Its almost ALL WHITE…. almost.
Fun things we do inside the boat to make it look nice.
Its almost ALL WHITE…. almost.
It’s now been another month since I last wrote! Well! Time flies! And it’s been SO much fun. The boat has gone from building site to, well, building site, only of larger proportions. I have been close to having a breakdown, and have instead had a ‘meltdown’. Which is milder. Mainly, the bedroom has continued to go from strength to strength, white walls, plug sockets, light fittings. It is a beautiful piece of interior design and Tom, who has worked on it, is nothing short of an artist in his approach to making it. Every detail has been carefully considered. The curves and lines of the room are amazing, it is really quite special. The bath is in position, so is the little stove. All things are poised, ready to spring into action when we get round to actually connecting them to other things that they need to be connected to in order to actually work. However, the reality is there is still no bed- there is a bed frame, but not with slats. The port holes look great- but they still need glass in them. I know the glass half empty thing is resonating here, and I appreciate how long these things take (they take long), but it’s just that I REALLY want to live in MY boat.
Rather then continuing in this ever so slightly sarcastic tone I shall revert to my usual, happy-go-lucky tone. On the UP side, the boat now has floorboards throughout. The scaffolding plank thing worked really well, and now we need to sand them down and fill in the gaps between them with black stuff that stops crumbs going between them (this is thrilling stuff right?). We no longer have a big hole in the ceiling because Stuart the welder came back and sealed it up. He stayed on the boat while doing this (he’s ‘NFA’ you see) and got very familiar with the over priced pizza company up the road. So that’s good! Also, we found another 14 buckets worth of slop under the wheelhouse- in the proper bilges of the boat! And Pat got them all out, bless his cotton socks (which are not white anymore). So that’s also good as it was making the wheelhouse smell freaky.
So all of this good progress, and here am I a little bit twitchy and irritated in my tone. Well. The truth is, we have done the classic novice building thing of spending too much time and money on the first stage of the project. We’ve been careful overall and we’re not in bad shape. But we will need to build the kitchen ourselves. Out of chipboard. Pat’s working on some designs for a home-made washing machine using an old whisk, some rubber bands and an oil drum. And we’ve also decided we don’t really need a fridge- we’re just going to cut a hole in the side of the boat and put our food through it. That way the local wildlife benefit too. The great thing is, that we’ll have this amazing bedroom that we can spend all our time in- it’s about half the size of our old boat, which suited us fine!
I stayed sarcastic didn’t I? Oops. It’s more fun writing sarcastic then not. I’m going to go over to the b o a t later and measure the kitchen up. Because we are actually going to build it ourselves (with the help of some nice unit makers in Nottingham). Then, I’ll put some photos up and you can all see what I mean….
So 4 have been welded into the front- they are not as big as we thought they’d be but they are at a great height so you can look out and see many reflections on the water. Obviously the window bit hasn’t been put in- but that’s going to be done this week. Also, I include some pictures of the open plan nature of the messy rest of boat. It is nice isn’t it? Well, not nice, so much, more a complete building site- but nice if you ignore the messy bits and focus on the shape. Tom has built himself a table to work on, but until Stuart the squatting welder goes he’s sort of waiting to get going. Pat thinks Stuart’s done a really great job on all the steel bits. To be honest, it’s not really my area of expertise so I shouldn’t like to comment, but it all looks very good to me. Its satisfying to see the horrid old bits get chopped out and new straighter bits put in. And that’s as far as my assessment capability on the whole thing goes.
We have changed our minds again about the stove for the bedroom and are thinking of keeping the Louis stove after all. As it looks smaller than I remembered. And we put it next to the bath and it looked about right. There is still some consideration to happen around this subject.
It’s arrived and it’s got enormous feet! Bigger than my own feet! Yesterday at 3pm I hot-trotted over to the vessel to find a delivery van and a perplexed Tom staring into the back of it. To the rescue I came, ready to haul the damned thing off the back of the van. I wasn’t much use, but my intention was good. The man who drove the van didn’t have many brain cells and was unwilling to help us get it off the back- he watched as Tom and Stuart slowly wiggled it on to the tail-lift and then on to the ground. There are some curtain twitching neighbours who seem to be on everyone in the marine’s case and find any excuse to grumble at us. They, and the unhelpful truck driver should all be together and make a community. Anyway, the van man was no help at all. Luckily Stuart and Tom were very handy with the sack barrel and ropes and managed to make a sort of rolling platform for it. I think Tom and Stuart like building things to move other things on. Every time I pop over Stuart’s invented another contraption that he’s put on to the side of the boat. Actually it’s quite good because they are safe and it’s better to be safe then in the river.
So back to the bath! It is double-ended, very luxurious and every night will be like the flake advert in our boat. And it comes with taps and a shower and a shower curtain rail- which is very pretty. I like the taps but I fear they are modern and therefore a bit tacksy. Tom assures me that the bath is definitely NOT Victorian, which is a bit annoying. I think the feet are though- they’re clunky and not at all ornate. Which is how I like them. But overall the bath is large and my worry now is that it will look silly in the bedroom. In fact, the stove is also large so we are returning it and getting a smaller one called Wendy. So far we have bought some very over-sized things which may become problematic. But it is nice though.
The other thing that concerns me is that everywhere I look there’s some ‘flea-market style’ or ‘boho chic’ nonsense book about interior decorating. What I don’t like is that they try too hard and I don’t want to end up with a trying too hard boat interior. So I need to watch that. Especially because the things I like will end up falling into some ‘recycling antique rustic colourful materials half ebay half random furniture ‘ sort of style. But then I guess that’s not really much of a snappy category… so maybe we’ll be alright.
It’s a weekend off, so I feel detached from the general excitement of the boat. Tom the boat fitter is starting on Monday, putting in the piping and bits for the new tanks. The tanks are due to arrive next week I think. He’ll then be pretty much working on it full time for a few months (yikes). We want to use old scaffolding boards as floor boards throughout the boat and have got a kind friend-of-a-friend who owns a construction company to give us some for free- he’s insisted. Then the joinery next to our old boat is going to help us plane them- this can be tricky because old boards may have bits of old nail and stuff in them so they can damage a planer. Gerry at the yard has agreed to use old blades though and if they still prove difficult we may have to reconsider. Then there’s the aesthetic question- it could look really nice with the big chunky floorboards- but it might look rubbish. I’ve decided I’m very boring today- my writing is thoroughly uninspired.