Beer and Vodka Please.

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We’re still here, on the water not below it which is testament to the paint job I did, (oh for goodness sake stop with the painting!). We haven’t moved very far, about 12 metres and none of that under power, not that there’s anything wrong with our engine, it’s just easier to pull Adventurer’s ropes for such a small distance. All is good, in comparison to others…… All is good.

12I finally managed to get that house outta my life this week, oh sweet blessings. You may not know so here’s the back story. My grandfather died in 2006, (narrowly missing his 100th birthday by just a few months), and left some money. I was full on for spending it on beer and vodka but in a moment of clarity I decided to do something mature and sensible and buy a house, (in hindsight the beer and vodka was a much better plan). There was no way I could afford to buy a house on the Costa del Sol where we lived at the time so we looked further inland, and then we looked even further inland until we came to a small village with a one bedroom wreck selling for 18k. I bought it, renovated it with an extra six or seven thousand and then tried to sell it. (There’s no way we were moving right out there, this place is miles from anywhere, the whole idea was to make a bit of extra cash). I’ve been trying to sell that house for 8 years and it has finally gone, YAY! In the end I had to put the price right down to 9,000, the agent’s fee was 4,000 and then, because the buyer was dragging his heels and wasn’t able to complete before we left for France I had to get a lawyer to act on my behalf, after she claimed 1,500 and I paid the various bits and bobs I have come out of this with about 1,400€ (yes, that’s one thousand four hundred €uros). These figures are all correct by the way, if there was another nought or two on the end I may have not been so forthcoming writing this but here we are, and you know what, I am so fracking happy that the house is outta my life, it was like a curse that was dragging me down. By the way, if any readers have nefarious plans to crash the housing market, give me some money to buy a house, believe me it’ll work, I bought a house in 1990, the market crashed and then another in 2008, the market crashed again, all I ask is a little compensation, it would be nice to make a bit of money from a house purchase. Moral of the story, beer and vodka is better than bricks and mortar any day.

Remember me telling you about the boat we nicknamed “Tourettes” the other week? The owner has started taking on some of the more well-known symptoms of this syndrome/disease? He’s been in the water for over two weeks now and hasn’t actually moved at all, first they thought there was an issue with the engine’s fuel injectors, then something else, now they are looking to replace the oil pump, (which means taking the engine out completely). All he wants to do is head south to where it’s warmer but his window to do this is closing very quickly, (wait, WHAT? I’ll get back to this later). Moored next to us (literally, they are tied to us), is the Mvuu (pronounced moo voo, it’s Zulu for hippopotamus), a dutch widebeam. An Australian couple have bought her, (slightly early) for their retirement, but they’re having problems and it looks like their three week holiday on the other side of the world will be spent moored while they wait for the boatyard to suss out why their boat won’t work. As I write this they have just been untied and taken to the slip to be taken out of the water, seems it’s a bigger problem than they thought?¿! There goes another thousand. You see now why I said all is good, we can’t go anywhere because we haven’t got our licence yet, but we can go (as soon as we pay the bill). Talking of licences, we have found someone and Vanessa will be taking her ICC (International Certificate of Competence) in the next few weeks, we decided that I would take mine a little later to save some money, being the name on the boat insurance Vanessa has to be the “captain”, I believe that makes me first mate.

Mvuu (it does look kinda like a hippo).

Mvuu (it does look kinda like a hippo).

So what`s this about windows to travel south closing? Well, winter comes in pretty sharpish around these parts with the mistral blowing in from the north-west making the Rhône difficult to navigate for smaller boats. I had thought that we’d be able to head south anytime up to November before the locks close for the winter but it doesn’t look likely. So, karma comes to bite me in the arse for all those comments I made about cold weather to people in Scotland and England (and maybe Wales too). It looks like this adventure includes our first “proper” winter in over 15 years, thank goodness we have a diesel heater on board, we have already started getting ourselves ready, Vanessa has waxed her jacket and our hats, we have sourced some clay plant pots for the unheated rooms (I’ll explain later), we’ve learned all sorts of tricks with bubble wrap and tarpaulin, the Adventurer probably won’t look like a boat for the winter months but we should be warm, and if things get really cold I’m going to grab my nuts and hibernate the winter away.

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So that’s that, what? You wanna hear about the cats? Oh good grief. Okay, at the moment we are not in the best place for them to be going out, in fact we have the doors and windows open all day and they stay in, we are near to the boat yard and it is kinda noisy. When the sun goes down Felix the brave goes out quite a way while Heidi and Lara stay very close to home, I don’t think Heidi has been more than a metre from the gangplank yet. I feel for them, having been outside cats for so long they must be quite bored, but before you go “aah, how awful for them, bad parents Spike and Vanessa”, they are happy, they purr and walk with their tails very high so all is good. Once we have the licence we’ll be able to go a little further afield and moor in a much quieter place for them to roam around. I haven’t told them about this winter thing yet, I can imagine we’ll have to sleep in the bunk beds as the kids will have taken over the bed next to the heater.

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