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Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Mirror film, wet paint the 'empty chair', porthole fly nets (reprise) and surprise visits...

Catchy post title or what?😎

You may recall when I last picked up my laptop, I ended with a reference to 'mirror film' - well, when I opened the packages from China, it turned out I'd ordered rather DARK stuff - ie, once it's on, the boat is like something from the blackout.  It's very effective at producing privacy - less so at letting light in.... Still, it was only cheap so having 'practiced' on the first round (ergo, I should be better at it when the RIGHT stuff arrives from China)  I will replace it with a lesser tint in due course.

For someone  generally ok (ish) at diy type jobs - well certainly by the 3rd attempt, I found it a right faff to apply... basically you have to clean the surface really well.... then spray it with detergent and water ( ahem I used bold liquid that I used for the toilet bowl) ,  remove fiddly backing film and then apply - squeezing air bubbles and the 'slip' out using a credit card type thing...  it sort of works but I'm a bit cack handed sometimes ... the result however not being TOO bad





You can see more easily from the side hatch how much light they block out - STILL, at least I can sit in my pants and not be too concerned about prying eyes.

Once finished with the windows, the next day I decided to give electric cupboard doors a bit of tlc AND a much needed vent panel - since being on shoreline (ie the combi inverter/charger being on all day) I've noticed the fan worring a lot more ... it must be too hot so I've dug out the vent grills I bought a few years ago and FINALLY gotten around to fitting them - AND also drilling holes in the bottom panels at floor level to allow cool air to be drawn in.  I've no idea if it's actually making much difference to the inverter if I'm honest, but at least I THINK I've tried to make it better.  It DID mean however, I had to relocate my much prized MANUAL service history (masking tape stuck to the rear of the door for each oil/filter change and service lol.




I took the opportunity to sand down and re-varnish the door whilst it was off... which then necessitated removal of the wet locker/calorifier door for the same treatment - tedious but now done... 

they should last a couple more years before needing to be replaced... I don't think there is enough veneer left on them to take another sanding.  Time will tell on that one.

Whilst the varnish was drying (on a lovely sunny day ), I took the opportunity to give the new base-plate a coat of paint AND whilst I was at it, refreshed the existing one too... THIS Time using white satin wood paint... which turned out NOT to be the best idea I've had...my logic was that it would dry quickly it being water based... HOWEVER due to the temperature of the canal water at this time of year, it didn't dry ... for 5 days!!!

5 days is a LONG time when you keep falling over the rubbish that lives in there atm have stuff laying around that needs to be put back in there lol.
BY day 5, I was so sick of testing the 'wet paint' with my fingers, I decided to squat over them with a hairdryer and apply heat for about half an hour.. THAT finally seemed to do the trick.

. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . 



GOING back in time a bit - you may recall before I got the boat, I'd found some rather good, acrylic porthole covers with nets on to keep bugs out? - ...  HERE:  https://narrowboatellis.blogspot.com/2016/05/porthole-bug-coverscourtesy-of.html

Well, since then they've stopped doing them - concentrating their efforts on bringing up their kids... which is fair enough I suppose... but it's a bit of a pain now... obviously, what with over hanging trees and bushes etc, the nets have pretty much become full of holes - SOME of which I stitched up (badly) last year and some of which just ended up "twanged" off...

WHAT to do...

Well, in true 'Ellis' style - TRIAL and error (plenty of the latter of course)... FIRST I tried gluing some fiberglass netting in place using "hot glue" - this DID work but didn't look pretty.

Then I had the idea to try "self adhesive velcro" which WORKED, framed them nicely but (ahem) as soon as it rained, came off.


The FINAL solution is to wedge in the netting using a paint scraper, apply an elastic retainer (prototype was rubber bands) - in the form of black knicker elastic  in the groove and then run a ring of hot glue around he edge whilst pushing black para-cord into it to hold everything in place... neatly.  I don't have a finished photo yet as the para-cord is yet to arrive from Ebay.


POINT IS, I can't see WHY this won't work and be robust enough to survive the odd brush with a tree - I'll report back on that in due course lol.

AS you can tell from above, I've been keeping myself busy - MAINLY because last week was the first anniversary of my mum's death.  It weighed on me quite heavily.   It doesn't FEEL like a whole year has passed... in fact, it feels like I've just put the phone down from my cousin who called to say she'd died suddenly.  

Reality is however, 1 year has now gone by and by the 24th (funeral day) we'll have ticked off a full year of anniversary dates.  I'm told it's a milestone.  I doubt it will feel  any better but perhaps you (well me) get to handle things less emotionally ... I'll let you know on that one.  I'm not expecting an epiphany or anything so lucky but I AM hoping to keep a tighter control on my emotions.  

Emotions that of late have taken their tole on me - especially sitting in a boat on my own when it gets dark out side.. since new years day, apart from interactions with 'shop assistant's I'd not seen anyone for 14 days... the constant 'niggle' of Andy's empty chair in the corner of my eye on an evening whilst watching the telly preying on my subconscious I suppose... reminding me that somewhere along that line I'd failed.  Which isn't really the reality...  it was only when I'd taken some laundry out of the dryer and left it on MY preferred chair the other evening that I sat in the "other chair" - and what do you know... by SITTING IN the empty chair, my brain had a different view of the cabin and something 'clicked' ... hey presto - NO empty chair and a lesser feeling of isolation.

I know that probably sounds a bit bonkers but when you stop and think about it logically, it has credence.   SO - to anyone out there who's lost someone they shared a long period of their life with, my advice is to SIT in THEIR chair and if you're as lucky as me, your brain will stop reminding you that they're gone.

IF it works for you, then please send donations via paypal lol.

Joking a side - I CAN see how easily (and quickly) folk can become lonely/isolated.  I'm lucky... despite my buggered back (and grumbling knees) I'm really rather fit and often walk between 9-14 miles a day... THIS gives me chance to chat to people, take in sun light and NOT feel like 'Billy No Mates'  FOR the lesser mobile person, their home (be it a boat house or whatever) must surely feel like a prison cell.  I don't have a solution for them, but for me, it HAS to be get out and about... AND before long that will include boating again with guests.

Speaking of guests (well writing but don't be a pedant), ON Saturday  my dear long suffering boaty friends 'Eddie and Wendy' (Weddy and Endy) had arranged to come and stay to take me out for tea and a catch up... it didn't seem right them staying in a hotel - and to be honest, I wanted to be able to spend more time with them, so they stopped on the boat instead.  They were due to arrive "some time" on Saturday afternoon when I got a message pop up on my phone from other boaty friends who were in the pub opposite the marina if I were home and fancied a catch up.  I qickly sent Wendy a message to say to let me know when they were are hour off, as I was nipping into the pub to catch up with Roger and Jane.  

THEY were doing dry January (like me) however when Wendy and Eddie turned up (and introductions were made etc) I caved pretty easily and had a few glasses of wine.  It turned into a lovely relaxed, impromptu catch up with Rog and Jane and then a nattery (boozy) afternoon/evening with Wendy and Eddie.

SUNDAY of course was not so pleasant as we all had the hangover from hell... ANYWAY - I'm back on the wagon again now and will maintain my plan of not drinking alone... only sociably.... I JUST need to get out there and BE more sociable lol.

Until next time...



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