Jan 21 2008, 03:07 PM
Living on a boat is never dull and rarely boring, there is always something to be done. Whether that is something you actually want to be doing is another matter.
Quick frankly, I was all up for a nice cosy weekend of cooking, faffing and sifting. Downsizing my stuff once again, because you can never have too few things. Minimalist is going to be my middle name. However this all had to wait as there was a "to do" list with my initials at the bottom.
Saturday stuff to do
- get up early
- cycle to regents street apple shop to get a computer fixed
- cycle back to the boat via a supermarket and stock up on food
- reverse the boat back to the waterpoint
- bail out my half sunken dinghy
- empty the poo-pot
- reverse through the lock
- turn at the bottom of the lock
- hang a sharp left into ducketts canal
- wizz through the 4 locks
- swing left onto the River lee and et voila, arrive Springfield/Hackney marshes at around 2pm
- cycle back to victoria park and collect my car
- spend a nice evening relaxing with a bottle of Bigga and a film
the reality was, well spot the difference...
- get up early? After a late night we scraped ourselves out of bed at around 9.30am, so much for early
- after faffing around with the bikes, by this time it was 10.15am and the rain had started into which we headed, with a strong headwind just for added pleasure.
- we arrived at the computer shop to be told we should have had an appointment to see someone, so we stood there, pretty moist and annoyed still with a faulty puter on regents street at 12.30 suddenly feeling hungry.
- on the way to unchain the bikes we accidentally wandered up to Carnaby Street and found a nice cafe and chowed down for 45 mins and mulled over the successful day we were having. I had a splendid hot dog (with onions).
- back to the bikes, the rain started yet again.
- We decided to leave the shopping trip until later when I needed to collect the car. So I carried a large empty bag, in the wind, all the way to the centre of London and back just for the fun of it - it's called resistance training.
- Back at the boat we see the neighbours and obviously stop and chat, the Man is offered the hand-me-round joint another boater has just rolled.
- Then followed the predictable chaos as I tried and failed to reverse the boat down seven lengths of other boats to the water point, my dinghy, full of two weeks worth of angel-piss was teetering around with just a few inches of free-board left, tied to the front of the boat.
The Man is still stoned and now munching away on any scraps of food left in the kitchen.
By the time we arrived at the lock, after a bit of stern hauling, it was close to 4pm
- at the water point we discovered that the taps dont have the same kind of thread as most of the others on the system so our hose doesn't fit. Well it didnt until we modified it with a good amount of PVC tape (no boat is complete without several rolls of PVC)
- I set about emptying the dinghy with a bailer, but am distracted by the Man (still a little giggly) taking the poo-pot to the elsan point... carrying it partly with the white handle, you know the one that operates the guillotine closure, the one that if you open it by accident means a whole world of sorrow at your feet, possible your legs and equally possibly in your face if theres a bit of back pressure...
once my voice came back down to sub-sonic levels of calmness after explaining the merits of carrying the case by its proper handle and NEVER ever EVER pull that white handle while the pot is full, I resumed bailing out the dinghy. ( thetford should colour the handle red to avoid confusion)
- water tank full, poo-pot empty, dinghy empty, lock emptied and boat hauled out and turned we finally set off "cruising" to our new mooring.
- down below I was sorting out the washing machine which had just finished, when I heard the engine change note, getting a little urgent, a bit more urgent, then quiet... then reversing quite urgently. I popped up to see what was happening and quickly see a grinning man looking sheepish at having missed the turn for Ducketts. a slight misjudgment led to a few minutes of maneuvering in the wind followed by a bit of a messy entrance to the link canal, followed by more requests from the Man for chocolate bars and a bottle of beer.
- three locks flew by in no time and before we knew it we were at Hackney Wick. And then we realised we were going quite slow...
- standing at the side at the junction of the river lee and ducketts I was holding the centreline while He went down the weedhatch with his favourite knife to remove the offending Argos bag and some pieces of tree. As I stood there, in the dark, in the mud, holding a cold wet rope, my trousers looking very secondhand after starting out clean that morning, I looked in through the large glass fronted apartments and remarked about how I imagined how many people were probably laying on their comfortable sofas in the warm and dry watching some shit on TV.
- a while later we arrived at Hackney marshes, 6pm, unloaded the bikes and cycled back the way we had just come to collect the car and go shopping. On the journey His bike got a puncture so we had to walk the rest of the way. Finally back at the car and loaded up with bikes we trundled off to do some food gathering. By the time we got home after walking back from the car with two bikes (one with a flat tyre), three very heavy shopping bags it was 9pm.
Once again my mind flashed back to those flashy but cosy looking apartments and thought, little do they know what's happening in the world outside their cocoons.
- after a couple of halibut steaks we sat down to watch a dvd, Death Proof and breathed a sigh of relief that tomorrow was finally going to be a day of faffing.