This is us – a regular nuclear family. A mummy (Kelly), a daddy (Tim) and a baby (Albert).
We also have a dog. This is Montgomery:
Like most families with a new-ish baby, we don’t get enough sleep, we’ve forgotten what it’s like to not hear the washing machine swooshing away in the background, and we eat far too much cheese and cake. We argue over 99% of what to watch on TV, but agree Masterchef is mandatory viewing. We like picnics, afternoon naps, BBQs, walks in beautiful places, and visiting the lighting department in John Lewis.
Tim is a supremely talented stained glass craftsman, boater of almost 30 years standing, and once upon a time was pretty good on a slackline. These days the poor old chap’s a bit creaky, so he tends to keep both boots on the floor. He is, however, a king amongst men when it comes to making fish pie, and always having the right tool for any DIY job.
At seven months old, Albert is an old soul in a small, roly-poly body. He was born in London on a bright September morning in a birth that was joyful, hectic, and miraculously easy on me… and as a baby he’s proven to be every bit as joyful, hectic and easy as his birth promised. Albert loves noisy toys, acappella singing – though not music with instrumental accompaniment – and flirting with strangers. He likes to steal socks from other babies, and pull Tim’s beard.
Montgomery ‘Monty Dog’ is a lurcher of greyhound/bearded collie extraction. A Brummie by birth, his special skills are stealing entire blocks of butter with no resultant ill effect, howling on command, and falling in love with dogs far too small for there to be any physical possibility of canine consummation.
We’re a family like any other you would find on your street, or in your block of flats – except… you wouldn’t ever find us living on a pretty, quiet street of Georgian houses, with peeling sash windows and khaki wheelie bins, or fighting you for the lift up to our flat on the 12th floor.
Where we differ from your average picnicking, endless-laundry-ing, sleep deprived new family is here:
This is home – Maurice and Marie – a pair of 63 foot narrowboats comprising our house and Tim’s glass studio. With no fixed mooring, home is where we tie our ropes, as we travel around London and the south of England, with no long-term plans for our family, beyond ‘don’t fall in!’.