Fitout Day 12: On The Buses

An early start, because we had a lot of things to get from Ikea, and we wanted to beat the crowds. There were a few bits and pieces to pick up that hadn’t been available for the kitchen order such as drawer fronts, we had the carousel unit from the corner cabinet we couldn’t use to return for a £50 refund, and a lot of storage items to get for the kitchen. We wanted to make the most of the Ikea being close by before we set off.

Accordingly, we had breakfast in the Ikea cafe- better, it must be said, than the ASDA cafe- and after getting a few bits and pieces from Screwfix including fur-lined rigger boots for boating, tried to return the carousel unit to Ikea.

It turns out that it was in two boxes, and we’d only brought one of them back. We resolved to leave the box at the returns desk to save carrying it around, and to return with the other box after dropping off our purchases back on the boat.

It was lucky we did, too, because we went slightly overboard with buying things, although we did have a £100 gift card from Ikea we got as a promotion for buying the kitchen from them. Amongst others, we got hanging rails for the kitchen, one to fit above the stove and dry wet clothes if needed, plate racks, drying racks, tea towels, some pots and pans… And, my particular favourite, some cotton bed linen with a waterways themed print, which if you squint could be a bridge on the South Oxford.

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We hopped on the bus to return home, only to have it turn right and head down hill from Eastwood to Alfreton, rather than left to Langley Mill; the Rainbow 1 route, it turns out, has two end points, and we’d got on the wrong bus. We got off as soon as we could. To compound things, it started snowing heavily, and the thought of trudging back up the hill and down again to Langley Mill with three very large bags was a very unamusing thought, so treated ourselves to a taxi back to the boatyard, which was VERY cheap compared to Cambridge prices- but then, most things are!

Once back on board, I busied myself with various jobs whilst Amy went back to Ikea,a on the correct bus, to return the other box of the carousel unit and to buy a couple of shelves to fit a cabinet that we simply hadn’t been able to carry back with us. I set about mounting a new lock for the front doors. The existing rim sash lock was unreliable and so we had bought a Yale type night latch to replace it from Screwfix. This needed mounting on the left hand door, compared to the rim sash lock on the right, and I needed to drill a 32mm hole right through the door. I measured very, very, very carefully, several times, and measured again, to ensure that it was in the rig place! Such a large hole, in the wrong place, would have been pretty disastrous.

Luckily it went together well and, on Amy’s return, I was able to show her our new, securely locking front door. I much prefer integral locks with keys over padlocks, because a locked padlock on the outside of the boat tells any passing miscreants that the boat is empty and vulnerable, which you can’t tell a with a lock with a key.

Equally nerve wracking, I decided to try and test fit one of the LED lights on the mounting block in the kitchen. To do this, I had to use a hammer and chisel to prise several pieces of the cosmetic oak framing off, without damaging them, to run the wires underneath them. After using the multitool to trim a section out of the middle of one piece to accommodate the light fitting, I drilled through the back of another piece to run the cables to the miniature dolly switches. Because these LEDs draw only 0.15 amps, I was able to use these 25mm diameter switches that fit nicely onto the framing and look the part. Once mounted in place, and with the wires tucked away and the framing reattached, I think it looks very good.

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The rest of the day was spent fixing in the kitchen units to their final positions in readiness for cutting the work top to fit them tomorrow, fitting and wiring various sockets and lights in the engine room, and generally doing little odd jobs.

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