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I am not being a good friend right now. With print & book deadines, blogging, website design, attic clearing, Posetta Baddog wrangling, sister prodding, 250 emails & comments on a gd day, and all the fallout from my parent’s re-enactment of The War of the Roses (the movie not the battle), I am all over the place. (But mainly in the depths of the country, which does not aid a social life.) I have so many unanswered emails & Facebook messages, and missed invitations that I am surprised anyone still talks to me.

Last Saturday I was determined to see people who were falling through the net. I started with an early breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien in South End Green with B, a lovely friend I met in the early days of the blog, who runs her own successful fashion empirewith grace and style.

Then I had some maternity clothes I found in the attic to drop off for one of my oldest London friends, fabulous Flora, newly married, pregnant with her first child, and living ( & blogging) on a narrow boat on the Regent’s Canal in Islington. (I went through a stage of buying Topshop Maternity empire line frocks as they were the only things into which I could shovel my bosom.)

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A talented actress & musician, she has an album out at the moment, but the thing I really admire her for is living on the canal in the winter, with just a wood-burning stove and hugs to keep her warm. But the trade off for having to wee in a bucket (chemical loos fill up too quickly otherwise) and shower in a shoebox is having ducks swimming under your bedroom window, herons perching on the stern and the knowledge that you are successfully combining country & town. (They are just minutes from the vast King’s Cross railway station.)

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*The Regent’s Canal runs from the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal, just north-west of the Paddington Basin, in West London, to the Limehouse Basin and the River Thames right over in the East End. I used to bike along the towpath from Camden Lock to Miss P’s old flat in Shoreditch, one of my favourite things to do in the summer in London.

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9 comments

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I knew a friend who also lived on a narrow boat in Maida Vale… I'm always surprised how spacious they actually are and how things fold in and out etc for convenience…

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Amazing aren't they? F is moving from the red to the blue one – the blue one is about five times the size of my NY apartment! LLGxx

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Did you know that the Le Pain Quotidien building on SE Green actually used to be the bookshop where George Orwell worked? Brilliant 🙂 He also lived in the last house before reaching the heath from Parliament Hill, the lucky devil.

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A friend of mine lives on a boat up by ladbroke grove and it is fabulous. Yeah, hard in the winter and the loo situation is a pain, but just IDYLLIC in summer.

I love cycling along the towpaths, too. You cut right across the city and it's so peaceful!

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I've recently started my own blog and was just thinking how much a blog's focus can change, even over a short period. Out of interest I looked back at your very first post to see how much things have changed. Funnily enough, this is what you say, "I'm thinking about restaurants, fashion, friends, men, cycling the Grand Union Canal, and London". Nearly all covered in today's post too. Interesting how much in our lives does stay constant…

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How wonderful – I love your bog and read it daily but today I opened the page and there was the view from my lounge! We live on the Regents Canal in Crystal Wharf, the glass building, and also enjoy ducks, swans and herons daily. I salute your friend – i sit in my warm centrally heated flat and feel immense respect for everyone in the boats! Kxx

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Love walking along the canal. My favourite spot is from Paddington Basin through Little Venice to Regent's Park. Very fine.

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What a brave girl living on a narrow boat. And my husband reckons our living space is small!!! HA!

x

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….i would love the chance of sharing space on a narrow boat !!!

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