Just a quick update of the last couple of days... Yesterday, as planned, we did painting. I started with a third coat on the engine room baseplate, and then we tackled the hold. We'd sucked out the water on Sunday, along with a lot of vegetable matter (if you'd asked me whether oak trees had flowers, I suppose I would have said they must do, but I had never actually had to give the matter any consideration until this week. I can now state categorically that they do indeed, lots of them, with little petals that once wet and then dried out get stuck to everything). So once it was dry yesterday we had to brush all of the detritus off and hoover it up again. And then, hooray, what might be the final coat of red oxide in the hold (that's at least five, up to about a foot, and three above that). And then, not fed up with painting (ha) we disposed of two gallons of blacking in the course of starting a fifth and final coat. Needless to say I was knackered by the end of that, and fell into bed at ten, only to awake at one to the unfamiliar but unmistakable sound of rain on the cabin top. Thank goodness the red oxide's quick-drying! - and we don't have to worry about the finish.
This morning it was still raining, so painting was out of the question (my disappointment, obviously, knew no bounds), so we did the obvious thing and went shopping instead. In fact first of all Jim had to track down a bit of the ducting that was missing from the new engine (because of the way it had previously been installed), and when he had successfully done so we went off to fetch it, which was very interesting and I got to meet Ian Kemp at last, and look at his PD2 in Comet, which is instlled exactly as Chertsey's should and will be. Then on the way back we dropped into Midland Chandlers for a brass shackle for the chimney chain (more on that soon), and left with two giant mooring pins, a spare windlass, a sixteen foot ash shaft, a cabin shaft (in kit form), 30 metres of exhaust lagging, a headlight, and a few little bits besides. What's more, we left with everything that was on the list, which is a very rare occurrence.