For Better For Worse, by Damian Horner. Or For Richer For Poorer by Siobhan Horner.
What? Is this one book or two? Well, it’s one book by a husband and wife team and it’s truly fascinating. The couple decided to give up their middle-class, comfortable life in London to travel through France in an old fishing boat they had restored.
Oh, and they had two young children
Damian had bought the boat before he met Siobhan (‘Shiv’). It had taken him ten years to lovingly restore it and during that time he acquired a wife and, in due course, son Noah and daughter India. Damian worked in advertising and was hating the rat race.
He didn’t like the person he’d become. He didn’t like the fact that he rarely saw his wife and children and, when he did, that he was too tired from his daily work to enjoy his family. He was about to turn forty – was this what his life had in store for the next twenty or more years?
A new life aboard
The couple decide to make use of that old boat that Damian has been restoring for all those years. And a trip down from England to Calais, then through the French canals down the length of the country to the Mediterranean seems to be ideal.
They have the boat already, their children are still well under school age, they feel adventurous — what can go wrong? Well, for a start they weren’t experienced sailors. They’d never used canals before and had no experience of negotiating the complex lock system of the French canals.
Plus of course, they have two young and demanding children on board who they have to keep fed, watered — and safe. What seems like a wonderfully romantic idea in the beginning is rather different to the reality of life aboard an old fishing boat built in 1960.
The book follows their adventures, and their moments of despair and panic as they make their way down through the French canals sailing, it seems, from one boating disaster to the next. What makes the book even more fun is the way that you’ll read a page or two from Damian, then a section written by Shiv – and often, they see the same situation from completely different perspectives.
The book is highly entertaining and huge fun. If you’re a potential adventurer, you’ll learn about the pitfalls of ‘the good life’. If you prefer to read about adventures from the comfort of your armchair, you’ll equally enjoy this entertaining book.