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Living on the Water

Febbraio 2018
A prima vista è un’idea abbastanza romantica e bohémienne: abbandonare la propria residenza sulla terra ferma e andare a vivere in una casa sull’acqua. Finito il primo entusiasmo, bisogna però fare i conti con l’umidità e con i compiti quotidiani imposti da una dimora galleggiante.

di Jenny Wilde © British Council

File audio:

clicca qui per andare alla relativa traccia audio (contrassegnata dalla scritta "speaker")


Speaker: Sarah Davison (Standard British accent)

There are at least three thousand miles of waterways in Britain. On these canals and rivers, there are over thirty thousand houseboats – boats that people use as homes. Around ten thousand of them are located in London. 

BOAT PEOPLE

The earliest populations of Britain’s ‘boat people’ have been living on the water since the canals were built in the Industrial Revolution. Since then, houseboat living has usually attracted people who prefer to live an alternative lifestyle. Houseboat communities are typically made up of people who are looking for a slower way of life and who want to be in touch with nature.

BOAT CHORES

Living on the water sounds romantic, but it is also hard work. There are many daily chores that need to be done, like bringing fuel and water on board and dealing with waste water from the kitchen sink, shower and toilet. In winter, living on a boat can be very cold and there is always a feeling of being damp. Of course, most boats are quite small inside, so you don’t have much space, especially if you are a couple, family or group of friends.

BOATRIFICATION

Despite these difficulties, the number of people living on Britain’s waterways has increased by around 50 per cent over the past ten years. More and more families and young professionals are moving onto houseboats, not only because they like the idea of life on water but also because it is much cheaper to buy or rent a boat than a flat or a house.

BOAT NEIGHBOURS

There is a great sense of community on the waterways; many boat people say that their neighbours are always ready to help them, and houseboat neighbours often become friends for life. This is quite a different story from people who live in flats or houses and may hardly know the people next door at all.


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