Today the boat is making a lot of noise.  It creeks and whinges and then there are loud crashes above my head.  When it’s windy and the tide is high, the boat sways incessantly.  When other boats go past they create huge waves and it feels like you are on a voyage of discovery. And then one becomes rather tired in a nice way.  So trying to work in the afternoon is an exercise in staying awake really.  More than anything else.  Anyhooo.  I felt I should write to discuss progress.

The main progress relates to the stove in the front room.  I called ‘Woodwarm’, who are the only people we can find to make a double sided stove in a vaguely reasonable way (one which doesn’t look like a designer crematorium for small creatures) and went through our requirements.  Bear in mind that we have spent around 3 months researching stoves and have not found the optimum, and then finally decided to go for this one. So, I had a conversation with the stove man that went a bit like this:

….’blah blah 9kw stove, multifuel, delivery address is xxxx, and that’ll be how much please?’ (me)

…’Hmmm. Hold on a sec, I’ll check for you’… pad pad pad… ‘I make that one thousand, six hundred pounds including VAT. Do you want to put that through now?’. (stove man)

…. gulp. ‘Ok then’. (me again, it’s a little pricier than I had anticipated)

…’How are you planning to get it in the house?

‘It’s not a house, it’s a boat’.

silence.

‘It’s a boat, not a house’. (I repeat)

…’um… it’s a boat? Are you sure? What kind of boat? It’s quite heavy, you’ll need help.’

‘It’s fine, we’ve got a cast iron bath in here, and we had to make a hole in the roof for that. This isn’t as big as a cast iron bath.  Surely you sell lots of stoves to boat dwellers??’.

Anyway, to cut a long and mostly boring, (so I don’t know why I felt the need to recreate it word for word above) conversation short, it turned out that the stove was practically as big a a cast iron bath and rather larger than we realised.  This panicked me terribly, so in order to really get to grips with it’s size I decided to recreate it in a Michel Gondry sort of style.  This way, we would be able to see just how large it was.  And also it kept me occupied in an arts and craft way for most of the afternoon.  This is what it looked like:

I think it is ridiculous, so I didn’t order it.  It might look a reasonable size in the picture but believe me it is not appropriate.  It is effectively a furnace, suitable only for industrial purposes.  So now we are looking again at alternatives.

Meanwhile we also have bought an induction cooker, to cook with, for the kitchen.  It might be faddy, but it means we don’t have to have gas on the roof.  Instead we can have seagulls and herons!  Apparently the Japanese love induction cookers- so there are lots of demonstrations online about how you can cook with them.  This is all for now.

So!  Some more pictures above.  Have I mentioned the spiders?  I don’t believe I have.  Pictures above of 3 of them (although possibly it’s just 2 of them, with one taken from 2 angles.  They all look so different with their hairy spindly bodies and matching legs).  There are probably around 27 spiders currently ‘sharing the space’ with us.  One kindly builds his web over Pat’s nearest porthole every night (it’s definitely the same one)- he protects us at night from bugs and mosquitoes.  Spiders, you see, are our friends.  Although sometimes they’re just downright rude and build their webs in the most inconvenient places.  Yesterday I found one who had made it’s home in the toilet.  Actually IN the toilet.  Often they block whole doors with their elaborate wispy ways.

Tonight it is raining so today we ordered our stove so that it arrives in time for winter.  We booked flights to Brazil so that we arrive in time for the winter… er herm.  And we also ordered our kitchen which is being made by a very nice man called Gary who lives in Nottinghamshire.  He makes reclaimed pine kitchen units with belfast sinks in them, which look like a country cottage.  He’s not able to come here and measure up so Dad and I have spent a long time drawing up diagrams and measuring, so no doubt they’ll arrive and be completely wrong and too big.  I do hope not.

What else? We’ve been having visitors and are planning a ‘nautical’ themed boat warming party.  Perhaps- ‘Sea Creatures of the Deep’.  I’m just worried that if this is the theme then people will come wearing clothing that restricts the movement in the lower part of their legs- mermaids, eels, prawns, oysters etc- they don’t really have much manoeuvreability in their legs. In fact, they don’t have legs.  And at a party on a boat this could be disastrous.

BTW (as they say) just saw Cheep’s family and it was down to 3.  Mother duck (still alive- but has lost half her body weight due to post-birth activity) and 2 ducklings remain.  I guess that’s why they have 9 to begin with.  Still, I’m decided not to become emotionally attached to the whole duck-family thing.  It’s more than I can cope with, I have my own family to worry about.