london, Uncategorized

PPFF #163: narrow boat

Good morning,

A: “I’m thinking about buying a live-aboard narrow boat.”

B: “Really? It looks really small and crammed.”

A: “It’s not that small. Probably not much smaller than the average one-bed flat in London.”

B:”No way.”

Recently, I’ve had this conversation with a few of  my mates – most recently, this Wednesday. The recurring incredulity in everyone’s response to my size comparison as a justification for purchase, got to me in the end and I decided to look for some solid numbers to back up my claim – and to be helpful just in case you’re also considering this option as your main home.

According to this article, the size of average one-bedroom flat in typical new build development is 500 sq ft – the article also features a website that sells ‘pocket-sized’ mini-flats whose size averages 400 sq ft (I’m in no way affiliated with this enterprise but they look pretty good. And if they offered money, I would not reject it, just to be clear).

I couldn’t find a similar article for studio flats, but I did some ‘original’ research by browsing through various studio flats’ floor plans on Zoopla, the average of which was circa 300 sq ft.

A decent live-aboard narrow barge would be 60 ft long and 6ft wide, making the average floor area a cool 360 sq ft (or take off 15% for the engine room etc., you still end up with 306 sq ft.).

In conclusion, I was right; in terms of floor area, the following is true:

  • London Studio < Narrow boat < Average UK 1-bed flat


Have a good Friday, preferably on a boat.









PPFF #118

Hello all,

Last week I was accused of ‘click-baiting’, a (self-explanatory) term used to describe the evil practice of fishing and reeling in naïve unsuspecting clickers, luring them and then blitzing them with hellish fire-balls of consumerism that is advertising.

I declare today that I have committed no such crime and I stand defiant with my head held high, before you my friends and people who aren’t my friends. There is no advertisement on the blog page. If there ever was, I’m not being paid for it and I suggest you use an ad blocker such as Adblock. Again not-for-profit. (Assume that all this is said in jest).

This morning, I have a snappy fact about the first ever upmarket restaurant in Europe, which was rather ironically named “Grande Taverne de Londres”; no I’m not pretending to speak French but The Grand Tavern of London was opened by a former royal chef in Paris and that was indeed its name. Not that the chef loved English food (he didn’t as the menu showed), but I’ve read that it was named as such because it was once very fashionable for Parisians to be (seen) drinking and eating in English-style taverns between 1780 and 1830 (would you believe). This was because back in the days taverns in good ol’ Blighty were aimed at the merchant and upper classes(!) and the quality of their food actually impressed even the snotty frog eaters who then replicated the concept of quality-food-serving taverns in their beloved Île-de-France. There you have it. If anyone dismisses the idea of English contribution to the world of gustation, you know what to say.

Having said that, the word ‘restaurant’, comes from the ‘restorative soup’, invented by a Frenchman called Boulanger around 1760.  It literally means ‘restorative’ in French. He sold this stuff at his shop. The word evolved to mean a shop where such items were sold, and by 19th century it came to mean any place where food was served to the general public in exchange of money.

You can read all about it and more food-related facts in this fascinating short publication, ‘The Fat Man’s Food & Drink Compendium’.

Have a tasteful Friday.