I seem to be finding energy that I must have been storing up over the last four years! Another long week in Panto land.
This week I’ve discovered treasure,
painted the Eye Of Horus, carved fruit and veg, put up canopies, cut holes in things, knitted,
mounted Gods and the sun, held my tongue on several occasions and on others let it go.
On Monday there had been a camel in town filming for the opening sequence. Also that day the new assistant technician had started, at 18 it is her first job. She has worked out her hourly rate and isn’t that impressed. She is being paid loads, especially after I worked out what my hourly rate is currently (I get a fee for the job). I’m already below minimum wage and there is still another two weeks to go!
Will, the producer, has helped out quite a bit this week, bringing another brain onto stage and helping things progress. There is still a lot to do. But this coming week Chris the carpenter returns, so jobs will hopefully fly off the list. Come next Wednesday the technical rehearsals start. This is when the actors, lights, band, costumes, props and set all get put into the mix and made to work together. The advantage of the actors rehearsing on stage is that I already have a long list of things that need doing, just a shame that they tend to be in the way!
Yesterday there was a stagger through of the show, with breaks for the scene changes. Pages of notes were written, I just need to start crossing them off now.
One thing that has been crossed off is the floor. Last night I started to mark out for the artwork at 7pm. Touching up the days scuffs, I had all the painting done by midnight. A quick break for something to eat and then the first of two coats of glaze to protect it. Whilst waiting for that to dry I got a few moor things crossed off my list, the top coat of glaze was applied by 2am. It can now cure for a day before anyone walks on it.
My next problem was trying to get to the boat. All the cab firms in Chipping Norton seemed to have closed up for the night. I tried and tried, considered ringing an Oxford firm, but in the end I headed back to my digs. My landlady thought I was going to be away until Monday, so I tried my best not to make any noise as I tip toed in fighting my way past the big curtained door. Pepper the cat certainly noticed me and was a bit put out when I ushered her out of my bedroom.
A few hours sleep and I was awake to sneak out past the curtained door again and catch my own private bus to Langford Locks. Almost a mile walk and I was back in Thrupp where Oleanna sat, the stove alight and two cheery faces greeted me.
During the week Mick has single handed Oleanna here to meet me. Tilly has made more friends, brought one home and now the back doors are most definitely closed when she is out. Coal Boat Dusty has delivered five bags of coal and a new gas bottle. Sadly what diesel they had was already spoken for. So yesterday Mick called in at Kingsground in Gibraltar, to top up the tank. Here he had a shock, at £1.15 a litre! No mention of a split and cash only. We just have to hope that the diesel hasn’t been sat around for too long.
At Shipton Weir Lock there were work boats, stop planks and fencing all awaiting the start of the closure there tomorrow. Come the morning Oleanna will be stuck south of the lock for the rest of the month.
Today we’ll move closer to Oxford, but not into the city itself. An hours cruise will get Mick and the boat nearer civilisation for some shopping and me near to bus stops. The lift bridges can all wait for next weekend.
12 locks, 19.68 miles, 2 lift bridges, 1 held up, 2 much work, 18 year old moaner, 1 slosh test, 3 stalls, 1 eye, 0 chilled medication (even though nobody would have known!), 5 long days, 3 holes, 2 heavy, 2 cumbersome, 1 floor painted, 2 coats glaze, 0 taxis, 1 friend, 1 lovely looking boat, 1 day at home, 1 tired but caring boater/designer.