My front doors were frozen shut this morning. I had to give ’em a right old kick to get ’em unstuck! Outside, the mooring ropes were silver with frost, and jagged and stiff, like cartoon lightning bolts, and my breath streamed from my swollen nostrils like two vaporous scarves from a snowman’s nose. (Knock it off! Ed)
It’s been a busy sort of day – the first move of the new year, in accordance with CRT Continuous Cruising Guidelines – Skull Bridge to Bridge House, via Garstang: calling at Greenhalgh Castle, Dimples Lane, the Garstang Turnpike and Moss Lane Thetford Station en route.
I made a brew for the journey, but by the time I’d undone the stays it had gone cold. It tasted horrible. What sort of world is it, I wondered, where somebody can repackage cold coffee in a can as an exotic drink and people are actually stupid enough to buy it?
After an uneventful journey, I reached Bridge House, where I successfully moored, the usual fifty-eight m.p.h. winds for once not hindering me.
Then I swept the boat from top to bottom (not an easy job considering it’s longer than the street I used to live in), cleaned the wood burner (a whole bin bag of soot, charcoal, gristle and melted crisp packets – no wonder the damn thing wasn’t drawing), re-hung the pictures (the cold had frozen the blu-tac holding the lower halves of their frames to the wall and unstuck them), made another brew (it stayed hot this time), scrubbed a bit of the algae off the roof and scooped up lots of sycamore seeds from the hollows (don’t ask how they got there, because I don’t know), smoked some rollups (with difficulty, as it turned out, because the flame in my lighter froze solid), considered painting over some rusty bits but decided that paint probably wouldn’t take too well on the top of ice, and mopped the galley floor…well, part of it. I stupidly used the mop in the bilges some time back and it’s never been the same since, so I had to use a sponge instead and my knees gave up after three and a half feet.
That’s about it. A brand new year, the same old rubbish. Oh yes, and I’ve decided that the Mouse Boat is now back in business, so if anybody wants to order any cards/signed prints/commissions/whatever then don’t forget to drop me a line.