Friday, July 18, 2014

Renovations, phase one

Some readers who know me from Facebook and Twitter might notice I've been a bit quiet there of late (says she, while listening to the collective sighs of relief).

There are three reasons for this, actually - two annoying and one very okay. For now, though, I'll pass on the first two and focus on the okay one as it's much more interesting. Well I think it is.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a lot of fixing up to do on my barge, but before I begin any reconstruction, there's the usual maintenance that needs to be done, plus a couple of other very necessary repairs. This is what I've started on, but as usual, everything is taking longer than it has done in my mind's eye.

Just an example: yesterday and today the weather has been fabulous, so I thought I'd do some painting outside and then do the interior work in the evenings. But what happens, see, is that I get interrupted in the nicest possible way when I'm painting on deck. People who haven't seen me around much now notice me being busy and want to stop for a chat.

So, my forward hatch took me the whole afternoon to sand down and paint - it should really have been a one hour job at the most.

Then there's what we call the potdeksel. I don't know what it's called in English, but it's the rim that runs round the edge of the foredeck. I had to scrape quite a bit of rust off from the underside and treat it with anti-rust oil. In theory, this shouldn't have taken all that long either, but my neighbours wanted to know what I was doing, so this lead to a discussion about good paint and how to prevent rust. And so another hour disappeared.

Still, I got it done, but I will still need to paint the whole foredeck again…and the panels….and the engine room…and, and…

But moving on to the interior, although I have nothing to show yet, I have accomplished quite a bit in the evenings this week. I've re-painted half the ceiling in the barge (the back half); re-painted the cupboards in the bathroom and the doors, replaced a couple of rotten floorboards, one of which was under the bath and fixed up a curtain over the not so pretty space at the end of my bed. The sad thing is if I took photos, most people would wonder what I'de done, so until I've got something new, I won't show you any of these details.

What I am showing you, however, is the shabby state of my decksail (I don't know what else to call it). I bought it two years ago and was delighted because I'd long wanted a real canvas one instead of the PVC one I'd had for years. Sadly, it's been a huge disappointment. The company that made it must have used cheap cotton off-cuts as it has faded terribly. It also shrank so much in the first month, they had to add new pieces all round, and altogether, it looks a mess. Since it was pretty expensive, I was not happy at all. 

I have now bitten the bullet and ordered another PVC one. It's a lot cheaper and will be far easier to clean and keep in shape, so I'm really looking forward to receiving that in the next week or so,

And now I'm tired.

I'll still be quiet on the social media front as apart from boat stuff, I'm also very busy reading for my research paper (one of the annoying distractions) and I'm having to take it easy on the computer (eye problems being the other annoyance). That said I'll still be here...but just not quite so much there. 

Enjoy the lovely summer weather everyone. I'd love to know what you are all busy with on these glorious days.


  1. Boat stuff is so much more important than twitter, Val. I hope the sure shines on your boat and on your reading. And that the eyes sort soon.

  2. Ps, you wonder what we're doing - well today I am going to Lords to watch cricket - yippeeeeeeeeee!

  3. Isn't it annoying when you pay a lot of money for something and it doesn't live up to expectations. Your paint job is looking good and I bet that what you have done inside may not look different but feels nice and clean and fresh. Have a lovely weekend (quite a magnificent thunderstorm going on here right now) xxx

  4. Oh and today I am going for an interview for a job, can't get too used to this stopping work lark! X

  5. Oh Jo, I am sooooooo jealous!! Enjoy the cricket and tell me about it if you can!!

    Fran it's feeling fresher all the time inside. I'm loving it! And good luck with the interview! I hope it's something you would like to do!!

  6. Been missing you ..nice to know what you are up to! Hope the sun shines on your efforts. Me? I'm killing people (fictionally)

  7. You are like me at the moment, except I'm on solid ground trying to fix and organize all the little things around me. Good luck, and don't worry about the Twitter-verse: it keeps going whether we are there at all, and I suspect my hiatus has been far longer and worse than yours.

  8. CarolStar! So glad you dropped in…in a manner of speaking…and it's great to hear you are doing what you do best…literarily of course :)

    Anne-Marie, you have a lot to prepare for, I know, so overseas travel adventures and new jobs are also much higher on your priority list. Hoping you have a wonderful trip! My daughter is leaving for Scotland on Sunday too. She will be 'wild camping'. Maybe you'll run into each other out there in the Scottish hills!

  9. Hello Val. I guess in that climate you have to strike while the sun is out. It must be enjoyable to be doing this work in the sunshine with neighbours popping by to say hello! Have fun!

  10. The 'potdeksel' is Bulwarks which is a continuation of the vessels sides and it can be of any height.

    Oh I know to be disturbed while busy can be annoying. Yet just imagine how you might feel if the people that you know were to ignore you - not a happy bunny I suspect. xx

  11. Denise, it is lovely, and I don't mind that everything takes longer when the interruptions are so pleasant!

    Mel, thanks for the useful information. I didn't know it was the bulwarks. And indeed, I would be sad if people ignored me! The interruptions are the nicest kind you can have :)

  12. Have a fantastic summer & relax... or try to! I am going to try to do the same :)HUGS

  13. Thanks Vanessa! Not sure if I know how to :-)

  14. It will be worth it in the end Val. I haven't been around much either,busy with toddlers and keeping the house tidy for viewers but that's another story.

  15. It's funny how no one notices clean and tidy and well maintained, be it houses or boats even though it is important to get your surroundings in order. Sorry about the shrinking canvas. What a rip off!
    I have been running around Sydney's cold streets taking photographs and wishing I could go to uni and study photography properly..!


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