Part 8

I was in the gym getting ready for a full on cardio session to relieve the stress of spider combat and teenage challenges that the day job presented when Simon called, ‘Ring Lynn about the boat please, I’m stuck in a meeting is that ok?’

I was worried instantly, since when did Simon involve me in technical negotiations around the boat? Misterton must have sunk or something equally as drastic. I thought I’d better call before the workout as there would be added stress to work off post telephone call. Tentatively I dialed the number and Lynn answered, ‘are you sitting down?’ she asked in a voice strangely lacking in passion. The tone reminded me of the one doctors use when they have something really bad to tell you, not that you can’t consume alcohol with these tablets but the tone that means they were going to tell you that there is a treatment but no cure. I decided to sit down.

‘Has she sunk?’ I asked nervously

‘No’, said Lynn, ‘Why?’

‘I just thought you had something bad to tell me as you asked me to sit down’

‘Not at all, something very exciting’

‘Exciting?’ I asked cautiously.

‘Yes, Simon said to ask you what you thought’

‘About what?’

‘A TV company are interested in talking to you about doing a programme on Misterton and what you’re doing, Simon wondered if you’d be interested, he said to ask you’

TV company programme on us and Misterton, yes please how fantastic! They would document the journey we were undergoing to a professional standard and we would be on TV, they would let us show off our favourite project and we’d be on TV, they would have to be interested in all we said and we’d be on TV. I would love it, a great excuse to buy special boat working clothes for my TV appearance, who would not love being on TV? Then it struck me.

‘Does Simon know’ I asked.

When watching an episode of Grand Designs I had suggested we could apply to put Misterton on this type of programme as I’d love to be on TV and our story was interesting, to me anyway. Simon looked horrified and declared it was not something he had any desire to ever take part in, he purely enjoyed watching.

‘He seemed to think you would like it’, she replied.

‘He doesn’t mind’ I said.

‘No, he said something about making you very happy which would make him happy and to let you talk to the researcher’

‘Fantastic, give them my number’ I almost screamed down the phone, ‘see you at the weekend’.

I sprinted up the stairs to the gym floor all my stress magically disappearing, I was going to be on TV and I had a grin from ear to ear.

Twenty four hours passed without a call from any TV researcher, so I began to think I had imagined the phone call. I asked Simon why he had changed his mind despite the lack of a phone call and he calmly explained it was because we had not gone looking. The TV Company had called us and he knew I would love it and was prepared to take part to make me happy. I knew I was marrying him for all the right reasons.

Finally two days later the researcher rang and we had a long conversation about what we were doing, why we were doing it, and how long we thought it would take. The lady sent me a form to fill in, and because I was uber keen, I turned it around within twelve hours, including getting Simon to check it. It was quite a simple questionnaire and I answered it with as much honesty as possible, excitedly imagining my TV debut.

 What is your dream?

To have a fantastic boat that we can move around in and change our place of residence whilst taking our home with us. To take the boat to Europe and tour around the canals and rivers. To have a quality of life that allows us to enjoy living.

What has inspired you to build a new life? Why now?

Why now is because Simon asked me to marry him, he already spends most of his time on a boat and wants to stay living that way. His boat is too small for both of us and we need one with space for all my stuff that we will both create together. We wanted to have a home that we’d both create together and this is perfect.




Where will you live during the project? If not at the property, how often will you visit?

In the first phase till bedroom and bathroom ready at my flat. We get married on the 9th August and then on honeymoon to NZ (where Simon is from) after that we aim to go up most weekends till the boat is brought down and mooring found. Then we will be on her full time. Whatever happens we want to have our first Christmas as Husband and Wife on Misterton*.




 What is your deadline? What happens if you miss this?

Deadline is Spring 2009 to move full time, if we miss it we’ll carry on until it’s achieved. We would rather get things done right and the way we want than rush, as this will be our home for life and we want to get it right first time.



The lady rang me back and said the company was keen from the questionnaire and arranged to come and make a taster tape for the producers to make their choice from. She said our story sounded really interesting and she was very excited. She was overjoyed when I explained where I lived, it was just around the corner from her and so would be a really easy to travel to.

Simon was quite nervous and said he would leave me to do most of the talking but it would be fun. We brought some lights down from Misterton to have in the flat to give a nautical feel to the place. Every little bit helps.

She turned up and proceeded to ask a number of questions about our dream.

‘Why have you decided to move to a boat’ she said.

‘Well......’ I started.

‘I already live on a boat’ Simon suddenly seemed to have lost his nervousness about being on TV, ‘as we’re getting married the narrow boat will be too small and we want somewhere where we can both enjoy life and go on trips with our home.’

I decided it was quite a good thing that Simon had found his TV voice and allowed him to answer away chipping in here and there to ensure I did not look like a ‘yes’ wife as this would be a false image. The research lady seemed happy and Simon was really enjoying himself. Simon has always said I am the one who likes to talk to people, but the reality is that he likes to talk as much as I do, He has a special skill of being interested in everything. My shortcoming is that it is always possible to tell when I’m bored as a glazed look appears over my eyes and I just nod and make appropriate noises to appear interested, Simon really is interested. However today we were both interested and smiling a lot for the camera.

Then came the question of the moorings, where were we going to moor her finally. That is still the million dollar question. We patiently explained that we were hoping to change moorings with regularity and saw our dream home as one that was mobile. We wanted the peaceful lifestyle that the country provided in a variety of different locations and as moorings were hard to come by we would see where was available when the time came and make our lives work around this.

The lady explained this could be problematic for the programme as they liked to show the participants moving from busy cities to quiet country lives. Simon explained that we wanted the lifestyle but the location would not be the only factor in creating this, being on the boat would be the main contributor. She looked reasonably pleased with the answer and felt confident she had enough footage to work on.

She was confident the producers would bite and arranged a date to come and see the boat before we did too much work. This date was a month away and very near the wedding date, but I figured by that time the wedding would be under control so what would a weekend spent filming matter? –after all we would be on TV.

The lady took our tape and told us to expect to hear back from her in a week or two, and when she left we grinned idiotically at each other; we were going to be on TV.



*Not quite as it happens...