I’m a dreamer! I have been for decades and I suspect I am not alone. Living as I do in Southampton, I have salt water in my veins but I continually subscribe to Canal Boat as it helps with my dream of one day possibly owning a boat and living on the canals.
But the likelihood of that happening is rather remote, as my beloved isn`t at all enamoured of living on the water, in fact she doesn’t like boating full stop. So there is my dilemma!
Back in the 1990s, I worked in a Hampshire children’s home for youngsters with disabilities, and they were entitled to an annual holiday. Prior to my arrival, the norm was hiring a seaside cottage, but one of the lads I cared for had cerebral palsy, and was confined to a wheelchair. I reckoned a seaside holiday on the beach wasn’t much cop for him, so, in consultation with the other lads, we decided on a canalboat holiday and the Spirit of Stockley, a 70ft boat built especially to accommodate the disabled, was chartered for the week.
The lads thought this was a brilliant adventure, and we set off from the London suburbs, along the Grand Union and down the Aylesbury Arm (pictured), stopping off as you do, on the way, and on the way back. The children, with learning and physical disabilities, were happy all the way and had a ball.
Those memories have been in my head ever since and now retired, I would love to own a boat and explore the inland waterways of this fascinating country, but I will have to make do with the
monthly edition of Canal Boat, as that is my substitute dreamland of life on the waterways! Richard A Jacob Southampton