The Hobo Shuffle

30 Sep

Should I be fancying trying out that very seasonal dance routine of kicking through the autumn leaves, I need look no further than the roof…006

Just leap up there and shuffle away.

It would probably be more effective than trying to sweep them off – and a whole lot more fun. Whichever way I choose to clear the roof, be sure they’ll be back again and again and again until the tree is bare. That’s what comes of sleeping under a willow tree. But I’m not complaining.

I was earlier though. Tomorrow I am taking the cratch cover in to St.Ives to have the zip repaired. It has stood the elements for eight years now and given me great service but has finally given up the ghost. Loving applications of Vaseline and encouraging words will no longer keep it together and functioning so, for the very reasonable sum of £25, I am getting a new one fitted.

First job this morning then was to remove the canopy, fold up and put in the car ready for an early start on Wednesday. If I get there early enough they will turn it around in a day and I should come home all fixed up tomorrow afternoon, pop back in place – with luck before we get the rain.


Seems the aerial mast is screwed to the wood of the cratch through the canopy so this has to be removed first. Should be simple enough but the screws have rusted solid. Would not budge. Given that the resident brute force and ignorance isn’t resident just now, I present myself at the slipway, with my best feeble female face on, in search of someone else’s BF&I that I can borrow.

Sure enough, once a little cruiser has been launched, I have two takers complete with  rusty screw removing tools. Yes that does include a big hammer by the way.

Andy leaps on to the roof and whacks the impact driver with the hammer, several times, and grunts, groans and grimaces for England. When he does eventually get the screw turning, his mate has to carefully place a screwdriver behind the screw head and carefully lever it up. Times this little operation by four and there you have it; screws removed.

I am very grateful to the boys for this and also that it wasn’t so easy for them either. At least I don’t have to beat myself up for being weak and pathetic – I would never have done it in a month of Sundays.

Easy now – bish bosh bash and cover is unhooked, cobwebs brushed off, folded and in the boot. Yay!

Looks odd without it…001

But a very smart piece of wood. Almost a shame to cover it up but wouldn’t really be without the cratch cover – was the best thing I added to Hobo all those years ago.

I say lovely piece of wood, which it once was, before years of UV, bicycle handlebars and scratchy bungy straps took their toll. ..002

It used to look like this…003

The inside, which has had a much easier life and therefore fared so much better. So, as one thing invariably leads to another in Boat World, there is nothing else for it…007

Has to be  sanded and re-varnished. And what better time than now – sun is shining, cover is out the way – even I can’t talk myself out if it any longer.

It’ll need a few more coats and interim sandings ideally so hope the rain isn’t non-stop when it starts. Hopefully I’ll be able to proudly show off the finished article here before too long.

The next thing was to de-web inside the cratch, which led to cleaning the windows, re-organising the storage, throwing out the mats and brushing the floor. Next I had to sweep the deck, put away the chairs, shuffle the plant pots and assorted  other paraphernalia, tidy up the coal/gas storage, water said plants and feed the moorhen family.

Well, they’ve got into the habit of turning up – all of them together – either at my window when they see me standing there looking out or, as was the case today, tight up to the gunwale. And they squeak. A lot.

What I thought would be a quick half hour job turned out to take most of the day, resulting in the other half dozen or so items on my list getting sidelined and kicked forward to another day. Again. Leaves me feeling good for nothing much other than to veg in front of the tele, feet up and watching something suitably mindless, given that it’s dark at 7 o’clock.

Bugger. The aerial’s down.

2 Responses to “The Hobo Shuffle”

  1. Steve & Angela October 2, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    First rule of DIY. 5 minute jobs take an hour. Hour jobs take half a day. Half day jobs take a weekend. Weekend jobs take 2 weeks. 2 week jobs…. forget it.

    • Boatbird October 2, 2014 at 10:14 am #

      Aha – explains a lot – glad it’s not just my age or living afloat that is slowing me down..!

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