UNDER WAY: mortgage moving and arbitrary exchange rates

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.





20130703-235622.jpg (sorry the pics arent great, they were all too busy stuffing their faces and it was too bright to see the screen)

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:

20130703-235420.jpgAs 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…


12 thoughts on “UNDER WAY: mortgage moving and arbitrary exchange rates

  1. Amber says:

    Holy moly, that is a big boat. We thought ours was big at about 23 feet. Compared to our little 16 footer it was, but yikes! Do you guys need any kind of a specific license/training to captain/pilot that thing? /doesn’t know enough about boats.

    • Yep we do need qualifications to drive it, and we don’t have them yet – haven’t quite fathomed which ones exactly we need, but the ICC and Day Skipper raise their heads a fair bit… We’ve got a lot of questions for R on Tuesday! In the meantime, he’ll help us move it onto moorings and we’ll have to hire a skipper if we want to do more than that (unless my dad’s happy to help, although he’s a yachtsman so it’s rather different gravy). Qualifications are probably a ‘next summer’ type project at this stage to be honest…!

  2. Fran says:

    Looks like you are going to have the weather for your trip up the Thames, that should be a lovely adventure. I am glad things are moving along and the barge looks amazing. Bon Voyage and safe sailing x

  3. John C-A says:

    Wow Mink! That’s some boat, and a great blog.xxxx

  4. Hannah Quinn says:

    Dear Anna,

    I have LOVED reading your blog! What an amazing project, I hope all the ups and downs have been worth weathering! Maybe one day ill get to come and see it 🙂

    I have just finished my first year masters in Glasgow and its been brilliant. Really challenging but equally rewarding and looking forward to year 2. I’ll be back down south for the summer and hopefully catching up with Ruth in August so maybe see you at some point!

    Hannah xx

    • Thanks Hannah! Really appreciate it. It’s been a tough ride so far, but hopefully we’re on our way up and out the other side… I’d LOVE you to come and see it too, and meet Jonathan to talk music geekery – I was listening to Woman’s Hour the other day with Jessica Cottis and thought of you, so glad to hear you’re enjoying Glasgow.
      I think/ hope Ruth and Lady J are going to be staying on the boat for at least some of their visit in August, so perhaps you could come too? Would be lovely to see you again. Axx

  5. Katie coakes says:

    Hi Anna – I love your blog,my handy man hubby loves it too although more because of the detail around deck cleaning and welding, but hey whatever floats his boat (sorry that was bad!). Glad you’re doing well and doing something so exciting and I know it’s a year to late but congrats on your wedding xxx Katie (Waite)

    • Hi Katie! Great to hear from you – tell your hubby there’ll be lots more handyman stuff to come once we’re actually on board. There’s a brilliant blog called BoatsAreForLosers which is all about how another couple did up theirs – they’re much handier than we are, but we can dream! Hope all’s well in your world xxx

  6. Joanna Chapman-Andrews says:

    Moving the boat on Tuesday is really good news; I am so pleased it’s all finally coming together for you; well managed! We’ll speak soon, no doubt. Loads xxxm

  7. Joods says:

    Hi Minkie, we’ve been on the road all week and I have only just sat down to read all my mails. Do I understand that it’s all going to happen tomorrow yet? Enfin! as they say on the continong. Whoopee and Yippee and all that jazz. We missed not having our cocktail on board on Sunday on our way back to London but hey another time. I’ll definitely need a scrubbed deck but will go along with paper plates. How you do all this and work for a living too baffles me. Good on yer – and himself too.


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