Home again, home again!

4 Mar

Once more installed into my cosy cocoon that is Hobo and all is well with the world. Two weeks have gone in the blink of an eye and my life resumes the rhythm of the river. Effortlessly. It’s almost like I was never away as I seamlessly slip back into the familiar routine and all that goes with living on the water.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not still special. Some things will always lift my spirit and make my heart sing: opening the blinds in the morning to reveal the river right there outside my kitchen; the morning mist on the water; sun streaming in through the windows, reflecting pretty pools of light on the ceiling and bouncing rainbows all around the boat; my fabulous Morso Squirrel wood burning stove belting out heat to the point I have to fling open doors and hatches so as not to spontaneously combust;

My Squirrel stove

and, like last night, the rain pitter-pattering on the metal roof as I drift off to dreamland. I shall never tire of these things.

I could go on but this is the real world and it hasn’t all been plain sailing since I returned. For starters, my all singing all dancing Victron inverter has been playing up, (that which converts 12v to 240v and runs the fridge, tele, washing machine and so on). It also charges the batteries when running on shore power (as opposed to running the engine) and that seems to be where the problem lies. It’s overcharging. There was a hiccup with the supply while I was away and, to cut a long story short, I think this has upset the electronics. After conversations with its supplier, much help from my friend Reg involving trial and error diagnostics and endless paranoia about battery acid smells on my part, I think we’ve finally cracked it: seems two of the four batteries are cooked. I don’t understand why this is but running on the other two seems to be working fine. But not before I developed a nervous twitch by constantly checking the monitoring panel.

Then the round hatch fell off the back of the stove, potentially releasing carbon monoxide into the boat. My part-time neighbour, Pete, soon fixed this for me though by way of making and attaching a new lug. And the car battery was dead, but as I’d nursed it through much of last year,  this was no surprise.

But the weather has been kind to me and  I’ve enjoyed walking into town along the road and back along the towpath

A nearby lock

while the car was out of action. I might just make it a regular thing.

Checked out some of my rare breed neighbours as I walked up the lane and noticed new life in the field opposite. I know there’s turkeys too (I hear them), chickens, donkeys (occasionally trot past the boat), Shetland ponies and a pack of yappy terriers and jack russells that attempt to terrorise we humans. Not to mention the boaters and campers…

My rare breed neighbours..

New life opposite

My resident kingfisher has returned to the willow tree that overhangs the boat; first spotted in 2010 but not seen since. He is magnificent, so colourful, but sadly very shy. Every time I so much as think about reaching for the camera he’s gone.

Dog dirt alley is sporting a new feature too, currently being sculpted by a neighbour. The snowdrops are out and the gate has been fixed.

I found my treasured Zippo, thought lost in transit, and John thinks he’ll be back by the end of the month.

How good is that?

2 Responses to “Home again, home again!”

  1. José March 5, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Heart-warming to hear your good news and that you are not yearning to be back in SA.

    • Boatbird March 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      Making the most of the here and now…

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