HERE IS THE NEWS… I’ve be­come a live­aboard

Canal Boat - - Live a Board -

David Johns, a TV jour­nal­ist, has given up life on the land to be­come a con­tin­u­ous cruiser – but it was never in his game plan, so how did it come to be and how’s he get­ting on?

Let me see. I’ve jour­neyed to the middle of a nu­clear re­ac­tor. I’ve met the world’s old­est sheep (Dolly, 23). And I’ve stood on the open back of an RAF Her­cules trans­port plane 5,000ft above East­bourne.

Th­ese are a mere sam­ple of the pe­cu­liar joys of be­ing a lo­cal news reporter for ITV and they, along with many more such ex­pe­ri­ences, have been the hall­marks of my life for the last nine years – but no longer. I quit my job in Oc­to­ber.

Why on earth would any­one want to give that up? A job that hun­dreds – if not thou­sands – of peo­ple would sell their grand­moth­ers for. A job of in­fi­nite daily va­ri­ety and fre­quent priv­i­lege. It would seem to be a stupid de­ci­sion, surely?

Well, per­haps. Yet not only did I do it, hand­ing in my no­tice to my sur­prised em­ployer one Thurs­day af­ter­noon, but then I com­pounded things by si­mul­ta­ne­ously sell­ing my home in Kent (2.5-bed­room 1960s end ter­race, noth­ing fancy) – and buy­ing a nar­row­boat.

Clearly it’s a mid-life cri­sis. I’m 46, long since di­vorced, no kids. The re­port­ing ca­reer wasn’t ac­tu­ally go­ing any­where; nei­ther ITN or Sky were plagu­ing me with calls to join them and the BBC was un­likely, too, as I’ve never yet en­joyed a pos­i­tive out­come from a BBC job in­ter­view.

How that all man­i­fested into not only buy­ing but liv­ing on a nar­row­boat I’m still not quite sure.

Ear­lier in the year I’d dreamed of sell­ing up and buy­ing a lit­tle house by the sea to sit and gaze wist­fully out from as the set­ting sun dipped over the hori­zon. That came to nought when I dis­cov­ered the cost of lit­tle houses by the sea. Ouch. Next, a sense of ad­ven­ture

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