Sunday, 1 November 2015

Hey Fiddley Dee a Fettling Life for Me

Summer may be over but we make regular visits to Princess Lucy to keep her warm and aired. We had a glorious autumnal weekend cruise to Marple and drank in the colours of of next millennial's oil.

We are now busy with projects to improve the interior of Princess Lucy. She's 15 years old and, like dog years, this takes her firmly outside of the first flush of youth. There is no kind way of putting it. She is old. Having got over our envy of new boats, when we realised our quickly they can deteriorate, we decided to give her some love. Shiny new boats can only get worse: Princess Lucy can only get better. So the rewards are clear.

The inside windows are looking glamourous, now trimmed with newly carved bottom corner pieces (16 of them). They are longer, wider, and cover stubborn water stains so that the windows look almost new.

Apart from the paint job, the things that make a boat look old  are mossy window frames and water stained curtains. The interior ash cladding still looks good but the windows needed some work.

In terms of updating the interior, we have replaced the fixed seating cushion covers and will make matching saloon curtains. Armed with 14 metres of fabric from John Lewis and our brilliant (£45) Ikea sewing machine, we have made a start and today we tried out the cushions (or rather Jonesy did). We wanted a fresh, modern and vaguely nautical feel. They are basically loose throws fixed with a number of ties at the back so that they can be easily removed and washed.

The cotton fabric is reminiscent of sail cloth and feels nicer than the nylon horrors that we inherited. We are all about the tactile and the texture of things.  We managed a wee snooze on the new covers purely to test the comfort and slippage. It went well apart from  Jonesy taking up 75% of the space as usual.

The next stage is to renew the inside rear hatch timber which is very badly water damaged. Captain also set about this yesterday, discovering that 1/4" faced ply is simply glued and pinned to 3/4" ply, which is presumably glued to the hatch. The 3/4" ply can stay, and so the job should be fairly straightforward.

We can't wait for our next weekend away on the boat.  Our friend Tracey Tragen will join us from Manchester to help dress Princess Lucy for Christmas.

Since we will be spending best part of 3 weeks taking her down to Alrewas,  Burton on Trent and then Willington, all our decorations will be on the boat this year: Our house will have nothing.

We have to have everything ready for  departure on December 13th, jobs completed, cupboards restocked, wine cellar replenished, decorations and Christmas presents on board.

Nothing can go wrong... well ... so long as we make it to Harecastle Tunnel on one of the few days it is open before Christmas; and so long as the Canal and River Trust get the Stoke flight open again for December 18th; and so long as the Trent is not in flood between Wychnor and Alrewas; and so long as ... well you get the drift!

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