Setting Up Office. 16th June

Bramble Cuttings

Last night we had more rain, thunder and lightening and when we woke it was still peeing it down! As we supped our cuppas in bed we could hear the boat behind us start up its engine and gradually pull away, when it came to taking a peek out of the side hatch we realised we were on our own, the boat in front of us had vanished. Oh well what a shame, Bramble Cuttings all to ourselves!

Mist rising after the rain

First job, after letting Tilly out, the yellow water tank. We tried to remember when we last emptied it and we think it was at Calverley! This job normally gets done every three or four days, we’d reached six days. No wonder it was making a slightly odd noise this morning! We considered heading up the canal to wind and return to make the job easier, but that could take a couple of hours and would our space still be here? So instead we pulled back to one end of the moorings with less overhanging trees and set the hose up over the top of Oleanna. The container we pump into had very little room left in it for even one rinse of the tank, the fullest it’s ever been.

The rain last night hadn’t been conducive to sussing out the phone signal. I remembered it wasn’t so good here and certainly in the cabin I only had Emergency calls. With the sun doing it’s best to show itself and the storm clouds having cleared I had a wander around the mooring to see if signal was better. First one picnic bench then another, a couple of faint dots appeared, hopefully that would do. Time to go to work.

Setting up the office

Several of our shopping bags protected myself and the laptop from the very wet picnic bench. Then I was ready to make my call. Last week I’d caught up with the Director for Panto and today Helen the costume designer and I were going to have a designers huddle. Comparing notes and references, making sure that the two of us were heading in the same direction with the overall look of the show. After all I could have been heading down the Arthurian way and Helen setting the show in the 60s/70s. But both of us were on the same track. We shared a few ideas and decided which way to go with one character, both a puppet and an actor. Helen will design the costume then I’ll sort the puppet to match. A very good meeting and worth getting a slightly damp bum for.

Surrounded by green

Bramble Cuttings all to myself, well She and Tom were here too along with a few friends! Fewer now.

Is that it?
It’s down here!

Whilst She chatted away I had a good nosy round, claimed all the benches as mine and enjoyed clambering up and down an old tree that had been cut short. Plenty of pouncing possibility. I soon found friends and brought them out of the friendly cover to play with. She wasn’t too impressed and I got taken inside on one occasion, ‘to give your friend a chance to run away!’ But I was soon back outside trying to track it down again. The use of a barbecue stand gave me extra height to see over the tall grass for any movement.

A good vantage spot

Next I had some thinking to do and an email to send. Yesterday my agent had been in touch regarding designing another show this year. With the theatre industry sitting on a knife edge at the moment this was quite a surprise.

My assistant hard at work

In normal pre-covid and pre-boating days I’d have checked the dates seen that it fitted quite well with panto, said yes and started to pack my bags for another trip to Vienna. But life is not that way anymore.

What a lovely spot

Austria is ahead of us with Covid-19 and the Vienna English Theatre are starting to put together a plan to reopen later this year. I presume they have social distancing to deal with and then importing their actors, director and designer from England. The dates sit very close to panto and it would mean me being away from Mick and Tilly for a few weeks in a row. I’d return from Vienna and head straight to Chippy. Should the 14 day quarantine still be enforced I would not be able to do both. But if Panto can’t go ahead then it would be a shame to turn it down. So many factors no body knows the answer too. I sent an email to Chippy to see what the current feeling there is.

Engine thankfully not full of water

Mick checked the engine bay to see how much water had made it’s way down there yesterday in the storm. Only water where it is expected to be, the rest still dry, the drain around the engine board did it’s job well.

Can you spot the froglet?

Early afternoon we were joined by a boat at the far end of the moorings, they proceeded to sand back to metal a portion of their gunnels, but after about an hour the world fell silent again and they pushed off heading towards Middlewich, leaving us all alone again.

Can you spot the cat?

The washing machine was put to use, but we didn’t dare hang it out as it would certainly get another rinse as late afternoon the sky started to rumble away again, this was soon followed by more torrential rain.

Thunder? What’s that?

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 empty wee tank, 1 office, 1 load washing, 2 designers in a huddle, 1 designer in a quandary, 2 dinky frogs, 6ft back to metal, 1 boat cat in heaven, 1 thunderous evening, 1 Tuesday roast of pork.

4 thoughts on “Setting Up Office. 16th June

  1. Sandra Walsh

    Wow, Vienna! I hope you get to go. I had the pleasure of a few days there in 1973 I think it was, a month before my 15th birthday. I’d been working as a Saturday girl at our local hairdresser’s in Walmley, and the owner was one of the coaches for the British hairdressing team. One of their models dropped out and I was asked if I wanted to step in! Being an adventurous type (you’d never have guessed aye?!), I didn’t hesitate. So there I was a teenage hairdressing model at the World Hairdressing Championships in Vienna. It was an incredible experience, one of many trips of a lifetime. Sadly the one photo I had has been mislaid.
    What an exciting life you lead 😉

  2. Anonymous

    Mick is that rust in the corner of the engine bilge?…. Shame on you! 🙂

    Tom & Jan

    1. pipandmick Post author

      Tom, it’s not rust! Back in October last year whilst heading upstream into a fairly hefty current the engine overheated and dumped a fair quantity (about 10 litres) of coolant into the left hand side under the skin tank. (Paul Balmer will remember). I have subsequently pumped it out but never quite managed to wipe up the residue afterwards. So it is dried red antifreeze that you see there. One day…. when I’m feeling enegetic!


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