Slugs & Snails

The intriguing placidity from the slothful pace of a snail is truly very peaceful. Our world is in need of this calmness to pacify itself”

Munia Khan

June 2019

So, when I told my friends and family, that I was moving in with my partner on his boat, everyone seemed to be happily enthusiastic for me. I received excited clapping, tight hugs and gushing of “oh my God, you’re so lucky.”

I was moving into a bedsit on the sea, I was giving up my semi detached, 3 bedroom upstairs down stairs spacey open planned town house for a living area no larger than my garage and yard.

I was a slug, giving up life as I knew it to become a snail.

Now, I’m not shallow, or so I believe, but, if I had given them the same news and had stated I was moving into a bedsit, or even a caravan, would I have received the same enthusiastic response, or would they have looked at me in complete horror and bemusement, wondering silently if I had finally lost the plot.

Elnath, our new home, is named after the 22nd brightest star in the night sky, the 2nd brightest star in the constellation of Taurus. She is an Olympic Sea 42, roughly 12 meters long and just under 4 meters wide at her widest point. Three cabins (bedroom, if we are talking shore language). The bedroom being roughly the same size as one of my bathrooms, if not smaller.

The Salon (sitting room) is possibly just big enough to swing a cat, I don’t have a cat on the boat, so that has not been tested, yet.

Now, the really testing thing about moving onto a confined area with someone is the very real fact you are living on top of one another, literally. There is the question of “how small is too small?” but I do live by the rules of “size does not matter”, so now I had to carry that thought through.

“Small areas are very cool if you are a monk, or a prisoner, or even an Agoraphobic” we are none of the above.

I had read somewhere that living in a confined area with someone for a long period of time can lead to stress, domestic violence or god forbid, substance abuse. I’m not sure if alcohol falls under substance abuse because the skipper and I enjoy a drink or two, so looking at the statistics we might be a little bit fucked.

The days leading up to the move from slug to snail slowly approached. I had a long list of things I needed to pack. My friends impression was, I was going to live on a yacht, I would be wearing my “out- out” clothes on a daily basis, I would be drinking crisp cold wine held with my perfectly manicured hands, I would be tanned and glowing and living my best life.

My best life actually now found me with severely painful short broken nails, my hair giving any Rastafarian a run for his money where matted dread locks come in, the clothes are stained, baggy, comfortable, sweat smelling and rag worthy.

I had been given a long list of things NOT to bring. The list stated anything that needs a plug. I looked at the list, I looked at the Skipper, I tried to reason, he looked at me stone faced, I looked back at the list, and said “fuck it”.

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