Saturday, 27 February 2010

Getting there, amongst other things

Well it’s starting to fall into place now, unfortunate turn of phrase that, it’s all about bits of things now. Dave’s currently trying to get the bathroom door itself to fit, (just an added extra), it decided not to anymore for no particular reason at all. Then there’s just some boxing in of pipes, including the huge pumpout one in the corner there, and we should be done... Only about 300 hours labour but never mind.
Still messy but looking good, even buried under a mountain of tools…
Wish I could get the whole bathroom in one photo, the supersize radiator is behind the door at the bottom RHS here…
News just in: Dave’s going to use the shower for the first time later on, I may follow shortly after – but not me first. OH NO NO…!
As you probably know already I started clearing out the bedroom the other day – that’s the next project. “We can rebuild it” but not like it was before ok? The ill fitting wardrobe shown in last Wednesday’s post was on today’s agenda for clearing out, but it was much more “afflicted” than I thought.
I’m not afraid to reveal what’s in my closet, well actually it was Dave’s, ugh look at that. But it’s more than simple condensation this…
There’s a rail under that bottom shelf where Dave had hung some clothes that he doesn’t use very often and (horrors) they were all either damp or mouldy on one side. So I’ve spent the day washing, drying and throwing stuff out. This was an unexpected chore that’s set things back a bit but there you go.
Needless to say we’ll be using free standing furniture when we re-do the bedroom, and Dave’s going to fit wrapped sheep’s wool insulation all along that wall, even into the corner for good measure. Before we buy ANYTHING else!
PS: Forgot to tell you yesterday we finally got round to booking somewhere to stay while we’re without a boat for the week. We compromised, the 5 star jobby I wanted and the 3 star jobby Mr DIY wanted was settled at a 4 star place, (they had an offer on if you stayed longer than 4 nights) Ha Ha. Now I must fill up my drier with another load…

Friday, 26 February 2010

Keep painting, keep oiling, remember which

Here’s what I’ve achieved today, I confess it isn’t much at all really, however I did paint both sides of this cupboard door, it’s time and effort that counts isn’t it?
Blimey, checkout the dust on that bin lid in the background, disgraceful…
And look at the sheen on that…
What with a countless number of coats of paint on there I’ve just had a horrible thought, it’s probably about half an inch thicker than when it started off. Might not fit when Dave tries to hang it up again, so shush for now.
I’ve also re-oiled one of the walls in the bathroom too, couldn’t get at the other one because we were tripping over each other. But it would be just too boring to post a photo of that – I mean the wood – not us tripping the light fantastic.
Come to think of it, a photo or two of a painted door is just as boring. And yet, (we’re back with the oiled wood again now), even if I say so myself, the grain has come up wonderful.
OK that’s enough gloating – pride comes before a fall, happens a lot round here, with no need for the pride bit first.
Meanwhile this aft, Dave’s laid the new flooring. It’s all slowly coming together now – but there’ll be no photo shoot till it’s done…

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Memory Loss

I forgot to say that yesterday (sometime) I got ahead of the agenda and began clearing the bedroom out. With the bow thruster being fitted it means this luxury (not) furniture will have to go to the tip, although maybe I’ll keep the lamp.
Both sides of the front doors have to be ripped out. I think I’m supposed to be saying “Oh dear, what a shame.” But he he, I’ve never liked that silly corner thing, as for the fitted wardrobe, well it didn’t quite meet up with itself, or fit to the walls in places.
When the bow thruster guys checked out the damage that would be done, (both moneywise  and furniture wise). The former wasn’t very welcome, but the latter got a reaction of “Wooooo Hooooo” from me! I’ve been wanting to get shut of these particular items for months now.

Soon to be gone.
We may have to resort to using plastic boxes for clothes and stuff for a while, fortunately my wardrobe at the other side will remain untouched temporarily. But it’s still on its way out – as is the bed.
So this is where I got up to yesterday, note there isn’t one item of clothing in any of these boxes yet. I spent all my time wading through odd bits of stuff and successfully created a black bag of rubbish instead...
This was today’s job,, undercoating that flippin door Dave made a couple of weeks ago.
Then it’ll need 3 coats of paint…
Well I’m off for a shower – out on the bow tonight I think, stood under the hosepipe. We’re going to the pub with Steve and Diane later on. Which means we’re ALL downing tools for the evening and getting away from the mayhem for a few hours…
Hic & burp :-)

