three months of living on a boat

Me and mine (the man and the cat) have been living on a boat in and around London for three months now.  We learnt early on that the lights are a no-go because they drain the batteries so we have storm lanterns and candles for light and a little squirrel solid fuel stove for heat.  The problematic electrics have most recently led to a defunct water pump so I now spend lots of time sitting in cafes charging my phone and laptop and filling up large five litre bottles of water!  An opportune time for posting on here…

It’s amazing just how much water you get through in a day.  I am down to about five litres for drinking (mainly tea) and washing up but this is because the toilet and shower aren’t currently consumers of the clear stuff.  Cream cleansers and baby-wipes are seriously useful and I could give a guided tour of swimming pools across the capital!

This week my friend Johnny has been crafting a sofa/bed and storage combination in our living space.  I have plans to paint the wooden parts turquoise and make mattress covers from the old wool blankets that my mum collects.

The first guest to experience the new bed was my man’s sister and she proclaims it “a successful upgrade from the floor and sleeping bag combo…” But she hasn’t experienced it with mattresses yet so I will demand more enthusiasm on her next visit.

I have been sanding and priming like mad to make the living room presentable again before work starts in the bilge/engine room in a couple of weeks time.  Once we have a full set of batteries (3 leisure and 1 starter) in their own neat box with the appropriate wires, connectors and isolator switches the fun can really start!  We should then be able to see why the alternator is making such a hideous creaking and have access to the bits of the engine that need reconditioning.

With no running water and no electricity, our home can feel a little like a tent that’s afloat.  But then a roaring fire in the stove, some foraged mushrooms fried and spread on toast and a good dvd playing on a fully charged laptop mean that this is even better than the tent of my childhood dreams!

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