January Link-Up from a Narrowboat

The first blog of 2020 being a monthly link up with A Chronic Voice just feels very right. There’s so much about this country / the world needing more connection, so this is my small way of achieving that. 


I’ve done my fair share of this in 2019, and I don’t think anyone would disagree! Friendships, ‘stuff’, work, exercise, have all been through a thorough purge. Living on a narrowboat does mean I’m much less likely to replace much of any of this. All definitions of this word use a variation of the word ‘unwanted’. I can’t say all these have been unwanted in my mind but my health as deemed them unwanted and I am learning to listen to this part of me more and more.

(Not) Opening

I didn’t open many presents this Christmas just gone, as I had requested to not exchange any (as I decided in July and reiterated here just before Christmas). Luckily with the above purge, there were fewer people to talk to about this! A few naughty people did ignore this and now I’m not so sure how to respond but I just have to accept that is what they wanted to do. In reflection I am satisfied and even slightly thrilled about my openness with others about not wanting to open presents as it adds to my desire for a simple life. Although not opening creates a negative idea but in fact it was all very positive and a tradition I hope to continue with.


Plans are afoot to revamp the bedroom and bathroom areas of the boat later this year and I’m really eager for this to start. The bedroom is my cosy nest where I am often found, snuggled up under blankets with a book or laptop as I am now, writing this text. I also come here when people pop in for a cuppa or a feed and I can’t manage any more social interaction.Sometimes this can mean I feel a little trapped; there is not enough space to have duplicates of some items I would like in both areas. I am not sure if there could be slightly more space, but there will at least be an opportunity to reorganise and re-prioritise. it is also far enough away from the fire to feel the chill, especially when the doors are shut to reduce the noise, and part of the revamp plans are to put in a small fire. I love winter on the boat and to know that the next one will be even cosier, and easier for my health, thanks to this revamp 


I really struggled to do this about 18 months ago. I couldn’t see into the future because I was planning each day as it came without any other thoughts. I realise now that this makes for a pretty depressed mindset and it’s taken living on a narrowboat to clamber out of that pit. I now can envision the future, which is obviously also helped by seeing a long future with my partner in crime, captain, woodchopper, su-chef, snuggle-champion partner Tom (OK you can go and make retching noises now!). In all seriousness, I have had above-average pain for over a week now – since Boxing Day – and before this would have stopped me envisioning anything. I’m grateful for all my privileges and experiences which mean I am where I am now, and where I will be in the future.


  1. Thank you for sharing your perspective on this month’s prompts Naomi, I loved your simple and stress-free Christmas, I often think that the holiday has become overly commercialised and the pressure of having to find the ‘perfect’ present for people.
    I can relate to not being able to envision anything in the future, I have also been feeling the same, not being able to see anything but pain and the other debilitating symptoms in the future. Feeling scared and apprehensive about the future, or even making plans for the fear of not being able to follow through with them.
    I wish you all the best for 2020 and good luck with the revamp of the bedroom and bathroom on your boat.
    Rhiann x


    1. Cheers Rhiann! Totally with you on Christmas.
      I still get scared about making plans but not having work definitely helps.
      Good luck to you too!


  2. Happy New Year Naomi I totally agree with ya on the mixed feelings when people go against our wishes with gift buying. But it makes some peoples season to see those they love open gifts. We had the same non gift in our family but one sibling got around it buying wreaths for our doors and a remembrance plaque with a candle for the people we have lost. We just went with it in the end. It’s so great you had support while the pain tipped the high end on the scale. Purging stuff and people feel so enlightening and it doubles if we don’t instantly refill with other stuff. I hope 2020 brings the balance you’d like to strike this year.


    1. Well weirdly it was people who didn’t even see me open the gifts! But hey ho, I get the spirit of it. The wreaths is a lovely idea, I think I could forgive that too 😉
      The balance feels possible and that’s a good win in my books. Wishing you well for 2020 too, thanks for ‘stopping by’


  3. I find it so fascinating that you live on a narrowboat. I’ve seen one on television, but think that it sounds like a lovely adventure to live there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well it’s probably more romantic than it is in real life! Most of the time you’re stepping out onto muddy ground and turning round in small spaces but it works for me 🙂


  4. I always love to hear about your life on your narrow boat, Naomi! It is something so different from my own city girl life, and I love it 🙂 Sending lots of love for the new year, cosiness for winter, and more simplicity in life! xxx


    1. Cheers Sheryl! I’d only ever lived in large towns and small cities before this but now feels like I was airways destined to be in the countryside. It’s what life wants from me… 😀 love and cotton wool hugs back atcha xx


  5. I’m sorry to learn that you’ve had a week of misery, and I do hope that you will be able to enjoy the coming weekend. You will have an alternative little nest to curl up in, of course!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Naomi,
    So glad you were able to enjoy Christmas – and I understand your desire to keep things simple on the gift-giving front. My partner and I mostly focus on buying presents for the nieces and nephews(he has one of each and I have two of each, so that’s a lot of presents right there!), and my family has otherwise dropped most gift exchanges, so we can focus on just enjoying the time together!
    I hope you enjoy making your narrow boat even homier with your upcoming renovations, and that your new year gets even better!

    Liked by 1 person

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