Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Last post from Duncan Street!

Our life in complete disarray is about to change venues! Somehow, the stuff we need to have on the boat will migrate its way to the boat, and the stuff that's still in the house will dissipate to a variety of locations (lots of garbage to put out on Wednesday), and by Thursday, we will be ON OUR BOAT. YAY!!!

And with luck, our tenants will be happily stashing their fab stuff in our clean house. Julie and Joshua have been so accommodating (who has tenants who say "how can we make your life easier?"), and Randy will be back and forth using the power tools in the basement for a while. They also have a lovely boat, now on our mooring in the Arm (how many rental houses come with a mooring?), so they have a very sympathetic view of our situation.

Anna and Laura came over to have a look at the progress on the boat today. Anna, the non-boating member of the family, laid face down on the deck in the sun, and tried to picture the hammocks hung and a view of a secluded lagoon. Laura was a bit more enthusiastic about the renovations (she has skills).

Tom has a slightly sprained ankle but is still able to keep up with the painting marathon. He paused long enough to show the girls his "room," which is a driv-fit for our 6'3" lad.

This time next week, I might be driving around the area near the yacht club, looking for wi-fi so I can post an update. We're really looking forward to making the shift, even though we'll be kind of camping out at the boat while the carpentry continues, and the electrical stuff gets sorted, and a bunch of other details get dealt with.

Ironic moment to savour: the fella that sold us the expensive insurance for the house is interested in buying the Volvo. Stay tuned for details.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Single digit countdown to the end of the month and moving day.

Why, when one is up to one's ears in chaos, does one attempt complicated recipes? I have a few minutes while the filling for my first attempt at Jamaican patties does its thing, so here's the update. I may not be fit to write once I start messing with the pastry.

Boat work has stepped up, but the steps go two forward, one back. Likewise for the packing at the house. Tom cleaned the water tank a few days ago (cleaned to the lads' satisfaction - they wouldn't let me look), and when they proceeded to fill it, it leaked. So every day has ended with another application of epoxy, which is, I'm told, a bit of a gymnastic sort of exercise. Randy is black and blue, again, and every morning there's further frustration as they start to fill the tank, only to have it leak again. I'll keep you posted on their progress. They continue to paint and make sawdust in the meantime, so all is not lost.

Here on the home front, at least two rooms have a satisfying echo of emptiness. The Last Yard Sale (never again) netted about $350, and I promptly spent about half of it on groceries, rum and wine to celebrate. The rest of the crap was, yes, swept off to charity this morning, and I'm damn glad to see the back of it. I blame Christmas. We have given it up, ergo, no more yard sales after this. I even took all the snerds of wrapping paper and ribbon to the Sally Ann. What a relief.

No photos today. Tried to transfer ITunes from the computer to the laptop yesterday, and the laptop is pooched. The instructions on the web were, um, lacking in detail. Tom told me that I was too grumpy to do it, and I should have listened. Any suggestions would be welcome.

I can't move any more furniture and boxes into the basement, because Irving is coming to install a new furnace, water heater, and chimney liner tomorrow. As I mentioned, one step forward, two back (the backwards steps always lead to the bank).

Wish me luck with the Jamaican patties.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Two weeks before we move onto the boat.

Daughter Anna is home from upper Canada, and is moving stuff from our house to a perfect little house a couple of blocks away. The timing is great for us, because it means that a lot of stuff won't have to go in storage, and great for her, because she doesn't have to buy furniture or dishes (or bedding or bookshelves or bread machines) to set up house. Turmoil factor is cranked up somewhat, but we've lived in disorder for so long, the only change is that there's more of us muddling about, and more laughing. One bonus among many: she makes great Pad Thai.

Rainy day in Halifax, so that means it's a good day to run around and spend money. Huge hunks of life can go by while you wander around Kent or Home Depot with a limp little list in hand. We got grumpy, so we sat at the Smitty's discussing how to turn king-sized bedsheets into something that will fit the giant wedge that is the berth in the forward cabin (any ideas, please email
bigsue58@hotmail.com), then picked out nice little glass tiles for the backsplash in the galley - pale grey and red - then bought 70 feet of line for the main sheet, then got the hell out of the BLIP (for the uninitiated, Bayer's Lake Industrial Park - shopping and traffic hell).

Last couple of days have seen big changes on the boat. For the first time in two years, the masts are in, the new rig is sorted, and we've got roller-furling for the genoa. No sails yet, but the Lunenburg folks have promised that we'll get them.

The boat looks a lot different than poor old Winterhawk looked after hurricane Juan. The masts, including the brand new mizzen, are stripped and varnished - nice job, Tom - the hull has white bulwarks, the boottop is white, but the brightwork maintains its Nova Scotia patina, which means that's a low priority job right now, even though it keeps RMS awake at night mulling over the indignity of it all.

Randy and Wayne hauled Tom up to the top of the mast yesterday to install the Windex and the windspeed/direction indicator. Thanks Wayne! Some people have a handy knack of showing up in a helpful mood at just the right times. Gives me a pain watching Tom up that high, but better him than me.

Getting the rig in is a big psychological boost, and I think I'm waiting for something of the same order to happen with the house. Once we get all of the things that Anna needs out of the house, I'm hoping that I'll find the energy to start flinging things in boxes with authority, and tackling those final bits of dreaded paperwork - wills, insurance, power of attorney, thank-you notes, tax crap, letter to my grandmother, bills, change of address. It gave me a bit of a pang to cancel my Saturday Globe and Mail. I'll get over it.

I've asked Randy if there's anything he wants to add about the boat, and he's says he's got lots to say about the boat, but none of it's fit to print. Maybe next week.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A look at the interior.

I was persuaded to go aboard this weekend and view the progress and take pictures of same. Lads are making good progress, and we're getting to the stage where we can see beyond the chaos, and dimly, through the crap and corruption, see a possible sparkle at the end of the tunnel. Just. The house is displaying a similar level of disorder.

We did take a day off this weekend and visited the Wooden Boat Festival in Mahone Bay. We've been there so many times when it's been wet and nasty, it seemed ridiculous not to go on such a brilliant Sunday. (Last time we were there on our boat was two years ago, eating breakfast in the flapping, sodden food tent, we chatted with a local five-year-old, whose comment was "It's a sin about the weather.")

A day off leaves us a day behind, gasp, so the beatings will continue until work is completed.

In the meantime, the galley is taking shape. Voila, a refrigerator. It cost more than the stainless steel behemoth from Sears in our kitchen, holds lunch for Tom, and Randy had to build it himself. The bugger better work.

And here's another piece of nautical wonderment: our sewage treatment plant. Along with the new head (see below) we shall be able to suck a pair of overalls through the head, no problem. Great, eh? We should also be able to cruise in fine eco-traveller fashion through crystal clear waters and leave nary a trace of our passing (RS says that it's a Raritan Lectrasan, and not a nuclear waste disposal plant).

The upgraded head is pretty snazzy and includes a diesel-powered hairdryer. No kidding, it runs off the wee furnace. I'll post a picture of it in action sometime. I can hardly wait.

Three more days of work for me, and then I can chuck the editor's hat and concentrate on more pressing things. All I have to do is assign the October issue, delete a thousand or so emails, clean my office, leave coherant notes for my successor, and have a few beers with my pals at work. I will miss some things. I'll cope. I'm using my last few lunch hours downtown to rummage at John Doull's Bookstore to boost my onboard library. How many books do I get to take? We're still negotiating, and I'm still buying. We have to educate a 17-year-old, remember.

The starter library. Any suggestion for must-have books? Leave a comment!

Free Web Counter