Monday, 15 December 2008

In, Broadbanded up, and ready to blog

OK, I know it's been a long time but we've only just got our phone line and broadband sorted out, so here's a entry that's been pending for a while and with luck more will follow soon to be you up to date.

We have lived on Real for about 2 months now. Admittedly our new home now resembles a cross between Steptoe’s Yard (if you can remember that far back) and student accommodation. We have squeezed all of our belongings, the contents of a 3 bedroomed house, into the very almost completed converted half of the hull.

Surprisingly, it has worked and we do have space – so the manic culling of useless items, bric a brac, clothes and anything that had sat still for 18 months – was a success after all and comes highly recommended to reduce the amount you have to find a home for when you finally unpack.

“So, what’s it like living on a boat” many people have asked me. If you already do then you know the answer to this – it’s wonderful! The gentle, almost unfelt, rocking, the creaking of the steel as she warms up and then again when she cools down, the swans “beak tapping” for attention on the side – ahhh bliss.

As yet, we haven’t identified a down side yet, just minor annoyances – like having to fill up the water tank at inconvenient times as we haven’t linked up to the mains yet (its on the “to do” list”), and the same with the oil as the tank needs to be cleaned with a teaspoon (I will let Laurie tell you about that one) and checked for leaks. And does anyone out there, or is it just me, experience a swaying feeling when they set foot on dry land? It’s most unnerving at first as it’s not quite sea sickness just a feeling that your wobbly legs will give way at any moment and you’ll end up shuffling up the road on your knees or worse still over the side of the pontoon making mud angels.

We now have a working cooker/oven YAY! And a washing machine, YAY again! Oh the joy of simple appliances and no more microwave meals in which we learnt 50 ways to cook and serve a potato!

Our cats (Sam and Iz) have taken to life afloat like ducks to water (excuse the pun). Old man Sam is now too old to venture far, but Iz treats it like one big adventure. On his first trip outside on deck he literally bumped into another “seasoned to life on board” cat who just popped round to say “ahoy” and poop on our deck (now I know where “poop deck” comes from!). Iz, who on a good day loves visitors, howled for England and promptly saw the other cat off the premises. On his second trip outside, feeling braver and a bit cocky he decided to disappear for a while, which unbeknown to him (and does he care – I don’t think so) sent us into a blind panic where we had all sorts of visions – drowning in the strong current, pulled down into the mud like it was quick sand. Plans were made to fit him with water wings on his return, we even invented a new cat collar that set off an alarm when it touched water or an attachment that inflated into a mini dinghy that floated him back to safety. I have no idea why we worried, why we ever worry about him. He finally returned, purring his way up the deck, feeling very pleased with himself as if all he’d been doing is tackling the waves in his canoe like a scene from Deliverance. The only evidence we had of his unknown adventure was mud up his legs and muddy paw prints up the gang plank – we can only assume that he jumped in to test his ability not to sink – failed, panicked and ran for dry land!
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