General thoughts about life in general, boat related or not.

pizza chain gang

It has come to my attention that the restaurant at the end of the road has painted it’s walls the same colour as our kitchen wall: the turquoise blue colour that I took my South American Hotel picture to the local B & Q to achieve.  Whilst this is not a major problem, it kind of upsets me.  I wonder if I was subliminally influenced by it.  To be honest, I thought I was immune to infiltration from interior design styles of major restaurant chains.  It makes me feel sick that I might not be.

Today has been a very long, very tiring day.  It started with tears and ended with a sort of grubby feeling, mostly because its still very warm in London.  There have been a few hiccups on the way in to the boat, which started with our exit from Dad’s which, to be honest was shoddy on our part.  I won’t go into details, but in our over-excitement to get on the boat, we forgot to say goodbye properly to those who had been sheltering and feeding us for the past six months.  So when I went back today to pack I was suddenly a bit overwhelmed with it all and as I hate moving anyway, I had another mini-meltdown.

The other hiccup is the water situation on the boat. The water does not come out of the taps, it violently ejects itself out- with big bursts of air in between.  I find this a bit traumatic, because you just don’t know when the next burst will be and then you might not be prepared for it when it does come.  Especially  if you’re washing up, which I do in the bathroom at the moment because we don’t have a kitchen sink.  Anyway, the main problem with the water situation is that every so often- particularly in hot weather, the water pump just decides to stop working, and the only way to get it to work again is to poke it with a broom.  Which was fine when there was a big hole under the stairs to poke it through.  But now it is complicated because Pat (I tend not to do this sort of thing) has to climb all the way up and round and down into the engine room to get to the pesky pump just to prod it.  So we will perhaps have to invest in a new pump soon.  See if the sputtering and silence improves.

Tomorrow, we have to order a wood burning stove, a kitchen cooker, a shower, the kitchen units and then we’re all set to sail to kentucky, if we want.  Except we would need to save up for diesel to propel us forth.  It is late, and the moon is big and green!  Also, it’s high tide, which is a good thing at bedtime because it makes you sleepy.

Oh, and also, the scaffolding you have to climb to get on to the boat is being changed to make it easier to get on, but in the meantime it’s harder because there’s no railing.  Maybe it’s a sign.

Monday morning

Pat is currently doing woodwork, which is making him excited.  He is making a piece of wood which fits into the only remaining non-white area of the soon to be white bits.  If you see what I mean.  For a Monday morning, this is excellent.  Today we discussed the possibility of going to a shop to buy a laundry basket and some lamps. But we’re not sure we can do it. (the shop was the one I promised not to buy anything from).  So we’re ignoring the whole thing.  (along with work and normal life things).  He is now painting the finished woodwork white.  He also just asked if it was acceptable to paint in his pants.  I guess it’s fine?  They look like shorts.  He’s very proud of his woodwork.  Oh, below some photos of the new blue wall in the kitchen and also the sky yesterday eve.  Ahhh!


Ok. So I know it’s now the 15th July 2010 and I last wrote on 8th June.  My blogging is shameful and I am ashamed.  But I’ve been away.

So. BIG news.  We’ve moved in!!! OMG!!! LOL@!!! or whatever it is I should be exclaiming.  We have no kitchen and no shower, but we are ‘making do’!  Mum bought us a one-hob gas cooker and I’ve created a makeshift kitchen where the real kitchen will be.  We have painted everything in sight white, and, frankly, it’s looking good.  Right now I am sitting in makeshift kitchen watching the tide roll by, the sun is reflecting off the water making shapes on the roof and we are moving, quite a lot, as it’s windy.  I am very, very tired today because I haven’t stopped since we got in last Saturday.  The movement of the boat is new to me, so when the tide is high I get really sleepy, like a baby in a big cradle.  Either that or the toxic fumes are going to my head.  The old camera broke, so I am taking photos on my phone at the moment which I will upload- I also need to update the older photos- we have many from the interim, non-writing period.  Sorry- I know the photos are the best bit.  So far we’ve had a few friends over, and quite a few toddlers and crawly babies- which is interesting to observe as they get very excited and run or crawl everywhere shouting ‘boat!”, ‘it floats!’ and ‘AHOY!’, which I think is beautiful and exciting, but I am terrified they might lurch themselves off and, as Tammy pointed out yesterday- we don’t want a Micheal Barrymore situation on our hands.  Albeit without the swimming pool or the drugs.

So far it feels quite surreal.  The water comes in and out around us, I am finding my sea legs. OH! But the bath- I’ve had a bath at high tide and the water moves and you move and really it is so very special! Our bedroom is like a boutique hotel, really stunning, but we’re not used to it yet.  Every evening we change the configuration of the light dimness, because we have three knobs to twiddle and I’ve never had a dimmer switch before, ever.  And our clothes are in a pile on the floor still, even though we put some very stylish knobs (more knobs?) on the built in wardrobe (built in wardrobe!! ha ha! It’s SO BESPOKE!) which means we can officially open them now. We’ve just forgotten about putting things in drawers, at Dad’s our room is a sort of large laundry basket with some bits of furniture in it.

