Sunday, 24 July 2016
This is the view from my loo near Deptmore Lock on the Staffs and Worcester Canal. Tomorrow we will stop at Great Haywood for a few days and then, after a stop in at Kings Bromley Marina to pump and diesel, we will be home for the first time since 3rd April.
You will note the ? in the title of this post. That is because I am no longer sure what home means. If it is somewhere I spend most of my time then it is now the boat. And yet, returning to Fradley still feels like going home. But in another sense it doesn't, because Fradley no longer feels permanent to me.
It has been a wonderful place to live and work for nearly 7 years but whilst out on my travels I have seen other places and other choices regarding mooring. Being in new places with new walks and new people has made me wonder whether I will be content to settle back down in familiar surroundings.
My options currently are: a) stay on the mooring at Fradley for the winter and cruise the rest of the time. b) Let go of the mooring and continuously cruise all year round. c) Cruise during the season and go into a marina for the winter. d) Find another permanent mooring.
This cruising season has taught me that I am not yet ready for option b. Option c felt good for a while but I really do feel very claustrophobic in marinas, plus there are issues over what to do with my car while I am cruising. Option d has suddenly leapt to the top of the list as I have seen a mooring on the Shropshire Union which, I think, would suit me very well. It is more peaceful than Fradley but still has a large number of boats moored there, so there would be people around. It is around £100 cheaper a year and yet has a water supply actually on the mooring and you can take your car all the way to your boat, two things Fradley doesn't offer. It would satisfy my need for change and novelty on a canal that I really love.
No decision yet though. I am planning to have a chat with the farmer who owns the mooring and a look round next month when I have my car back. I also want to spend time back at Fradley to see how that feels. Either of these options mean I still retain a base that I can call 'home' and for practical reasons are the easiest options. I rather hope that eventually I could let go of the need to have a base at all and be brave enough to be a continuous cruiser, but I'm not there yet.