February Link-up from a Narrowboat

Here I am again with a monthly link up with A Chronic Voice.  As always, these prompts often ‘allow’ me to write a few things that don’t make a whole blog, but feel good to talk about. 


Perhaps I should be writing about this next month but at this point in time, I know I’ll be on the boat next month and I can’t help already reflecting on the last year. A year ago I was making the decision to change from being a ‘gorger’ (bricks and mortar dweller) to a boater as a trial. I can’t even tell you when I decided for it to be permanent – it just continued. As I look forward to this anniversary and back on this year of self-discovery, I feel I have a lot to look forward to. My chronic migraine was not giving this to me as someone working 19 hours a week, living in a house, and now I am able to look again. And I see rainbows within the clouds. 


I remember playing Monopoly for one of my birthday parties when I was young and getting very grumpy when I was one of the first ones out of the game. At other times the battle of wanting to win but not wanting the game to end in my head was fierce. More recently Tom has got us playing more nerdy games and this can be tricky for my poor brain. Concentrating on new rules can make my head hurt so the first run through of one of them took over five hours, and three sittings! It now takes us maybe 60-90 minutes, and normally my head is fine because I know the rules and actually I can relax into it. Plus it’s a cooperative game so either we’re both winners or we both die! Plus it’s good to find another non-screen activity that I can do that won’t make me feel worse.


Here in the UK we’ve had a few pretty intense storms (for us) recently. Last weekend we had storm Ciara hit and I can’t say that being in the boat was at all invigorating. Being jostled around in the night didn’t do much for my sleep as every gust woke me up with a panic of us being toppled over or pulled off the bank. On the Sunday afternoon we thought it was starting to clear slightly and both us and dogs desperately needed some fresh air. It was pretty blowy and a bit wet but not too bad. We surveyed the damage of trees blown over a little further down from where we were moored and after 15 minutes, turned back. And suddenly, the rain started coming down like the big bad wolf and we were the little pigs. The dogs ran all the way home anyway – we just trudged. The rain turned to sleet which stung my cheeks and once iI got inside, despite wearing decent outdoor clothing, each layer had some wet on it. I had trudged, felt blown about, and smacked in the face. But I felt invigorated; it was the most awake I’d felt for weeks.


I’ll finish with a short note on drugs. I’m now on some anti-epilepsy medication which is known for fairly persistent side effects. Yet again I’m grateful for not hurrying to increase the dose or anxious about when the side effects will subside, so I can still work full time hours, or look after the kids, as neither feature in my life! Three years into trying different drugs I’m ditching too many expectations, or too much concern for ‘what happens if they don’t work’. I’ll keep breathing, keep doing the best I can. 


  1. Always so fascinating to read about your boat life, Naomi! The storm doesn’t sound good, and hope it’s all better now for you. Fingers crossed for the new meds!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was talking to a woman in our congregation this morning who practises holistic treatments of various kinds. She said that she would be happy to give you some of her therapies if you were able to stay with me for a little. Think about it and let me know. I think it’s so good that you have been able to reorientate your way of looking at life and to rest within the completely different mode of being. Perhaps one day the combination of medication and rest will work for you and you will be able to do more of what you want.


  3. living next to a canal I did think about what it would be like living in a boat during the storms. I’m glad you came out of it safe and well. In fact, I think in a lot of places a boat would have been the safest place to be…so much water everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Canals aren’t too bad… unless you want to get somewhere and the navigation is blocked or lock is flooded etc! Rivers sound like they’re struggling a lot more but we stick to canals generally


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