When I am old, well not old; that age where your children have flown the nest but you’re not yet an old lady. That age, whatever it is, I have plans for it. I’m going to get a houseboat.
I always dreamed of retiring and living on a houseboat, but my husband was not only HUGE he was also a bit of a kleptomaniac. Enormous hoarders who feel cooped up easily and tiny houseboats don’t really mix. So I’d shelved that idea, after all I planned to grow old with this guy. I figured when we were older we’d live in a ‘nice’ suburban semi somewhere where he’d tinker with many cars, it didn’t float my boat but I liked the idea of him at peace happily under a bonnet without all the worries and stresses he seemed to carry.
I gave up a lot of dreams for my husband, this was probably the least of them. Some of them I either can’t get back because I’m just not nineteen anymore or I just don’t want to get back that badly because I’ve changed. But my houseboat; I like that one. I’m going to work on it and enjoy it. One day you might find yourself meandering along a canal and you’ll see a delightful little boat called “Sally Hope” you’ll wonder “Is that the woman whose blog I used to read?”- do pop in for a brew, the kettle will always be on and the door will always be open
The kettle will always be on, there’ll always be tea in the pot. When my time is more leisurely I will brew pots of tea and sit on the deck of my boat watching the world go by sipping from kitsch china teacups. (yep you read that right, I will have china on a boat!) I’ll read more, I always intend to now but never seem to find the time. I’ll write too. In the evenings I’ll curl up in a corner of my boat, comfortable among my many brightly coloured squishy cushions, watching old eighties and nineties action movies, passers by will be bemused by cries of “Yippee Ki Ay Motherfucker!” coming from the pretty yellow houseboat with delicate sweet scented flowers adorning it’s roof.
There may or may not be a Mr Sally Hope sharing this houseboat with me, but whether there is or not it will not be the home of a lonely old lady. It will be filled everyday with friends popping in to say ‘hi’ to check out what latest crazy incongruent thing I’ve done to decorate or just because….. Some of the other canal residents won’t like my boat, because it looks silly, or because it’s loud, there’ll be regular howls of laughter to be heard from it and I hope grandchildren, great nieces and nephews and local neighbourhood rapscallion kids getting into all kinds of mischief, never egged on by me of course.
Occasionally people will come to visit and I’ll not be there, the boat won’t be there, we’ll have sailed off, china teacups rattling around, pretty flowers falling overboard because I’ve forgotten to bring them in. And the neighbours will enjoy the peace and quiet until I return from whatever crazy adventure I’ve taken myself off on.