At the moment Hawisia is lilting gently on the River Thames. It is sundown; the water has turned a boggy green and is reflecting back ringlets of bright silver.
Every time a small craft pilots down the water, the boat sways slightly. The sun has smeared to a pale golden yoke behind a veil of blue cloud. It is evening; Gideon is making carbonara below deck but within my line of vision – I am exhausted.
The real first day of ownership was not this one – this is actually a mid-week stage, but it is the end of the first leg of our journey and, at this point heroic-seeming effort to bring the 60 ft narrowboat, back to East London.