At night there are many sounds, every night a new sound and this is a wondrous thing.  Last night it was bubbles, thousands and millions of bubbles under our bed.  It rained a lot during the night and the tide came in, bubbling under our heads.  I woke up, perhaps the boat was sinking, but it wasn’t.  And then I dreamt of holes in the roof and puddles all over the new floor- oh what a floor (did we talk about the floor already??  It looks perfect- better then I ever expected).  And when I woke up I found one puddle because we’d left a window open.  On Sunday afternoon we both fell asleep, exhausted after all the moving and painting and impromptu barbecue the night before.  While we slept the tide came in and the boat rocked and swayed, and I fell in and out of drowsy half-sleep and the door to the bedroom creaked backwards and forwards- and, yes, it did, it felt like we were at sea, far out to sea.  The sun was warm that day and it came in through the porthole.

This boat is very special, and I don’t think I know what to feel about that yet.  Perhaps it feels like a fairy tale and there’s still more to come.  I’m quite sentimental today.  Yesterday, Pat and I had our three year anniversary.

… gulp

So.  I haven’t written for over a month.  I know, this is a terrible predicament.  The cause of this absence is a combination of things.  1. The boat is far from ready 2.  I’ve been feeling very stressed out by the whole thing 3. Work is busy 4. The boat still isn’t ready 5.  The boat needs much work doing to it.  I thought I should at least put some recent photos up.  These are about 3 weeks old now, so more to come.  It’s all happening and the guys are doing an amazing job- but hey, as they say, it takes time. TIME. OH MY GOSH DOES IT TAKE TIME. So I’m going to have a boat break because I keep running over there every two days to see how it’s going, and of course, it’s going but the progress is slow- not much changes in 2 days.  The good news is that compared to the photos here, things have changed, so perhaps I shall spend more time away from the boat, looking at the old photos so that when I next go it will look significantly different.  As it stands it’s pretty much a building site, with a lot of fleas around it at low tide. And fifty million holes in the steel.  And rubbish on the roof.  And, well, I’ve decided that we must be quite a bit madder than I thought, and if we’re not then we will be by the time this is finished.  So, I tell myself (well actually Pat tells me because I don’t have rational thinking capabilities at the moment) it will all be ok.  It WILL all be ok.

Oh, we’ve spent a few nights in the wheelhouse which were wonderful- the first night I felt like I’d slept on a cloud and the next day when we woke up it was a beautiful sunny sunday and there were grown men playing cricket on the green- cricket, I tell you.  And the neighbours were taking the little boats out up and down the Thames.  It was like something from another time.

Also, pictures here show the scaffolding boards which we had to buy in the end- these are being laid down as floor boards- they look good.  And also the lining made out of space ship in what will be the bedroom…

days and days

It’s been nearly two weeks since I last wrote. Lots has happened but I have been totally distracted by work (blurgh). Actually some of the work has been very nice so I shouldn’t complain at all.  SO, I have taken pics which I will upload but for now it’s just these humble words…  Mainly, the concern of the past few weeks has been with the bedroom space which we are converting and the boiler.

HOLES:  We discovered some grotty holes in the front of the boat (the bow).  Well, actually, Stuart the welder discovered them so he is doing some work to repair them.  This is structurally quite important because the front of the boat gets bashed about quite a lot when it’s on the move, so it needs to be done properly.  Also, you can see where previous repairs have been made and there’s layers of weird work that has happened before.

ROOF HOLES: We have cut off the external ‘hatch’ on the roof of the front cabin (“the bow quarters”) and are going to weld some steel over that.  Next to it there is what once was a skylight, but it was a bit crappy and plastic so we are making a new one.  There will then be a skylight  above our bed so we can look at the sky.  If it ever appears from behind the clouds.

PORTHOLES: We ordered 4 and they have arrived and are going to be welded into the bedroom.  There have been tense conversations about what size these portholes should be and how far apart they should be positioned.  This has been resolved.

BATH:  We won one on ebay and it is Victorian and made of cast iron and it has feet.  It is in somewhere called Leyland which is not a place I had heard of before.  Now we need to work out if it is in this country and how we should go about collecting it.

BOILER:  We won this on ebay too and it is an old Worcester Bosch.  I never wrote about the kabola properly.  But the general gist is that it was a good one to go for as it is designed to run on deisel and be sea-faring, but very expensive.  The Worcester Bosch boilers have recently changed and the one we bought was brand new but second hand, an older model which would run on deisel.  This is annoying because I have forgotten actually all the details of what it was about…

GENERAL OTHER STUFF:  I am getting a bit restless about the whole thing and now that the sun is starting to shine, I want to get in there and get painting and going. But it’s still slow and every day there is some new thing which we need to do differently and the process feels delayed.  Also I am generally a bit grouchy for other reasons that are unclear to me.

THE REST OF THE BOAT:  Tom has knocked through all the other walls and it is now completely open-plan which is great but obviously we can’t keep it completely ope-plan as we need a toilet and shower and stuff like that.  Also, the floor is back on the top of the boat so we just need to get those pesky floorboards sorted.

LOUIS:  Is the name of the little stove we bought from windy smithy, a blacksmith in Devon.  It is also the name of Phil’s baby.  The stove is arriving this week, it is very cute and will go next to the bath in the bedroom.  Did I mention we were going to put the bath in the bedroom??  I will live in that bath soon.