As we continue to cover the same few miles of waterways while waiting for the next doctor's appointment, I decided it was time to get crackin' on spring cleaning. After all it hadn't been done since March of 2012. We skipped 2013 to head for the Lee and Stort navigation and onward to the Thames, thinking we could do a good spring cleaning in 2014, but Les was recovering from his first two surgeries and so we let is slide yet another year.
The layer of wood and coal smoke--and soot--on everything was three years in the making. NB Valerie just felt grimy and dirty to me and I wanted our lovely floating home to sparkle. Besides, I love cleaning, and now we have ample time to get it done. Les finally caved in and bought a small wet/dry vacuum. After nine years, NB Valerie was getting a thorough cleaning. Les hemmed and hawed about the need to disassemble the interior of the boat in order to clean. Spring cleaning isn't his favored pastime, nonetheless he is an able and generous partner and a good worker!
Our supplies consisted of four bottles of sugar soap, two spray bottles, a 10 pack of scrubby sponges (sponge on one side and scrubby on the other), a large bucket, and a large packet of personal dry wipes like one gets in hospital.
|Les cleans an H on on the ceiling.|
|Look at the shine on the galley ceiling--and the filth on the forward section yet to be cleaned!|
|Me on hands and knees cleaning the dinette and the bookshelves.|
And this is why we will never paint the interior of our boat cream. There is a FaceBook page called Canal Boat Interior Design with hundreds of lovely, creative and amazing pictures of things people have done to the interior of their narrow boats. Painting an old boat a lovely fresh cream throughout the inside is quite popular. All I can think of is how quickly it will become dingy and stained when winter sets in and the solid fuel stove is going 24/7.
|The end is in sight! The last few feet of ceiling left to be cleaned.|
A month ago in the Saturday newspaper a Robert Dyas catalog fell from the folds. Inside I spotted a lovely resin Bistro table and chair set which made my heart quicken. We didn't have anything to sit at and enjoy a meal out on the towpath so we usually sat in the bow. I wanted a nice sized table and two chairs that folded up compactly out of sight on the roof, made of something that would not rot. This Tropea bistro set was just the ticket and it came in white and a lovely bright spring green, for £69.99. Of course I had my heart set on green and Robert Dyas was sold out.
An in-depth search on the 'Net found a half dozen online shops offering the same unit for anywhere from £70 to £149.00!! Finally I found it in green at Primrose Online: Everything Garden for the bargain price of £59.00. I placed the order mid-afternoon and it arrived the next morning! Now that is service!! A huge thank you to Robert and his sister Maria for allowing us to have it sent to an address nearby and for delivery of it to our boat.
Les insisted I call Primrose before I ordered it, and make sure they had the set available in green He sat watching me as I attempted to carry on a conversation. The bloke on the phone said I could put in my order right then. I tried but honestly after three minutes of repeating myself six times, and asking him to repeat himself six times, I just said, "Thank you for your help but I am going to go online and put this order in." After nearly four years living in Britain I am still the one with the accent and I still cannot understand most phone conversations with the plethora of dialects one gets across this country.
Thanks with deep appreciation also go out to Ken and Sue Deveson for all the support, care and love they have lavished on me and Les throughout the past few months. We've visited their lovely home several times. Each visit was a joy; delicious meals, endless cups of tea, fascinating conversation, and an introduction to a great new game helped to break up the monotony of traveling back and forth on the same patch of canal in between NHS appointments made, canceled and rescheduled. For delivery of parcels and husband, my deepest thanks to you both for a lovely friendship.
While moored up at Campbell Park in Milton Keynes, we were blessed to see a wedding party having professional photos taken near the canal. It was a blustery spring day. The Bride and Groom were surrounded by family and friends, all talking and laughing as the they jostled one another for a bit of space during the picture taking.
|"Everybody wave now!" Somewhere in there is a bride and a groom.|
|The newlyweds on a colorful bridge in the park.|
|This is a living sculpture at Campbell Park titled Dancing Willows.|