Dec 13 2012 By Natasha Gorbert-Hopkins
LIFE on a boat can sometimes feel like living in a TV show from the 1950s, but a bit grubbier and with higher incidents of sitting in pubs.
For a start, everyone is friendly. This is a shock for anyone who moves into a boat from the mean streets of London.
Most of my land-lubbing friends say they don't even know their next door neighbours mine regularly ask how I am, look after our cat when we go on holiday, and recently were kind enough to get me a job!
Waterways etiquette dictates that, if someone on a boat looks at you when you are also ona boat, you must either: a) nod, b) say hello, or c) ask if they're going to the pub later. Failure to do so results in expulsion from your narrowboat. (Not really, but you might get given a dirty look,which is almost as bad).
The 1950s theme continues with lace-curtain twitching and fist shaking. My parents,on hearing a boat driving past outside, will get up, pull the curtain aside and go: "Oh look, its a boat!", as if they were expecting a space ship or Barack Obama.
If the boat is going past too quickly (say, five miles an hour, the speedfreaks) and causes our narrowboat to rock violently, then myparents will mutter under their breath and shake their fist like a cartoon villain.
They used to go outside and shout: "Oi! Slow down! But years of boat life have jaded them, and now they simply tut loudly."