...of Kantara's kitchen refit. I texted Roy on Monday morning, “When can we come back to Kantara? We're missing her!” He replied, “Tomorrow. There's just a few little things to do.”
On Tuesday morning, the mice became an issue. We'd been hearing mice in the house for some weeks, but traps had failed to catch them. They're heard under the floors, in the cavity walls and in the ceilings. Now they were becoming more active – or more numerous – and something had to be done. Naomi was sure she'd heard them gnawing at something, and we didn't want that to continue. So I phoned a local pest exterminator, and booked a visit the next day. Then, having already loaded the car with things for the boat, we drove back to Braunston.
The kitchen was looking great. Everything was complete except a spice rack to go under one of the wall cabinets, a frame to hold a Perspex sheet over the side hatch (so that we can keep drafts out in the cold weather and bugs out when we want the hatch open at other times), and the glass splash-backs around the working tops. Additionally, we wanted a chopping board made out of the thick piece of pine which had been cut out of the working top where the sink was installed. These were all promised in the next couple of days.
Now came the task of moving back into the boat, cleaning and tidying, making the bed and so on, at the end of which we were knackered and in need of food – and we had none in. So, off we went to The George for an evening meal. Their menu is excellent, and the quality of the food top rate.
Wednesday morning, we returned to the house and packed more things into the car to take back to Kantara. Luis, the vermin man, came in the afternoon to survey the situation, and then to lay poisonous bait for the creatures. Naomi has a cat, Samson (yes, the one that bit me!), and there are many more in the neighbourhood, so we had to be sure that the poison wasn't going to endanger them. Luis convinced us that they would all be safe, and he put down bait in three places. He'll be back in two weeks to assess his success, and again two weeks after that to be finally certain.
As soon as he left, we hit the road again back to Braunston, where Grace cooked our first meal on the new cooker in the new galley kitchen.
Thursday came and went; Friday, too. The man who's going to cut the glass for our splashbacks is busy on another contract, and keeps saying, “Tomorrow”, which never comes. Grace and I are at a loose end, with nothing substantial we feel we can do, because we're hoping that at any minute Roy will arrive with the glass, and put a stop to what we're doing.
We spent some time this afternoon putting ballast (lumps of concrete slab) under one of the new drawer units, and under the dinette; this, because the boat has had a list to port since the new galley has been fitted. The weight of the fittings and furniture needed to be counterbalanced.
We have the chopping board, a superb, heavy piece of oak to match the worktops. And Lee's cut us a tidy little board (although rather like a tombstone) on which Grace will paint roses. Then I'll screw in some hooks and hang it on the wall by the side hatch, for key storage. (It also acts to hide a bit of damage, unavoidably done to a spot on the wall during the refit.)
On Sunday, we'll go back to the house for a couple of nights, and return on Tuesday to embark on the planned trip to Stratford-upon-Avon. If the splashbacks aren't fitted by then, Roy will have to visit us at Yelvertoft some time, and do the job there. The fridge and cupboards are stocked. We're going to cruise!