Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Saturday, 14 September 2013

The Tao of Wishes

Brigitta Huegel

One of the books my dearest English friend, Stephen Russell, The Barefoot Doctor, has written is called: 'Manifesto. How to get what you want without trying.
Had I but thought about it a bit longer! 
But no - carelessly I told Husband that I would appreciate to live on a houseboat. Very much. (I had seen some nice exemplars like that above on the Spree). 
"You?", asked Husband. "On a boat? Living on a damp, narrow, moving boat?
I felt piqued. Said: "Pshaw - I have many undiscovered facets you don't know!"  
The Tao listened. And laughed. 
And so a few days ago I got a surprising offer. 
A friend - and friends of him - will make a trip on a narrowboat from Bradford-on-Avon to Bath, direction Bristol, and back again. 
From the "(2 x) Three Men in a Boat" two had resigned - so Husband and I were asked. He, deep in writing an essay on "Luxury", has no time - but I..? 
For a second I hesitated. Then, without batting an eyelid I stared into Husband's eyes (did I imagine that I saw deep laughter in them?) "Of course I go", I said. "Such a big chance!
Which it is. I hope that the weather will be fine. 
But not being THAT starry-eyed anymore, I bought a dream-shiny-fuchsia Max Mara-down-vest - beautiful,slim and snuggly warm under my Burberry-Jacket. Then I rummaged through my winter wardrobe and pulled out the long black woolen-silk wool-pants with frills around the ankle. 
Yes! I know chapter 3 of Tove Jansson's 'Comet in Moominland' by heart, headline:  'Which is how to manage crocodiles' .  
So: come what may: Be prepared! 

P.S. For those who don't  know Tove's book (which is a fault!): Moomin's mother unnerves the young adventurers before their trip to take wool-pants with them (that's how mothers are) - and later, when they have to fight off crocodiles in a water tunnel they throw the heavy wool-pants into the wide open claws of the crocodiles. Saved! 

22 comments:

  1. We had a few wonderful days on a houseboat on our trip to Louisiana's Atchafalaya swamp a couple years back (the alligators weren't in evidence at the time . . .). I suspect your trip will be a little less primitive, but definitely an adventure. have fun!

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  2. Dear Sue,
    to imagine that the alligators lurk somewhere would have made me more nervous than I am now. When I read 'Louisiana' I imagine a certain type of boat - must have been fun! And thank you for your wishes - of course blogland will hear of me (provided we have electricity, or, come to think of it ... W-Lan...) Well - afterwards, I think.

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  3. Those cheeky little Moomins have the best adventures! Bon voyage!

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  4. Thank you, Paul! I will try to catch up.

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  5. WOW! You are so lucky!! Enjoy the boat adventure to the fullest!! Bon Voyage! I wonder if you are going to bring some wool pants with you...

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  6. Dear Sapphire, thank you! English crocodiles might be bedazzled by the frillies around the ankles :-)

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  7. Britta, this was a dolly post. Woman, you are one of kind!

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    1. Or, you know, one of *a* kind.

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    2. Thank you, Suze, I will try to be in form!

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  8. When the gods want to punish us, the answer our prayers - or so I've read! I hope that the boat trip is wonderful in every way, and exorcises the ghosts of that old saying.

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    1. Hahaha, Pondside, I know that saying too - also: "May you live in interesting times!", a Chinese saying... Interesting it will definitely be...

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  9. Sorry ... I'm one of those who don't know this book!!!
    I'd like to do the same, my friend from Rome this summer went with his family on vacation in France just turning french canals with on a boat, he said it was beautiful. You rent the boat, in 10 minutes they explain you how you have to use and go ...
    I need to stay with nature, only nature. I have to go on a pick of a mountain and did not see any more.
    Bisou, Babi

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    1. Dear Babi,
      it is a children's book, but very well for grown-ups too!
      It is very comforting to hear that your friends had good days on the boat. The one of us who steers the boat has done it before, so I don't worry. Only about the cold - but I bring warm clothes. And as you I love to be in nature too.
      I will make photos, and show you!
      Bisou, Britta

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  10. Well, this trip may be a painless way to satisfy your desire for life on a houseboat. I hope so! I think that everyone at least once in a lifetime gets that itch to live on something that moves--a camper, a boat. It's probably best to try it out in small increments at first rather than diving in head first. It's not easy at this time of year in Florida to imagine wearing wool pants even though we have plenty of alligators. Thanks for the book recommendation. I will look for it.

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  11. Dear Walk2write,
    mmmhh - did you mean 'satisfy for life' as in 'forever' - or 'satisfy my desire' ? I'll find out soon. I have done a lot of camping in tents with my parents, but never in a camper (husband, being 1.98m, flatly refuses). I hope you enjoy the book - 'Moomim Father's Memoirs' is also lovely (there are others that are not so good, and I could never like the comic versions)

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  12. I hope you have a wonderful adventure! One of my friends used to live full-time on a houseboat. She loved it... and we loved visiting her for an occasional weekend. The gentle rocking of the boat made for excellent sleeping. Have fun!

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  13. Dear Susan,
    thank you! I didn't think of the rocking -- mmh -- well, I never got sea-sick, so I won't start now (I hope). I admired the houseboats in Amsterdam, but I have never been on one. As you say: I see it as a new experience - a sort of adventure, that unexpected fell into my lap.

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  14. Britta...Ahhhh... Be careful what you wish for! It seems you have wished yourself an adventure at sea... And it sounds amazing! Enjoy, enjoy... A houseboat sounds charming! And remember the old saying "red sky at night, sailors delight; red sky at morning, sailor take warning!" Be safe....Susan

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    1. Dear Susan,
      luckily it will be an adventure on rivers and canals - for the sea I would not be courageous enough. I will look at the colours of the sky (no computer etc in sight... but a nice bunch of people, one with a guitar)

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    2. Britta... I would be too nervous for the open sea as well! The river sounds wonderful.. Much scenic beauty to behold. Since I know little of England's reptile population, I will just say, "keep the binoculars handy for sightings at a Safe distance!" Of course we expect to see a photo documentary of your trip! Safe travels to you all... Keep the guitar dry!

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  15. Sounds wonderful Britta. Definitely not to be missed! x

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    1. Dear Penny, I look forward with anticipation :-)

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