Friday, December 03, 2021

Winterising...sort of

I've been a bit quiet here lately owing to a number of interruptions to my blogging life; in other words, I've had other writing to do that's taken priority during November. 

Suffice to say, I tried my hand at NaNoWriMo to finish a book I started four years ago, and I'm over the moon to be able to confirm that the first draft is finished. Whether it will be good enough to publish later when I've been back and revised it a few times, I don't yet know, but I'm very chuffed to have met the target of fifty thousand words in one month (the purpose of NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National November Writing Month).

Now I'll get back to the usual routines, I hope, one of which is keeping up with my blog, which is still my favourite corner of the Internet. I love writing and reading blog posts and I've missed my usual rounds during November. Normal service will shortly be resumed :)

Anyway, what is there actually to report at the end of this exceptionally wet, cold and gloomy month?

Well, at our new mooring, things are still great and we are enjoying the tranquillity of life away from the city. I have, however, discovered the downside of this beautifully green, tree-lined section: leaves. Lots of them. Our spot is right next to a beautiful willow tree, which is busily shedding and has been doing so for several weeks. Each time we come here from Zeeland, my first job is to try and wash them all off, but within an hour, there's a new layer of them covering the decks and tarpaulin.

Before

You've guessed! After :)

Another consequence of the 'orrible weather is the unlikelihood that we'll be faring again any time soon. I won't say it's impossible, but neither of us enjoys standing out in the cold, wind and rain, and believe me, it's finger-freezing cold now! With this in mind, I've semi-winterised certain bits of the barge to protect them and also to stop one or two leaks that keep coming back to nag at me.

The first is in the teak entrance hatch to the back cabin (roef) of the barge. Being wood, it expands and contracts and tends to drip when we have heavy rain. I've sorted out a cover for it, which I hope will prevent this leakage during the winter at least. It's not very professional, but at least it works. I'd love to have a good one made one of these days, though.


As you can also see here, I've made a cover for the steering wheel as well, which helps to prevent rusting and also protects the mechanism from direct rainfall, some of which follows the shaft down and into the engine room. I have a series of buckets to receive it. Both these covers are, as you can see, a vision of cheap brown tarpaulin and duct tape. Smart? Not really, but they work. At least I hope they do. The photo above was taken before my leaf eradicating session, but I expect there are just as many on the decks again now. After all, that was at least half an hour ago.

Anyway, so that's really all the news. Or is it? Not completely. A quick dash over to the Hennie H and I can proudly say I've finally finished cupboard number 2 and am ready to embark on the next one. Here's a photo, a bit fuzzy, but you get the idea. I'm pretty happy with the way it's turned out.



So that's it allemaal. Enjoy your weekend and next time I'll be writing about something totally different. In fact, it's a bit of a gripe, but a good humoured one (I hope). I can tell you in advance it concerns maintenance of a different kind!


18 comments:

  1. Very well done on your 50,000 words, Val. That's an excellent achievement! And I feel your pain as regards autumn leaves as we have several very large and old trees in the garden, which I love but which are quite challenging in the autumn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cath! Yes, it did feel like an achievement, even if it comes to nothing. I too, love trees and weeping willows are a favourite, but challenging is a good word for them!

      Delete
  2. A post bubbling with energy. Love it. I feel proud to be a first-hand witness.
    And maybe next time you might feel a picture of my project: a hoop around Hennie-H's steering wheel will be worth a pic. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Koosje! I can't wait for the steering wheel to be ready/finished so I can sing its/your praises! :) xx

      Delete
  3. You are one of the most amazing people in the world, Val! All your work looks fantastic, especially the cupboard! You are a wonder. May the winter be better than it usually is. Can't wait to read your new book! (Steph)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Steph. What would I do without your supportive comments. Bless you!

      Delete
  4. Ahhhh, leaves. Oldtimer sits under a row of plane trees in Briare. You can imagine what it looked like when we returned last summer after almost 2 years away. Luckily for us it's a once-a-year task as we let them pile up over the winter :-().
    Congrats on the word count, too. That's quite an accomplishment! Good luck on the future of the novel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely to hear from you two! Yes, leaves...once seen, can't be ignored, but if you only see them once a year, that's a blessing in a way. :) Thank you for the kind words about the word count. Time will tell whether it's worth anything or not!

      Delete
  5. Another interesting post, Val. Your life is so different to mine. I so enjoy reading what you're up to. It takes me back to when I lived on the river Thames, so I get all nostalgic looking at your pics! All those leaves! Well done on the Hennie Ha's new cupboard; looks good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. Isn’t it lovely how blogs teach us about people’s different lives. Living on the Thames is also very special. I have friends who live on Thames’ moorings near Tower Bridge and they love it!

      Delete
  6. Well done on finishing your first draft Val. And you found time to make a wheel cover too! You sure are a busy bee. The leaves behave exactly as the leaves of our gum tree, which every day flutter down on our back deck. Like you, out I go with the broom... The cupboard for Hennie H looks very smart indeed. Happy claps all round Val. Hope the weather improves soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems we all suffer from leaf attacks in the autumn, don't we, Patricia? I remember the gum trees in South Africa! Many thanks for the kind words about my cupboard :)

      Delete
  7. I wish your boats - and you both! - a comfortable winter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks, Roger! I hope the same for you and yours :)

      Delete
  8. Best wishes for your book and best compliments for your rive life!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ah, turning the leaves on 50.000 words; counting the 50.000 leaves on the deck or holes in Blackburn, Lancashire; fixing the holes where the rain comes in, stops your mind from wandering, where it will go. It's getting better all the time... As always, awed. James Ember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, James, I lost this comment as I forgot to check which post it was published on. Thank you! I now need to check it, one leaf at a time – well, both of them, actually ;)

      Delete

Apologies for switching on comment moderation, but this is to make sure everyone can comment without jumping through captcha hoops!

However, anonymous comments will not be published, so please would you sign your name. Even if you leave a nice, relevant comment, I won't publish it without a name.