31st March 2008 – This evening I went ordering wood and insulation. Since I received a good price where I always order my wood, I bought the insulation as well from them.
Month: March 2008
30th March 2008 – I continued working on my own, starting to clean the hold and ending by building the floor for the living room, bedroom and office space.
29th March 2008 – A very productive day. A carpenter came to assist me in converting the hold. Together we have managed to build the raised floor for the kitchen and bathroom.
28th March 2008 – I went to the neighbour Jan of the ship Minart to talk about the conversion that would start tomorrow. Since I’m partly going to do the work he did, using the same construction, it was not a bad idea to hear his experience.
27th March 2008 – The wood was delivered today. Sadly enough I wasn’t feeling well so my parents had to come and put the wood in the ship for me. It wasn’t much, but again very expensive. They say metal is expensive, but wood is at least as expensive.
25th March 2008 – I went to a skipper living on the first barge on the canal. He is willing to move my ship in September to Ghent for an event on old monuments.
24th March 2008 – I always thought I was good at planning, and yes at some stage I’m, but now when the details need to be known, I’m stuck. Nearly twice a week I need to ask neighbours for advice. They are much further then me, so it is not bad to use their knowledge instead of making their faults all over again.
A maybe simple looking question, such as ‘where to put the switches for the lights’ makes my head go crazy. No idea, I have never thought on that one. By the end of the week al these and many more questions needs answers, So it will be again a very busy week.
23th March 2008 – Easter and snow, not a combination that we can see every year. I woke up at 5 o’clock and decided to have a look outside. Snow on the ship and in the street, a bit dark but perfect for some pictures. Inside temperature, around 1,2 degrees Celsius. I went back to bed and an hour later, I had to switch on the petroleum fire.
In the morning and afternoon I really finished the floor (this time it is finished completely), while my parents cleaned the remaining floor bits of the original cargo hold.
The best way to clean the floor is doing it with a metal brush. It is a hard job that will help you training your muscles, but it causes a lot of dust.
22nd March 2008 – Since last elections of the board for Vlaamse Woonschepen failed (not enough members available), there was a new meeting in the afternoon. In the morning, the board came together to speak about the running projects and to talk about the future. Some very important ideas and meeting a few new people made it a successful day!
There was a person who is living on a barge on her own. She really wanted that barge, but no bank would give a loan, so the skippers arranged something with her. They helped her realizing her dream. This is not only a prove living on a boat is more then just a hype, but also many commercial skippers believe in living on water and keeping their old barge afloat as a house boat, instead of seeing them scrapped!
21st March 2008 – A friend once told moving your ship to the other side of the dock is like making a trip, seeing a different view through the same window! Well having a neighbour feels the same.
In the evening we had a meal together, besides a good skipper he is a good cook as well!
20th March 2008 – Since all the wood needs to go to a neighbour a few ships further, and it had to go quickly, my neighbour decided to move his ship along mine. It took half a day of to help and enjoy this little trip.
He had to sail through the first bridge, try to turn and then sail back. It is to narrow for us to turn, so we could sail backwards and then turn or sail forwards and turn after the bridge. He had chosen the second option.
17th March 2008 – The first year I don’t go drinking some Guinness beer on this day. I had to order wood for the framework in the ship and the wood store closes at 5 o’clock.
The azobe wood in the hold is not savable. Not only will it take to much work, it has been gone to far to be saved. Therefore somebody will come and collect it for his fire. Sad, but at least it still has some use. A few good planks will be re-used for a smaller floor in my ship. I started at 7 in the evening with some good music and two heavy lights. By the time it was 2 o’clock in the morning, one third of the wood was on deck. There was no space left to move, so I had to quit. One good thing about this: My hold looks bigger again.
15th March 2008 – Mainly worked on the garden today, like I spoke to somebody yesterday who asked if I had a garden. Yes I do, a few flowers and little trees on deck give me a green impression.
In the afternoon a friend living a few ships further came. He started looking at my plan to convert the hold and when he was finished, nearly everything had to change. The wood I had ordered last month is fine, but not suitable for the main construction. Furthermore he made me have a good look at some ideas I had. Most of them were fine in theory, but in practice non realisable or to expensive. I know what to do the coming week!
14th March 2008 – In the morning I had a meeting with the Flemish Government to talk about the house boat situation and the future of the ships on their mooring. Since I’m a member of the board of Vlaamse Woonschepen I spend more time these days on the house boat situation then on any other subject.
11th March 2008 – While I’m still making more concrete plans for converting the hold, I found it was time to make a trial construction.