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


My fingers are so worn out it’s hard work just tapping the keys at the moment, and I should say we’re BOTH knackered.
Dave only sat down at 10.30pm last night after doing this – yes we’ve got a shower AND a cubicle now.
It might look finished, but it’s still a bit raw round the edges, (the mastic’s not appeared on the scene yet). All the plastic wrap stuff is still on, never mind, et voila:
Taken from the corridor outside the bathroom…
Push the door in the middle and Open Sesame…
When I saw this shower in the shop I asked Dave how the hell a person would ever get out again? Answer: “Well there’s a handle inside” (I was just testing – honest). But I couldn’t see any handle through the glass so I walked inside ad closed the door in an effort to prove my point (how stupid is that?) Regardless of whether I was stuck forever I did the whole “pretend” shower thing, meanwhile Dave just stood there laughing his head off.
Please Note: No clothes were removed during testing because we were in a shop. But it did get a bit silly (as usual) when we both started pulling faces at each other through the glass. Dave began to walk away and I still couldn’t find the blasted handle! When he came back my face was pressed against the glass while I shouted “Help, get me out of here.”
Then I spotted the shop assistant coming towards us – oops. Dave pointed to the handle and I stepped out just in time to feel embarrassment on a massive scale. In a pathetic effort to let the guy see that I wasn’t embarrassed at all, I only made things worse: “Just trying it out for size, ha ha, plenty of elbow room when washing your hair, ha ha, nice big handle inside, ha ha.”
By this time I must’ve resembled a tomato. However, all was redeemed later on and the tables were turned good style. This was the dumbo assistant who didn’t know how to use his computer…
You might be wondering why I’m knackered when Dave’s been doing all the work, well he’s not alone (really). Once I’d finished climbing painting walls I got stuck quite laterally literally into oiling walls. I’ve got a bit carried away over the past couple of days, venturing beyond the bathroom walls and moving on to other walls outside it.
Now it would be really great if all you had to do was walk round with a lint free cloth full of oil, dabbing away (in a circular motion, then up / down with the grain). But it’s not that simple when you’ve got to rub down the walls with sandpaper to get a good finish. Both before, and after each layer of oil (there were three).
It’s enough to pop your shoulder out or even a knee joint when working at floor level. Oh and god forbid when I spilt some it turned to stone within a few seconds, as did the cloth I’d been using yesterday. I went to pick it up off the side this morning and rigor mortis had set in overnight, almost broke my finger on the dam thing.
No need to worry though, this is a perfectly safe working environment provided there’s no human intervention involved…

Monday, 22 February 2010

One week to go till TT is sat on stilts for a painful operation

So we thought we’d have a week off and stay in a hotel, we still haven’t booked anywhere yet though.
There’s a very powsh hotel not far from here that I’d like to stay in, VS a very crap motel just down the road from it that Dave wants to stay in. Unfortunately I know where I’m going to end up because I’ll have to give in as soon as he plays the “with the cost of what’s being done to that boat” card, I’ll fold with guilt.
The list of what’s being done to the boat seems to be growing daily what with one thing and another of late. So when this was but a seed of an idea we started off with nothing major, just:
  • A new bow thruster
  • A black bum
And now it’s grown to:
  • A new bow thruster
  • A black bum
  • A boiler service
  • Discussing the paint and changing our minds about various aspects of what goes where
  • Sign writing the name again 
  • Removal and replacement of the non-slip floor at the bow
Blimey how did all that happen? After discussing things with the painter a couple of days ago, this is what we came up with, just for the paint job(s).
This here…
Which is also this here…
Will be the same blue as the boat, not quite as shiny and with the non-slip coating. TT’s bum will be smacked blacked separately.
Then there’s this…
Bow troubles, ice damage which started last winter…
It’s all going to be ground off, back to steel and re-done, these rust blobs started off as ONE little spot and turned into a crowd over winter.
Then there’s this:
A settlement had to be reached over who had final say about what to do here. I mean if that top bit of the bow’s going to be blue we’re going to lose the name at the front…
Dave just wanted it painted and kindly pointed out that, “well it’s got the name written on both sides near the back of it” but I wanted this…
Copied and sign written on both sides of the bow just like it looks now, guess who won? He He…
No mention of the Battyroom today except to let you know that we’re now up to where we were at last Thursday. So I won’t bore you with what are in effect the same photos.
In fact, we’re moving on one stage further at the moment. Because after a few small glitches and checking the pipes for leaks this afternoon (inspected and passed), Dave’s just fitting the shower! Wonders never cease to amaze…

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Still pratting about with pipes

