IKEA everyday rituals

Brew the moment

Life on a narrowboat: where space may be low, but nature abounds! Couple Gabby and Jack share a glimpse of their life on the go, and the morning ritual that keeps them grounded wherever they are.

It was just over two years ago that Jack, Gabby and their Miniature Schnauzer, Tilly, traded life on terra firma for an aquatic adventure; swapping their apartment for a narrowboat by the name of Flora. At just over 17m long and 2m not-so wide, their vessel has offered a charming and mobile, if rather compact, way of living – allowing the couple to travel all around the UK by canal from the comfort of home.

Living on a narrowboat was never the plan, though Gabby describes it as "the loveliest chance encounter." In 2019 the couple, then based in Devon, were at a crossroads in life and looking to move elsewhere. Gabby wanted to be closer to London, while Jack had long been dreaming of buying and fixing up a camper van.

Instead, they stumbled upon Flora on a second-hand site and snapped her up. In the end, Gabby was able to be closer to London (or wherever else she pleases!), and Jack got the chance to live out his nomadic dream... just not in the way they first imagined.

Though currently docked for the winter in Lower Heyford, close to Oxford, this crew of three are rarely in one spot for long in the warmer months, mooring in a new location every few weeks.

What makes this all possible long-term is that their little home is also their home office – Jack and Gabby's jobs in radio and TV allow them both to work mostly remotely. "As long as there's internet, we can go pretty much wherever!"

"It's kind of a moment to myself." – Gabby

Stepping away from the usual routines of city living, they've enjoyed the freedom of being able to create their own daily rituals that complement their relaxed pace of life. For Gabby, it all starts with a leisurely cup of coffee each the morning, usually before Jack and Tilly are up and about. "It's kind of a moment to myself," she explains; moments that are few and far between when living together in such close proximity. "It puts you in the right mind frame, so you can come together peacefully, and not be annoyed by each other in such a small space!"

Boat life by its nature forces a slower way of life, so nothing about this first cup of coffee is done in a hurry. While Gabby waits patiently for the water to boil, she carefully weighs out her PÅTÅR press coffee. Then, the coffee needs to brew for at least a few minutes before she can take her first sip. If weather permits, she heads outside and takes in the sights and sounds that make this ritual even more special. A beautiful day already, and it's only just begun!

A morning with Jack, Gabby & Tilly