Thursday 31 January 2013


Blue skies, sunny and windy this morning, not that I actually saw much of it sleeping till almost lunchtime. The rhino is bobbing about. Our only-just ex-student youngest son descended on us last night, together with a complete wardrobe of dirty clothes. The washing machine is glowing red whilst the drier resembles one of those huge power station cooling towers, complete with plumes of steam rising several hundred feet into the sky, blocking out the sun for everyone in Anstey. The plus point of all this turmoil is the drier steam pipe finally permanently being fixed through a new hole in the shed side, rather than poking out of the door whilst in use. Since getting our new drier I had intended completing the job but the high pace of retirement prevented it. Another step back into middle class! For those of you living abroad, the class system is still alive and well in Britain.I suspect we are probably in the old-gits class at the moment, retired, old and insignificant. I am not sure what class we'll be in once on the boat. A large tupperware sea going gin-palace would certainly raise us to upper class, but where does a narrowboat fit? The gin-palace owners will call us bargee's whilst the middle classes will call us quaint. Both classes will call the narrowboat a barge, much to our horror. To us a barge carried coal or other industrial substances before the railways made them obsolete. We defend narrowboats and their owners to the hilt, which I guess makes us bloody canal snobs? We've promised ourselves, as boat owners, we will not look down our noses at hire-boats and their crews, as used to happen to us during our floating holidays. I certainly consider my boat handling skills match theirs. It is always a laugh watching the faces of a tupperware boat crew as we draw our narrowboat alongside in a lock.....sheer horror, as they quickly hang old car and bike tyres,fairy liquid bottles,inflated condoms etc over the side. 20 tonnes of steel versus a few ounces of tupperware equals no contest. I'm still trying to get my head round this boat owning lark. Trying to convince myself it is a reality, the fulfilment of a long-standing dream. Trying to believe we've achieved it with little or no spare money, largely thanks to Lynne and her infamous accountancy skills. We're broke again now. Materially rich, cash poor. But what the hell? At MCC I become an excited schoolboy with £20 pocket money in the Cadbury, Bournville factory shop. It is difficult to maintain this excitement away from the boatyard but I'm getting there. Depression, what depression? Launch is getting so close. Our Naval insurance company still owes us final settlement for the car, over a month since the accident and are still P*****G us about, although a noteable large improvement in their service means they phone us rather than visa versa at 8 pence a minute. If the Titanic owners insured with the naval company they should receive the cheque within the next few days.

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