When things are going well, there is nowhere on earth I’d rather be than on a canal boat. The scenery is beautiful and, if the weather is good, it’s the best place to be. It has just the right balance of relaxation and keeping busy. There is no time to get bored on the canal with aqueducts and tunnels and lift bridges to deal with. Oh, and washing up. And I LOVE the locks. I realised last week that they’re not just my favourite thing on a canal boat, they are actually one of my favourite things in the world. Full stop.
But, this being my family, things don’t always go well.
If the first night of our canal boat holiday was anything to go by, I would have got off that boat there and then and never gone back.
The boat has a permanent double bed and another double bed, made from the dining table. Of course, why wouldn’t it be? And the fifth bed? Well, it doesn’t really exist. It’s the settee. Which is just the settee and doesn’t convert into anything. And is very narrow and rather uncomfortable.
Plan A was boys in dining table bed, daughter in double bed, with mummy and daddy rotating between the double bed and the settee because of the discomfort of the settee. And then it all went wrong on night 1.
The beds weren’t ready, apart from, strangely, the dining table bed. The younger two were dead on their feet and it was late, so we put the two of them in the dining table bed, planning to move my daughter later.
Problems with the fridge not working – because the engine hadn’t been on – and a lack of curtains in the bedroom meant mummy and daddy had a very late night. The engine had to be on two hours go get the fridge going and it was VERY noisy. So was the drilling and the hammering to get the blinds up.
Eventually my eldest went to sleep in the double bed. At 1.30am, I decided to lie down and rest my eyes on the settee (Daddy’s bed) while he finished drilling and hammering. I drifted off into a light sleep. I was awoken by little footsteps and number 2 son stood there in his shorts and Tshirt (he’d gone to bed in his clothes) to tell me he was cold. I got up to get him a jumper, turned round and he was tucked up on the settee and dead to the world. So I went and lay down in his bed with my daughter.
At 2am, my husband moved my younger son off the settee and in with his brother. In the bed that should have been his sister’s. Are you following this? And my husband went to sleep on the settee. And we all slept. Until my daughter wanted me to get up.