For almost a month we lived at friends’ places ‘plant-sitting’ and a week at my nan’s for Christmas. Four weeks holidays off the boat. With the coldest day ever in Malta to start off the New Year, and houses with stone floors and no central heating, everyone was suffering the bitter cold. And everyone seemed to feel pity for us having to move back on board.
To be honest, we had our moments where we were dreading freezing to death, if not feeling completely restricted of space. When travelling – the space issues is a small price to pay for all the amazing places you see and are able to visit. When wintering and working in a place, it’s a different story. Your boat becomes like a house – just smaller and bit more complex.
Despite all odds, moving back to Happy Dancer felt like coming back home. And more, we have been warmer than ever as our floors aren’t ice plates and we can actually heat the whole boat up in a minute or so which makes it sweet and cosy. Friends who came over for dinner last night said they hadn’t been so warm in a while. It sure also helps that temperatures are back to Malta’s normal winter with a comfortable just mid teens, sometimes almost up to 20 C.
Happy Dancer is not as glamorous and spacious as some of the houses we’ve stayed in, but it’s our’s and we love it. I don’t think we could have chosen a better boat for our family. The boys couldn’t care less whether they play on a boat, in a flat, a tree house or hut. Kids are so adaptable. As long as their parents are a happy and safe anchor, they seem to joyfully tag along ‘avec n’importe quelle betise’.
As to me, some shifts must have happened over Christmas. Before, at times all the little things that constantly need fixing, upgrading or improving on a boat could feel completely overwhelming and stress me out. Since we got back, however, nothing of that bothers me anymore. On the contrary, I smile at the challenges.
Sometimes a bit of distance is all it needs to put things into perspective.