Today I tasted the liquid coming out of our engine to identify whether it was pure water or had antifreeze in it. I did this like it was the most normal thing in the world. Thinking about it, quite a few things I’d never have done before seem to have become normal in the past month.
Other than Amy and I, there are some quite abnormal things aboard our boat. Her eccentricities are now our eccentricities. For example, our lighting is touch sensitive. This sounds sophisticated, but it actually means we just spend a lot of time stroking the ceiling in the dark. These peculiarities are part of what makes her ours I suppose.
We’ve also got some muddy footprints on the ceiling. I should really clean them off, but they’ve become somthing of a feature.
We haven’t managed to travel anywhere in the past week, as we’ve still been stuck at the boatyard having work done on the engine and electrics. Friday was the magical day the engineer got things running again and we had our first showers in weeks. And they truly were blissful showers.
Things got a bit complicated with the repair work mid week. It was all going really well on Tuesday, and we’d just had the good news it was pretty much done, when I plugged something into a socket and got a hefty electric shock. That meant tracing all the internal wiring back the next day to find out why. It transpired that there was water damage in the brass sockets. Good news because we could fix that ourselves.
So the next day, Amy and I turned our hand to some electricianing and replaced them all with ugly but safe plastic.
By Friday, most of the work was done and we were promised it would all be sorted by Monday evening. After several weeks of everything being in pieces (including us at times) it was exciting to hear this.
And then the sun came out on Saturday morning. That was amazing. We sat on the grass with some friends and watched Poppy frolic with their dogs and do her dead frog style sunbathing. We even had an ice cream.
I had a little doze in the sunshine after lunch, but the nap time was cut short by a distressed Amy noise. She’d started the engine up and the hot water tank had emptied itself into the engine bay. In my rush to switch off the water, I managed to crush my thumb between some panels. It was giant for a while but now it’s just rather blue.
Thankfully, a friend came to the rescue and fixed the problem pipe for us. We were so glad it happened while we’re surrounded by kind and knowledgeable boaty people. It was a simple fix and nothing disastrous happened.
Apart from a slightly leaky radiator cap, I’m going to risk saying that our engine is in much better shape now. That means tomorrow we can head off a short way towards the Oxford canal. We’ve been sat by the junction for the Grand Union branch that joins the South Oxford for almost two weeks. After seeing it every day for weeks, it’s good to know we can finally set off down there soon.
This is the view from our current mooring of the bridge where we turn tomorrow.
Today we did lots of chores in preparation for the next part of the journey, as we’ll be a fair distance from any shops or facilities. We’ve stocked up on food and firewood (that was donated by a very kind neighbour), done laundry, emptied the loo and I even had my first go at sweeping the chimney. I made a LOT of mess. With the chimney, not the loo – just to clarify.
Amy has also done some important engine monkey work. Amy always reads the manual and this is why she does the important things.
So pending no overnight catastrophes we will be on the move in the morning. Fingers crossed.