OUR FRIEND MIRELA NEEDS YOUR HELP – PLEASE READ

Like many I love to collect fond memories and dreams. One of my greatest dreams has taken physical form, and houses many of the others. Now I have to fight to save them all. The story begins four years ago, when I broke up with my partner of ten years, and had to start my life all over again. The first priority then was to find myself a place to live.

My vision of a future began to slowly grow again on an unfulfilled plot. I did not have enough deposit to buy even the smallest studio flat, of course I could rent but I really wanted to have my own space to call mine and feel safe again. Because the range of possibilities open to me were limited, I began to think of alternative solutions to build a new roof over my head.

With a handful of money and a big imagination I began to browse the property market. After weeks of looking at all the pros and cons, I decided to buy a houseboat. Yes, it was an unusual proposition that others might not even consider, but I loved the idea of being able to live closer to nature. Embarking on a new adventure, I found and bought Hegaro, formerly a Humber coal barge with a wonderful past, soul and character. After working on the river for over 50 years, she settled on the Thames at Greenwich to take on a new role, this time serving as a children's library for over twenty years. For the next twenty years after that, she was in the hands of enthusiasts who changed her appearance and converted the barge into a home. They raised their son there, set up a beautiful garden and after fulfilling that mission, they decided to move on to start another life project entrusting Hegaro to me.

So I am living my dream now, and life is beautiful. Living on the water involves daily care and and ongoing renovation of my home which is a labour of love. But years of salt water and weather conditions over time have left the boat with wounds to heal. One day not long ago from under the floor I noticed water leaking in through the hull. Now we are slowly sinking.

I don’t want to give up my life with Hegaro, this is why I have decided to reach out in every direction I can think of and ask for help. Hopefully very soon she will go to dry dock for repairs to the hull, however the cost involved is a great deal, which is more than I can bear alone. That is why I am looking for good people to help keep my fondest dream alive.

With sincere thanks,

Mirela.