Hangmen and Mudlarks

On Monday night we finally got up the gumption to do something about the massive, 160kg reel of rope we had delivered to the entrance of the mooring a few weeks back. We only needed about 100m for ourselves, but at the thickness we require, you have to buy the entire 220m reel. And as it’s way too heavy for anyone to reasonably steal, we just let it sit in the entrance to the mooring for a while… Having measured myself and knowing that from one hand to the opposite shoulder was one metre, we measured off three lengths of 30m, cut through it with a hacksaw, duct-taped the ends, and hauled it down to the boat between us – one at a time. But we were still left with 120m that was still way too heavy to shift, even with the wheelbarrow, so we cut that into two lengths of 60m and between us got it down to the boat in the wheelbarrow. This took us way longer than expected, and once again we ended up eating dinner at 11pm (it’s becoming unusual for us to eat before 10, to be honest).

A portion of our rope

With the rope in place and the tides and sunset in the correct alignment, last night I pulled on my hot pink wellies (previously only worn for festivals) and rubber gloves and got down onto the Thames mud for a bit of fender retrieval. There are lots of tires on the mud, but most are tied together in huge groups, or filled with mud or concrete making them impossible to move. After a mid-calf squelch into a particularly deep patch of mud, I zeroed in on 5 tires that looked suitable, and James hoisted them up on deck with a rope.

Just in case you were thinking of coming down onto the Thames at low tide for a bit of mudlarking yourself – I don’t recommend it. The rocky bits weren’t bad, though I stepped on a lot of broken glass, but the silty muddy parts were disgusting. It had its own particular aroma somewhere between “dead fish” and “raw sewage” and coated my boots, and the smell followed me until properly hosed off.

This morning the BT engineer was here to install our BT line, so we should have broadband (8meg! ha!) by early next week! While he was around I took the opportunity to start sorting out my sewing room, and I managed to lay down a rug, rebuild the desk, and unpack all of my sewing things except the fabric, though I haven’t rationised my storage options just yet. I also screwed my new pattern hook rack onto the wall, though it was upside down on the first attempt (oops).

And in further news, a Canada goose has decided to place her nest less than an inch away from our walkway to the rubbish bins on one of the garden barges. I was surprised to find that geese are capable of hissing as agressively as any cat, and we’re now told via a sign to use the side decks to get to the rubbish bins instead. Anyone know how long the nesting period for a goose is?

- posted by Melissa Fehr on 18 April 2007, 16:36 in