The bathroom job, Chapter 34, verse 6: “Thou shalt not laugh at thy husband when he’s trying to reposition his pipe.”
I always thought Fawlty Towers was one of the funniest series ever made, but what’s happening here on this Fawlty Boat is rising fast into the realms of classic comedy humour. Dave’s reached the “sod it” stage, but he still won’t give in.
As for me, well you know when you’re in a situation where you want to laugh (in despair) but you’re not supposed to? Like perhaps it wouldn’t be fair on someone else? Well of course that only makes things worse, and I can only pretend for so long. It’s just not in my nature to be dishonest (honest), so there’s a good excuse.
Words just aren’t enough to tell this story – you really need to be here. Dave keeps stomping back and forth with those problem pipes in his hand trying to mould them into the right shape.
One of them looks like a U-bend (it’s not supposed to), and he reckons they’re both going to leak because “Everything I’ve done so far has leaked so I don’t see why they shouldn’t.”
I managed to stay serious till he walked past with one, stuck it under my nose and said “It’s not exactly the prettiest of things is it? Good job nobody’s going to see it I suppose.” Well that did it for me, it sent me overboard, still tittering now.
We’ve just heard through the pipe-vine that the situation is exactly the same on Steve and Diane´s boat. Steve’s tiling his shower, but the air is blue and it’s not going to plan at all.
Meanwhile Diane’s going through the same internal comedy crisis as me. It’s not that our men are inept, they’re both great at DIY. But nothing can compete with the curse that a boat called “Takey Tezey” when it comes to kyboshing improvements of any kind... Theirs is called Takey Tezey 2....................
Deja Vu, we’ve been here before – they’ve been there before…
As far as potential leaks are concerned, I wondered if we could test each pipe in the same way as an inner tube off a tyre?
Now it’s Dave’s turn to laugh at me…

Friday, 19 February 2010

Boat Dissatisfaction

Last night Dave was talking to someone about the problems TT is posing and asked if they wanted to buy a boat – meaning this one. He was only joking (I think).
The saying “The grass is always greener on the other side” came to mind yesterday, it made me wonder if the boating equivalent would be: “The water is always clearer on the other side.” I think it’s a very negative saying that basically implies dissatisfaction with one’s lot.
For me yesterday was all about a glue induced haze of self pity and defeatism. Do I sound like a psychiatrist? Anyway the point is that whatever may drag either of us down, it never lasts long because we both have the ability to bounce back pretty quick. This human asset has proven itself to be priceless at times, especially as owners of a boat with a mind of its own and an attitude problem.
Well after a “day off” today, (nothing special – just running round doing a loads of errands that have piled up). So things are back in proportion again, even if this boat is still testing our patience to the limits of human endurance.
It’s all swings and roundabouts at the moment, as long as the header tank is topped up the CH is now working as per norm, even if it is a bit on the thirsty side. The fact that it’s working at all with the problems it’s got is baffling everyone round here. But all I care about is being warm so what the hell, oh and even the burnt curry smell’s gone – so work that one out. Yes, I know, it’s NOT EEZY. Yet another fine example of how the name of this boat is so contradictory. Perhaps if it had been spelt right? Ah well.
On the other hand, all the work Dave put in yesterday – fitting false walls and making them look straight (aha, a feat in itself on a boat). Well at the end of the day he suddenly realised he’d made the hot / cold water pipes for the shower too short. He keeps saying it was his own fault, but as you can probably understand I don’t believe the blame lies with him at all.
Even so he’s just wrecked one of the walls while trying to rectify the problem, remember that lovely white tile effect from yesterday?
Well right now we’re back to this, and another trip to the tip is required…
Thankfully the base and the other wall are ok…
And these are the pipes with a size problem…
No sympathy please, it’s all quite normal to us now…
Do you think we can get back to where we (thought) we were at yesterday, by tomorrow?

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Not being one to state the obvious

