People have asked me if I had fun the other weekend, going to visit the Crazy Canalman. The short answer is “Yes, I had fun”.
Now for the long answer…
We’ve always done DIY in my family – you only call in the professionals as a last resort. Like the time Granddad put a drill through the cold water pipes one May Bank Holiday, and Farv had to frantically bribe the plumber to visit whilst Mum (pregnant with me) dealt with a screaming infant (my brother, a horrible child by all accounts), the cat having a heart attack downstairs, and my step-Gran being… my step-Gran. Granddad, so family legend goes, just sat there till the plumber came, with his finger in the hole like the little Dutch boy.
This love of DIY has stood the Crazy Canalman in good stead on the boat. As soon as one thing is mended, another three seem to break, but we’ve only had to call in the professionals for fitting of the boiler and actually installing the cooker, though admittedly my uncle (engineer-turned-brain surgeon/army medic. Truly.) has helped a fair bit.
One of the reasons I went up to the boat last weekend was to give a hand with some of the ongoing works – somewhere along the line tiling the bathroom morphed into putting up shelves, but hey, it’s all fun!
I would like you to ponder something for a moment: how do you put up shelves when there isn’t a straight line on the boat, and when the entire centre of gravity is constantly shifting due to movement on the water?
The answer is not easily. It can be done. We proved it, as evidenced by this picture, but the entire thing was judged by eye and bodged together out of some Ikea units that weren’t really designed to work together. I think it turned out pretty damn good.
Anyway, to make more room, Farv had to say goodbye to his “captain’s chair”, a wonderfully comfortable black leather swivel arm chair I’ve coveted since the moment he bought it four/five years ago. The first time I sat in the thing I had this mental image of the Bond villain, swivelling round, stroking that fluffy cat, and we needed another chair in the living room at Meadow Towers, so…
(And please note my shiny boots – the bargain boots).