The boat can now begin to take on its new life as Princess Lucy. As part of the Canal Time fleet she was called Grasshopper 101 and painted a vivid turquoise. We still see some of these boats and call out to each other - 'Look it's our boat!'. For the last six years, she lived out her existence as 'Florence II' with her previous owners. Last night we finished putting on the vinyls which we bought from The Graphics Boat Company. And we were quite pleased with ourselves for not making a spectacular balls up. Imagine living with the shame of a spelling mistake? Although we have seen plenty of other boats with misspelt names. Their owners obviously think it is funny to call their boat something like 'Anonymouse'.
Preparation is everything and so having watched a demonstration video, we copied their method. And it worked beautifully. You need a water spray, masking tape and a credit card. Patience, care and that's it.
She seems to be quite proud of her new name. Gone forever are 'Mike and Sheila' and 'Florence II'. She is still a long way from being fully painted but we figured that with a boat, it's a bit like the Forth Bridge.and it will be done as a matter of continuous maintenance.
This latest flurry of smartening up is all in preparation for our trip to Manchester at the weekend. The more we get to know and love her, the more we also see how scruffy she is. TLC is needed and at least looks a bit tidier when our visitors meet her for the first time.
You will see from the photograph that we settled on 'Sheffield Basin' for her affiliation and, coincidently, our new boating friend Sarah very kindly gave us a postcard which is an old print of the historic Sheffield Basin. It's a lovely water colour and shows The Straddle Warehouse which still dominates Victoria Quays today. There are plans to take Princess Lucy to Sheffield next winter and so the name and the postcard is quite fitting. We both work in Sheffield and it is our adopted city. Given the number of times we have been snowed in, at home in the Peak District, it would be good to have a base in the city for when the bad weather comes in.
Jemma came with us and spent a few hours sniffing round the Furness Vale marina while we worked our magic with the water spray. She is unimpressed by the new name (probably thinking it should have been named after her) but at least she really does seem to be happy at Furness Vale. There are gorgeous views across the valley, its peaceful and she always makes a new friend - dog or duck - they all look the same to her with her fading vision.