This Boat Rocks.

No seriously, it does rock. I have checked the stands and they are all tight and secure, and yet the boat feels like it moves just a little. I’m thinking it is nothing to do with the boat itself and more to do with the floor boards, but I gotta say it was more than a little worrying as I didn’t notice it until after I first moved the stands. Vanessa blanched when she noticed and was off the boat like a shot, it didn’t help that I was saying stuff like don’t stand too far forward, or park the car too near the boat. It’s funny, but there is a little voice in the back of my head saying “are you sure, is 12 stands enough, are they secure, are they?”.

So obviously we’re still on the hard but you know it’s not as annoying as some would think, we’ll get there, it just adds to the anticipation for when we finally get put on the back of the tractor and delivered into the water. I don’t know if it is just H2O or the French in general, but there is a very Spanish “mañana mañana” attitude, as in “yeah yeah it’ll get done… tomorrow”. Personally I love this philosophy, but like any good prank it’s only funny when I do it, not so much when it is done to us.

Monkey Fist

Monkey Fist

So what are we doing with ourselves? Vanessa is busy doing Tarot readings, she recently had a sale on her website, but is doing another next week with a new deck, check out her page here, or click the link elsewhere on this page, (yes yes I’m on commission). Me, I’m learning stuff, give me a rope and a book on knots and I’m there learning everything except the knots that we’ll actually need. I saw a knot called the Monkey Fist and I had to make that, it’s absolutely useless to us, but Monkey Fist? What a great name. Unfortunately I did such a good job that I can’t undo it, bye bye piece of rope, hello hefty cat toy. Also I’ve been playing around making survival bracelets, (those fat lumps of rope wrapped around the likes of Bear Grylls wrist), I got a lump of paracord and it came with a couple of fasteners, huge great things that would suit better the collar of a German Shepherd rather than someone’s wrist. So, the challenge now is to make a decent paracord bracelet (cos you never know when someone is gonna say “I don’t suppose you’ve got 4 metres on rope on you old chap”), without using the buckles but also that it may be easily taken off and on. While all this is going on we are attempting to master the French language, which isn’t easy, I thought we had a head start because of our Spanish but it seems this is more of a hindrance, we think we’re speaking French but actually Spanish is coming out of our mouths, it’s ironic that we have spoken more Spanish here in the last five weeks than the last year in Spain?¿!

What else, ooh yeah, life without the internet, of course we have access to the intertubes but we have to walk to the marina clubhouse to get a signal. I thought one of the hard things about our new life “on the water” was going without the internet, and you know it was remarkably easy, my semi addiction to Facebook disappeared without a trace, (though I’m still a little cold turkey from a lack of YouTube). I do feel a little bad though, I want you to read these blogs that I post and then share onto Facebook, but then I don’t look through my timeline to see what you lot are doing, and then I kinda got that that’s what half of my “friends” do anyway, so no biggie, and no reason to feel bad. I would say that I miss the ability to look up information online, of course I still can, but I have to list what I want to look up, and then I invariably forget the list when I go to the clubhouse, so that has gone by the by too.

The cats can now go out (during the day), the door is open and they can come and go as they want. Felix has reverted to being an outside cat again, which is cool, but Heidi and Lara haven’t even been off the boat yet, we set up a gang plank for them but all they do is walk around the deck a couple of times and then settle indoors again. I guess this is fine, but can they stop using the litter trays please. It is still early days yet, and truth be told I would rather they carry on as they are until they see and understand the true horror of what we have moved onto, (a house… on the water, idiot humans).

That’s about it, I just want to share these pictures that Vanessa was sent thanks to the WOB (Women on Barges) Facebook page, I’m not sure that this is OUR Adventurer as there were at least three. The layout has changed a tad in the intervening years, the single berth at the stern is now cupboards and the “state” room is actually a bit bigger now thanks to a moved wall, we’re still trying to suss out the double berth in the saloon, we think it refers to the floor?¿! The Broads Authority licence disc is still on board.

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Thanks for reading, please feel free to leave a comment 🙂

The Cat’s Out of the Boat

Felix? Shoulda called me Barney Rubble.

Felix? Shoulda called me Barney Rubble.

Idiotically, we bowed to severe pressure from Felix on Saturday and let him out for a while. I have no clue what we were thinking, I thought he would just mosey around the boat, sniffing and rubbing himself against whatever he could, you know how cats are, this is mine, and this is mine, and this bit too, that’s mine. Oh no, bearing in mind while we’re on the hard and the deck is over two metres off the ground (which in hindsight is nothing for a cat), he made a beeline for the stern and disappeared over the side faster than you could say “cat overboard”. Behind the boat is a large field, but before the field is a ditch that is really quite deep and overgrown, there is also all manner of crap down there, (there’s a fender that I thought would be worth looking at, but it is almost impossible to get down there to see). Of course, Felix was in there like a shot. Cats are remarkably clever though, they know… It’s pointless finishing that sentence as, well, they just know. I know too, I know that he’s been here a month and his feline GPS has homed in and he knows exactly where he is. I know that no matter how stupid he acts, he isn’t, but when you see a cat high tail it away from you and leap with lemming abandon over the side of a boat, all this information disappears and you’re left wondering if you’ll ever see him again. We did briefly twenty minutes later after much meowing and Vanessa calling his name, he popped his head out of the undergrowth, you could almost see that he had sussed out that he really did know where he is, (testing testing 1-2-3), and then he was gone again. When we saw him next (two worrisome hours later), he was nonchalantly walking on the roof of a nearby hut without a care in the world. It’s then that all the stuff you know about cats comes back to mind and you wonder  a) why you were so worried, and b) why you let the little bastard out in the first place.

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For all my whingeing about the price of food here in France (6€ for a kilo of potatoes in the local store), we are doing very well, though becoming (almost) vegetarian wasn’t what I had in mind. I’ve had to learn a different way of cooking, (yes folks, I do all the cooking, how “new-man” of me), when we had a freezer I would make a big pot of stock and freeze it into portions. Also, instead of making one meal, I’d make ten, portion off and freeze. I can’t do that anymore, I did look at getting a small freezer for the boat, but with prices from €700, that idea’s going to have to wait a while, plus we’d need another solar panel to power it, and some sun, which is a sore point at the moment. Also, people’s kindness is going a long way to making the transition a little easier. The other day a lovely Australian couple were leaving after an extended stay on their boat and left us not only the contents of their pantry, but the contents of their drinks cabinet, yay! Thank you so much guys, and also a big thank you to Georgie and John for our super BBQ, I aspire to throw some meat on it, but for the moment it’s beanburgers, but hey, they’ll be washed down with a glass of Merlot.

A brief update on the prop shaft, two people came by this morning, sucked their teeth, shook their heads, and left. I am starting to wonder whether we’ve bought a static caravan instead of a boat.