It always seems a bit odd to complain about cold weather when you are Canadian living in England. Here, the coldest it gets is maybe a few degrees below zero - whereas it can get pretty cold back home in Nova Scotia - but the English are right when they say "it's a different kind of cold". I always tell people that I was never cold until I moved to England.
But... the end is in sight!
It wasn't really a cold winter, compared with our first two winters on the boat. We were iced in for a week or so in Stoke Bruerne and about 10 days a bit further up the canal - but that was it. We got a bit of snow, but not too much and it didn't stay around too long.
Another thing that has changed is that, though we collected a lot of wood this year, we certainly treated ourselves to more coal then we did in our first two winters. This was partly out of necessity, as we had a lot of work on with Drew's puppet shows and a successful Arts Council grant, and so spending hours each day collected wood - there just wasn't time.
When you live on a boat like ours, you get a real idea of just how important labour saving devices were in the development of the idea of "leisure time!" Though, of course, drifting down the canal is "leisure" - the amount of time that those with central heating save not having to collect wood, build a fire, tend it, and build it again in the next day is, I promise, more than you think! You also take a different attitude towards a good fire when it's your only source of heating - not simply something pretty and cosy in the corner.
It's been a good winter - but spring is now definately showing it's face. We've seen our first daffodils, the farmer's fields that we cruise by have tiny lambs, and it certainly is warmer. Hard to believe we're now into our third year as liveaboards. That said, we're still learning plenty and by no means do I consider myself a "pro" - a failed attempt at changing my engine's fuel filter was a good reminder to me that I'm still pretty green behind the ears. Live and learn - and keep floating!