I came up to Brinklow last night after work, arriving a couple of minutes before midnight. It was about 5 Celsius, and I considered not lighting the fire. But the forecast was for a cold night, so I got it going. I was glad I did, because this morning there was a thick layer of frost on the roof.
I was up at 7, and after a quick shower I put the ropes and the tiller on, unplugged the shore power and set of. After about 100 yards in reverse, I moored up by the car park. I was expecting a delivery of a new mattress any time between 8 and 1, and this would be a much easier place for it to be dropped off. I took the long walk round the marina to get the car.
Handling a mattress on your own isn't easy, even when it's only a 4ft one. I managed to get the old one out the back of the boat, then I folded it in half and put it in the boot of my car. Surprisingly, it fitted quite easily.
Then it was just a matter of waiting. At 10.15, I had a call from the driver to say he was a couple of minutes away, so I went and unlocked the marina gate. Five minutes later, I had a huge cardboard box on the wharf.
Handling a mattress on your own isn't easy, even when it's only a 4ft one. And especially when it's a new one. I found that the replacement mattress was much too stiff to go in the stern doors: it just wouldn't flex in the same way the old one did. So I walked it along to the bow, opened up the cratch completely, and took it in the front doors. Then it was off with the polythene wrapping, and onto the bed base.
The most difficult job was still to come, though: folding up the cardboard box and fitting it in the car. Anyone watching from a distance must have wondered what on earth was going on, as I jumped up and down to try to flatten the folded box.
While I was over that side of the marina, I walked the boat back and did a pump out. A token gives plenty of time, and I was able to give the tank several good flushes. I've got some brewer's yeast frothing in some warm water, and I'll flush that down before I go. Next, it's off to the tip, and back home. We'll be back on board Briar Rose on Wednesday evening, for our last night at Brinklow.