Friday, 5 August 2016

Makeover Time

Saturday 30th July to Friday 5th August 2016

Before Diane could take full advantage of the unlimited resources of being house-bound there was the little matter of the incumbents disappearing which was scheduled for about 4pm – just as soon as Phil finished his shift on the Metropolitan Line.

Meanwhile we had walked down to Rickmansworth to Batchworth Lock – taken some rubbish down to the bins, but primarily it was to have a look at a little folk festival taking place at the lock itself – with a promise of Morris Dancers – Diane could not resist.

At just over a mile and a half and on the flat of the towpath, it was about 40 minutes down to there – and we arrived at about the right time as well – they were just setting up.
Now if you have a hankering to dance around waving kerchiefs, have lots of bells on your person jangling about, or want to wave and clash a lump of wood with someone else, all set to accordion music, then this is the thing for you – Diane hadn’t seen it for a while and I just sat and watched.
Did I mention that they have big boots as well?

Each of the groups have distinctive colours that they wear - a bit like
musical gangs

I have an ex-work colleague in Australia who carries on like this and when the music stops he seems quite normal and so do these “guys” – I guess it’s the dance equivalent to football’s “white-line fever”.

It was an easy way to spend an hour or so. We managed to spend a bit more time on top of that wandering around the Aquadrome and then back again for the afternoon session of the bells and sticks.

the sticks are out - bigger ones...

..and smaller ones

The walk back to the boat was not too hard – given that by this stage we were on a shady towpath – and by the time we were back it was after 5pm – Diane had her bags packed early on, so it was goodbye and she was off to house-sit; feed the fish; look after the bath; and gently work the washing machine – the equivalent of Diane-heaven, except it was without anyone to make her coffee.

I was looking after the boat.

As I may have written previously, there was a list – always a list – of things that we “needed” to do on the boat – this list extended now to just on two pages and was being added to as we spoke, but now that we are nearing the end of another week it is pleasing to see that the number of things left to do is really quite small.

But what have we achieved in this time – well we had already removed the wallpaper and sanded before this time, so I cannot include that, but let me list it for you.

1.     Paint the walls – all done and finished – taped up and 2 coats applied in expert fashion by her-indoors and a lovely outcome
2.     Amour-all the cratch and pram-hood covers
3.     Wash all of the curtains
4.     Remove and wash the dinette covers
5.     Clean the oven using the much hunted-for “Pink Stuff” and it worked brilliantly
6.     Oil change for the engine – replace all of the filters this time.
7.     We have sorted through the wardrobes and got rid of clothes that we are not wearing anymore – all to the charity shops
8.     Reconnected the navigation lights – these were temporarily disconnected whilst we had some 12v work done a while ago
9.     Polished all of the brass tiller pins – now numbering almost to double figures
10. Cleaned the windows
11. Sorted through the shoe cupboard, much the same as the clothes – getting rid of shoes that we are not and will not wear again
12. Sanded and varnished the walls in the corridor outside the bathroom and behind the dinette – using a water-based varnish
13. Sanded and varnished the bathroom walls and ceiling – a spirits based varnish for the steamy areas.
The curtains are not back up but the new paintwork has brightened it up...

...I think Diane has done a great job with painting this - 2 coats in a day

Nice and bright and clean!

Now, I don’t want to give the impression that we haven’t been cleaning or taking care of the boat, but sometimes things get to the stage where it needs to be brightened-up, spruced-up, brought right back up to scratch – things that you cannot do regularly – so this week has been very fruitful indeed.

Still to do – mmm!! – hope we get these done

1.     Sand and paint the roof – this will depend on the weather – not too cold; not too hot; not too windy – you get the picture – perfect conditions required.
2.     Paint the outside of the gas locker – some remedial work being done – a start has already been made on this, so it is just finishing it off.
3.     The inside of the cratch area is going to be cleaned – everything out and a thorough clean take place and then put it all back in.
4.     I need to extend the water pipes to allow the easy filling of the reservoir for the cassette toilet – the current one works but it needs to be improved.

So, again all things that build up a bit and comes to a point where they get done.

Who thought that it was all plain sailing when you own a boat – always something to be done; something to improve; something to add.
A bit like owning a house, but with the distinct advantages of being able to move when you want.

That’s the week that happened and a preview of the week ahead.


  1. At last - I've found another Morris Dancer lover! What could be nicer than seeing a bunch of blokes prance around with bells tinging, waving sticks and hankies in the air, and having a fine old time. We have seen the Kiwi version here at home, but nothing beats seeing a "real" English troupe in their natural setting. As we did in the Cotswolds several years ago - I was enthralled! As for Robin, he walked away mumbling unkind words about men dressed up in rags and prancing around like a bunch of ...... I think the dancers are delightful and could watch for hours.

    Jenny and Robin, Romany Rambler

    1. Hi Jenny, from my point of view, Robin may well be right and he and I could discuss that over a few ales sometime whilst you and Diane watch the men prance around like "men in tights".
      It is a quaint pasttime - not however one that I would be diving into