We have been scouring our friends’ garages and sheds over the last three weeks to find some Calor Gas bottles, that we could swap for full ones for the boat. We will be cooking with gas and it will also power our radiators. We were advised they did not have to be the regulation 13Kg. In fact, any size Calor container would do. Our pals came up trumps and we stopped off at Sawley Marina, just a couple of miles from Trent Lock this morning, to swap them for two 13Kg ones in glorious orange.
The countdown is now being measured in days, rather than weeks, and poor old Pat is project-managing the countdown to us leaving the house. It’s quite a task. We then have the “Twilight Zone” time, between moving out and when we set off in earnest. Pat’s off to New Zealand the day after we move out and I hope to get on the boat the week before Easter, with a couple of pals, and go out on a three-day snagging cruise. The list of things that need resolving or actioning seems endless, but she has chopped all the tasks up into weeks and we are on schedule. This is everything from redirecting post, to getting all the carpets cleaned, to making doctors and dentists appointment before we leave, to selling all the furniture not wanted, to making blinds, to making sure Sky and broadband is cancelled on time, to ordering new glasses, to applying for our Canals and River Trust (was British Waterways) licence, to making sure our boat insurance is organised, to winter moorings for next year, and so on, and so on.
Meanwhile I have been moving my vast collection of music from CD’s to a portable hard drive. That has been quite a feat in itself as well as burning DVD’s on the drive as well. I have purchased a hard guitar case, now that the guitar cabinet I designed and drew for the boys to copy, came out too small. This is the first proper hard case I have ever owned. Now I am very aware that I am becoming obsessive about things we have purchased for “The Cat’s Whiskers”, or so I was reliably informed by my pal Mark this week. Looking back on previous blogs, I can see what he means, so no more about purchases... well, I’ll try anyway.
With only 23 days to go before handover, the boat should have been looking pretty well finished, and our visit today confirmed that, barring some unforeseen catastrophe, it is, and they will be on time for the hand-over.
|Pat works out where the picnic table should go|
Mick has been busy with his paintbrush and, I think, put four top coats on at present, with one more to go. Then he has to do the pin stripes down the sides. I particularly liked the maroon on the dolly’s (see picture). All of the main joinery has been completed. It’s just vents, false covers, and the odd door that needs putting on now. When we last visited the flooring was half down and that has worked out really well. It was very expensive (here I go again), but looks great. And as soon as Mick has finished on the outside we can get Jan the sign writer along to finish off.
|Colour scheme on bow|
The bookcase, come entertainment system is in. Mick has hidden the FM transmitter in a little box, and has had it all working with the speakers I took up before Xmas. When he cranked them up, the live-aboard boaters at the Lock, thought somebody was having a rave!
|The"entertainment centre" in situ|
They have fitted the fridge/freezer and the diddy washing machine in the bedroom. Yes, the bedroom. We will only be running it when we are moving, so that does not cause any issues.
|The washing machine has been installed|
Over the regulation doughnuts we agreed that as soon as Pat comes back from New Zealand we will have a launch party and invite all those interested up to Trent Lock to celebrate with some champagne and a bite to eat in the pub at the Lock. The date is Saturday 14 April. If any of our growing band of followers would like to come up to Long Eaton to help us out, please get in touch.
One of the major Chandlers in the Narrowboat business is Midland Chandlers, and occasionally they have a “Freaky Friday”. I used to have them when I spent too long at the pub on a Friday lunchtime! This is when they knock 20% off everything in their stores. We have been waiting for this and we popped into their branch at Mercia Marina, near Derby this afternoon and put together a list. I won’t bore you with it, but I had forgotten to add an anchor, which we will need for river transit. I have also decided to buy us two self-inflating life jackets. I’m really not that bothered about going into the canal. It will only come up to my waist, but a lock that is filling is a different matter. And Pat is not a strong swimmer.