We’re still here, (HELLO) but I’m not happy with the state of things aboard this boat – nope not at all. We contacted Tom (the boiler man who can) last night and after carrying out a “remote diagnosis” of symptoms,, part on Facebook,, part on the phone. The verdict was that it’s probably the Heat Exchanger on the boiler that’s knackered, and he’ll get a replacement for us.
Halfie, thanks for your concern about whether we had a carbon monoxide monitor! Yes we do, quite a sophisticated gadget it is too. Maybe I should have been a bit less of a drama queen yesterday.
A NON-progress report: The CH didn’t come on this morning when it was set to. (We tried despite the situation). So I got up, switched it on myself, and in an instant any silence round here was SHATTERED as the racket it made reverberated for miles around.  I did the right thing, switched it off, heard it die and ran back to bed.
A couple of hours later Dave checked the header tank & it was empty AGAIN (explains why it wouldn’t switch on properly), but he’d only filled it up last night which means it emptied itself while nothing was working. We filled the header tank AGAIN this morning, yet with heavy hearts we both thought the crippled boiler had totally popped its clogs / snuffed it / kicked the barrel. Then it came on – weird, well it always is on this boat.
As for the mystery smell of burnt curry – Dave figured out that it’s similar to the smell of a car radiator when it overheats, if you can remember what that was like. It’s a fair few years since that sort of thing used to happen. Anyway the theory is that it’s burning off “dirty water” so yes, it has a slight aroma shall we say. Well at least we’re finding things out now even if we’re not getting anywhere.
Changing the subject somewhat, in addition to yesterday’s sheep’s wool promotion. Dave said the crazy thing is that he went into the shop for ONE roll and came out with TWO. (Yes the “2 for the price of 1” chestnut). So he thought he might as well take the freebie even if we didn’t need that much. Only then did he ask himself why.
Here’s one roll, it’s nearly the same length as the settee when it´s SIDEWAYS ON…
It’s been shared around a bit amongst friends and compatriots since then, what’s left is stored “down in the depths” on one of the shelves in the engine bay…
Blimey, I haven’t managed a bathroom update yet, this is where we were at last night with the shower…
And this is what it looks like now, still no glass yet…
Well, If this post makes any sense at all it will be a miracle.
Returning to the subject of unwanted smells again, I’ve been breathing in fumes from “Bostick Impact” glue for the past few hours. Dave’s using it in the bathroom on something. I mean how long does this sort of thing take? He’s in and out of there like a yo-yo, using the saloon as a workshop while I’m sat here in the bedroom out the way of getting my leg sawn off.
Well lets be positive about things, at least “Bostick Impact” has killed off the burnt curry aroma that the boiler currently generates. That’s when it’s gracious enough to switch on and work.
In addition to the situation I’ve felt a bit like the proverbial “spare part,” today, even though I was politely told “don’t worry, it’s a one man job this” it still doesn’t help!
I put this on Facebook this morning and surprised myself – it must be the Bostick fumes…
“I can't wait for this boat to go in the boathouse in 10 days time, the workload's too heavy and the problems are too many - I'll be glad of a break from the darn thing. Feel like I'm about to float away into the sunset with a bad headache and a worn out brain cell...”
How morbid of me, was that a sense of apathy creeping in about the mess we’re in? Ah well, writing this blog post has perked me up a bit. Have you ever experienced being on the ceiling…?

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Insulate your cavity´s and fill your cracks for half price

Here at BoatBase we also sell sheep’s wool with a waterproof membrane. As you can see, Dave the warehouse manager kindly put together this fine example in the showroom this morning – while he had nothing better to do.
Good eh? This is only half of it, that’s why it’s half price…
Then there’s still the other wall to do, oh and the shower base has been left covered up for it’s own personal reasons…
Right, that’s enough free promotion for farmer Giles and his sheep shearing skills, let me tell you what went wrong last night. The boat can’t seem to generate any major problems concerning the bathroom at the moment (ha ha). Apart from adding to the amount of work that’s necessary in there, which is the best we could possibly hope for. So it’s resorted to causing mischief in other ways.
Last night Dave and me were innocently sat in the lux con sipping a glass of wine, [not the same glass – we each had one] So while we discussed various things, we got into a conversation about the boat’s boiler (sad I know). The particulars included how clean and quiet it always sounds when the central heating is on, compared to some we’ve heard which sound like a rocket being launched.
A few minutes later we came inside to watch TV, and a few minutes after that the boiler switched itself off, it wasn’t supposed to, but it did. So we left it a while and switched it back on, just over an hour later we could smell burning. Dave thought it was curry at first (?) then after much sniffing around he changed his mind and agreed quite calmly that we were in fact on fire.
We both went running outside and plumes of smoke were coming out of the exhaust, “No it’s alright we’re not on fire – it’s only smoke” says he. “Oh good that’s a relief, we’ll just give it a couple more minutes then eh?” says me.
“Best switch it off then?” (In unison) NOW…
We stayed calm as it went off, coughing, spluttering and hissing, it sounded a bit like a rocket that’s just crash landed (what we get for being smug). Dave checked the header tank, it was empty,, it shouldn’t have been. So he filled it up and tentatively left the timer on, so the CH would come on as normal this morning. But (guess what) it didn’t.
So the warehouse manager here went down into the depths earlier on and pressed the reset button just like Tom (the man who can) showed him ages ago. Then he had a look at the exhaust and some kind of fitting inside it has split. Even so we switched it on, left it running for a couple of hours and it was sort of working somehow.
However, as I was sat here typing away just 5 minutes ago it started up on its own. Set to come on at 5pm – it’s NOT 5pm. With the same symptoms as last night, and there’s that mysterious curry smell too. Melting wires? (Cough).
Sod it, we’re leaving the dam thing on because it’s bloody freezing round here again. So if there’s no blog post tomorrow you’ll know that we either blew up last night or got gassed.       
I really couldn’t make this stuff up could I…?

