When we left Caxton on Tuesday we brought away an ironing board -still in its cellophane wrappings and the accompanying iron - still in its box. After four months living aboard neither had been needed or used so off they came. Now how liberating is that?
We have replaced the original rug in the saloon as its colour, though harmonising well with Caxton's decor, did not cope with eight Labrador feet and the occasional tramp from two pairs of walking boots; after only four weeks it was looking decidedly manky and after four months...you can imagine. We did consider buying two sets of canine house slippers but that kind of attire is more in keeping with Greyhounds and their matching pyjamas rather than our rufty tufty Labs. The new rug is darker, brighter, still harmonises with the colour scheme but hopefully will be more robust.
After two and half months cruising with the crew of Matilda Rose Joe soon learnt the value of free wood so the insistence on having the boat's roof clear of clutter went down the leg side. A chain saw of our own is now on the to-buy list.
We have used far less diesel than we budgeted for; you just haven't got a clue what the boat/lifestyle will require when you start out.
We have learnt that you get what you pay for with coal and it is worth getting the better quality stuff to keep the fire in overnight and use wood during the day.
We are planning to have a few modifications made aboard Caxton; extra shelves in the bedside cupboards and one in the broom cupboard, a door rehung on the opposite side, cupboards doors fitted to what was planned to be a dog space - one look from Fletcher and Floyd kicked that idea into touch - and a slight restructure of the dinette to open things up a little more.
Of course the most important thing we have learnt is that we truly love the lifestyle. People are friendly and pleasant and there is a rather unique community in this parallel world on the cut.