Thank you one and all for your input.
There are a variety of reasons for this change and I might not be able to adequately convey some of them.
5 years ago I was housebound, I lived in my bedroom, I saw nobody. I got 'Catastrophic Hyperacusis' and severe depression, my sound sensitivity was so extreme my own whisper or turning the pages of a book, was painful to me. I have come through and am much better. I will always have Hyperacusis but it isn't as limiting as it was. I am back in work, albeit part time.
Ok - that's some history.
1. As a result of the above, I have lost most of my friends who were not able to cope with the shell of a person they saw and one by one they have fallen away. I want to be part of a community - I have some experience of the boating community having visited on and off narrowboats for the 14 years I've lived here and so I know some of them already. I would not get this in rented accommodation.
2. It is in my best interests to stay in the village so close to the house we will sell. I know all the neighbours, I can store my stuff in a friend's warehouse in the village for free, I can help him with his garden and he stood by me when I was ill when no one else did. I want to be near him and not further away.
3. I have been poor before, I can be poor again. I like having to make do and mend - it's part of my wierd psyche I guess. I've lived in mud huts in Kenya, volunteered in rural hospitals in the Transkei, lived in the poorest part of Paris in Belleville, had my own croft on the Isle of Coll, Argyll. I used a hole in the ground as a toilet for 12 months and drunk only rain and river water that year - no electricity either. I have seen the seemier underbelly of some of the poorest parts of this world of ours and I am still cheerful about mankind. I am a fighter, a coper and I am very creative and able to make friends easily and get people 'on side'.
4.It's an exciting challenge; it's a challenge I want. I am a part-time artist and have already been making narrowboat related art and crafts and want to continue with this sideline as part of the actual community, not as an outsider still.
5. The management at the marina spent quite a few hours showing me round yesterday and I quizzed them on all of the costs and hidden costs. I came away feeling even more positive than when I went. I had a look round a boat with it's owner, who also was unsure whether I had thought it all through and the manager interjected and said: "That's what she's doing now"!! Bless him!
6. I may indeed rent for 6 months, or live with my local friend, until I find the right boat, or not - whatever the case may be. I'm not locked into this, I'm still exploring it but I can make this work for me very well.
I do see that this is not a cheap option and I intend to travel round the many marinas and brokers in Shropshire and Cheshire to look round boats. I was supposed to go today but am painting instead to make some more money. This marina can only take narrowboats, no wide beams as all craft have to be sailed in and the lifting bridges locally are too narrow for 10ft wide boats. Never mind, narrows the search a bit!!
My parents are concerned about me not having a landline type phone on board a boat but apart from that, they are supporting me 100%. However, I read on Google that you can have a landline, and WIFI.
ot sure what else to add, but I am really grateful for your words of warning and will do as you suggest and do lots more research into this.
I would be planning on mooring at the marina and not travelling on the boat at all. But I have a work colleague who loves boats and knows his way around them very well, so I've got help on hand whenever I need it.
Grateful thanks - Salopgal.