Monday, April 27, 2009

To go back to the very beginning..... Chapter 5

We found out vert quickly that fitting out a boat was not really the same as DIY in a house! Apart from the fact your working in very limited spaces, the plumbing is somewhat different too! This was all so alien to John and I, so thankfully my Brother, John, came to our rescue. He too wasn't sure how to go about fitting the boat out. He would get information from the internet which he would study and then he would put into practice what he had learned. He was amazing! He did all the plumbing, including Gas central heating, all the electrics, 240 and 12v, not only did he do all that he helped with other things too. He put antifreeze in the system to save us having any problems in the winter. To say he was fantastic only scratches the surface, we just couldn't have done it without him. Once all the plumbing and electrics were in place we brought in a Corgi Registered Gas Fitter to check everything before we used it. We also got a professional electrician in to look over the wiring. Everything passed with flying colours. Considering my Brother had no experience of Boatfitting he had done an incredible job! My Mum really helped us out too, buying us a cooker, washing machine, dryer and many otherthings along the way we will always be gratefull for the help we got from both Mum and my Brother John. Once plumbing and electrics were in place we could really get down to business. John had installed the bulk heads so the rooms were defined. The layout from Stern to Bow being, Bedroom, Bathroom, Galley and Saloon. John really wanted to build the Kitchen from scratch, but as he had put in so much work doing everything else we decided to buy a kitchen in and alter it to fit the Galley, ( sounds simple but like everthing else it was a job and a half!) We chose a shaker style in a lovely Buttermilk shade, and topped them off with solid wood Butcher block work tops. The Buttermilk complimented all the other wood on the boat and we were delighted with the finished kitchen. The splashback tiles we chose were like a washed out terecotter and beige, these we used for around the fire too. I wanted quite neutral colours for the permanent fixtures so that in the future I would be able to have a change of colour scheme. When we first got the boat we needed something up on the windows for privicy, as I didn't want the lovely new curtains Mum had made getting ruined with dirt and dust, we opted for plastic venetion blinds. The blinds were only a temporary measure, but we liked them so much that when all the fitting out was finished and we were'nt creating so much dust, we invested in some really nice wooden blinds. They complimented the decor in the saloon and Galley perfectly. I also put up the nice check terracotta curtains Mum kindly made, but with the blinds I don't need to close the curtains, so they stay neatly tied back. Also when most of the dusty, dirty jobs were out of the way we finally, at last, put our Stressless swivel chairs in place on the boat. That day was special, after using foldaway deckchairs for so long, it gave us a real buzz to see our gorgeous new chairs in place! I must have been mad choosing cream leather but that's what I wanted and they do look nice. Just a quick wipe now and again keeps them clean., and again they will go with any colour I might want to change to in the future. The Bathroom we did in plastic paneling. I wanted tiles to begin with, but my brother had recently had his bathroom done in white panels and it looked great, so decision made. John was just going to panel the shower and halfway up the walls, but we liked the look so much we decided to do the whole Bathroom, and very smart it looked to! To break up all the white John put chrome coloured strips inbetween the panels of white, the strips complimented the chrome heated towel rail and taps. I now had a gorgeous Bathroom! The white Bathroom was a nice contrast to all the wood in the boat, it gave a feel of airiness and spaceplus yet again, I could change the look of the Bathroom with different coloured towels, mats etc.I had lots of Lilac towels and bits and peices from the house so chose to use them rather than go to more expense. The white, chrome and Lilac looks fresh and clean and people often comment on how nice it looks. The Bedroom was an absolute pleasure to finish. Being able to fall into bed in the finished room was bliss! There was nothing special about the Bedroom fitout, we didn't go over board with fancy touches, just the bed, wardrobe, overbed locker and a drawer unit with basket drawers that looks like it was made to measure! Once nice bedding, a few knicknacks and pictures were put into place the Bedroom looked really inviting. I also added some of those wavy mirrors to reflect some of the light coming through the port holes, it worked too! Finally I treated my self to a lovely little Tiffany Lamp which gives off a nice cosy glow on those long dark winter nights.. Tiffany Lamps are like Marmite, you either love em or hate em, I personally love them and thinkk they look really great on Narrowboats. I have two Tiffanyish lamps in the Saloon but I have promised myself two real ones one day, I think I will get myself a money box for my Tiffany fund as they are so expensive, but worth it in my opinion. There were many many things we got really excited over once they were first fitted, but one thing that sticks in my mind was the fire. The day that went in I was over the moon, that little black fire sitting in the corner on the plinth that John built, and I proudly tiled, blew us away! My Brother, with John helping fitted the fire for us too! ( was there anything he couldn't do??!0 when we lit the fire for the first time, all three of us ran outside to watch amazed as the smoke spiralled out of the newly appointed chimney! That little fire was the icing on the Tickety Boo Cake! It turned what was just a boat into our hard earned cozy home, that even after all the blood, sweat and tears we both loved with a passion. We very rarely use the central heating as the fire is so hot,but the heating is nice as a back up. There are still lots of tales about Ticketys fit out that I will share now and again but for now that more or less brings us up to present day. Its been five Years this year, its been the biggest learning curve ever for both John and I. We have learned how to cope with disapointment and turn it around, we have learned how to be oh so gratefull for what we do have, most important of all we have learnt, after recent events just how precious life is, and how important to appreciate each day no matter what the content of that day might be. We have personally learnt that we would both prefer to be rich with time not money. After everything that's been thrown at us, and we know only too well people go through far worse, we have come out the other end closer than ever, and so looking forward to whatever life may bring on board Tickety Boo.! Watch this space!........................

1 comment:

Soulgirl said...

Is your Brother available for hire? :o)