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Nottinghamshire couple ‘living the dream’ on narrowboat vow to never to return to land

todayJune 18, 2022 1

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A couple ‘living the dream’ after making a narrowboat their new home have vowed to never return to living on land. Life coach and vlogger Maxine Brown, 56, and husband Steven Brown, 59, from Retford, spend their time coasting through the “beautiful” English countryside on their boat ‘Never Two Late’ – and say they’ll never go back.

Steven, a former supervisor at the Cottam Power Station coal plant, handles the steering while Maxine films the pair’s adventures for their YouTube channel, Never Two Late – Our Journey, and works as a life coach from her on-board ‘office’, as reported by Lincolnshire Live. Maxine’s day is taken up by working on their YouTube channel, speaking to clients, baking cakes and bread and watching the world go by.

“We’re living our dream,” she told Lincolnshire Live over the phone from the Grand Union Canal, en-route to the Foxton Locke in Leicestershire. “We’ve slowed our pace down completely.

Read more: 5 of the best waterside walks in and around Nottingham

“The maximum we can go is 4mph, but we very rarely do that.” The couple made the permanent move on March 4 this year, and in the three months since have travelled roughly 180 miles.

“If we find a spot, we’ll stay in it for a few days and enjoy it,” the 56-year-old added. “Then we’ll move on to the next.”

So far, the couple has travelled around the Trent and Mersey, around some of the Oxford canals and down to Coventry, where Maxine used to work. “It’s a completely different point of view, seeing it from the boat,” she said.

“If you’re driving through, you just don’t get to properly see the countryside and the villages. But once you’ve moored up, you can go for a nice leisurely walk and you’ll see so much more – and you’ll appreciate the countryside much, much more.”

Maxine said she grew up around boats, while Steven had been on “many” narrowboat holidays over the years. “We’d already discussed doing something when the time was right, like going abroad, but we weren’t sure what,” she said.

“We went on a narrowboat holiday about five years ago, and that’s when we realised we could really do this. Steve retired over a year ago and I work part-time so we thought: ‘Right, it’s just us two and the dog, we can go and do this.'”

Living on the narrowboat is a “full-time lifestyle,” and Maxine said anyone considering it would have to be “very, very prepared”. The couple has to make sure they keep on top of water supplies, only filling up every few days, and they power the boat by solar.

“You have to be mindful of what you’re putting on charge and when you put things on charge,” she said. “When you’re moored up, you put everything on charge so you’re not taking power from the batteries and you can last a few more days.

“For food, we’ll do a big shop every six to eight weeks, and we have a freezer on board. We’ll go to farm shops to pick some nice bits and pieces up, and I’ll bake bread.

“And when we come across a nice pub, we’ll stop and have food – which is great. It’s a good way of finding different places.”

When asked about the biggest change in her life, Maxine said it was not being able to see her mum and stepfather in Retford as often. “We are still very close, but they lived right around the corner,” she said.

“But everything else is just falling into place. We had a good idea what it was going to be like, and there were some learning curves and things to adapt to, like power use and not wasting water.”

She added that a great perk of the lifestyle was the minimalist approach to living that came with it. “We had to downsize from a two-bedroom house into a one-bedroom, 59-foot space,” she said.

“We had to get rid of all of our furniture, but it’s amazing how little you actually need to live. I think, living in a house, we had far too much that we didn’t need.

“The boat has WiFi and a washing machine and everything we really need, but we don’t have as many possessions – and we don’t need them, because we’ve lived for three months without them.” Maxine previously told Lincolnshire Live about the self-help book she had written to help grieving people find a way to ‘start living again,’ and she has now tried her hand at writing children’s books inspired by her ‘boat dog,’ Mexi.

The first in the Adventures of Mexi the Boat Dog line, entitled Mexi and the Moorhen, will focus on Mexi learning to get along with other animals – which Maxine said was inspired by her dog’s dislike for the bird. “My father and grandfather used to stories for us when we were younger,” she said.

“We’ve got Mexi and she’s always causing mischief, so I thought it would be lovely to tell some stories about her living on the boat and incorporate some lessons for children within. Each one that comes out will have something to help children learn about different things and different life skills.”

Written by: thehitnetwork

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