me appreciate how to live live sustainably and enriched it greatly with all of the friends I have made......

If you'd like to be involved, do get in touch using one of these methods below. I'd love to feature you and your boat!

twitter // facebook // email // follow // any questions?

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