HERE IS THE NEWS… I’ve become a liveaboard
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