Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Bella has a name

She now has ner name!

One more day to go! Bella is now officially named - at least, has a name. She now also has a stove with a cool chimney, a washing machine, a dressing table (hello? of course!), a fantastic run of shelves and so much more. She also has many of our posessions now, being taken down in Reg sized increments. Tomorrow is the big move. We sleep aboard tomorrow night. Watch this space!!

Monday, 29 October 2007

Turning colour...

She's turning Green!!

Another visit to Bella today. All going according to plan and looking terrific. We took another Reg-full and unloaded. The trick today was to stay out of Mark, the painter's, way and to keep the doors of the shed closed. It is wonderful seeing her turn from her hire livery to her Bella livery. Toby is still doing brilliantly, and Simon was busy on electric points. It is all getting rather exciting!!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Kitchen cabinets taking shape

Mess in the lounge!

Tired but still going!

Another day started with heaving boxes of starboard side ballast into Reg to take to Bella. In other words, taking boxes of books and anything else of weight for the right side of the boat in the car. Wonderful! From there, we made our way back to Ikea for more ready made stuff to save Toby's time and brain! Some great finds, as ever. Back to Bella to unload; we were delighted to see how far Toby had got on the kitchen units. We left a more wonderful boat to go back to Oxford for more sorting, packing, sorting, giving away, going up and down stairs (who ever thought a four story house was good idea???). We'll be pleased to be on a level soon!

Saturday, 27 October 2007

The most important bit - Pete's camera cabinet!!

Dining room table and cabinet in situ

She's looking like home!

How strange. A few things from one home and the new home begins to really look like home. We made three visits today, or really, Pete made three visits today. Josie and Elizabeth made two. Josie!! Two visits! The first one, we filled Reg (car!) with everything we could for the starboard side - a little too high in the water line. Then Pete and Elizabeth went to B&Q for cupboard carcasses, took them to Toby, then went back to Rectory Rd. Lots of packing later, all three were back to Bella. She is looking so much like home, and feeling so much like home, that Josie barked at some visitors....

Friday, 26 October 2007

A lovely new floor

Office taking shape on the near right

Sanding down

Real building work today!

Well, a very frustrated Toby nearly gave up on the office space with fold down desk which Elizabeth designed. But she is happy he's pursued the elusive! Nigel at the boatyard has been a star, and all the floors are finished and trunking made good. Paint is being sanded off, but what with painter Mike's tooth abcess, it may be a while until Bella turns forest green! Pete was on and off site all day, off to buy essentials, back to deliver, telephoning Elizabeth for design decisions and generally helping Toby. E was frustratingly in London for a meeting, but got back to Oxford for a late afternoon of ironing, packing, sorting, carrying.... After a lazy pizza cooked by someone else, they'll spend the evening packing whatever can go now on to the starboard side. Bella has a little lean to port at the mo...

Thursday, 25 October 2007

An eyeline from the stove end of the lounge, over the galley to the dining room/office

Elizabeth checks space for a jackets cupbord

The building begins...

Today's visit showed us the final stripping out - the bulkhead between the galley and the lounge cut down to give a view through nearly the whole boat from the stern. And the building begins! The new oak floor was being laid as we watched. We measured up for extra cupboards, measured the inside of the cooker (!) to see what other cookware we had to shed and we measured the new office space. Over a cup of coffee in Kizzie's Elizabeth drew out the new office storage, while Pete tried not to glaze over. From there, after one final lot of measuring, we went to Howden's for new oak doors for all the port side cupbaords. Thank you, Taylor's Services, for being the traders to allow us to buy from Howdens!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

More Stripping out!!

Well, when we visited Bella today she was in the shed. Protected from the expected weather, but still dry, she was gutted. Literally. Little left! So, for the first time, we saw a little of our vision realised. Open plan for much with room for our own furniture. Instead of thinking she'd shrunk, we realised she's the right size!. We took a small chest of drawers with us to see if it fit, and it did. We realised we could put in a few more chests than we thought, which was great. We left her and travelled on to Ikea (where else for storage?) in Milton Keynes and took home a few great things to move with. The fun thing is that packing into the new storage now means that we just shift over next week. Those who know Elizabeth well will know that this is a great joy!!!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Stripping out

Today's update

While Elizabeth was in Southampton training some wonderful new URC Ministers, Pete visited Bella. Richard, Phil and Simon were hard at work. All the dinette seating has been removed, in prep for the dining room/office. Pete talked with the painter and agreed Bella will be Forest Green with Ivory trim. That starts tomorrow, but could have started this afternoon. Suddenly what looked like shrinking is now growing. She was moored in a discreet location today (empyting out a few smelly tanks in prep for their removal), but will be back in boat company tomorrow. Pete sorted out where power points are going, had a search about generators and talked about elecrtrical appliances in general. He was quite enthusiastic about our new purchase of Babette - the tiniest Dyson possible.

Monday, 22 October 2007

A tight squeeze!

It's all starting

We visited Bella this morning at 10am, as she is moored and preparing for refit at Oxfordshire Narrowboats, Lower Heyford, Oxfordshire. We were expecting to get a cup of coffee at Kizzies, but it was closed (!). Ah well. As we wandered in to Bella, we felt a little like she's shrunk. We think it is the combination of her being hemmed in between Inglesham and Cropredy mingled with the reality that we are presently living in a very empty house which is very large...

Toby met us around 10:30 and we had a good old meander, looking at where his amazing skills will create space with cupboards, cabinets and shelves. As we drove out of the yard a little later, we had to wait for a lorry to leave - having just delivered our new wooden flooring!