We love: friends with boats

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Sometimes there are advantages to age. By the time you have reached 40/50/60 there is a slight chance you might have saved up and acquired your dream purchase; nice house, holiday home by the sea, a boat, or better still, friends with a boat (they are hard work to maintain). 

Middleagedad and I have friends with a gorgeous, old school, timber framed little boat that they moor on the Thames and generously allow us to accompany them on their frequent trips up and down the river. We love being on the water, it is (mostly) quiet, full of interesting people who are a tiny bit bohemian and offbeat, having left the real world for something a bit calmer.

London has some brilliant water ways and canals.You see the place in a completely new way from the water, with some buildings -particularly bridges- taking on a new majestic quality that you just don't appreciate from the road. Even overcast days, such as yesterday when we were out, have a lovely feel from the boat when you are wrapped up warm and drinking mulled wine (heated in the kettle on a gas flame).

Being a proper wooden boat, it is very far from glamourous (we consider the big gin palace boat cruisers very vulgar!) and we wear as many layers as we can to keep out the biting chill, but it is worth it for the sense of escape and fun. It was particularly welcome after the madness of Christmas week and all that cooking and entertaining, is it us or is Christmas going on a long time this year? Here are some snaps of the river between Chiswick and Kew.

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