Friday, 4 September 2009

How Was Your Day?

Well mine was all about what my friend Jill calls 'Dorising.' I am presuming that has a capital 'D' and was named after a very clean, house proud woman called Doris - unless anyone knows differently? Maybe I will look on Wikipedia later - distractions, distractions!
Anyway, no tweeting, poking or blogging for me - this was a work day.
About once a week I need to take Argy to the water point to fill up his tank. This involves manouvres that cannot be achieved on a windy day as Argy, willful as he is cannot cope with even the slightest puff of wind without completely losing his sense of direction. I found this out to my cost the other day as I travelled sideways down the cut for about 200 yards before managing to regain control of him.
The water has to be got weekly as the tank is quite small and when getting near empty, the boat takes on a very definite lean to the left. (Is that portside?). This makes sleeping in my bed quite uncomfortable and disorientating and I have to bolster several cushions up against the wall to stop the feeling that I am sleeping on the North face of the Eiger.
When I get to the water point, assuming there is a space to park, I attach the hose to the tap on the towpath and put the other end into the hole on the front of Argy.

While filling up, I take the opportunity to wash my hair at the sink, an operation which takes a fair amount of water and balance.
I throw the rubbish into the skip and the next delightful job is to empty the portaloo.
I go into the little hut and the floor is swimming in what I sincerely hope is just water. I have mastered the art of holding my breath for the entire procedure. You do not, believe me, want to know any more detail than that.
So by now the water tank is full and I have to turn Argy round to go back to my parking spot.
This is the easy part as he is small enough to be turned with the ropes. A bit of swift lassooing goes on and providing I have remembered to remove the chimney pot beforehand, it is usually trouble free.
I need to charge the batteries further before I can start a 'proper' days work on my laptop. But before I can start the generator I have to change the oil. I would never have known this had the man in the shop not told me, as he sucked in his cheeks and shook his head (I thought only car mechanics did that). "You need to change it after every 50 hours use or you'll bugger it up, then we won't be responsible."
I didn't think he looked the sort to admit responsibility for anything, let alone the damage caused by my lack of technical knowhow and loving care for my genny.
I emptied the old oil into a very small container through an even smaller funnel and refilled with fresh, but when I went to put the petrol in the generator the can was completely empty. I had forgotten to buy some the day before. So off on a 5 minute walk to the car, petrol can in hand and I think I might as well take the washing to the launderette while I am out.
Two hours later, back on Argy, I had finally finished the chores I need to complete just to start the day.
I switched on my laptop, it was now about 5pm, and I am not really feeling like work now, so I think a cuppa might be nice.
Filling the kettle I try to turn on the gas and...nothing! I have to climb on to the front of the boat and fiddle with a spanner to change the gas bottle, lugging the empty one out on to the towpath, (they are not light even when empty) to take on a trolley to the chandlery for a replacement. The chandlery, by the way, for those of you who have not completely lost interest by now, is near where I got the water from that morning.
I eventually return to Argy around 6pm. Far too late to start work now, so I take that good book I have been meaning to read for ages, lay on the, now perfectly level bed, and I think I must have dozed off...
So, how was your day?


  1. Well I just feel exhausted reading it! Maybe now with my unemployed stays I could be your boat hand!

  2. Change the oil in a generator every 50 hours??
    Tell the helpful man to keep sucking in his cheeks until they block the noise eminating from his vocal chords. With the price of oil these days it would be cheaper to run the genny on the oil it had when new and buy a new generator when that oil gets too old. I assume you are talking about a brand new genny in which case the manufacturer may recommend the FIRST oil change at 50hrs although it is more usually at 100hrs. The SECOND change may be after a further 500hrs but after that - once every birthday. My Honda generator is 10 years old, doesn't get a lot of work, has had three oil changes in its life and still works as good as new.
    Love reading your words.

  3. Thanks for the advice Ian :) Good to hear from you - hope all is well in your world