I drove up to Briar Rose this morning, at the end of a night shift, because I've got two boat tests to do in the next two days. The day night shifts finish is always a strange one: I try to stay awake all day, to reset my body clock. As long as I keep reasonably busy, I usually don't feel too tired, and then I sleep really well at night.
It was a lovely spring day (in fact it's the spring equinox, which is a day early this year), and the daffodils around the marina have come out since I was last here.
I had a few jobs to do around the boat. The first was to sort out the shower, which has been dripping like mad since the winter. I think one of the ceramic fittings inside the thermostatic control has been damaged by the cold. I'd bought a second hand replacement bar for a very reasonable price on eBay, and it was a simple matter to swap one for the other. I'll take the old one home, because I think the part can be replaced, and then we'll have a spare.
The next job was the fix the bulkhead connection for the tunnel light. We hadn't been able to do it before because it needed a tiny screwdriver, and I'd brought a set with me.
Then I moved onto the stove, which got a thorough clean out. I noticed a few weeks ago that the glass had a small crack in the corner, which was likely only to get bigger. I took the door off, and tried to work out how to get the glass out. The screws on the clips holding it in were seized, so I had a look on the internet and found some good advice. I sprayed each screw with WD40 and left it to soak in. Then I used a pair of pliers to twist the clips and release the glass. I phoned the chandlers at the bottom lock in Braunston to check they had a replacement glass in stock, then after lunch drove over to get it. I parked in the village and walked across the field to the lock.
I knew Doug and James on Chance were likely to be in the area, so sent a text to find out. They were moored down opposite the Boat House pub, so I walked down and had a nice cup of tea and a chat. They wanted to turn around and head off along the shared Oxford/Grand Union section, so I had a little ride up to the marina entrance, and back to Braunston turn, where I got off and said my goodbyes.
Back at the boat, I fitted the new glass to the stove door. I was more fiddly than I'd expected, and I was quite worried about cracking it in the process. But it was soon done, and no doubt the fire will be lit later this evening when the temperature starts to drop. I've now been up for almost 24 hours, so it'll be an early night tonight, and a fairly early start tomorrow morning.