September 2013

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Wednesday evening. So, I still have to go back to the house to scrub the oil from the drive, and to spar with the landlord about our deposit, and to collect the fish tank….but hey, tonight we sleep on the boat. We weren’t joking about this boat thing. I know I said we’d be gone by Saturday, but we’re boaters now. What’s the hurry? Relax! Well, I would if I wasn’t so teeth clenchingly cold. We have 6 heating systems on the boat, and not one of them feels like welcoming us tonight. Brrr.

Thursday. Aha, so THAT’S how you light the pilot light. There is a pilot light! Who’d have thought it. I think I love you. I will buy you a box of chocolates before we leave here. No, don’t worry, we won’t use the engine until you have fixed the exhaust. Who needs electricity anyway! City folks, maybe. Errrm, it’s a bit dark, and my computer doesn’t work….and it’s cold….huh? Yes, the pilot light is alight, now what?….aah, we have run out of gas. Great. Brrr.

Friday. Okay, we have an alight pilot light, we have gas, we have heat. We have an exhaust, and electricity, we have everything we need. And we have worms. That’s a new one for me, requires a spot of googling. Wash everything, every day. Clean towels, every day. Hmm.

Saturday. Is launderette day. Some things never change. Oh, I forgot the worming tablets. They’re new. I’m not very encouraged by the pharmacist’s glum face, ‘well, you can try them, eh?’. We all take a dose, everything is clean, fingers crossed. In the night I dream that the boat is rolling over onto it’s side, but luckily it’s just Astra’s airbed deflating. Well, not so lucky for her but I reckon she could sleep on a rope if push came to shove. She snores happily. And then I throw up.

Sunday. I become very well acquainted with our bathroom. It’s not so bad, you know. It has a new toilet, and it’s clean, very clean. Tonight Andy’s airbed goes flat. I feel slightly guilty that mine is the only one managing to stay inflated throughout the night. I imagine Andy and Astra secretly hatching plans to steal it from me when I’m not looking.

Monday.The engineers complete the last job on the boat. Hooray, we are free to set sail whenever we like! And, more importantly, we don’t have to be up and dressed and presentable by 8am in the morning. We are masters of our own time.

Tuesday. What’s that smell? Oh boy. The toilet tank is leaking. Perhaps it’s full? What a pleasant job for today, drive round to the pump out station and, well, pump out the tank. ‘You just hold it here and turn this lever to open it, it’s very easy, you can’t go wrong….ohh, I’m sorry, that shouldn’t have happened…’. Nice. But afterwards, aah, the boat is out of the marina. No going back, we are finally on the canal.