Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Ah. We'd quite forgotten the blessings of living on a boat

This morning, whilst taking P to get Simon for work, we drove Reg over a bridge we travelled under to get to our present mooring. We said that we'd been under this bridge just a few days ago. Days? When was it? Yesterday. Just yesterday. We had quite forgotten how travelling in Bella quite alters our sense of time and extends our sense of space.

Last night, when we finished oh-ing and ah-ing and reminding ourselves why we live on a boat, we made a plan. Today's experience over the bridge sealed it. P works weekends once every four weeks and has two rest days after. This is the plan. Every four weeks, on the Monday or Tuesday rest day, we take Bella to either Crick, Braunston, or Weedon/Gayton. All 6-7 locks and a few hours cruise away, all within P's patch, all easily drivable to E's studio, all easily drivable to the station.  We stay there until the next weekend and then travel back. Two weekends with an itty bit of cruising each month.  The plan. 

Watch this blog.  Wish us commitment. We've both been so focused on work that Bella's simply been a home. But she's a boat.  For goodness sakes. A boat. We'll get busy again.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Out. Believe it or not. It's lovely!

We need Bella's hull blacked. Otherwise know as covered with waterproof paint to protect the hull. Bella is too long to be blacked at Weltonfields, so we're now moored up at Welford, waiting to go into sheds on Wednesday.  As the rain pelts the roof now, it is fabulous to report that we had delightful sunshine and blue skies for the travelling.

It was great to float under the A5 instead of whiz on it to get to a train. Then - under both the mainline rail and then the branch line. We certainly prefer the view up to the rails than the one where we wistfully look down from carriage windows. A giggle through the woods to the lorries parked at Watford services told us we were in our favourite transport today.

The very dark photo is from inside Crick tunnel. For the first time ever, we couldn't see the light at the end! A traditional engine had come out just before we went in, and the fumes simply filled the space. The beam from our light was amazing to see, working through the haze to the tunnel roof. Just about 200 metres from the north end, we finally saw the light.

A good day! Most of the time P and M were on deck and E at the desk. Working whilst the trees glide by is amazing.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Bank Holiday DIY

We have a new entry mat! Well, and floor. Many years ago when our Bella was built, some things didn't turn out as well as they could have done. Pete has changed the water pump three times, two of them after leaks. The water decided to seep between the marine ply base floor and the oak installed at Bella's refit. Over time, this curled the top layer. So we changed that today.

With a special electric saw, the only name Bosch gives it is tool, Pete cut out a swathe of the oak. Then he installed moulding. Then Elizabeth was back to floor laying, this time, thick coir on a solid rubber base. Of course Maxwell had to check out the new mat before it could be cut 😆

Sunday, 21 May 2017

New kitchen floor

Well, we needed an off-cut for the bathroom, so we got a new galley floor. This one took no time at all compared to the bathroom. If we don't include the time it took to lift the old floor, drive to the studio, lay the old floor on the new one as a pattern, cut it out, and drive back home. Elizabeth did the cut and fit, Pete suggested the we also refloor the plinth under the cooker. Yes!

A new bathroom!

A new bathroom! We're delighted. It was needed, as the old one wasn't installed so well and the floor rotted below the shower. And into the cross beams below... Our lovely marina staff think that it was the capping off of the old pump-out tank pipes which were the problem.  One day whilst standing in the old shower and having the shower tray sink into the corner gave us a clue.
So here we are. There's a larger shower tray, a porcelain toilet (yes!!! No more plastic!!!), a new sink and taps and a new unit. There is also new wall covering with more to come on the window wall.
We also have a new kitchen floor, which took about 30 minutes to lay. This floor? Grrrrr.  One start revealed that the cushion vinyl tears. Grr. Paper pattern made, re-cut around the loo, then refit. Only 2.5 hours for the smallest room. The result is nice 