Follow the crew of Zulu;
The traumas of life onboard; and the pressure of victimisation by your own animals, and the many creations that come to life onboard...
Those of you who keep up with LFCC on Facebook will know that we were recently craned out of the water and dry docked for two weeks for our regular maintenance work... Every few years a narrow boat has to come out and have her bottom checked for pitting and stuff to be sure that her sacrificial anodes are doing what they should. For those not in the know, there is a lot of electricity floating around the water in marinas as the boats are all hooked up to 240v shore power and there are loads of scaffold poles dug in to support jettys or walkways. For steel hulls this can be disastrous unless you have these sacrifial anodes to kind of suck up this surplus electricity and get eaten away instead of your hull. That little whitish block you can see on the bottom front edge of the hull is what's left of the anode on that side. As you can see, its all worn away so it's been doing it's job!
In addition to this important update, we have to scrape back all the crud that sticks to the hull, industrial jet wash it, and then reblack it with a bitumin type paint to protect it from all those bumps and scratches that would leave it prone to rust and decay. This is normally done every two to three years - it's an expensive job and very hard work so that's plenty often enough, trust me!
Of course, there was still a Joseph Poopy (full grown German Shepherd) and Kevn and N'Eville (the kitties) onboard throughout the works... All of whom decided to help with the fresh paint.... sigh...
In addition to this vital maintenance work we scheduled some extra chores this year; a new bathroom! We originally built our bathroom with just a basic porta potti as this was the easiest and cheapest solution. With fitting out the entire boat from scratch ourselves whilst working full time there was a limit to what we could achieve both in terms of time and energy and of money...
But emptying a toilet every few days is a tough job. You'd be amazed how heavy that little tank gets and poor Mr LFCC had to do it as I physically couldn't lift it! He was very gracious about such a crappy job (if you'll pardon the poor pun!) but enough was enough...
As I'd been in hospital for two weeks and only home for one week when we were scheduled to be craned out I was working more in a supervisory role which I hated but I did make a lot of tea and sandwhiches for Mr LFCC while he worked!
He gutted the existing bathroom, bit by bit - taking it back to the original studwalls I built myself.
You can see the battoning and sprayfoam insulation which keeps us toasty warm when it's cold out! You might notice that there are two radiators too! Slightly odd, but in a boat one thing that is an issue is humidity, and things can easily get damp if you're not careful. If you have one source of heat in your bathroom but it's covered in two adult sized bath towels it's not going to allow much warmth to penetrate the room and neither towel is going to get dry, so we have one gorgeous towel rail and one radiator. Cunning eh?
The next thing to do was to cut a dirty great hole through the steel to put in the one way vent for the waste for our sea toilet. If you're in flowing water you can use these without any chemicals and it's a much greener way of living. I wouldn't want to eat fish out of the water here though I must admit!
The plumbing work was then installed with the new macerator which is essential for this kind of loo.
We rearranged the layout of the bathroom as it was the one room we weren't 100% happy with from the original fit out. I wanted to give it a bit of real vintage hotel luxury chic style too so on days when I'm not feeling too good I can go in there and have a bit of a pampering session... With this in mind Mr LFCC picked the most gorgeous black marble walling and I hunted the antique shop for vintage finds to dress it. I've given some gorgeous old pieces a new lease of life with a new purpose so look out for the pictures of the installation work and the end result for our beautiful new old bathroom! It's rather a mixure but I love it. Have you embraced some vintage pieces in your home? Do you love hunting the antique shop for things to give a bit of soul to a new world?? I'm really lucky to have a huge antique shop just a few miles down the road with a massive range of goodies to choose from including things that are priced to shop guilt free! I always thought that antique shopping was for the rich but it turns out that that's not necessarily the case. The only problem is the chaps in the antique shop know Mr LFCC too as one of them lives on a boat in our "old" marina so there's no sneaking anything really naughty out as I'll get discovered! What's really lovely is they know the kind of things I look for now and will actually direct me to pieces they think will suit my work!
I'd love to see photos of your vintage finds if you'd like to share them or how you've incorporated them into your favourite place to be? You can post them on the wall on our FB page or drop me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org is the place to send them!
So my next bathroom installation will be the finished room - hopefully - just the new wooden counter tops to install now!