It was a bright, mild Sunday morning so it felt like time for a few chores – cleaning and tidying and some of the little jobs I’ve been meaning to do for ages but not getting round to.
First had to be emptying the toilet. I’ve probably banged on enough about the joys of doing this but hey. My toilet is a Porta Potti ‘Elegance’ (elegance??!) and has a cassette underneath the seat part. This gets wheelbarrowed up to the car park where there’s an Elsan point – basically a drain in a cupboard where you empty out a week’s worth of your toilet matter. There’s also a hose so you can clean it all out.
The next job was to deal with the non-sealed windows. For the past three weeks there’s been a tarpaulin draped over part of Swallow, weighted down with plastic milk bottles filled with water. On windy nights I fall asleep to the not-entirely-comforting sound of them banging against the walls. So armed with waterproof tape and sheets of black plastic, I removed the tarp, cleaned up the roof and fixed smaller pieces of plastic over the windows. Much better! It doesn’t look great, but it’s less conspicuous and stops Swallow from looking quite so much of a scrap yard :)
I really should have been insulating and cladding my gunnels today, as there are still plenty of spots where condensation gathers on frosty mornings, but I felt more like pottering. I tacked away cables and leads so they’re no longer trailing about the boat waiting to be tripped over, and fixed a box in the bedroom to use as a clothes cupboard.
I also put up a piece of copper pipe for a clothes rail. It wasn’t cheap but I really love copper and only needed a short piece for my ‘wardrobe’. I’d given away most of my clothes before the move on board, but still had plenty – in recent days Emma and I have been bringing back all of the last boxes of ‘stuff’ that had been lurking at the studio and there were lots of clothes among all of this. That rail would need to take a fair bit of weight. So I popped to the Sunday market and got a little pretty red ribbon to hold it up in the middle.
After a thorough clean – including a thorough hoovering! – Emma and I hit the sauna at Tod sports centre and steamed, bubbled and showered off the dirt and sweat of the weekend. Then she had a second wind and decided we should get my boiler out and see if it fits where I’m hoping in the kitchen. It does! I’d been burying my head in the sand about this, knowing that in order to get my gas sorted I’ll first have to dismantle a lot of the kitchen, but Emma spurred me on. A woman is coming tomorrow to quote for the gas and plumbing work, and Emma was right to insist I actually engage with my boiler and think about how it’s going to fit in before she comes. As predicted, the bulk-head I’d fitted and the post which supports that part of the ceiling will all need to be moved, but it’s not too big a job, and hopefully I can get this done next Sunday.
Wolfie’s been out and about a lot, even finding his way to Emma’s boat and hanging out there sometimes, but Emily and Jamila have been way too indoorsy for my liking, barely going out at all since last weekend. So tonight, it’s dry and not too cold and I’ve shut them out. I’ve blocked up the holes in the doors so they’re forced to go and explore and realise this is not a place to be scared of. Hopefully they’ll forgive me and come home in the morning!
So another busy day. My lovely neighbours are letting my pinch their internet until mine is up and running (hopefully tomorrow) so I’m finishing it up curled on the sofa with a cuppa and my laptop and a some music playing quietly. It’s good not to hear the tarp flapping in the wind and the boat feels clean and homelike with so many more of my things here now.