I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues

I discovered the blue feet from the wet shoes seeping dye last night quite late. I had cold feet with the damp and was changing into dry socks. I didn’t wash them straight away so this morning I had feet as blue as a coot. I went to wash them and had to scrub thoroughly with the nail brush, which was already tinged blue from scrubbing my nails after dealing with paintbrushes the other day.

Shane thought that the dark blue touch-up paint could definitely do with another coat, as the primer was showing through, and while he was at it, he might as well do some of the brighter blue ( in an case he’d noticed he had missed a bit and I had scraped a bit with the boat hook). I chose sanding again but as only a light sand was needed I did it by hand in stead, which meant the paint dust went on my fingers and up the nails. The nail brush was busy this morning.

In order to do both sides, in stead of turning the boat we headed along to somewhere with the towpath at the other side so we could moor there. While Shane was painting there a man passing asked if he had done the writing on the side too. He must have been looking professional!



The master at work

As we went along we saw other artful painting work at the side of the canal. There was a painting that had solar panels to light it in the dark, we assume.

Unusual canal side painting on display night and day

There was a colourful canal side mural that I thought might be a school playground, though Shane could not find a school there, perhaps it was a nursery. It was a very jolly canal scene either for children or for the canal users to admire . In it the canal seems to be bright blue whereas it is usually murky brown, but that would not have suited the bright style.

Colourful cobalt canal

We had a busy morning with collecting more water and stopping at a chandlery where we got some more paint (blacking for the hull); two extra wide fenders (some canals have a below water shelf that can scratch and last night had some strummed vegetation that scraped unpleasantly); a second mallet (in case we ever drop the other one, they are so unfloaty!) and some other small spares. What a large and well equipped chandler’s it was, seemed to have just about everything, including the proverbial kitchen sink.

We had a hasty lunch and in my hurry to get slices ready for the toaster from the end of a round loaf, I caught my finger with the excellent sharp bread knife. I was glad I had bought plasters – though not the recommended blue kitchen plasters – and that I had completed the lemon squeezing already.

We had  some tunnels with timed entry slots to get through in the afternoon and arrived just after the first one which gave us half an hour when Shane decided to tackle another bit of painting that he had not seen before but the tunnel bollards were not on that side, so he thought the roof was the easiest access point.

Missed a bit! Shane having a high old time.

The fresh paint all over meant extra care was needed getting on and off the boat, placing fenders and pulling ropes. Last time we had not been moving the boat around much. Shane had offered to do ropes after I had cut my finger but it wasn’t a problem. As the time came to get through the tunnel, I was casting off and heading to remove the fender, when I slid and I saw I had stood in dog muck ( arrgh!). Just as I was hastily wiping my shoe, Shane, unaware, called for me to push the front off and jump on, as he was ready to go. Grasping the right bit of paintwork and pushing off and jump aboard avoiding stepping on tacky paint and weilding the rope clear rope and not getting the dirty shoe on anything…. I think I managed and slipped off the offending shoe to clear the treads using dry oak leaves that had made their way in the bow well, – handy – Then all went dark – unhandy – as we started into the tunnel. I took them both off, stepped inside and changed shoes.

After trying to avoid stepping on paint and bringing blue into interior, I never thought that was the mess I would get myself in!