First things, first
Project Saoirse, in no uncertain terms, is project me. I can dress it in all the social, moral and media context that I do for uni, but this is about lifestyle and agency to sculpt my own. The timing has been somewhat forced by circumstance because this lifestyle happens to be significantly cheaper than living in a flat and my already modest income was C19’d so the premise quickly became: what is the most dignified lifestyle I can create using a student maintenance loan? Worst case planning seems appropriate in the current climate (lessons learned in public).
The sums start to look bad pretty quickly given the usual assumptions: rent, food, and utilities quickly rack up an astonishing bill unless I was prepared to chance it for privacy in a HMO with randoms. It’s not easy to give up knowing where your personal space begins and ends and why do things that are basically fundamental to our engagement with sanitation standards and society at large have to cost so much?
Actually as it turns out, they can cost less. In fact, the more I’ve disengaged from systems that I find problematic for one reason or another the freer I feel and more convinced I am that as much as we like to think this is a more enlightened age we are still controlled by things that are merely symbolic.
Why a boat? Property in the traditional sense was clearly off the cards and I considered my long-term goal of converting a van, except where is left to park one? Moreover, they are more than you get from a student loan. A private arrangement to buy a small boat from someone among the very warm inland waterways community can give you a lot more flexibility with a bit of planning.
Farewell Kyshu, hello Saoirse
Saoirse became a popular girls’ name in Ireland as the Gælic word for ‘freedom’. It rather captures the heart of this endeavour to get out from the iron grip of an atrophying capitalist system and the systems that perpetuate the worst aspects of it.
To answer the usual questions I have electricity, heat and the internet. There are cooking and washing fixtures, and I’m in the process of designing the WC (in the meantime I have access to the Canal & Rivers Trust facilities).