I was not expecting to be writing a blog tonight but I feel so inspired by these guys that I felt it would be a great way to finish 2021 and hopeful inspire many of you in 2022. I came a cross these fellas by accident, after watching a Vlog on You Tube by some other people who live on a canal boat walking the Montgomery Canal.
Waterways of any kind have fascinate me for a long time and I have holidayed on both the Norfolk Broads and much of the Canal network in the late 1970s when they were controlled by British Waterways. I have always thought how lovely it would be to live on a boat that could move up and down the Canals as there is so much to see. These guys have done just that. They sold everything, had a boat built and moved onto it with the hopes of improving their mental health.
As usual I never start these things at the beginning and watched a number of episodes in random order. The guy narrating was amusing as well as informative, with a voice that doesn't get on your nerves and I got hooked! The filming and photography is great and it is their pictures I am using for this blog. Then all of a sudden I found myself watching a very different episode .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb_uLDQ93lk
Colin is so open in the episode about his ASD which until I watched it I would not have guessed he had it. I have watched just about all 182 episodes and they have had me 'laughing out loud' and crying my eyes out. During one episode everything had been going along as normal and the screen went black as the guys signed off. Next thing Shaun came on camera and was very concerned because Colin had wandered off, without shoes on, in a tee shirt and shorts and he had no idea where he had gone. He went on to explain that Colin had had a melt down and that all he could do was wait till he came back. This episode really touched me. The real understanding and worry shown by Shaun for Colin and his ASD was and is pretty special.
As with a lot of Vlogs the first few are are a bit odd but stick with them they are funny, filled with History, some cookery, The photography and drone filming is beautiful and improves with every episode. Colin works hard on the Vlogs to ensure they are interesting (do watch the outtakes) he also talks about his issues and struggles with ASD and his Mental Health is open and honest way.
In another episode I discovered the group called Waterways Experience https://wexp.org.uk/ This group specialise in making canal boating accessible for all including wheel chair users. This charity is based in Hemel Hempstead and even have special trips and holidays for Young Carers. https://wexp.org.uk/residential-trips/enable-holidays/enable-volunteering/ I am not sure if these trips are free or if there is a cost.
Here in Powys we are lucky to have some Canals in use. Welshpool has a Charitable group called the Heulwen Trust https://www.heulwentrust.co.uk/?page_id=46 that has 2 boats and give free trips for those who are less able and has an hydraulic lift for wheel chair users.
Brecon also has a company that does canal trips and has a boat with disabled facilities https://www.dragonfly-cruises.co.uk/brecon-canal-public-boat-trips.php These guys are a commercial business and it doesn't look like they do any free trips for disabled.
If you haven't tried a Canal trip then you should. It is so relaxing, you travel at under 4 miles an hour, any more you upset the wild life or damage banks. You are out in the country side and get to see a lot wild life like Swans, Geese and Ducks. There is a chance you could see Otters, Mink and the very quick Kingfishers. If you are taking more than a day trip you get to travel through areas of countryside you wouldn't normally see. There is a possibility that you will get to work a Lock and maybe a Swing Bridge.
Check out these guys Vlog I think you will enjoy it. Oh! did I tell you they have a Dog. All there is left for me to do now is wish you Happy New Year 2022.