Tuesday, 13 November 2012

New Boats & London Buses

Londoners often comment that you can wait hours for a bus and then three will appear all at the same time. There was a TV programme about this recently where the mathematics of the phenomenon were explained and yes it seems that buses do have a power of attraction to each other. I couldn’t hope to replicate the maths to explain it but essentially if buses leave the same location at say ten minute intervals along the same route, they will tend to bunch up during the course of their journey. The first bus has to stop at every stop, the second bus less so, because the first bus has picked up all the passengers. In effect the later buses tend to travel faster and catch the first.

What has this to do with buying a new boat, well not a lot except that having spend a fairly lazy year looking for a new boat, and renovating a house in France – and guess what – a number of factors coincide to make this not the ideal time to become the owner of a boat requiring major work. Firstly, having stepped out of mainstream nine to five full-time work, I now find myself in demand as a sort of fixer, and I have just agreed to undertake a project described as ‘maybe ten days work’, Well, already I know it’ll take a good deal longer than that.

Secondly, the house renovation has reached a critical stage. The ground floor is wet cement, I’m ‘camping’ on the upper floors, access via a ladder, cooking on a single burner camping stove and washing up in the bath. And finally, winter is on the doorstep – with lots of rain and wind – not the perfect weather for renovating anything – house or boat. And so I look back to those idilic wasted days of summer and autumn when I should have been getting on with things rather than dreaming.
Still the good news is that the boat is here with a beautifully painted green hull and she is parked up in the prettiest boatyard I have ever seen.

First job is to make a kind of list, I guess, of all the obvious tasks, and then determine to best order of work. Actually, two lists might be better than one - a list for dry days and a list for wet ones. A bonus with this boat is a charcoal stove in the cabin so no matter how cold and wet, I should still be able to move something forward. Who knows, if the house renovation doesn’t pick up speed I may have to relocate to the boat for a while anyway.

The delivery, by the way, was pretty uneventful but there was one funny incident when I met Mike at a pre-arranged rendezvous so that I could direct him for the final few miles along the back-roads to the boatyard.

We had agreed to meet at Joe’s bar, by the harbour at Plouer. Joe buys the drinks from the local supermarket and sells them from his trailer on the quayside. Mike’s wife who accompanied Mike, asked Joe for a coffee. Well he tried his best, borrowing a spoonful of Nescafe from the local marina office, a couple of sugars from the boatshed next door and using his microwave to get some heat into it. There was no milk – but well, if you ask for something exotic, as Joe explained, you need to give him a bit more notice.