Day 3 (written earlier but not published)
Today was pretty slow and frustrating. The ‘inspection porthole’ that contains the necessary inlet and outlet holes for the water tank had somehow come out of the box and it must be in my shed somewhere. Or in the garden. Wherever it is, it’s not here which necessitated some re-thinking and the purchasing of extra bits, and me feeling extremely cross with myself. Still, we got over the problem and work continued, although to be honest you’d be hard pressed to see any real evidence of it.
I now know that my boat was originally on RFA Fort Victoria, number B5 to be exact. A friend of mine some stuff in the Lloyds shipping database, but when the void was finally cleared, a paper voucher for a free drink at the CPO and PO’s bar (Chief Petty Officer and Petty Officer, apparently). That’s her name sorted then – from now on, she’ll be known as Bee Five and will have her name painted somewhere, along with appropriate illustrations, in due course.
Living with the tides is already dictating what happens and when. Shopping for food and boat-related stuff has to take place when getting it aboard is relatively easy. Thank goodness the weather is so warm and lovely – I’d hate to be getting on and off (not to mention having to walk up the garden to the house to use the loo) in the rain and cold. Oh, and my waterless toilet should arrive on Wednesday. For more on that subject, there was a long and detailed conversation on FB yesterday, but basically everyone except me seems appalled at the idea of using your own waste to make compost (along with the usual kitchen waste and garden cuttings) to use for growing vegetables. All I can say is, if you visit, and I feed you something home grown, don’t ask!
In other news, I can that report that driving anywhere in Southampton is a nightmare. There are traffic lights everywhere, one way systems, everyone drives like a lunatic and I’ve seen more police cars in three days than I see in six months in Devon. And it’s full of students!
Yes, I know. I failed to keep my blog beyond day 2, really. I was just too tired and, frankly, progress seemed slow. I now realise that progress was in fact incredible, given the problems faced. Nothing was straightforward. Decisions had to be made. It all took time. In spite of the sheer size of the inside of this boat, it became cramped, impossible to move stuff around in, and tempers walked to the fabled line in the sand. The gentlest, mildest mannered man in the whole world nearly lost it but, in the end, most was completed. I can have a hot shower, sleep comfortably, cook, keep food refrigerated, and keep warm. Everything else is just gloss.
I’ll post all the photos so far in a separate gallery post, so you can appreciate them.
Tomorrow, it all begins at Uni. I missed the opening weekend (I travelled back on Saturday night, and returned today), but that’s ok. I saw many students walking around Southampton with parents, and shopping in various places with their parents. It made me sad because I don’t have anyone to be there for me, but at the same time proud that I’ve made it this far and am taking a real leap of faith.
There are people out there without whom none of this would have been possible. You know who you are, and I love you for it. Others have made it possible inadvertently. They probably don’t know who THEY are, but thanks are still owed.
Onwards and upwards, as they say!