It’s a fact of human nature that nobody loves a moaner. With this firmly in mind, I determined not to write another post until I had something constructive to say.
We had a delicious anniversary weekend, with an impromptu visit from our first visitors: my brother, nearly-sister and bump, and her sister, partner and his son. It was awesome. The weather was perfect – so hot we could barely sit our bottoms on the deck – and their genuine delight and enthusiasm was exactly what we (I) needed to restore our (my) flagging enthusiasm for the whole escapade.
After they left, we spent a lovely evening drinking ale and eating Chinese takeaway on the Sovereign B&B (an old Rhine river boat on Medway Bridge Marine), and in the morning we wandered down the river path in the sunshine to take this photo of Maria Elisabeth in all her unobstructed, full-length glory from the opposite bank:
As you may have seen, all previous pictures have been of various sections or areas of the boat, a bit like arty close-ups of an animal’s foot, ear or eye: impossible to judge the scale of the whole, until you stand far enough back and realise it’s actually an elephant. Similarly, this little exercise confirmed what we’d suspected all along but hadn’t physically seen in the whole before: she’s ENORMOUS.
In a flood of bad temper on Sunday evening, we decided to compose a firm email to all the people concerned in this farcical saga and demand the necessary commitments to conclude the deal and deliver us somewhere to live, preferably before hell freezes over. Miraculously, it worked. By the end of Monday, we finally had confirmation that our mortgage break period had begun, and a confirmed plan to move the boat from Kent to Barking on Tuesday of next week. Hurrah!
It took me a good 24hours to get used to the idea and accept that nobody’s going to jump out from behind a bush at any moment yelling, “SURPRISE! There’s just one more vital document that the Wizard of Oz needs from the Sugarplum Fairy engraved in dragons’ blood on crystal before he can give you a donut in lieu of the keys to Never-Neverland. Oh, and he’s on holiday til the 1st April 20145.”
(It’s now Wednesday night and the above has not yet transpired. I am cautiously optimistic.)
So the next thing on our agenda is the extraordinary matter of the exchange rate, which arbitrary number on an arbitrary day makes a possible difference to us of around £1500. Gulp. Power and water may just have to wait til next month if things don’t go our way – especially as we’ve decided to steal a march on our mortgage and start paying it a month in advance. (Don’t ask: it seemed clever at the time.)
Still, eyes on the prize. It’s getting discernibly closer.
The next post will be on our journey up the Thames (as long as the Wizard of Oz keeps his trap shut and minds his own business).
Steady as she goes…