Once upon a time, a beautiful young woman dreamt of an idyllic life selling books from a boat. Sadly, as is often the case, her dream initially failed to materialise as she’d imagined …
Rather than prematurely throw in the towel though, she decided to seek alternative possibilities to manifest her vision.
Sarah Henshaw set off in May 2011, on her floating Book Barge (it’s actually really a narrowboat, not a barge, but let’s not be pedantic), to find her “... sense of self” in order to work out “... how best to engage with life” and through doing so, reframe her story.
We’d first stumbled upon her floating bookshop at Barton Turns Marina during our travels aboard Northern Pride in 2009, but hadn’t managed to enter as we arrived out of opening hours. We finally met Sarah when we were both trading at The Spring Market in Birmingham, ten days ago.
Sarah’s written and published an insightful and humorous account of her six-month journey navigating and bartering her way around 1,079 miles of the Inland Waterways of UK. I was invited to her initial book launch by the lovely Helen from Wild Side, but was disapointed not to be able to make it as we were away.
Fortuitously for us however, we were destined to meet. And it just so happened that when we did, it was at the same time as the BBC happened to be filming Sarah and her inspiring ‘never-give-up’ story, as she travelled to the event in Birmingham. We’ve previously blogged about being immensely proud to be the only other ‘hand picked’ trading boat at the event – and The Home Brew Boat gets a two-second appearance in the feature story aired yesterday morning.
Apologies to those blog readers not living in the UK. Those who do, can view the BBC ‘Real Time’ clip, described as ” … a series for the BBC News website in which ordinary people tell their own extraordinary stories. Click on this link.
It also meant I could buy a copy of her book (The Bookshop that Floated Away), to support a fellow boater, trader, storyteller and blog writer. Andy Tidy has written a superb review of the book to tickle your taste buds – it’ll take me a few weeks to make the time to devour it properly.
Andy says “For my money it is a canal travel book with a distinctive USP. If you like canals and literature all recounted in a slightly tongue in cheek self depreciating way it’s one for you.”