Saturday 14 May 2011

Narrowboat beds

We enjoy watching English "house" programs like Escape to the Country.  It is fascinating to see the difference in housing between what we are used to here in Australia and the stunning historic houses in England.  A few things amaze us and we see them again and again. It highlights the differences to what we are used to having grown up in Australia (or in Mick's case, New Zealand).

Firstly, we often see stair cases that are so steep, narrow, winding, and without handrails.  Even in a newly built house the rules seem to be a bit less strict than what we have.  I guess when you are used to living with those old stair cases they don't seem dangerous and having new ones similar is no big deal.

Secondly, and to the point of this post, are the bedrooms and more particularly the beds.  We often think how crazy it is when houses are built here with such enormous bedrooms.  How much space do you need in a room where you're going to sleep?!  Even in a house where the bedrooms would be considered small, they are often larger than what we see on English real estate programs or if we browse property for sale in the UK.  You would need to look hard to find an Aussie house that has a bedroom of less than 3m x 3m.  Yet we often see them on floorplans on UK property websites that are maybe 2.6 or 2.8 metres or even less.  It's those lovely old houses.... the bedrooms are often fitted around existing structures, walls etc.

Following on from the size of the bedrooms is that it seems to not be an issue in the UK if a double bed is against a wall on one side.  It is something you would rarely see in Australia, except perhaps in a child's bedroom. Also, I think most people here would choose a queen size bed rather than a double, because the bedrooms are well big enough to fit them.

We think this is the reason why a cross bed is something we'd really like to have on our narrowboat, yet there aren't a lot of them out there.  It isn't the fact of having to climb across to get into bed, it's more that I'm a fresh air freak and don't much fancy sleeping wedged between Mick and a wall.  And... I know it would be me that would have to sleep on that side!  Neither of us are tall, so the length of the bed across a narrowboat would be no issue for us and I know this is something that others have a problem with (this includes you Ray).

We are aware that it may not always be a simple thing to turn an inline bed into a cross bed (it might depend on what is beneath the bed) so maybe I'll have to get used to sleeping against the wall!

I stumbled across this website that sells bedding for 4ft beds for narrowboats.  What a great idea.

And for memory foam mattresses (which I've heard are excellent).


Peter Berry said...

Hi again Elly. The size thing about houses in the UK is all about the availability (or lack of it) of building land. We were equally impressed about the general size of property while we were in Australia. Building regulations for new houses and refurbishments do have strict guidelines for stair rails and guards. Stairways must have one continuous hand rail, and open stairs must be guarded with a guard rail that can't be fallen through. Anyway, on to boats. I know I have said in the past that I prefer an inline bed. The reason for that is simply that I absolutely hate making beds up for the night, and prefer to live without that need. But, if you don't like, or are not used to sleepimg against a wall, an inline bed is not for you - it is restricted due to the width and it being against the wall, which does retrict the movements of one of the people using it. Regards, Peter.

Elly and Mick said...

Hi Peter,
Haven't heard from you in a while! :)
I wonder if one day we'll be saying the same thing about hating making up the bed! Time will tell.

Peter Berry said...

I have been busy recently setting up another blog, which requires the verification of years of research before publishing it online. It now contains the basic bones, and enough to be interesting to anybody researching the history of art and the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. It is We are currently on a long weekend in Hampshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, and will post a blog, with photos, on two interesting locations for boaters on The Thames, Henley, and Marlow. We just saw a passing narrowboat on the Thames that was from Great Haywood, so quite a trip I think.