I have a bed! This week, a VERY SPECIAL PERSON came and made me my very own bed. I could have done it myself – in fact, I really wanted to just to prove to myself that I could do it, but I just didn’t have the time. The coursework deadlines are coming thick and fast. The most miraculous thing about it was the mattress – did you know that Ikea do a SPRUNG mattress that you pull off the shelf ROLLED UP? I swear, it was only about 5-6cm thick when we unrolled it, but within a couple of hours it had expanded itself to its full glory. Why doesn’t everyone sell mattresses this way? It makes so much sense. It wasn’t expensive either – £200 – and I remember paying £250 for my first double mattress way back in 2007 and I had to scrap it after four years because it became so uncomfortable*. The slats were another £24, the wood about £50 and hey presto! I have a magnificent bed!
It really has transformed my space – I wasn’t using the ‘forrad** third of the boat because it wasn’t big enough to accommodate the sofa bed, so it was just filled with empty boxes (I always keep boxes if I can) and tools (also in boxes, but this time large purchased plastic boxes). The boxes are still there, but they’re under the bed. Now, I can have a nap whenever I want one, and can even watch TV in bed. What luxury! This also means I can accommodate guests on the sofa bed, and I have a proper sitting area. The final thing I need is a collapsible desk, so that I can get my sewing machine out and make some things again, starting with a curtain under the bed to hide the boxes, curtains for privacy, and slippers for visitors.
The weather here has been changeable to say the least. This afternoon, I walked Millie in warm sunshine and it could have been October. This morning, I had to put on a hat and gloves because it was so cold. A few days ago, the top of Bee was covered in frost. The stove I have is better suited to cold weather – I don’t know if it’s the fact that it’s made of steel as opposed to cast iron, or because the flue is short – but it’s usually pumping out more heat than I need, or it’s struggling to keep going. I intend to buy another metre of external flue pipe over the Christmas holidays, and fit it when I can. It’ll make Bee look a little ridiculous, but it’s removable (as is the rest of the external flue) so that’s fine.
In other news, we discovered that Bee has reverse gear. This may not seem like much, but when you have to manoeuvre it makes all the difference. The engine cooling system was broken when Bee was craned off a lorry and into the water, so this needs fixing. Furthermore, a lot of the internal structure such as the exhaust and the pilot’s chair was removed when she was converted to a floating flat, none of which is any problem to replace. It just makes A VERY SPECIAL PERSON very happy to know that migration is just few hours’ maintenance away….. .
I also have another solar panel, which takes me up to the maximum 120w that my charge controller can manage. The on-board batteries run the water pump, bilge pump (used to pump out the shower water) and the fan which eliminates toilet odour. They’ve been managing ok, but the reduced daylight hours and the dull weather meant that they weren’t keeping pace. The extra solar panel seems to have solved that problem – battery capacity is currently standing at 75% which is just fine.
Finally, I’m posting the two pieces of coursework I’ve completed and handed in. You don’t have to read them, or make any comments (unless you want to of course). I’m putting them up here more as a record of what I’ve achieved so far. The essay could have been improved – I can see that – but there comes a time when you just have to walk away and promise yourself you’ll so better in the next piece of work.
* note to ex-husband who is probably reading this because he still hasn’t moved on: due to all the rampant sex I was having, naturally.
** a nautical term, I understand.