Monday, 15 February 2010

I´m going to set up my own hardware store

It’ll be called “BoatBase” and delivery will be guaranteed beyond 3 weeks or even longer, well come on, that’s good going at 4mph...
Here’s an assortment of stock we carry on board, and we don’t pass orders on to any other company. Nor do we follow any orders either…
Spot the pile of towels that need washing in one of these photos, (because I can’t be bothered can’t get at my washer).
***BoatBase will not be liable for any screw ups in the delivery process. Items will still be delivered with a smile, even if some are missing. Neither will the proud owner of (whatever) get any guarantees. However there’s a free plunger with every delivery…

Sunday, 14 February 2010

How to plug a sinkhole

Simple, take one sink, two taps, a plug and bung it in. There’s no splash backs up yet, because I think they’ve got lost somewhere so it might take us a while to find them…
This battening is now ready for another layer of wood, so in effect we’ll have a cavity wall behind the shower. I’ve undercoated all this bit just for an extra layer of protection on it…
All the pipes on the boat are plastic, but Dave’s had to join copper pipes to the plastic ones at floor level, because the connectors on the plastic ones are too wide to sit between the battens! One step forward two steps back syndrome set in for a while there, but we´re used to it... Well, indoctrinated might be a better word...
Well that’s enough of that, as we all know, today’s Valentines Day. So we’ve had to postpone it till tomorrow because when you’re on a roll with various jobs, it’s best to “go with the flow” even if it’s Christmas day. We’ve had enough delays and we’re both knackered, even so, we did the card and present thing, and I got this:
Yummy, we can celebrate the not finished bathroom…

We’ve decided to go out for a nice romantic meal tomorrow, last year we discovered (on the night itself) that everywhere was booked up. The Chinese takeaway was no replacement but by then we were starving...  
Sod the crowds, leave the romantic meal till the night after when all is quiet, he he…

Saturday, 13 February 2010

A sinkhole

Not the traditional pothole,, of which there are many in the roads round here right now), think laterally:
This is the hole (in the counter top) where the sink (with taps on it) will be sunk.
  • After cutting said counter top to size, with me as the “gripper.”
  • After having to make it fit with precision.
  • After cutting the hole for the sink, (that took 2 hours).
Dave’s now got a bad back and I’ve hurt my shoulder. Well it’s all part of the fun isn’t it? I mean isn’t it? More photos to follow when we get to the end result of this particular section of the bathroom.
We’ve got a fellow Bonkers Bathroom Boaters coming round for a well earned feast in a few minutes. The rest of Steve and Diane’s bathroom fixtures and fittings arrived today. So no surprises as to what Steve’s also been up to, swapping tools back and forth between us during moments of crisis has been part of it all. Then Dave burnt his drill out and the boat smelt like it was on fire.
Hence both boats look like smelly dusty scrapheaps with stuff everywhere, at least the chicken smells good even if we all stink…

Friday, 12 February 2010

SIZE matters

Do ya think this is big enough?
Tried to get a floor to ceiling setting in this photo to give some indication of size. At 3133 BTU it should blast out slightly more heat than the old one did, I mean the radiator not the toilet.
Oh and aside from my shadow checkout the sheen on that wall in the background, (cheesy grin). It's still waiting for some nice wood trim on it, but I'll leave that to Dave.
Today I started painting some shelves, meanwhile Dave finished a load of little niggling jobs, then we both put the radiator up. It’s leaking a bit and the roof panel's not back on the roof yet, but hey it's a start.
And we’re knackered…

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Waiting for paint to dry, so the boredom factor creeps in

Yesterday I (yes, me) undercoated two of the walls in the bathroom, which thinking about it does indeed inspire boredom to set in good style.
The mind wanders as the roller (wanders) up, down and round about, at one point I was sunbathing on a beach in the Caribbean somewhere till some paint splattered on my glasses.
Today’s quest has been to paint said walls with the proper stuff. After the first coat this morning it’s a bit patchy so I’m about to work a nightshift and slap another layer on, I knew one wouldn’t be enough anyway.
Ah well I’d better go and get started while Dave’s still messing about with pipes, don’t ask.
Clue: Different pipes – Different problem. I didn’t quite catch the details when he tried to explain because I was sunbathing at the time…
Outside of the bathroom, this is how the sun shines here – it just bounces off the ice…
Took these this aft while I was putting some more sun tan lotion on…