There's always been something very appealing about the idea of living on an island for me. Just the thought of being surrounded by water, cocooned from the rigours of the world and able to gaze out on a tranquil, lazily-flowing river is enough to make me smile.
I dreamed of having my own boat for years before I could finally afford one. And, as my family will attest, after becoming a skipper, I have spent considerable amounts of time and money on pampering the succession of boats I've owned over the past 15 years or so.
Further to my recent coverage of the Environment Agency's desire to sell off several of the lock-keeper's cottages in our area, I'm delighted to report that there is potentially some good news.
Pat Brady has always loved the river. The 66-year-old from Loudwater Road, Lower Sunbury, spent the majority of his working life on and around the Thames and its tributaries.
So, finally, a small spark of common sense appears to have appeared at the Environment Agency – with the news that they have put on hold their controversial plans to sell off ten of the 57 lock-keepers cottages on the River Thames.