Despite wanting to escape the rat race after 10 years working for an ad agency, Josie Curran couldn’t quite face moving to the sticks. Instead, the author and her boyfriend, Barney, found this houseboat, on the river Thames in Hampton Court, a happy compromise as it is only 25 minutes by train to Waterloo. Now seven months pregnant, Curran says: "It?s like being on holiday every day. We have an early-morning swim, and we eat the eggs that the ducks lay in our tomato patch - as long as our German pointer, Otter, doesn?t get to them first. And our friends use us as a weekend retreat if they can?t face the drive to Cornwall." The house is not what you might expect from a boat - it can’t be motored around, but it has a hull, and is moored off an island in a community of about 40 similar homes. "People ask if it’s damp, but it isn’t. It’s got full plumbing and is wired up just like a regular house. You can’t even feel it moving, unless you look at the horizon and see it bobbing slightly."
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