06 November 2008

Busy bees

Well, here we are again roasting once more in the bullion-smelting environment that is a narrowboat with a solid fuel stove. We’ve come up on the pretext of fettling the boat for our hols at the end of November but it’s also a handy hiding place for the dogs as the UK goes firework crazy for the week. One good thing about November on the cut... it’s as quiet as the grave, such a refreshing change from all the crush and bother of summer. Today has been very still, perfect in fact for winter cruising so I’m crossing my fingers that we get more of the same in three weeks’ time. I did foolishly say that we were going out whatever the weather…

The one downbeat note is that we’re back on a diet. This was due to an unfortunate encounter with a full length mirror at Stansted Airport the other day. Yeuughhh….The boat only has one small bathroom mirror, just big enough for checking whether you’ve got toothpaste round your mush –  that’s what you want in the morning, not something that cruelly disabuses you of the notion that you are thin and gorgeous. So we are suffering….and that’s not the royal ‘we’; no way am I doing this on my own. The trouble with dieting, and I speak from vast experience, is not curtailing your intake – willpower soon brings down the daily calorie totals – it’s coping with the sheer boredom of a world without food. Writing this post would be so much more fun if I was dipping into the Quality Street tin that’s staring at me (a leftover from our last stay, before you start!)  As it is, I’m counting the minutes to supper and even the dogs’ dinners are not safe from my fuelled-by-starvation predatory ways…

We’ve had one job added to Saturday’s list – the Mikuni is playing up so A’s going to take a look. I’m praying that it will be a small fix otherwise I have visions of the dinette being pressed into service as a workbench and screwdrivers being waggled in anger. And he’s like a dog with a bone when it comes to getting to the bottom of things so it could be a long day…and night come to that. But we also have to find time for a pump out, a diesel fill, a water top-up, a trip to the chandlery, an oil and filter change, a check on a suspect gas bottle, a general polish up of the boat, plus a mosey up to a nearly coal merchant to stock up for the cruise, not to mention walking the gang three times. However, if we do get everything done, then we can just sally forth without any faffing around come holiday time. I am so determined to get out and get to Llangollen and back – it feels like an age since I’ve been at the tiller and I want to reassure myself that I can still do it!

I reckon this trip will be the final reckoning for my rear fenders. I’ve got a very saggy single button (cue ribald comment from N.B. Caxton) which is wedged over a tipcat. Having called into Tradline last Saturday, I learnt that the optimum configuration for fenders was actually tipcat, tipcat and single button, whereas I’d been toying with the idea of a tipcat and double button. So we’ll be working towards the tip-tip-but set-up for next season but at over two hundred quid it’s not exactly cheap. The upshot is that it should last that much longer.

Stay tuned for more dog coat news….there’s a furtive plot afoot to plunder A’s Paypal account to further develop the canine capsule wardrobe. I’m hoping that there will be firm developments within a couple of weeks.

Note to self: If you ignore a whining dog repeatedly and snuffle under the duvet rather than get up, it can only be a matter of time before he runs up and down the boat spraying wee everywhere.



Bruce in Sanity said...


Two things: have you seen the No diet diet book? Much better than starving yourself!

and make your own fenders - buy the Fender Book, get some Victory Black from Tradline, use Wilko's rubber mats as the core and off you go. And the exercise will help you lose weight ;-}



Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Hi Bruce, thanks for the book tip - I'll check it out. And I did think of you when I was looking at fenders - maybe I could get himself interested in ropework as well as keyboards!

Lesley K Nb Caxton said...

Sagginess is next to Godliness - Isaac Newton.

ps. Would you like to join my new campaign to ban all full length mirrors in public places?

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Can we ban all mirrors everywhere?

Anonymous said...

Our one and only mirror on Indigo Dream is hung at Richard height i.e. 6' 5". As I'm only 5' 3" it saves me a lot of pain and distress!