Thursday, April 09, 2009

To go back to the very beginning..... Chapter 3

Once John and I got the boat onto the mooring, it was painfully obvious we wouldn't be able to live on her for a while. All our hopes and dreams crushed. The only consolation was the fact that at least we had the boat, a lot of customers didn't have anything to show for all the money they gave the builders. Sadly some customers were reduced to fighting over shells they thought belonged to them. Luckily John and I knew exactly which boat was ours, we had photos from the base plate right through to when the builders went bust. Even though we did feel lucky to at least have the boat it still didn't ease the feeling of devastation. Instead of being debt free and the owners of a brand new fully fitted boat, we were left with an empty shell. Eventually we knew feeling sorry for ourselves and wallowing in selfpity wouldn't solve anything, so we rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in. We rented a house off my brother and every spare minute we had was spent on the boat. The little house we rented was great but after we had spent time traveling backwards and forwards from house to boat I decided enough was enough. I wanted to move on the boat permanently. Sheer madness! Tickety Boo was empty no water no privacy as there were no bulkheads fitted. She was just a cargo hold! Non the less I had made up my mind, I was moving in! John being the star he is agreed and we moved in. We must have been bonkers, but I was finally where I wanted to be afloat on Tickety Boo. Regardless of the fact we had nothing I soon had the boat resembleing a cozy dwelling. We had two blow up beds that we stacked on top of each other during the day to make a couch. We didn't have a tap on the boat but we had one on the mooring. We had huge plastic containers full of water on the boat, I would boil water on our little two burner stove,for tea, or to have a wash. I cooked some really nice meals on that little stove. We would go to Mums for our showers, she didn't live too far away which was handy. Far from being fed up with the situation I was loving every minute of being on the boat. We had a lot of hard work ahead of us, made even harder by the fact we had no idea of how to fit out a fifty foot narrow boat! The fastest way to learn is when you have no choice but to get on with it. As I have mentioned before my brother, John was a Godsend, he did all the plumbing and electrics, amazing considering he had never done it before. The one saving grace we had was the fact that we managed to get the engine fitted, so when things got really bad, and John and I would start tearing strips off each other, we would down tools and go for a cruise. Being able to do this saved our sanity as well as our relationship on many many occasions over the years. These small jaunts we would take on the boat would restore our faith in what we were doing. At times I would just sit and cry with sheer frustration. Anybody who has worked fitting out boat will know how limited you are with space, so also trying to live on the boat at the same time is very trying to say the least! After each day of work on the boat I would once again clean away all the mess before I could cook tea and make up the bed. It was a constant battle against sawdust and tools. I did do my best to make the boat homely, even putting a nice vase of flowers out now and again, a bit like putting a Dicky Bow on a tramp really! Its a woman thing really, I just wanted Tickety Boo to feel like home and surprisingly she did more or less straight away. We just felt we were where we belonged.

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