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This is a question Redundant technology

Music on vinyl records, mobile phones the size of house bricks and pornography printed on paper. What hideously out of date stuff do you still use?

Thanks to boozehound for the suggestion

(, Thu 4 Nov 2010, 12:44)
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I live on a narrowboat - a compact temple of obsolete technologies;

Propulsion - provided by a BMC diesel engine
Electricity - lead-acid batteries connected to the above.
Sewage - posh bucket with lid
Water - find a standpipe, fill tank in boat. Use sparingly.
Heat - find dead tree, chop it up and set fire to it in a stove.
Cooking - use the stove. Or (horrors) use the gas cooker.

One of two routes between London and Birmingham will be shut for maintenance for 7 weeks starting from Monday. The other shuts in the new year for a similar period of time.

This is why I'm sitting in the middle of the countryside in a company boat waiting for dawn - so I can see enough to operate the canal locks below me in order to deliver the boat to a small village in Northamptonshire for someone else to go out and play on a 200 year-old transport system.
(, Fri 5 Nov 2010, 21:28, 9 replies)

Wouldn't be Welford, would it?
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 0:27, closed)

'fraid not. We were at the top of the Napton flight. Tomorrow we'll be handing the boats over at Stowe Hill; tonight it's Braunston and the boss has just rocked up in another boat and offered a few jars in the Plough.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 17:55, closed)
i love boats
sounds like a nice job, my parents had a few canal cruisers the fist one they had was wooden with a beautiful chrome plated and polished brass bmc deisel engine in it.
i love being around boats, pissing about with wood burners,and engines.
did consider building one once.
i miss my canal adventures maybe its time i came back.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 0:51, closed)
my uncle has just retired from the PHM Prison Services....
and used his wee retirement sum to buy himself a top spec narrowboat.... TV's in the sitting area and bedroom, Home entertainment/audio system (supplied by a giant swish satellite on the roof that also provides wireless broadband) power shower etc. etc.

But he couldn't resist breaking too far from tradition so had a log fire installed in the corner!!

I live in Cheshire so for a few weeks of the year he comes up and tootles around the waterways up here, had some amazing days out with him and his posh narrowboat.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 1:26, closed)
I don't mean to seem critical
And I have no experience of your lifestyle but it sounds like a nice holiday but an utter nightmare existence beyond that. Did you have a life before this that you wanted to step back from? Do you see this as how you will live out your days. Does a nice big house with baths and heating not sound good. Surely a Porsche would be fun. What do you do for income. Seriously I'm bewildered.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 2:32, closed)

I used to have a very different life: then I got made redundant after 25 years of increasingly high pressure (albeit well rewarded) and responsible work. I did step back and re-examine what I was doing and where I was heading - conclusion was for a breakdown either mental or physical and that I didn't want the rewards that much any more.

It is a lifestyle that takes work to adjust to; you have to be fairly self-reliant and not prone to doom and gloom. When something goes wrong, in general you're going to have to fix it. Given that though, the canals are a village - populated by a good proportion of kind, generous, knowledgable and helpful people; some rather stranger or more eccentric.

I don't expect to be on the cut for the rest of my days; at some point I won't be robust enough to cope - but that's many years away at present [barring accidents and serious illness].

'Big house' - not very nice; I understand you're stuck with the same views and neighbours for months (years?) at a time.

'with baths' - wallowing in your own dirt? I have a shower on board; used occasionally when I can't get to a public sports centre or the like (they're also provided for boaters alongside the waterway on some parts of the system).

'and heating' - the problem with narrowboats is not heating (I'm in a Tshirt and jeans at the moment with the doors open), it's cooling a steel tube on a hot sunny day. My wood stove can put out over 5kw of heat - for a 6ft * 6ft * 50ft insulated box.

'Porsche' - I've never learnt to drive a car. Never felt the need to. Motorbikes though - that's one toy I do miss.

Income - Boat costs ~1500/yr to maintain and wil last indefinitely at this rate. Licences, insurance etc cost 900. Fuel costs 800. Food costs 1000, telecoms cost 250. Add in other stuff and call it 100/week all in.

If I work for minimum wage then for a full-time week I get ~200/week after IT/NI. I also get 50 tax free as working tax credit. So I need to work for about 5 months to cover my annual outgoings - but then I get the IT back, and if I then sign on (my profession is somewhat specialised, so jobs in the 'local area' will never exist) I can reduce the working period to maybe 3 months. If I undertake some consultancy at my normal rates then my work requirements reduce by an order of magnitude.

There's a marketing slogan for holidaying on the canals 'The fastest way to slow down': this is just taking that to life rather than merely a short 'break'.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 18:50, closed)
sorry i didn't see this comprehensive reply sooner
sounds like you've got it pretty covered, i still don't get it but i'm glad you do

enjoy puttering along then mate
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 9:25, closed)
Nice. I'm hoping to do the narrowboats next year
Always wanted to do them and now I've moved abroad, it's even more of an effort.

Spimf, maybe Baldybeardy is John Cunliffe... ;)

(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 6:33, closed)
I am so jealous of you at the moment. I am stuck in a dead end with no prospects forthcoming and would love to live the life on a canal boat doing just enough work to live. Not likely to happen with commitments that i have in terms of family and financial though.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 12:10, closed)

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