It's true - most of my life I've had a place where I could either clamp a vice to (easily) or access to one without TOO long a journey... These days, now I'm not working in the fairground unit and no longer have my own garage, it's one of those things I set out to buy... then remember a) a
nice good one will be expensive/big/heavy b) Trying to find a home for it on the boat will be a pain, c) I in theory I don't REALLY need one - MOST of the time that's true but trust me... I've lost count of the amount of times doing a 'little job' (that's turned into bigger one or a repair from something I broke during the little one) I think "THIS would be SO Much easier with a vice"...
Why am I waffling on about this? - I'll explain. Outside at the back of the boat, I've got 4 folding steps that I use to climb up on the roof or get a higher view point - the higher view point being needed when the flowers on the roof grow taller than my line of sight. They are also useful as a foot rest when chugging along in a seated position.
It's been suggested by a few guests - generally ones with shorter legs, that some kind of longer foot rest might be helpful for them. EVER the amenable host *read don't have much cash but have plenty of time atm*, I've come up with a simple and (more importantly) economic solution to the problem; 10mm reinforced steel bar between to two rests either side.
BACK in fairground days this would have been a 2 min, easy fix... for free - in any workshop there is always a pile of left over bits of steel/wood etc. that has NO cost associated to it directly as it's already been paid for during whatever 'build' it related to - I'd simply ask my boss if it was ok (and I always did btw ... ask the boss) and then cobble something together using scrap.
These days it's not so easy - especially NOW that we're all back in 'Lock down' again (I'll moan about that later) . In a bid to get this done however, I was chatting with the accounts manager at the marina I'm temporarily trapped in the other day and she mentioned they had a vice (of course really) in their back room. Thing is - I understand 'business is business' and whilst perfectly capable of heating and bending a bit of steel bar to requirements .... well it's just not 'cricket' is it? THEY have to earn a living too. I know they'd' be perfectly willing to get a couple of lengths of bar and do it but in an attempt to be helpful, I've ordered some from eBay (grand total of a tenner) that will be delivered to a 'click and collect' point about a mile away and I feel sure they will bend it for a few beer tokens. I'll report back when it's done.
That was a lot of waffle to say "I'm making a couple of simple foot rests for the back of the boat" wasn't it? - hmmm! MIND you, I suppose with us all in the same boat (no pun) in regards 2021's National lock down, I suppose it doesn't matter.
We're 10 days in to January now and of course that means I've not had a gin for (what feels like months) 10 days now... ODDLY, for a change I'm not missing it. I don't generally do Dry January AND a starvation diet at the same time. This year, given how tubby I've become (starting weight 14 stone 2 and 5/8ths - don't you just love accurate scales?) SOMETHING had to be done.
The thing is, because I'm SO SO SO SO SO hungry all the time (my belly tells me every 2 hours it needs something to do), I've sort of forgotten that I'm missing having a drink - the hunger pangs 'top-trumping' the booze cravings I suppose.
IN other news (this is a boaty blog apparently) - I'm still having problems with the website... Since I clicked on something to do with dynamic pages when I tried creating a template for the 2022 cruise diary, every time I try and change something on the 2021 listings, it replicated throughout 22... it's proper pain in the arse and I only have myself to blame... Trying to be clever in the first place... I should have just stuck to solo pages and applied the KISS principle (Keep it simple stupid). You live and learn - well except I don't... I keep repeating mistakes cause my memory is that of an old gimmer these days.
Whilst it's annoying, it doesn't really matter as I keep a manual record of who's booked for what etc - THAT said, with things as they are, folks are (understandably) reluctant to commit to much for the year ahead .... we may have 3 vaccines approved now but getting everyone jabbed is never going to be a quick process - especially given the lack of trust most folks have in the government's ability to do... ANYTHING. Too much red tape as usual. There HAS been talk about using dentists and pharmacists etc. which I think is great but I'd be happy to include VETS and not rule out famers! Whatever methods are employed it just needs to be as fast as possible if there is any hope of saving 100's of 1000's of businesses thus livelihoods from going down the pan.
It's odd though - when Boris came on the telly box the other night and kept his hands firmly gripped together whilst saying
whatever it was he said, a 2 month possible 3, national lock down was about to start, my brain just thought 'oh well -' and that was that. I think the term is brain-washing conditioning... January on a boat, unable to move easily, ALWAYS feels like a lockdown anyway... it's miserable for the most part. OK, there are a few bright days when you actually FEEL like having a chug but for the most part, it's an endurance... ergo, a 'National Lockdown' doesn't really make bugger all difference - if anything, it just give folks who live in houses a feeling of what January CAN be like living on a boat lol... with exception they don't have to still fill up with water, empty their poo tanks and consider how much heating fuel you've got in. That isn't a moan btw - even when I'm trudging along the towpath, trying to de-ice a frozen tap and hosepipe, I STILL love my life (and day dream of warmer days ahead)... HAVING to try and get somewhere though on a deadline with Icy stretches really isn't nice.
This winter, with lockdown in place again, CRT have suspended the 2 week ruling for continuous cruisers which is fair enough. It's shame however there will always be the odd few that think THEY can stay on water points/service areas during this time - boaters on the whole being a good bunch, as in any facet of society, there'll always be a few that that take liberties and are inconsiderate towards others.
It's time to get my arse outside and do some walking - it IS getting boring but has to be done.
Remind me to explain about the TV trouble when I'm next here as I've run out of time this morning.
Until next time...