Wednesday, April 26, 2006


You’ve read the cast list …………………………………………….

So, we’ll start with the endlessly fascinating Mr. and Mrs. Mole, who, quite literally live in a hole and not a very large one at that.

Mr. and Mrs. Mole live close by. They live in a very small yacht about 26 feet long of which about half is an aft deck. So, by my calculation they live together in a space which is about 12 feet long and probably no more that about 6 feet wide. Nothing wrong with that. The puzzling part is that slung over the top of their yacht is a very large blue tarpaulin secured to the mast by duct tape and everywhere any light could possibly get in duct tape is in evidence. On the starboard side is the biggest television aerial you have ever seen.

So, the only thing you can see of this, very nice (I think) yacht is a very tall mast, the telly aerial, and a blue tarpaulin.

Every morning a small portion of the blue tarpaulin in pulled back and Mr. Mole emerges, always in the same clothes, unless he buys three or four of everything. But there again there is probably only room for one jumper, one pair of trousers and a pair of boots in his part of the yacht. In his hand are two 1 litre Perthshire mountain spring water bottles which he fills at the water tap on the pontoon. Back he goes, the flap goes down and that’s it, for a few more hours. He always says a cheery good morning if you meet him and seems an affable sort of chap, just pale from the lack of light, but there is something manic in his eyes and while they swivel around, you get the uneasy feeling that he’s waiting for some unseen entity to tap him on the shoulder and this time he’s going to give it what for once and for all. Perhaps it’s Mrs. Mole.

Last week our boat was moved to a better part of the Marina, back end on to the pontoon and nearer the toilet (so my eyes are now back in their sockets). So we were towed and told to tie up to the boat to the left of us as the one to the right was due to depart upon its travels. A woman suddenly appeared, with a Mr. Mole manic gleam in her eyes and pasty face, and said in a rather belligerent manner “You can’t tie that boat up here!”. To which him indoors replied “Well, this is where we’ve been instructed to tie it up and that’s that.”

To which she replied “Well we’re just fed up of being crunched between boats and it’s keeping me awake” and off she went.

Mrs. Mole had appeared and spoken.

Mrs. Mole’s routine never varies either.

After Mr. Mole and burrowed his way to the light for his water about an hour later Mrs. Mole surfaces, always in a grey sweatshirt and navy trousers, her grey shoulder length a well groomed and hanging loose. The two Perthshire Mountain Spring water bottles under her arm, fills them up and descends back into the tarpaulin burrow. She then appears again in the same attire clutching a toothbrush and toothpaste and heads for the toilet/shower block. However the strange thing is that one day I happened to feel a need and followed shortly after but she wasn’t in there anywhere. So the first mystery is where the hell does she go with her tooth implements – perhaps there’s an underground trapdoor in communal bathroom that I haven't spotted, for people who are averse to the rigours of daylight.

So basically that’s all they do – rush to the tap and descend back into that strange netherworld with B & Qs best tarpaulin for sky, over and over again, and they’ve been doing it for 3 years.

Oh my God, perhaps they’re vampires.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


By pond life I mean life on the pond, not the derogatory term lower than pond life.

Several people live here – it’s not what you’d call a marina, more a place where boats are stored, in and out of the water, work goes on and then people move on – a transitory place for some and not others. It’s possible to get into a rut in a boat yard, I’ve discovered.

The folks here mainly keep themselves to themselves. Why? Because everyone is obsessed by their boat. There is always a piece of wood to oil, a hull to be antifouled, a bilge to pump, and besides the world looks so much better from your own deck.

I’m an avid people watcher, not judgemental, just interested and at times amused. I don’t like everybody I meet; if I professed to I’d be a hypocrite. When I do come across someone who gives me a “bad” feeling I usually just mentally shrug my shoulders and give them a wide berth.

People’s names have been changed to suit their circumstances, my amusement and for the other obvious reason.

Conjecture can be a dangerous thing, but oh it can be so much fun.

Anyway here is the cast list so far.

Mr. and Mrs. Mole

Mr. Bondi Beach with Nazi Connections

The Disillusioned Social Worker in the Penthouse

The Amphibious Family

The old Salty Dog

The Lifebuoys

The Wing Commander

All of these people I have met, some briefly, some not so briefly. I thought I was the only sane one in the asylum, but I have company.

Are you curious yet?

Kats :0)

Monday, April 10, 2006


Life just gets in the way and blogging is always last in the queue because you have to sit down and make an effort, and my efforts have been concentrated into shoehorning our belongings into a boat, surviving for the first week with no water, no toilet and no power apart from the light given off by a lead lamp attached to shore power.

I suppose I should go back to the beginning and bore you all with the gory details of the transition from shore to water. Pin back your lugholes then while I moan for Scotland.

After arriving back from the Midlands we went to stay on the west coast with friends – about one and a half hours car ride each way to work and to the boat, which needed to be recomissioned, surveyed and dropped into the water, but as is life, nothing is ever as simple as you think its going to be, what I cannot understand is why, as a so called intelligent species we keep deluding ourselves. After lots of driving back and forth over long periods of the day and getting nowhere fast, the decision was made to move aboard. She was in the water, so what the hell.

And hell indeed is what it was for a few days. Well, you comfort loving city dwellers out there would probably call it hell, bloody inconvenient would be my take on it. Talking of convenience or rather conveniences, the one we had to use was across another boat (the one we were attached to) round a pontoon, punch in a numerical code into a key pad and behold luxurious toilets and showers,

I am no longer a sweet young thing with taught muscles inside and out (but I would thank God, if he existed, that I don’t have a prostate). When I wake up in the morning I need to go, not in five minutes time, NOW. So picture this, a middle aged woman, still in her jim jams, very long hair standing on end, eyes bulging with the effort of “holding her water” leaping over a cruiser, landing on a large wooden trawler, running around it’s deck, jumping on to the pontoon and going like the clappers with eyes now rolling back in their sockets with the effort, chanting a four digit code and saying “hash” as if her life depended on it. Oh the joy and relief when finally the hash key is pressed and like Aladdin’s cave the door to the ablutions swings open. The saunter back, with a smug and satisfied feeling though is almost worth it. Well, no it isn’t actually.

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. Except if you go to the tap at the end of the pontoon and fill your bottles – enough said, you get the picture, and the lead lamp speaks for itself.

Week two is now at an end and we have water coming out of the taps – what a novelty. The lights come on and the toilet macerates like a good un. What joy can come from the simple things in life.

I found more storage space in the forward berth, you’d have thought I had won the lottery, instead of a place to store the spare linen. Little things please little minds, but somehow it’s far more satisfying and fulfilling than that self destructive career ladder.

So, you’ve probably gathered, this isn’t really a moan but a celebration of a totally different way of life and despite the inconveniences I know it will be worth it in the long run.

So now it’s re-wiring for 240 volts, getting the fly bridge back on and connected and converting the generator to 240 volts, getting the engines singing and away we go. Sounds a doddle – convert that to around 8 weeks more work.

We’ve nicknamed our impatience “Marina Fever” as opposed to Cabin Fever – it’s very nice here, but, we want to wander at will.

The most interesting part of this journey so far however are the people that also live in this Marina. .

So, to be continued very soon.

Kats :0).